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Texas BBQ restaurants update rules after tipping backlash

A Texas barbecue restaurant owner has updated its policy after stipulating that some employees are barred from earning tips if they break certain rules.

A Texas barbecue restaurant owner has updated its policy after stipulating that some employees are barred from earning tips if they break certain rules.

Unsplash (via Sam Dan Truong)

A barbecue restaurant in Texas has updated its policies after a viral Twitter post showed workers could be docked their tips as punishment.

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Tips are a privilege! They must be earned,” read the former policy of Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ in Buda, about 20 miles south of Austin. The screenshot of the rules was shared Monday, July 17, and has been viewed more than 2 million times as of Friday.

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The rules showed employees would not earn their tips for their shift if they were late or written up that day. Additionally, they would be removed from tips for the week if they miss a shift or forfeited from tips for the pay period if they were fired.

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Federal rules prohibit tips from being taken from workers.

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Hundreds of people have commented on the Twitter post, many of whom accused the restaurant of wage theft.

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Miguel Vidal, owner of the restaurant, confirmed to KXAN the rules were written in 2013, but he told the station it was rarely enforced. He called it a “last-resort measure.”

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“They got three verbal warnings and a write-up before anything was even discussed,” Vidal told KXAN.

Vidal and his wife Modesty Vidal, Addressed tipping policy in a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page on Tuesday. The previous tipping policy has been reviewed and no longer states that employees are prohibited from tipping.

The policy shows the restaurant uses a tip pooling system, meaning tips are to be split evenly between all scheduled workers.

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All employees at the restaurant are paid more than minimum wage, which is $2.13 an hour for tipped workers.

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The Vidals said they “can only continue to learn, adapt and try to do better.”

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“This document that was posted needs to be reworded and isn’t properly explained,” the owners said. “But, by no means have we ever kept an employees’ tips that they have earned. We value our staff and want them to be successful.”

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Miguel Vidal told KXAN he “should have paid attention” to the former policy more.

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Mike Stanson covers real-time news for McClatchy. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2011 and has previously worked as a sports reporter for the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger, and as a breaking news reporter for the Lexington Herald Reader.
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https://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article277537543.html Texas BBQ restaurants update rules after tipping backlash

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