(Editor’s Note: we clarified Coomes’s language to make it clear he is discussing the legality and commonplace nature of “bank” arrangements in general, not the specifics of the employment dispute in question.)

Leila DiFazio had been a server for 11 months at Lynn’s Paradise Café before being sacked Jan. 2.

The cause?

Refusing to follow LPC’s new policy stating all servers had to carry a $100 cash “bank” to work each day for the purposes of tipping assistants such as bussers and bartenders.

DiFazio thought the amount was too much to ask. So much that she wrote in a post on WLKY 32’s Facebook page (hoping a reporter would read her story and skewer Lynn’s), “Anyone who can afford to have one hundred dollars cash on them at any given time probably doesn’t need to work as a server.”

In speaking to local blog Eater Louisville, Lynn Winter, founder and owner of the quirky and nationally famous café, said the increased “bank,” as it’s called in the biz, was instituted due to the continued rise in credit card tips, which leaves both servers – and sometimes the restaurant itself – too low on cash to give servers and assistants the amount in tips they’re owed when they finish their shifts.

In other words, if the bulk of a day’s sales are transacted with credit cards, there might not be enough cash to go around when tipping is done. Happens all the time.

That leaves restaurateurs facing some options: 1. Keeping a cash buffer on hand for paying servers and assistants cash that is traditionally the mainstay of their income; or 2. Crediting those credit card tips directly to paychecks.

Some restaurateurs I talked to about the issue — and shocker, no one wants to talk on the record about this — keep the cash buffer. They know servers like cash in hand, so that’s how they pay them. Others move credit card tips to paychecks. Both systems seem to work fine.

Why this isn’t done to pay servers assistants as well? The general answer is, “We just have always done it this way.”

And if it works, why mess with it?

That’s what Tom Kohler thinks. The former CFO for Rally’s Hamburgers, Kohler now runs Premier Accounting Services, which specializes in managing the books for restaurant companies. Suffice it to say, he knows the rules and knows how restaurants follow them.

Kohler thought the $100 bank standard was a little high, but said he saw no wrongdoing in mandating it.

“I’m surprised Lynn’s doing it that way,” he began, “but those servers — and I think Lynn knows this — will certainly see that for what they’re doing, they’re making far more than they would for the same hours they’d work in another job. … I know they can set aside $100.”

Problem is, many won’t. Too many, as Kohler pointed out, choose not to manage their money well.

Could Winter use a cash buffer to ensure the house pays its servers assistants? Based on the success of Lynn’s, one would assume so.

But could any server worth his or her salt amass $100 to play the game and keep a job? At a place with the traffic of Lynn’s, I have no doubt.

While DiFazio asserts anyone with $100 in his pocket doesn’t need to work as a server, I say any server who can’t come up with $100 cash quickly isn’t a good server or is a terrible money manager or just got robbed.

Too many of them love the work because it gives them cash in hand. I waited tables, too, so I know the false sense of quick “wealth” that comes with ending a shift with a wad of cash.

I also know what it’s like to go home and put the money in the drawer for a few days until you can go to the bank and get it out of your hands. Had I been asked to carry a $100 bank to play the game by the new rules, I might have groused, but I’d have gone to the bank and withdrawn it.

In attempting to cover the issue, Eater Louisville implied that  the entire practice of “the bank” is[KH1]against the law.

Wrong.

An anonymous post to the site linked to KRS 337.065 as proof that tipping can’t be mandated by restaurants such as Lynn’s. Problem is, the post points only to sections 1 and 3 of the law, not to section 4, which lays out the terms under which such tip sharing programs can be operated as voluntary arrangements between restaurants and their employees.

I am not familiar with the exact specifics of how Winters established her “bank” program, or with DiFazio’s firing, for that matter. But the fact is EVERYONE in this business plays by section 4. It’s simply the way it’s done: Servers get tipped, and they are expected to be honest in how they tip their assistants and bartenders. It’s a long-established and happy relationship based on the trickledown effect.

So should the whole thing fall apart because servers need to adapt to an adjusted standard?

I’m not saying Winter’s right or wrong — and it’s certainly not illegal—I’m merely saying it’s not that onerous a demand in a profession where full-time servers make between $20,000 and $50,000–or more–a year.

And if it is, go serve tables somewhere else, Ms. DiFazio. Good restaurants are always looking for good help. Lynn’s isn’t the only busy spot in town.

And for what it’s worth, customers who think that tipping cash on credit card charges allows servers to take that income without reporting it are just as stupid as a server who doesn’t report it.

Not only are you saying with a wink, “Here’s one for you, but not one for Uncle Sucker,” you’re risking they won’t share that tip with their assistants.

You’re also saying, “I know I have to pay taxes, but I have no problem with you cheating.” And that is illegal.

In talking to restaurateurs about the Lynn’s debacle, every one of them said they have servers who aren’t reporting all their income this way.

“I have no choice but to report my sales, but my servers can skip reporting their tips? How’s that fair?” one said. “I pay taxes in abundance, so I don’t have much patience for servers who won’t set aside a little money over the course of the year so they can pay taxes at the end.

“Too many of them get into this business for the cash and then they live hand-to-mouth. It’s absurd.”

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Steve Coomes
Steve Coomes is a restaurant veteran turned award-winning food, spirits and travel writer. In his 24-year career, he has edited and written for multiple national trade and consumer publications including Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. He is a feature writer for Louisville magazine, Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass and Food & Dining Magazine. The author of two books, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and the "Home Distiller's Guide to Spirits," he also serves as a ghostwriter for multiple clients.

371 thoughts on “Steve Coomes: Server's smear campaign over Lynn’s Paradise Café’s ‘bank gate’ is ridiculous

  1. What about yet another restaurateur’s reference to the “specter” of the possibility of rising health care costs for minimum wage employees?

  2. What about yet another restaurateur’s reference to the “specter” of the possibility of rising health care costs for minimum wage employees?

  3. I think a $20,000-a-year employee – especially with a dependent – may have frequent difficulty stashing $100 cash. I also think CARRYING it poses a real threat of the employee becoming a victim of robbery or assault.

  4. I think a $20,000-a-year employee – especially with a dependent – may have frequent difficulty stashing $100 cash. I also think CARRYING it poses a real threat of the employee becoming a victim of robbery or assault.

  5. Not an expert on this, but I think that it is illegal – if the party they are sharing with actually makes minimum wage – as busboys do. I’d suggest calling the Kentucky Labor Cabinet.

  6. Not an expert on this, but I think that it is illegal – if the party they are sharing with actually makes minimum wage – as busboys do. I’d suggest calling the Kentucky Labor Cabinet.

  7. I’d suggest reading the law and then checking restaurants on a case by case basis. If busboys make the $7.25 per hour on the clock, it’s unlikely they’re being tipped.

  8. I’d suggest reading the law and then checking restaurants on a case by case basis. If busboys make the $7.25 per hour on the clock, it’s unlikely they’re being tipped.

  9. What Lynn’s referring to is the fact that servers typically get nothing on their paychecks since their tips make up their income (servers often get negative checks if they’re really good). So how do you pay for mandatory insurance via employee withholdings if there’s nothing the restaurateur can withhold? That puts the restaurateur in the role of bill collector to retrieve the insurance money every night that they cash out. That’s a pain. The way her remarks are written doesn’t really clarify what she’s saying. (And believe me, I’m no apologist for Lynn Winter, I’m explaining what dozens of operators have told me.) Many restaurateurs have said this in the press, but the press has done a poor job of explaining it, mostly because it doesn’t understand the issue.

  10. What Lynn’s referring to is the fact that servers typically get nothing on their paychecks since their tips make up their income (servers often get negative checks if they’re really good). So how do you pay for mandatory insurance via employee withholdings if there’s nothing the restaurateur can withhold? That puts the restaurateur in the role of bill collector to retrieve the insurance money every night that they cash out. That’s a pain. The way her remarks are written doesn’t really clarify what she’s saying. (And believe me, I’m no apologist for Lynn Winter, I’m explaining what dozens of operators have told me.) Many restaurateurs have said this in the press, but the press has done a poor job of explaining it, mostly because it doesn’t understand the issue.

  11. Longer than that, Curtis. I agree in principle that $2.13 is low, but tips have gone up as a percentage of higher ticket averages, so servers are still well above minimum wage when added to $2.13. Where they’re not, the operator has some ‘splainin’ to do and some monetary adjustments to make. Pretty cut and dried stuff that has to be adjusted at least quarterly, I’d think, if not immediately.

  12. Longer than that, Curtis. I agree in principle that $2.13 is low, but tips have gone up as a percentage of higher ticket averages, so servers are still well above minimum wage when added to $2.13. Where they’re not, the operator has some ‘splainin’ to do and some monetary adjustments to make. Pretty cut and dried stuff that has to be adjusted at least quarterly, I’d think, if not immediately.

