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Sonic workers quit

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
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They have to be paid minimum wage, it's federal law for all workers.

If the tips are not enough, the employer has to make up the difference.
That's how tipped employees are paid.

But tips at a fast food joint is almost unheard of.
 
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zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
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How does that kind of salary change come about? It can't possibly be corporate, can it? Maybe a local franchisee (like an LLC that collectively owns a few restaurants) implemented this at the nearby businesses that they purchased?
 
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Bitek

Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2001
9,256
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Lol!

Great job to the workers. Freedom in action. You don't need to take anyone's shit if you don't want to.
 
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Bitek

Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2001
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LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,523
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I would guess that management will be in legal trouble as few people are going to tip at a fast food joint so the company would have to be making up that difference in pay.

There's no legal way to pay any worker less than the minimum wage.
EDIT: That is too broad, there are a few exceptions, but tipped employees is not one,.

However, I have seen no confirmation of the tip story and it's hard to believe.
 
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rstrohkirch

Platinum Member
May 31, 2005
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Just for reference, Sonic employees who bring the food out to vehicles and pickup trays do receive tips through out the day. Staff members working in the kitchen or service area only, wouldn't see any of that though. But like mentioned above, they would receive minimum wage for their pay anyway. The only thing that would occur would be that crew who are assigned to take food out would make less. As they wouldn't be minimum wage + occasional tip now.
 

UNCjigga

Lifer
Dec 12, 2000
22,838
5,219
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I always thought Sonic would be the first fast food joint to completely eliminate human capital at the store-level and move to 100% automation. They seem to be setup that way. Do Sonics even have bathrooms? I can count the number of times I've eaten there on 1 hand, but I do not recall seeing bathrooms.
 

rstrohkirch

Platinum Member
May 31, 2005
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They have staff bathrooms. Most Sonics don't have indoor seating areas so they may not be required to have public restrooms depending on code and when it was built.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,736
13,847
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Just for reference, Sonic employees who bring the food out to vehicles and pickup trays do receive tips through out the day. Staff members working in the kitchen or service area only, wouldn't see any of that though. But like mentioned above, they would receive minimum wage for their pay anyway. The only thing that would occur would be that crew who are assigned to take food out would make less. As they wouldn't be minimum wage + occasional tip now.
So why did they quit?
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
8,754
2,670
136
They have to be paid minimum wage, it's federal law for all workers.

If the tips are not enough, the employer has to make up the difference.
That's how tipped employees are paid.

But tips at a fast food joint is almost unheard of.
That is how it is supposed to work, but I think it rarely does in practice. I've had friends that were waiters that were forced to report tips that got them to min wage every shift and they were told "It'll work out on the weekend."

At least in Oklahoma where Sonic is based, people did used to tip the carhops a decent amount when it was all cash. But now that they went to the credit card readers they don't even give you the option of tipping. In the cash days being a car hop was a pretty desirable job because it paid a little more than min wage + a fair amount of tips and you got a bonus if you did it on roller skates. I had a couple of cousins that were making in the mid-teens back in the late 90s.
 
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rstrohkirch

Platinum Member
May 31, 2005
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So why did they quit?
Obviously, I know as much as you do. Going from minimum wage to $4 tip in that environment is technically no change and I don't see it as a motivating factor for "all" employees to quit. This is all based of the first comment in the twitter feed. I can see issues if all members outside management were changed as some of them were probably making more than minimum wage.


That is how it is supposed to work, but I think it rarely does in practice. I've had friends that were waiters that were forced to report tips that got them to min wage every shift and they were told "It'll work out on the weekend."
I would disagree. Based off my personal and business related experiences that is the least likely scenario. No legitimate business owner wants inquires from WHD. If you have waitstaff not making minimum wage and being asked to misreport their earned tips then I would immediately assume the establishment is either struggling or severally overstaffed and mismanaged. Based off federal tip credit, an employee only needs to make just over $4.00 an hour in tips which is roughly 2-3 customers in a low priced dinner.

Again though, we just assume that the guy in the twitter feed is giving us the reason why all this happened. Also, it looks like this was taken at night so the "whole store" could literally be 2 people.
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
61,027
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Obviously, I know as much as you do. Going from minimum wage to $4 tip in that environment is technically no change and I don't see it as a motivating factor for "all" employees to quit. This is all based of the first comment in the twitter feed. I can see issues if all members outside management were changed as some of them were probably making more than minimum wage.
People aren't going to tip at sonic. There is no additional income. The owner is just trying to cheap out and move the staff to tip based compensation. The end.
 

dyna

Senior member
Oct 20, 2006
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People aren't going to tip at sonic. There is no additional income. The owner is just trying to cheap out and move the staff to tip based compensation. The end.
I must not have received the memo but I almost always tip at Sonic.
 
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rstrohkirch

Platinum Member
May 31, 2005
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People aren't going to tip at sonic. There is no additional income. The owner is just trying to cheap out and move the staff to tip based compensation. The end.
My operations manager who was a GM for a Sonic location for 3 years would disagree with you. Obviously there are regional differences that may change peoples behavior. One of our establishments is a drive in with a standard lobby. My employees receive tips through out the day. Their responsibility to the outside customer is taking out food , picking up trays and offering a refill.