  13. I look forward to the day when restaurant workers are unionized so they’ll have advocacy as strong as that which you provide to restaurateurs.

  14. I’d like to know how a tip pool is “voluntary” if a person can get fired for not participating.

  15. I’d like to know how a tip pool is “voluntary” if a person can get fired for not participating.

  16. I look forward to the day when restaurant workers are unionized so they’ll have advocacy as strong as that which you provide to restaurateurs.

  17. Of course the author sides with Lynn. You’re a ”food and travel writer” and there’s no restaurant you old fashioned critics love more than Lynn’s Paradise Cafe. If you only knew half the nonsense that goes on around that place –including and especially the terrible way Lynn treats folks –you wouldn’t be blinded by the overprice OJ and french toast. Any true industry insider has heard COUNTLESS horror stories about Lynn and LPC….are all these folks interested in smearing Lynn’s “good name?” Just stay tuned as story develops and the ugly truth comes out! I look forward to reading your follow up then.

  18. Of course the author sides with Lynn. You’re a ”food and travel writer” and there’s no restaurant you old fashioned critics love more than Lynn’s Paradise Cafe. If you only knew half the nonsense that goes on around that place –including and especially the terrible way Lynn treats folks –you wouldn’t be blinded by the overprice OJ and french toast. Any true industry insider has heard COUNTLESS horror stories about Lynn and LPC….are all these folks interested in smearing Lynn’s “good name?” Just stay tuned as story develops and the ugly truth comes out! I look forward to reading your follow up then.

  19. If I leave cash on a credit card charge (and I frequently don’t), I don’t believe I’m in anyway saying “Here’s one for you, but not one for Uncle Sucker,” or “I know I have to pay taxes, but I have no problem with you cheating.”

    I’m saying, “Thanks for the service. Here.” Not my job to lord over a server’s morality via payment method. It is up to them to do the right thing. I know servers prefer cash–and possibly some for the sharing/tax dodging you mention–but I just don’t think along those lines. If I have the cash, I just might tip with it. I can only hope they do the right thing and share with their coworkers.
    Seems wrong to dock everybody at the restaurant a little by using a credit card (with its fees) just to impose justice. Cash seems better but does depend on honesty of the server.

  20. If I leave cash on a credit card charge (and I frequently don’t), I don’t believe I’m in anyway saying “Here’s one for you, but not one for Uncle Sucker,” or “I know I have to pay taxes, but I have no problem with you cheating.”

    I’m saying, “Thanks for the service. Here.” Not my job to lord over a server’s morality via payment method. It is up to them to do the right thing. I know servers prefer cash–and possibly some for the sharing/tax dodging you mention–but I just don’t think along those lines. If I have the cash, I just might tip with it. I can only hope they do the right thing and share with their coworkers.
    Seems wrong to dock everybody at the restaurant a little by using a credit card (with its fees) just to impose justice. Cash seems better but does depend on honesty of the server.

  21. The issue isn’t Lynn’s behavior. Nothing new there. I made one point in the article: What she’s being accused of doing from a strictly operational position, is not illegal.

  22. The issue isn’t Lynn’s behavior. Nothing new there. I made one point in the article: What she’s being accused of doing from a strictly operational position, is not illegal.

  23. Don’t worry about the CC transaction charge, because you paid for it in your food prices. No, it’s not your job to worry about what the server does with your cash tip, but it seems odd you’d just not add it to the CC transaction. Seems easier to me.

  24. Don’t worry about the CC transaction charge, because you paid for it in your food prices. No, it’s not your job to worry about what the server does with your cash tip, but it seems odd you’d just not add it to the CC transaction. Seems easier to me.

  25. Going to be a tough slog in a biz where rank and file turnover averages more than 100 percent. I don’t set out to side with anyone, I set out to call BS, and this server is complaining about something easily solved by quitting and working somewhere else. Buck up, be professional and either leave or stay and work by what are legal rules for that particular restaurant. Whining on Facebook is hardly professional.

  26. Going to be a tough slog in a biz where rank and file turnover averages more than 100 percent. I don’t set out to side with anyone, I set out to call BS, and this server is complaining about something easily solved by quitting and working somewhere else. Buck up, be professional and either leave or stay and work by what are legal rules for that particular restaurant. Whining on Facebook is hardly professional.

  27. If they have a good shift, they’re carrying that much and possibly more anyway. Plus, they’re only carrying it to the car, not to a remote location such as a pizza delivery driver does. When I waited tables, we typically walked our female servers to their cars to make sure there wasn’t any trouble. My guess is that’s still common.

  28. If they have a good shift, they’re carrying that much and possibly more anyway. Plus, they’re only carrying it to the car, not to a remote location such as a pizza delivery driver does. When I waited tables, we typically walked our female servers to their cars to make sure there wasn’t any trouble. My guess is that’s still common.

  29. Yeah, good point about the inboarded cc transaction charges! That didn’t come to me at first.

    I don’t know, but if I happen to have cash enough for the tip (but, say, not enough for the bill), it just seems like a more “direct” tip. For the points you made, it is. And that has pitfalls for less than scrupulous servers. I guess the cash thing is a little touchy, feely irrational notion to tipping.

  30. Yeah, good point about the inboarded cc transaction charges! That didn’t come to me at first.

    I don’t know, but if I happen to have cash enough for the tip (but, say, not enough for the bill), it just seems like a more “direct” tip. For the points you made, it is. And that has pitfalls for less than scrupulous servers. I guess the cash thing is a little touchy, feely irrational notion to tipping.

  31. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t lots of restaurants give servers their credit card tips in cash each night? Then the servers have cash on hand to tip out support staff. Why did Lynn’s start putting cc tips on paychecks instead of paying them out each night? Wouldn’t it be better to pay them out, eliminating the need for servers to come in with their own bank? I’m guessing putting the cc tips on paychecks must benefit the restaurant in some way, but I don’t know how. I know it would mean not having to take cash out of the till each night, but as you point out, Lynn’s stays busy, so surely they have it on hand.

    Also, I would make the point that not everyone who lives “hand-to-mouth” does so because they’re poor money managers. Some people are actually poor.

  32. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t lots of restaurants give servers their credit card tips in cash each night? Then the servers have cash on hand to tip out support staff. Why did Lynn’s start putting cc tips on paychecks instead of paying them out each night? Wouldn’t it be better to pay them out, eliminating the need for servers to come in with their own bank? I’m guessing putting the cc tips on paychecks must benefit the restaurant in some way, but I don’t know how. I know it would mean not having to take cash out of the till each night, but as you point out, Lynn’s stays busy, so surely they have it on hand.

    Also, I would make the point that not everyone who lives “hand-to-mouth” does so because they’re poor money managers. Some people are actually poor.

  33. If you don’t get your credit card tips until you get your check how are you supposed to replenish that daily $100 bank. Servers walking out at the end of a long shift with less cash in their pockets then when they came in and then knowing if they don’t find the cash somewhere to replenish that bank they face termination is no way to treat employees.

  34. If you don’t get your credit card tips until you get your check how are you supposed to replenish that daily $100 bank. Servers walking out at the end of a long shift with less cash in their pockets then when they came in and then knowing if they don’t find the cash somewhere to replenish that bank they face termination is no way to treat employees.

  35. You are absolutely wrong in this sir. I have worked at more than a dozen local restaurants over the past 18 years, including bartending for 16 months at Lynn’s and I promise you ALL support staff make over minimum wage and are tipped out by servers. I made $11 an hour as a bartender at Lynn’s.

  36. You are absolutely wrong in this sir. I have worked at more than a dozen local restaurants over the past 18 years, including bartending for 16 months at Lynn’s and I promise you ALL support staff make over minimum wage and are tipped out by servers. I made $11 an hour as a bartender at Lynn’s.

  37. Yes, the check average has gone up so the $2.13 an hour isn’t even enough to cover the taxes servers owe on their claimed tips so every year servers end up owing hundreds if not thousands of dollars to the IRS. Fyi, the $2.13 has been in place since the minimum wage was $4.25 as is was half the minimum wage.

  38. Yes, the check average has gone up so the $2.13 an hour isn’t even enough to cover the taxes servers owe on their claimed tips so every year servers end up owing hundreds if not thousands of dollars to the IRS. Fyi, the $2.13 has been in place since the minimum wage was $4.25 as is was half the minimum wage.

  39. You shouldn’t have to leave your job because if unfair and illegal business practices. Telling servers they have to bring in tip out money or face termination is a violation of KY state law. PERIOD

  40. You shouldn’t have to leave your job because if unfair and illegal business practices. Telling servers they have to bring in tip out money or face termination is a violation of KY state law. PERIOD

  41. Actually, your article refers to a “smear campaign.” Bringing to light an perceived wrongdoing or illegal act is not a smear campaign, sir, lest our courtrooms and police stations are nothing more than mudslinging circuses.

    In fact, you move beyond a simple discussion of the legality of the matter…you begin offering rationale and support for the new policy and go so far as to criticize any server than won’t or can’t adhere. “I say any server who can’t come up with $100 cash quickly isn’t a good server or is a terrible money manager or just got robbed.” While you’re clearly well versed in the art of insult, you aren’t so good at the art of arithmetic: If a server gets paid his CC tips once weekly via his paycheck, the actual need is to have $600-700 in cash quickly available to cover the required daily bank from one payday to the other. And, yes, most servers at Lynn’s work 6-7 days/shifts a week.

  42. Actually, your article refers to a “smear campaign.” Bringing to light an perceived wrongdoing or illegal act is not a smear campaign, sir, lest our courtrooms and police stations are nothing more than mudslinging circuses.

    In fact, you move beyond a simple discussion of the legality of the matter…you begin offering rationale and support for the new policy and go so far as to criticize any server than won’t or can’t adhere. “I say any server who can’t come up with $100 cash quickly isn’t a good server or is a terrible money manager or just got robbed.” While you’re clearly well versed in the art of insult, you aren’t so good at the art of arithmetic: If a server gets paid his CC tips once weekly via his paycheck, the actual need is to have $600-700 in cash quickly available to cover the required daily bank from one payday to the other. And, yes, most servers at Lynn’s work 6-7 days/shifts a week.

  43. That’s exactly the point some of us were making on Facebook. If its voluntary, fine. But the server was fired for not participating. That’s illegal, and it’s not a “smear campaign” if it’s the truth. If Ms. Winters doesn’t like what the public thinks of her business practices, perhaps she should change them to comply with the law.

  44. That’s exactly the point some of us were making on Facebook. If its voluntary, fine. But the server was fired for not participating. That’s illegal, and it’s not a “smear campaign” if it’s the truth. If Ms. Winters doesn’t like what the public thinks of her business practices, perhaps she should change them to comply with the law.

  45. People don’t have to “quit and work somewhere else” when their employers are breaking the law. You’ve taken a ridiculous position and you should be embarrassed by your article. Talking about unprofessional!

  46. People don’t have to “quit and work somewhere else” when their employers are breaking the law. You’ve taken a ridiculous position and you should be embarrassed by your article. Talking about unprofessional!

  47. I would say you don’t understand the issue. And I remain puzzled why you’re doubling-down on this, when you’ve been proven wrong. Your indefensible position, coupled with your harsh words for the server who dared complain, makes it sound like you’re someone with a personal vendetta against the server.

  48. I would say you don’t understand the issue. And I remain puzzled why you’re doubling-down on this, when you’ve been proven wrong. Your indefensible position, coupled with your harsh words for the server who dared complain, makes it sound like you’re someone with a personal vendetta against the server.

  49. One more think Mr. Coomes, any server who has been doing it for any significant amount of time knows that it is better to claim all of your tips. Unless you never want to be able to obtain a loan of any kind. Servers don’t get paid enough on the hour to cover the taxes they owe on their tips, many owing thousands of dollars to the IRS come April, and you’re essentially on here calling them all tax frauds while simultaneously defending one of the

  50. One more thing Mr. Coomes, any server who has been doing it for any significant amount of time knows that it is better to claim all of your tips. Unless you never want to be able to obtain a loan of any kind. Servers don’t get paid enough on the hour to cover the taxes they owe on their tips, many owing thousands of dollars to the IRS come April, and you’re essentially on here calling them all tax frauds while simultaneously defending one of the wealthiest restaurateurs in the city for her abhorrent and illegal business practices. Shame on you is all I can think to say.

  51. I wouldn’t eat anywhere in town, if I were Mr. Coomes. All these “unprofessional” servers might take the opportunity to spit (or worse) in his food.

  52. I wouldn’t eat anywhere in town, if I were Mr. Coomes. All these “unprofessional” servers might take the opportunity to spit (or worse) in his food.

  53. You do it just like it’s always been done, you withhold what you can from their hourly rate and the server has to settle up with the IRS in April. If you are really concerned about the servers taxes being paid, pay them more than $2.13. No one said you have to pay them the minimum. There are a handful of places that pay their servers more than $2.13 for just that reason. Guess what, those places barely have any turnover.

  54. You do it just like it’s always been done, you withhold what you can from their hourly rate and the server has to settle up with the IRS in April. If you are really concerned about the servers taxes being paid, pay them more than $2.13. No one said you have to pay them the minimum. There are a handful of places that pay their servers more than $2.13 for just that reason. Guess what, those places barely have any turnover.

  55. Would Mr Coomes tell an employee s/he should find another server position if they were being harassed based on gender, race, or sexual orientation? All are illegal as is forcing an employee to participate in tip pooling.

  56. Would Mr Coomes tell an employee s/he should find another server position if they were being harassed based on gender, race, or sexual orientation? All are illegal as is forcing an employee to participate in tip pooling.

  57. Juliet–While it does sound a little like a vendetta against the server, in reality, it’s more like Coomes’ nose is buried deeply in Lynn’s ass.

  58. I suppose if handled correctly, the server would have some reserve he or she would draw on to have that $100. The way I see it, it’s a pass through since the money comes back. Still. I think the operator needs to have the cash buffer, not the server.

  59. I suppose if handled correctly, the server would have some reserve he or she would draw on to have that $100. The way I see it, it’s a pass through since the money comes back. Still. I think the operator needs to have the cash buffer, not the server.

  60. Insider scoop: my people inside “insider Louisville” indicate there was some strong debate with the editor and Mr. Coomes regarding the tone of the piece. Care to comment?

  61. Insider scoop: my people inside “insider Louisville” indicate there was some strong debate with the editor and Mr. Coomes regarding the tone of the piece. Care to comment?

  62. Terry- If Stephen agrees to refrain from writing about social justice, I’ll refrain from writing about food.

  63. I was a “poor” server once, too, but I worked and saved myself out of it. Happens all the time.

  64. I was a “poor” server once, too, but I worked and saved myself out of it. Happens all the time.

  65. Why should the servers bear the expense of running Ms. Winters’ business? That’s her responsibility.

  66. Why should the servers bear the expense of running Ms. Winters’ business? That’s her responsibility.

  67. Actually, when you write such an inflammatory piece, you do have the control. You were unnecessarily harsh.

  68. Actually, when you write such an inflammatory piece, you do have the control. You were unnecessarily harsh.

  69. And why is that? I’d like to know. This isn’t journalism. In fact, I think I’d call it a smear campaign.

  70. And why is that? I’d like to know. This isn’t journalism. In fact, I think I’d call it a smear campaign.

  71. What about that week when several bills come due at the same time? You pay rent, LG&E, that odd month when the water company gets theirs, your phone and insurance now I have to have another $500 cash in hand just to go to work that week and not get fired? Cash that I have to give to above minimum wage employees so that they get to go home with cash in pocket when I don’t. How can you possibly keep defending this?

  72. What about that week when several bills come due at the same time? You pay rent, LG&E, that odd month when the water company gets theirs, your phone and insurance now I have to have another $500 cash in hand just to go to work that week and not get fired? Cash that I have to give to above minimum wage employees so that they get to go home with cash in pocket when I don’t. How can you possibly keep defending this?

  73. “An anonymous post to the site linked to KRS 337.065 as proof that tipping can’t be mandated by restaurants such as Lynn’s. Problem was, the post pointed only to sections 1 and 3 of the law, not section 4, which stipulates that tip sharing programs are voluntary.”

    That was me. Section 4, as you agree, is the part of the law that stipulates that she should not be forced, by threat and practice of termination, to engage in tip sharing. Yet, she was FIRED for it, which makes the termination unlawful under section 4.

  74. “An anonymous post to the site linked to KRS 337.065 as proof that tipping can’t be mandated by restaurants such as Lynn’s. Problem was, the post pointed only to sections 1 and 3 of the law, not section 4, which stipulates that tip sharing programs are voluntary.”

    That was me. Section 4, as you agree, is the part of the law that stipulates that she should not be forced, by threat and practice of termination, to engage in tip sharing. Yet, she was FIRED for it, which makes the termination unlawful under section 4.

  75. I’ll address your points in order, Todd: You’re right, any server who doesn’t claim all tips screws himself when it comes time for a mortgage, etc. Fact is, many don’t seem to care; they take that risk until they get a steadier-paying job. I was among them for a good chunk of my life, and operators tell me it’s still going on.
    You’re not correct on their inability to pay all their taxes. They have to set aside their cash in anticipation of April 15. What they claim as tips is taxed at their personal rate based on what they claim. Just because they spend it before the IRS comes calling doesn’t mean they can’t pay their taxes. That’s nonsense.
    100% of my freelance income is managed by me. I withhold a substantial percentage of my revenue in an account I don’t touch until my quarterly taxes are due. Then I write the check because I ALWAYS have the money because I never spend more than I earn. Last year I was really lucky and got an April 15 tax bill–and I still had the money because I saved in anticipation of that possibility. It’s not rocket science.
    I’m not defending Lynn Winter. I’m simply saying the servers should play along if they want to keep their jobs. If they don’t like it, tell Lynn goodbye.