I am confused as to why you feel the owner or business is "cheaping out". Legally there is no difference in wages assuming employees make minimum wage. Also, does adding "The end" as your last statement actually get you anywhere. Does that work on your spouse? Or is it something reserved for digital conversations.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,523
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I had no idea tipping was going on at Sonic. I guess it makes some sense since they bring the food out to you.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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How in the h e double hockey sticks can someone survive on 4$ an hour working at a fast food place? How is this even legal?


'They cut workers pay from min wage to $4.00 USD + tips. $4.00 USD. Plus tips. TIPS. AT A FAST FOOD JOINT. '
What's that? What's that sound?

That my children, is the sound of capitalism at work. Someone attempted to underpay workers - so the workers quit and went elsewhere. Amazing, I know.


Personally I agree when I say good riddance to the dumb new owners. Few other points on my mind:

#1. Sonic is not a place I would tip 15-20% like a sit down restaurant. It's just like any other fast food except they deliver it to your car instead of through a drive-thru window.
#2. I don't know what the legalities are as far as qualifying for paying under the minimum wage as a restaurant, I figured you would have to have some kind of certification of being a waiter-based sit-down restaurant.
#3. In our economic times, paying minimum wage ($7.25) clearly doesn't work real well right now (retail, food, etc..), I don't know why they thought it would be any different.

Also as a side comment for anyone grossly misinformed (there is always a handful everytime this discussion comes up) NO establishment can pay someone under the federal minimum wage ($7.25). Any and ALL tips plus the paid wage ($4.00 in this case) must be over that $7.25/hour mark. If it is not over that mark (with tips) then the employer MUST COMPENSATE to hit that minimum.
 
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Nov 8, 2012
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My operations manager who was a GM for a Sonic location for 3 years would disagree with you. Obviously there are regional differences that may change peoples behavior. One of our establishments is a drive in with a standard lobby. My employees receive tips through out the day. Their responsibility to the outside customer is taking out food , picking up trays and offering a refill.

I am confused as to why you feel the owner or business is "cheaping out". Legally there is no difference in wages assuming employees make minimum wage. Also, does adding "The end" as your last statement actually get you anywhere. Does that work on your spouse? Or is it something reserved for digital conversations.
I guarantee as long as they have a credit card system in which it asks you for a tip amount that a good number of people will get that guilty feeling and add on.
 

Meghan54

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2009
9,871
2,815
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I would guess that management will be in legal trouble as few people are going to tip at a fast food joint so the company would have to be making up that difference in pay.

There's no legal way to pay any worker less than the minimum wage.

However, I have seen no confirmation of the tip story and it's hard to believe.
Actually, there is, but it's a specific case/industry. Agriculture. You oughta dive down that rabbit hole one day. The fed. pay rules for ag are damned loose.
 
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ewdotson

Golden Member
Oct 30, 2011
1,174
1,245
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Obviously, I know as much as you do. Going from minimum wage to $4 tip in that environment is technically no change and I don't see it as a motivating factor for "all" employees to quit. This is all based of the first comment in the twitter feed. I can see issues if all members outside management were changed as some of them were probably making more than minimum wage.
Seems to me that if the carhops were reliably pulling tips, it could still work out to a fair bit of lost income. Especially since those tips would like be smaller, and therefore a smaller percentage of their income, than that of a server at a sit-down restaurant. e.g. if they pull $3/hr in tips and had been making minimum wage, their effective income went from $10.25/hr to $7.25/hr.

In reality, it could be worse than that. Even here in Alabama, I see fast food places advertising pretty routinely for jobs at more than the minimum wage. Were these workers going from $10+/hr+tips to $4/hr+tips?
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,523
1,573
126
Ohio's minimum wage is $8.55, so they have to be paid at least that much.

For tipped employees, it's $4.30 per hour base, and then either the tips, or the employer, have to make up the other $4.25 to reach the $8.55 minimum.
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
8,754
2,670
136
I guarantee as long as they have a credit card system in which it asks you for a tip amount that a good number of people will get that guilty feeling and add on.
Their credit card system doesn't allow for tipping.
 

Homerboy

Lifer
Mar 1, 2000
29,399
3,126
126
I go to Culver's through the drive-through all the time. They always bring your food to your car. Never ONCE have I thought of tipping. It makes no sense.
 

rstrohkirch

Platinum Member
May 31, 2005
2,008
205
106
Ok, as I mentioned earlier. We don't even know why these people quit for certain. This entire thread is built around 1 individual in that twitter feed making a comment. The employees at a different location posted a typed letter. No where in the letter were wages mentioned, only poor management and work environment. Check the twitter feed if you want to read the letter. There is a possibility that wages are involved still but I'm not getting that impression.

I go to Culver's through the drive-through all the time. They always bring your food to your car. Never ONCE have I thought of tipping. It makes no sense.
That's a drive thru though. A drive-in should be dropping off food, picking up trays, food wrappers and offering refills while you sit in your car.
 
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