  76. I’ll address your points in order, Todd: You’re right, any server who doesn’t claim all tips screws himself when it comes time for a mortgage, etc. Fact is, many don’t seem to care; they take that risk until they get a steadier-paying job. I was among them for a good chunk of my life, and operators tell me it’s still going on.
    You’re not correct on their inability to pay all their taxes. They have to set aside their cash in anticipation of April 15. What they claim as tips is taxed at their personal rate based on what they claim. Just because they spend it before the IRS comes calling doesn’t mean they can’t pay their taxes. That’s nonsense.
    100% of my freelance income is managed by me. I withhold a substantial percentage of my revenue in an account I don’t touch until my quarterly taxes are due. Then I write the check because I ALWAYS have the money because I never spend more than I earn. Last year I was really lucky and got an April 15 tax bill–and I still had the money because I saved in anticipation of that possibility. It’s not rocket science.
    I’m not defending Lynn Winter. I’m simply saying the servers should play along if they want to keep their jobs. If they don’t like it, tell Lynn goodbye.

  77. Save the money gradually and spend far less than you earn, Jason, and you’ll always have it when such bills come due. That’s my arithmetic. My logic is this: You don’t like the boss, go get a new boss.

  78. That’s a good question. I can only surmise that it’s the typical Lip Service that is granted to our own Darling Ms. Winter. Apparently, numerous appearances on television, etc trump the reality of miserable employees.

  79. How old are you? 100? They don’t have to “play along,” when her practices are illegal. Would you say the same to someone who was being sexually harassed by an employer?

  80. Save the money gradually and spend far less than you earn, Jason, and you’ll always have it when such bills come due. That’s my arithmetic. My logic is this: You don’t like the boss, go get a new boss.

  81. How old are you? 100? They don’t have to “play along,” when her practices are illegal. Would you say the same to someone who was being sexually harassed by an employer?

  82. When I got sick, I was supporting a family of five, and even making close to $50,000 a year, I would have been hard-pressed to come up with $100 a night to run someone else’s business.

  83. Todd, you keep claiming that it costs these servers more to work than they earn. Who would work at a job where they lose money?

  84. When I got sick, I was supporting a family of five, and even making close to $50,000 a year, I would have been hard-pressed to come up with $100 a night to run someone else’s business.

  85. Todd, you keep claiming that it costs these servers more to work than they earn. Who would work at a job where they lose money?

  86. Read closer sir, I didn’t say they can’t pay their taxes, I said the pittance the restaurant is allowed to pay them hourly isn’t enough to cover what their withholding is each week causing them to go further into the hole with the IRS every week they work.

  87. Read closer sir, I didn’t say they can’t pay their taxes, I said the pittance the restaurant is allowed to pay them hourly isn’t enough to cover what their withholding is each week causing them to go further into the hole with the IRS every week they work.

  88. I’m a damn good money manager, but an employee shouldn’t have to front money to an employer. You’re not very bright, are you?

  89. You said it was a “smear campaign” because Ms. Winters’ practices weren’t illegal. They are illegal, and so Edward IS on topic.

  90. You said it was a “smear campaign” because Ms. Winters’ practices weren’t illegal. They are illegal, and so Edward IS on topic.

  91. Well if one oppressed white man can make it out of the service industry, why can’t all the people with privilege make it out. You know, women, African Americans, single parents, college dropouts- you all have so many privileges and advantages over Coomes- and no one EVER discriminates against you, much less takes advantage of you, especially when they’re you’re employer. Right?

  92. If you think that’s what I’m saying then you shouldn’t be a writer because your reading comprehension level is poor at best. I’m pointing out the travesty that is the slave wage restaurant operators are allowed to pay servers in this state. Its a point that needs to be made since Lynn is using “Obamacare” and taxes as her reason for this policy.

  93. If you think that’s what I’m saying then you shouldn’t be a writer because your reading comprehension level is poor at best. I’m pointing out the travesty that is the slave wage restaurant operators are allowed to pay servers in this state. Its a point that needs to be made since Lynn is using “Obamacare” and taxes as her reason for this policy.

  94. I’m going to say one more thing, and I’m done. I’ve spent way too much time thinking about a place I’d just as soon forget.

    I don’t know Ms. DiFazio. I don’t know Ms. Winters. I don’t know Mr. Coomes. I would never have gotten involved, but for the nasty, unwarranted attacks on Ms. DiFazio, first by her employer and then by Mr. Coomes. Just because you’re “the boss,” doesn’t mean you get to treat people unfairly and get by with it. And why Mr. Coomes felt it necessary to step outside his area of expertise to attack Ms. DiFazio, we’ll likely never know. But there are consequences to treating people like dirt, and I hope Ms. Winters and Mr. Coomes both feel the financial pain of being shitty to this woman.

  95. I’m going to say one more thing, and I’m done. I’ve spent way too much time thinking about a place I’d just as soon forget.

    I don’t know Ms. DiFazio. I don’t know Ms. Winters. I don’t know Mr. Coomes. I would never have gotten involved, but for the nasty, unwarranted attacks on Ms. DiFazio, first by her employer and then by Mr. Coomes. Just because you’re “the boss,” doesn’t mean you get to treat people unfairly and get by with it. And why Mr. Coomes felt it necessary to step outside his area of expertise to attack Ms. DiFazio, we’ll likely never know. But there are consequences to treating people like dirt, and I hope Ms. Winters and Mr. Coomes both feel the financial pain of being shitty to this woman.

  96. Juliet–While it does sound a little like a vendetta against the server, in reality, it’s more like Coomes’ nose is buried deeply in Lynn’s ass.

  97. That’s a fair question, Juliet. Perhaps since it’s her business, she should take that burden.

    But I think it’s also fair to ask the flipside: Why don’t employees–and I used to be this way, too, so I’m admitting my fault here, too–stop to remember how much employers risk financially to employ the very employees who act as if their bosses are the very Devil? When do employees back off and say, “You know, at least the boss gave me a job, maybe I could be more flexible”? That’s some of what I’m saying here. While Winter’s policy is objectionable to many, is there a middle ground? That’s fair to ask, too.

  98. That’s a fair question, Juliet. Perhaps since it’s her business, she should take that burden.

    But I think it’s also fair to ask the flipside: Why don’t employees–and I used to be this way, too, so I’m admitting my fault here, too–stop to remember how much employers risk financially to employ the very employees who act as if their bosses are the very Devil? When do employees back off and say, “You know, at least the boss gave me a job, maybe I could be more flexible”? That’s some of what I’m saying here. While Winter’s policy is objectionable to many, is there a middle ground? That’s fair to ask, too.

  99. Your base rate was $11 per hour? For what job? And you got tips? If so, that’s great. Good on you. I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone making that kind of base on tips in Louisville.

  100. Your base rate was $11 per hour? For what job? And you got tips? If so, that’s great. Good on you. I can’t say I’ve ever heard anyone making that kind of base on tips in Louisville.

  101. Feel free to find any lipservice I’ve given Ms. Winter. I haven’t laid eyes on her or spoken to her in 15 years.

  102. Feel free to find any lipservice I’ve given Ms. Winter. I haven’t laid eyes on her or spoken to her in 15 years.

  103. Terry- If Stephen agrees to refrain from writing about social justice, I’ll refrain from writing about food.

  104. Um, I don’t agree. Nor do I expect you to stop writing anything you want to write about. Free country.

  105. Um, I don’t agree. Nor do I expect you to stop writing anything you want to write about. Free country.

  106. That’s a good question. I can only surmise that it’s the typical Lip Service that is granted to our own Darling Ms. Winter. Apparently, numerous appearances on television, etc trump the reality of miserable employees.

  107. The point is that the law is the law, and we cannot allow it to be selectively enforced, regardless of other businesses’ practices.

  108. The point is that the law is the law, and we cannot allow it to be selectively enforced, regardless of other businesses’ practices.

  109. Well if one oppressed white man can make it out of the service industry, why can’t all the people with privilege make it out. You know, women, African Americans, single parents, college dropouts- you all have so many privileges and advantages over Coomes- and no one EVER discriminates against you, much less takes advantage of you, especially when they’re you’re employer. Right?

  110. Bartenders make that kind of pay regularly in restaurants, it comes with the responsibility of being in charge of the companies highest profit inventory. My brother is still currently employed at Lynn’s as a foodrunner/expo and makes over $9 plus a tip out from every server.

  111. Bartenders make that kind of pay regularly in restaurants, it comes with the responsibility of being in charge of the companies highest profit inventory. My brother is still currently employed at Lynn’s as a foodrunner/expo and makes over $9 plus a tip out from every server.

  112. There’s no middle ground if she is breaking the law, and she is. Also, she SHOULD bear the risk, as she gets the profits. That’s capitalism. Is she profit-sharing with her employees? No. Therefore, the only risk they should bear is having to look for another job if she goes under.

  113. There’s no middle ground if she is breaking the law, and she is. Also, she SHOULD bear the risk, as she gets the profits. That’s capitalism. Is she profit-sharing with her employees? No. Therefore, the only risk they should bear is having to look for another job if she goes under.

  114. I’d like to see some estimates on what a typical server makes at Lynn’s. From my own experience in the business, I’d bet a good server could walk out with more than $100 on any typical weekend shift. Extrapolating that out, someone working 40 hours between Saturday, Sunday and two or three weekdays could be pulling down close to $500 a week between salary and tips. I don’t see this as being any different than a mechanic needing to supply his own tools or a retail clothing store employee being required to purchase and wear clothes from that store. Those things are common. Employees who disagree with the policy are free to leave.

  115. What part of “it’s illegal” do you people not get? Regardless of what you think, it’s still illegal.

  116. It’s different because those people are paying for their own needs in those cases, not being expected to pay other employees wages with cash out of their own pocket even though the restaurant isn’t giving them their cash from cc tips.

  117. No, just $25 to make change. Back then credit cards were a very small percentage of total transactions. It’s flipped completely the other way now. Still, I’d have just pulled it from my bank account.

  118. It is not the same thing. In the instances you describe, the outlay only happens once. At any rate, what part of “it’s illegal” do you people not get? Regardless of what you think, it’s still illegal.

  119. It’s different because those people are paying for their own needs in those cases, not being expected to pay other employees wages with cash out of their own pocket even though the restaurant isn’t giving them their cash from cc tips.

  120. No, just $25 to make change. Back then credit cards were a very small percentage of total transactions. It’s flipped completely the other way now. Still, I’d have just pulled it from my bank account.

  121. There’s commonly strong debate between our team. That’s normal on any good staff. And, no, it wasn’t sour grapes. Insider gets more restaurant related scoops than any other in town. But we can’t get them all. So hat’s off to Eater on this one.

  122. Uhm no. You made it front and center the entire point of your editorial above. It should have been addressed or you shouldnt have claimed others were wrong for claiming “mandatory” voluntary tipping programs are in fact illegal. Which they are.
    It doesnt matter if the entire industry in this town is doing it or not. If its required, then it is in fact illegal.

  123. There’s commonly strong debate between our team. That’s normal on any good staff. And, no, it wasn’t sour grapes. Insider gets more restaurant related scoops than any other in town. But we can’t get them all. So hat’s off to Eater on this one.

  124. Uhm no. You made it front and center the entire point of your editorial above. It should have been addressed or you shouldnt have claimed others were wrong for claiming “mandatory” voluntary tipping programs are in fact illegal. Which they are.
    It doesnt matter if the entire industry in this town is doing it or not. If its required, then it is in fact illegal.

  125. Please for the love of God. His comments (see the entire chain with Todd Fluhr) prove he really isnt even as informed about what is happening with employee pay and tipping systems as he thinks he is. So his whole editorial is simply a poorly researched highly opinionated PR piece for one local owner.

  126. Please for the love of God. His comments (see the entire chain with Todd Fluhr) prove he really isnt even as informed about what is happening with employee pay and tipping systems as he thinks he is. So his whole editorial is simply a poorly researched highly opinionated PR piece for one local owner.

  127. He does. He just wont admit it, otherwise he would have to retract the entire editorial, and his ego wont let him.

  128. He does. He just wont admit it, otherwise he would have to retract the entire editorial, and his ego wont let him.

  129. I’d like to see some estimates on what a typical server makes at Lynn’s. From my own experience in the business, I’d bet a good server could walk out with more than $100 on any typical weekend shift. Extrapolating that out, someone working 40 hours between Saturday, Sunday and two or three weekdays could be pulling down close to $500 a week between salary and tips. I don’t see this as being any different than a mechanic needing to supply his own tools or a retail clothing store employee being required to purchase and wear clothes from that store. Those things are common. Employees who disagree with the policy are free to leave.

  130. In either case, they’re using their own money for work. Granted, the mechanic gets to keep his tools, but that money’s gone for good. At some point, via cash or check a server using the $100 bank gets his dough back.
    That’s an interest-free loan to the business, of course, but when businesses carry the cash buffer so their servers get cash tips every night, it also is drawing on surplus cash not necessarily tied to that day’s revenue. It’s a sticky situation however you do it, and it’s because credit cards are so commonly used now. I doubt few saw this mess coming.

  131. In either case, they’re using their own money for work. Granted, the mechanic gets to keep his tools, but that money’s gone for good. At some point, via cash or check a server using the $100 bank gets his dough back.
    That’s an interest-free loan to the business, of course, but when businesses carry the cash buffer so their servers get cash tips every night, it also is drawing on surplus cash not necessarily tied to that day’s revenue. It’s a sticky situation however you do it, and it’s because credit cards are so commonly used now. I doubt few saw this mess coming.

  132. That’s a dramatic change since I was in the biz. Never knew a bartender to make that much on the clock. Good on ’em, happy for ’em. Expo always got paid a higher hourly rate–as they should have–when I waited tables.

  133. Are you a socialist? It’s not a sticky situation. It’s Ms. Winters’ business and, therefore, her responsibility to bankroll it. Why should her employees give her an interest-free loan?

  134. That’s a dramatic change since I was in the biz. Never knew a bartender to make that much on the clock. Good on ’em, happy for ’em. Expo always got paid a higher hourly rate–as they should have–when I waited tables.

  135. Are you a socialist? It’s not a sticky situation. It’s Ms. Winters’ business and, therefore, her responsibility to bankroll it. Why should her employees give her an interest-free loan?

  136. You don’t have to agree with me or like what I write, but I was in ops for 11 years and have covered them for 21. I know what I’m talking about. Doesn’t mean I’m not wrong on occasion, and trust me, I’m reading these comments carefully to see if I’m missing anything. My blog is hardly a PR piece for anyone. It’s my opinion only.

  137. You don’t have to agree with me or like what I write, but I was in ops for 11 years and have covered them for 21. I know what I’m talking about. Doesn’t mean I’m not wrong on occasion, and trust me, I’m reading these comments carefully to see if I’m missing anything. My blog is hardly a PR piece for anyone. It’s my opinion only.

  138. Nope, it’s neither. There are three issues at work: the tip mandate, the firing, and the server taking her complaint public. I addressed the tip mandate and my point is made. Perhaps I’ll visit the other two at a later date.

  139. Nope, it’s neither. There are three issues at work: the tip mandate, the firing, and the server taking her complaint public. I addressed the tip mandate and my point is made. Perhaps I’ll visit the other two at a later date.

  140. Seriously, Juliet, how common is that? Doubtless very sad, but thankfully not common. Let’s stick with the general tone of the argument.

  141. Seriously, Juliet, how common is that? Doubtless very sad, but thankfully not common. Let’s stick with the general tone of the argument.

  142. That’s a fair argument, one that might have led me to say, “I’m outta here” if I hated it that much.

  143. That’s a fair argument, one that might have led me to say, “I’m outta here” if I hated it that much.

  144. It isn’t a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. You expressed a legal opinion. Since you aren’t a lawyer, and you don’t work in the legal field, you should probably stick to writing your little reviews, or just expressing opinions on subjects about which you have actual knowledge. Ms. Winters is violating Kentucky law and taking advantage of her employees. Your defense of that is unconscionable and your attack on Ms. DiFazio is unwise and, perhaps, actionable.

  145. It isn’t a matter of agreeing or disagreeing. You expressed a legal opinion. Since you aren’t a lawyer, and you don’t work in the legal field, you should probably stick to writing your little reviews, or just expressing opinions on subjects about which you have actual knowledge. Ms. Winters is violating Kentucky law and taking advantage of her employees. Your defense of that is unconscionable and your attack on Ms. DiFazio is unwise and, perhaps, actionable.

  146. It’s not sad, at all. We lived very well and i had a stay st home parent. my point is that whether employees manage their money well is not Ms. Winters’ business. And you made it an issue when you questioned the servers’ ability to manage money. They shouldn’t have to manage money so that their employer can run a business. She should manage her money better.

  147. It’s not sad, at all. We lived very well and i had a stay st home parent. my point is that whether employees manage their money well is not Ms. Winters’ business. And you made it an issue when you questioned the servers’ ability to manage money. They shouldn’t have to manage money so that their employer can run a business. She should manage her money better.

  148. Let’s say you budget out enough cash each week to cover your necessary tip outs. Should you have to worry that you might loose your job because some kind of unexpected expenses come up like a broke down car or visit to the doctor and now you don’t have the cash for every shift because the restaurant kids withholding your cc tips until the next check?

  149. Let’s say you budget out enough cash each week to cover your necessary tip outs. Should you have to worry that you might loose your job because some kind of unexpected expenses come up like a broke down car or visit to the doctor and now you don’t have the cash for every shift because the restaurant kids withholding your cc tips until the next check?

  150. I don’t think you understand the problem here. Servers are being REQUIRED to bring in cash for something the law clearly states is VOLUNTARY or face terminaton. They are making servers tip out employees who make above minimum wage AND get to walk home with cash in hand while the servers are having their cc tips withheld from them and paid on a check. Since the vast majority of people pay with cards now that means often times servers are leaving with less money than they came in with. Why should the lowest paid employees (from Lynn) have to wait for their tips and the support staff not? You could make a form that the sever signs as part of their cashout where they allocate a portion of those cc tips to the support staff to be paid on their checks as well, but instead you expect your servers to have $500+ in liquid assets available to them on a weekly basis in order to be able to come to work.

  151. I don’t think you understand the problem here. Servers are being REQUIRED to bring in cash for something the law clearly states is VOLUNTARY or face terminaton. They are making servers tip out employees who make above minimum wage AND get to walk home with cash in hand while the servers are having their cc tips withheld from them and paid on a check. Since the vast majority of people pay with cards now that means often times servers are leaving with less money than they came in with. Why should the lowest paid employees (from Lynn) have to wait for their tips and the support staff not? You could make a form that the sever signs as part of their cashout where they allocate a portion of those cc tips to the support staff to be paid on their checks as well, but instead you expect your servers to have $500+ in liquid assets available to them on a weekly basis in order to be able to come to work.

  152. No, I don’t think you understand. It’s not like that $100 disappears every day. Set it aside once, and use the same $100 every day. It’s just a change fund; they don’t spend it.

  153. They tip out of their $100 EVERY NIGHT — it is spent — and don’t get it back until payday. Why are you having such a problem understanding this?

  154. They tip out of their $100 EVERY NIGHT — it is given as shared tip money to other employees — and don’t get it back until payday. Why are you having such a problem understanding this?

  155. Everyone understands that Ms. Winter expects all of her wait staff to foot the tip-distribution to other staffers UNTIL PAYDAY, right? Maybe two weeks away, if payroll is handled like most businesses.

    So, if a server pays-out $50 per day to his or her support people, Lynn is expecting her servers to float $700 over a two week period, which is crippling.

    Everyone understands this, right?

  156. Everyone understands that Ms. Winter expects all of her wait staff to foot the tip-distribution to other staffers UNTIL PAYDAY, right? Maybe two weeks away, if payroll is handled like most businesses.

    So, if a server pays-out $50 per day to his or her support people, Lynn is expecting her servers to float $700 over a two week period, which is crippling.

    Everyone understands this, right?

  157. No, I don’t think you understand. It’s not like that $100 disappears every day. Set it aside once, and use the same $100 every day. It’s just a change fund; they don’t spend it.

  158. So can we agree that, attacking Ms. DiFazio or any individual aside, this mandatory $100 bank policy is likely illegal and ill-considered. Mr. Coomes?

  159. So can we agree that, attacking Ms. DiFazio or any individual aside, this mandatory $100 bank policy is likely illegal and ill-considered. Mr. Coomes?

  160. Can you comment on my main question? Why they would stop paying out credit card tips at the end of the night & start withholding them until payday?

  161. she has been accused of more than the illegal tip pool. read the demands on the service workers for justic site, or the flyer, or the press release, or the facebook. the issue is lynn’s behavior toward her employees. harassment, unjust termination, taking people off the schedule and never officially firing them to dodge paying unemployment, late schedule every week. i think you need to read all of the content before you erroneously report on the issue. that’s some hack journalism.
    sean.

  162. unjust termination, taking people off the schedule and never officially firing them to dodge paying unemployment, late schedule every week. i think you need to read all of the content before you erroneously report on the issshe has been accused of more than the illegal tip pool. read the demands on the service workers for justic site, or the flyer, or the press release, or the facebook. the issue is lynn’s behavior toward her employees. harassmentue. that’s some hack journalism.

  163. she has been accused of more than the illegal tip pool. read the demands on the service workers for justic site, or the flyer, or the press release, or the facebook. the issue is lynn’s behavior toward her employees. harassment, unjust termination, taking people off the schedule and never officially firing them to dodge paying unemployment, late schedule every week. i think you need to read all of the content before you erroneously report on the issue. that’s some hack journalism.
    sean.

  164. i see that these responses are based in factual information. coomes’s article contains no real information, just classist assumptions.

  165. it’s no one’s business how the servers spend their money. support staff was always tipped out and there were no problems before Lynn started withholding cc tips. coomes assumes servers can’t manage their money. I, however, don’t have to assume when i say that coomes can’t manage his facts.

  166. well, some people have chosen to stay and fight for their rights as employees. for some, it’s not just about self-interest, it’s about looking after the well-being of their co-workers (current or former) and making things in the workplace better for everyone. and that has an effect on workers in other restaurants who are being treated unfairly.

  167. he is on topic. both Lynn’s treatment of her employees and commes baseless assumptions are classist. period.

  168. not being harassed at work by management and owners is actually one of the demands put forth by Service Workers for Justice. Coomes, read the content before you write an article!

  169. servers never get negative checks, coomes. i don’t know where you heard that, but that has never been the case. usually the check will just read VOID. get your information strait.

  170. she didn’t just “whine” on facebook. she got together with former and current emloyees, contacted local unions and workers advocacy groups, got informedd organinzed to effect change in the industry. that’s what i call gettin shit done! we’ve done our home work. it’s time you do yours. come correct next time you want to attack us. your article sucks

  171. So they can deduct the service charges. Which puts more money in the owner’s pocket. As a business owner myself I HATE credit card service charges.
    But that’s a pretty cheap thing to do to employees.

  172. So they can deduct the service charges. Which puts more money in the owner’s pocket. As a business owner myself I HATE credit card service charges.
    But that’s a pretty cheap thing to do to employees.

  173. Your entire exchange with Todd, even your own admission, “that’s a dramatic change since I was in the biz,” shows you didnt do your research and were relying on outdated inaccurate non-factual information. So exactly what role did your experience in the industry have to do with you being so fundamentally wrong?
    If you were reading the comments carefully you would have realized:
    A) The ex-employee wasnt launching a smear campaign (unlike yourself), she had a genuine grievance with the owner/management.
    B) You were factually wrong about the tipping system being illegal. It appears on its face to be a non-voluntary system which under KY state law is in fact illegal. In fact Lynn’s own quote as to why she instituted the $100 bank rule, supports the assertion it was mandatory.
    C) You were factually wrong about what the employees ave various levels are making and how much they do or dont rely on being tipped out.

    So about the only thing left to do with so many errors would be to retract your entire piece. I am used to dealing with right wing bloggers making up facts and twisting reality to skewer the President. I have never seen a local blogger do the equivalent to a local hard working service industry employee, until now.
    You should be ashamed.

  174. Your entire exchange with Todd, even your own admission, “that’s a dramatic change since I was in the biz,” shows you didnt do your research and were relying on outdated inaccurate non-factual information. So exactly what role did your experience in the industry have to do with you being so fundamentally wrong?
    If you were reading the comments carefully you would have realized:
    A) The ex-employee wasnt launching a smear campaign (unlike yourself), she had a genuine grievance with the owner/management.
    B) You were factually wrong about the tipping system being illegal. It appears on its face to be a non-voluntary system which under KY state law is in fact illegal. In fact Lynn’s own quote as to why she instituted the $100 bank rule, supports the assertion it was mandatory.
    C) You were factually wrong about what the employees ave various levels are making and how much they do or dont rely on being tipped out.

    So about the only thing left to do with so many errors would be to retract your entire piece. I am used to dealing with right wing bloggers making up facts and twisting reality to skewer the President. I have never seen a local blogger do the equivalent to a local hard working service industry employee, until now.
    You should be ashamed.

  175. Yes you did inaccurately address the tip mandate. You made claims it wasnt illegal. If it was in fact mandatory, which on all accounts it appears to be, then it was ILLEGAL. Which you still wont admit.

  176. Yes you did inaccurately address the tip mandate. You made claims it wasnt illegal. If it was in fact mandatory, which on all accounts it appears to be, then it was ILLEGAL. Which you still wont admit.

  177. Everyone apparently but Steve Coomes. But Im fairly certain based on his past writing even he isnt obtuse as he is appearing. Im fairly certain he is just being an internet troll at this point to drive up page views for advertising on the website.

  178. Everyone apparently but Steve Coomes. But Im fairly certain based on his past writing even he isnt obtuse as he is appearing. Im fairly certain he is just being an internet troll at this point to drive up page views for advertising on the website.

  179. No Im fairly certain they are just allowing Steve to act as an internet troll to drive up page views on the website. No way he could be as obtuse as he is appearing in these comments.

  180. No Im fairly certain they are just allowing Steve to act as an internet troll to drive up page views on the website. No way he could be as obtuse as he is appearing in these comments.

  181. unjust termination, taking people off the schedule and never officially firing them to dodge paying unemployment, late schedule every week. i think you need to read all of the content before you erroneously report on the issshe has been accused of more than the illegal tip pool. read the demands on the service workers for justic site, or the flyer, or the press release, or the facebook. the issue is lynn’s behavior toward her employees. harassmentue. that’s some hack journalism.

  182. i see that these responses are based in factual information. coomes’s article contains no real information, just classist assumptions.

  183. it’s no one’s business how the servers spend their money. support staff was always tipped out and there were no problems before Lynn started withholding cc tips. coomes assumes servers can’t manage their money. I, however, don’t have to assume when i say that coomes can’t manage his facts.

  184. well, some people have chosen to stay and fight for their rights as employees. for some, it’s not just about self-interest, it’s about looking after the well-being of their co-workers (current or former) and making things in the workplace better for everyone. and that has an effect on workers in other restaurants who are being treated unfairly.

  185. he is on topic. both Lynn’s treatment of her employees and commes baseless assumptions are classist. period.

  186. not being harassed at work by management and owners is actually one of the demands put forth by Service Workers for Justice. Coomes, read the content before you write an article!

  187. servers never get negative checks, coomes. i don’t know where you heard that, but that has never been the case. usually the check will just read VOID. get your information strait.

  188. she didn’t just “whine” on facebook. she got together with former and current emloyees, contacted local unions and workers advocacy groups, got informedd organinzed to effect change in the industry. that’s what i call gettin shit done! we’ve done our home work. it’s time you do yours. come correct next time you want to attack us. your article sucks

  189. Because you’re simply misstating the issue. You come in with $100. You make $120. You tip out what; $10 or $15 at the most? You’ve made $100, and you still have your original $100. Maybe you have to wait on some of that until payday, but you’re still ahead $100.

  190. Because you’re simply misstating the issue. You come in with $100. You make $120. You tip out what; $10 or $15 at the most? You’ve made more than $100, and you still have your original $100. Maybe you have to wait on some of that until payday, but you’re still ahead more than $100.

  191. What I understand from the article is that the restaurant pretty much doesn’t want to keep its own “bank” so they require the servers to do it.

  192. What I understand from the article is that the restaurant pretty much doesn’t want to keep its own “bank” so they require the servers to do it.

  193. Looking at your comments to me and others, it’s apparent you’re a rude, nasty person who simply wants to argue and engage in name-calling.
    It’s a moot point. Lynn’s is closed, and none of her employees has to worry about being mistreated any more. Happy?

  194. I never called anyone a name and it’s tiresome arguing with someone who has no real grasp on the issues. And, yes, I am happy. Have a nice day!

  195. I never called anyone a name and it’s tiresome arguing with someone who has no real grasp on the issues. And, yes, I am happy. Have a nice day!

  196. well, in your example it only works if the employee goes to work at someplace that doesn’t do this. If all the restaurants started using this method, then the problem still arises. I’ve got what I think is a really great idea…follow the money…If I were an unscrupulous restauranteur and was maybe holding back some of the tips on my credit card payments, and the staff started griping about some other seemingly innocuous tip-related problem, I might decide to nip it in the bud, and close my doors too. For those of you in the server biz, do you keep tight records of what your cc tips are nightly, and do you check them religiously on your paycheck? I think this story is just beginning to unfold…

  197. Did you consider that “LYNN” could/should have been the one to carry her OWN bank and then let the servers trade credit card tips for enough cash to tip out at the end of the day?

  198. Did you consider that “LYNN” could/should have been the one to carry her OWN bank and then let the servers trade credit card tips for enough cash to tip out at the end of the day?

  199. Except for the fact that, like the rest of us, servers are living and paying their BILLS with their income/tips. Tools don’t go away, money does, as we all know. You’ve presented an “apples and oranges” argument.

  200. Except for the fact that, like the rest of us, servers are living and paying their BILLS with their income/tips. Tools don’t go away, money does, as we all know. You’ve presented an “apples and oranges” argument.

  201. I’ve worked and served in several restaurants, including Lentini’s. No one walked anyone anywhere, and many walked to work and home including me. And a couple years ago a lady who serves at the Bristol was followed home down Bardstown Rd., beaten over the head at her doorway and robbed. So no…it’s not common.

  202. I’ve worked and served in several restaurants, including Lentini’s. No one walked anyone anywhere, and many walked to work and home including me. And a couple years ago a lady who serves at the Bristol was followed home down Bardstown Rd., beaten over the head at her doorway and robbed. So no…it’s not common.

  203. Of course the owner is taking all of the risks. They should be. It’s THEIR business. The employee has NO stake in said business at the end of the day.

  204. Of course the owner is taking all of the risks. They should be. It’s THEIR business. The employee has NO stake in said business at the end of the day.

  205. You didn’t answer her question and instead turned it around and made it about YOU. It’s great that you made it “out” of being poor, but many servers are still “working” on it, and are at this moment where you WERE.

  206. You didn’t answer her question and instead turned it around and made it about YOU. It’s great that you made it “out” of being poor, but many servers are still “working” on it, and are at this moment where you WERE.

  207. It is a cheap thing to do, especially since Lynn could afford it and her employees could not. Lynn could have done away with credit cards altogether, gone to a “cash only” business and installed a money machine in the front that would have netted her even MORE money. But believe me, she may be “retiring” but she’s not “poor”.

  208. It is a cheap thing to do, especially since Lynn could afford it and her employees could not. Lynn could have done away with credit cards altogether, gone to a “cash only” business and installed a money machine in the front that would have netted her even MORE money. But believe me, she may be “retiring” but she’s not “poor”.

  209. You had an opinion about the servers, she has an opinion on the cafe itself. I myself have eaten there and was less than impressed.

  210. You had an opinion about the servers, she has an opinion on the cafe itself. I myself have eaten there and was less than impressed.

  211. This is incorrect. Having been in the service industry you should know that any and all restaurants have their slow shifts and their busy ones, their busy “days” and their “slow” ones. So many times even with the bigger tickets, a server doesn’t make that much over minimum wage. All servers know that it’s great if you can “get” that Friday or Saturday night shift, but no one wants to come in and do Mondays or Tuesdays. In many places you do a LOT of “standing around”.

  212. This is incorrect. Having been in the service industry you should know that any and all restaurants have their slow shifts and their busy ones, their busy “days” and their “slow” ones. So many times even with the bigger tickets, a server doesn’t make that much over minimum wage. All servers know that it’s great if you can “get” that Friday or Saturday night shift, but no one wants to come in and do Mondays or Tuesdays. In many places you do a LOT of “standing around”.

  213. You just corrected someone for being “less than classy” and then advocated for someone to “quit their job” in recession and to quit “whining”. Who’s being “classy” now? Good grief.

  214. You just corrected someone for being “less than classy” and then advocated for someone to “quit their job” in recession and to quit “whining”. Who’s being “classy” now? Good grief.

  215. Bologna and now I question whether you’ve EVER worked as a server. Everyone in a restaurant makes more than the server when it comes to an hourly wage. The bartender and bussers as a rule make at least minimum, sometimes more. It’s only the servers who work for the $2.13, and btw, their wage hasn’t changed in a good number of years. Bartenders btw should be getting tipped separately by the PATRONS who used them….not by the servers. Tips to the bussers are usually pooled by the servers who all throw in 2 to 4 bucks each (depending on business) and then the bussers split that evenly.

  216. Bologna and now I question whether you’ve EVER worked as a server. Everyone in a restaurant makes more than the server when it comes to an hourly wage. The bartender and bussers as a rule make at least minimum, sometimes more. It’s only the servers who work for the $2.13, and btw, their wage hasn’t changed in a good number of years. Bartenders btw should be getting tipped separately by the PATRONS who used them….not by the servers. Tips to the bussers are usually pooled by the servers who all throw in 2 to 4 bucks each (depending on business) and then the bussers split that evenly.

  217. Looking at your comments to me and others, it’s apparent you’re a rude, nasty person who simply wants to argue and engage in name-calling.
    It’s a moot point. Lynn’s is closed, and none of her employees has to worry about being mistreated any more. Happy?

  218. Agreed. And a “story” written without anything to “prove” it’s validity is, after all, just a “story”.

  219. Agreed. And a “story” written without anything to “prove” it’s validity is, after all, just a “story”.

  220. No dear, an employee does not have to “play along”. Jeez this is NOT the 50’ties. We’ve thankfully progressed somewhat and employees can defend themselves against tyranny without expecting backlash from the “master”.

  221. No dear, an employee does not have to “play along”. Jeez this is NOT the 50’ties. We’ve thankfully progressed somewhat and employees can defend themselves against tyranny without expecting backlash from the “master”.

  222. well, in your example it only works if the employee goes to work at someplace that doesn’t do this. If all the restaurants started using this method, then the problem still arises. I’ve got what I think is a really great idea…follow the money…If I were an unscrupulous restauranteur and was maybe holding back some of the tips on my credit card payments, and the staff started griping about some other seemingly innocuous tip-related problem, I might decide to nip it in the bud, and close my doors too. For those of you in the server biz, do you keep tight records of what your cc tips are nightly, and do you check them religiously on your paycheck? I think this story is just beginning to unfold…

  223. Stephen what planet are you from? In this economy folks can’t just say: “I’m outta here”, and walk off their jobs. Especially if they have kids to feed. Do you have ANY responsibilities at all? To ANYONE? Because we all DO.

  224. Stephen what planet are you from? In this economy folks can’t just say: “I’m outta here”, and walk off their jobs. Especially if they have kids to feed. Do you have ANY responsibilities at all? To ANYONE? Because we all DO.

  225. Okay, this got me to chuckling out loud. Edward IS on topic. I think you’re having trouble following.

  226. Edward isn’t claiming there was sexual harassment, he’s claiming that forced tipping is as ILLEGAL as sexual harassment.

  227. Edward isn’t claiming there was sexual harassment, he’s claiming that forced tipping is as ILLEGAL as sexual harassment.

  228. If servers can wait until payday for CC tips, why can’t support staff? Surely there is some sort of restaurant software that allows servers to tip out support staff. I loved Lynn’s, but if she is using shady business practices then perhaps it’s best she closes.

  229. If servers can wait until payday for CC tips, why can’t support staff? Surely there is some sort of restaurant software that allows servers to tip out support staff. I loved Lynn’s, but if she is using shady business practices then perhaps it’s best she closes.

  230. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but if I had to judge your personality by your posts, I’d say Richard seems to be correct in stating that you’re a rude and nasty person. You are clearly angry, but there is no call for denegrating people over a difference of opinion. In fact, the moment you start attacking the person instead of the idea, you’ve lost the argument.

    Also, let me point out that in your smugness, you missed the irony in Richard’s asking you if you are happy. He was talking about the people being out of a job – you replied “And, yes, I am happy.” Not very bright.

  231. I don’t have a dog in this fight, but if I had to judge your personality by your posts, I’d say Richard seems to be correct in stating that you’re a rude and nasty person. You are clearly angry, but there is no call for denegrating people over a difference of opinion. In fact, the moment you start attacking the person instead of the idea, you’ve lost the argument.

    Also, let me point out that in your smugness, you missed the irony in Richard’s asking you if you are happy. He was talking about the people being out of a job – you replied “And, yes, I am happy.” Not very bright.

  232. If you don’t have a dog in this fight, then mind your own business. I care about workers being mistreated by a malevolent egomaniac. And I AM happy the restaurant closed. That doesn’t negate my empathy for the people who are out of work.

    I haven’t denigrated (note the correct spelling) anyone. In fact, I have been very polite, for the most part. Nice try, though.

  233. If you don’t have a dog in this fight, then mind your own business. I care about workers being mistreated by a malevolent egomaniac. And I AM happy the restaurant closed. That doesn’t negate my empathy for the people who are out of work.

    I haven’t denigrated (note the correct spelling) anyone. In fact, I have been very polite, for the most part. Nice try, though.

  234. “If you don’t have a dog in this fight, then mind your own business.”

    Not having a dog in this fight does not mean I don’t care. It simply means I don’t have enough information from the article or the comments. I am bothered, however, when I see someone viciously shouting down anyone who disagrees, and calling them “not very bright.” Arrogant much?

    ” And I AM happy the restaurant closed. That doesn’t negate my empathy for the people who are out of work.”

    Whatever you say…

    “I haven’t denigrated (note the correct spelling) anyone.”

    What is your point? That I misspelled a word? So that makes you smarter or more correct? Did you know JFK was a poor speller? Einstein? To say that you are being petty is an understatement.

    “In fact, I have been very polite, for the most part. Nice try, though.”

    Really?

    “You’re not very bright. Please be smarter and try again.” “I wouldn’t eat anywhere in town, if I were Mr. Coomes. All these “unprofessional” servers might take the opportunity to spit (or worse) in his food.”

    That’s what you consider “polite?” I’d hate to see you being rude.

    “I care about workers being mistreated by a malevolent egomaniac.”

    I think Lynn could take lessons in hubris from you.

  235. “If you don’t have a dog in this fight, then mind your own business.”

    Not having a dog in this fight does not mean I don’t care. It simply means I don’t have enough information from the article or the comments. I am bothered, however, when I see someone viciously shouting down anyone who disagrees, and calling them “not very bright.” Arrogant much?

    ” And I AM happy the restaurant closed. That doesn’t negate my empathy for the people who are out of work.”

    Whatever you say…

    “I haven’t denigrated (note the correct spelling) anyone.”

    What is your point? That I misspelled a word? So that makes you smarter or more correct? Did you know JFK was a poor speller? Einstein? To say that you are being petty is an understatement.

    “In fact, I have been very polite, for the most part. Nice try, though.”

    Really?

    “You’re not very bright. Please be smarter and try again.” “I wouldn’t eat anywhere in town, if I were Mr. Coomes. All these “unprofessional” servers might take the opportunity to spit (or worse) in his food.”

    That’s what you consider “polite?” I’d hate to see you being rude.

    “I care about workers being mistreated by a malevolent egomaniac.”

    I think Lynn could take lessons in hubris from you.

  236. I’ve only experienced this kind of circular and fallacious argument on A.M. radio, and from belligerent drunk people. In both cases, the specific intent is to make people who are actually attempting dialogue get frustrated to the point of losing their temper, at which point they can be called “rude” and “nasty,” and then the whole exchange starts over again–the same fallacious theses, the same clear rebuttals, the same oblivious dismissals. It is the diametrical opposite of dialectic. This conversation sucks. Just stop talking to this choad.

  237. I’ve only experienced this kind of circular and fallacious argument on A.M. radio, and from belligerent drunk people. In both cases, the specific intent is to make people who are actually attempting dialogue get frustrated to the point of losing their temper, at which point they can be called “rude” and “nasty,” and then the whole exchange starts over again–the same fallacious theses, the same clear rebuttals, the same oblivious dismissals. It is the diametrical opposite of dialectic. This conversation sucks. Just stop talking to this choad.

  238. Personally, I’m a big fan of classism. But, unfortunately, his argument is just as stupid. If every employee at your restaurant is a millionaire, it doesn’t do a damn thing to change the illegality of terminating them for their refusal to finance your payroll, just like the fact that someone can afford to give me his wallet does not change the illegality of my stealing it from him. If he didn’t like me stealing his wallet, he should stop complaining and just move somewhere with nicer neighbors. That’s dumb, even if you’re like me, and enjoy the misery and suffering of others.

  239. Personally, I’m a big fan of classism. But, unfortunately, his argument is just as stupid. If every employee at your restaurant is a millionaire, it doesn’t do a damn thing to change the illegality of terminating them for their refusal to finance your payroll, just like the fact that someone can afford to give me his wallet does not change the illegality of my stealing it from him. If he didn’t like me stealing his wallet, he should stop complaining and just move somewhere with nicer neighbors. That’s dumb, even if you’re like me, and enjoy the misery and suffering of others.

  240. “I am much smarter than you”.

    Really? That’s your comeback? Thanks for proving my point about hubris, AND giving me a good laugh! :0)

    “And you wouldn’t want to see me when I’m being rude. Night!”

    I still haven’t seen you NOT being rude, so when you think you’re being rude, it must be really something! But hopefully we will never meet, as I don’t generally enjoy unpleasant people.

    Good day.

  241. “I am much smarter than you”.

    Really? That’s your comeback? Thanks for proving my point about hubris, AND giving me a good laugh! :0)

    “And you wouldn’t want to see me when I’m being rude. Night!”

    I still haven’t seen you NOT being rude, so when you think you’re being rude, it must be really something! But hopefully we will never meet, as I don’t generally enjoy unpleasant people.

    Good day.

  242. Juliet, I want to apologize. I regret my comments – I was neither gracious nor constructive. I hope you can forgive my rudeness. It was uncalled-for.

  243. Juliet, I want to apologize. I regret my comments – I was neither gracious nor constructive. I hope you can forgive my rudeness. It was uncalled-for.

  244. Is there a middle ground for a woman like Winters? I don’t think so. I know personally folks who were belittled, berated, and not paid for work done. Her nasty demeanor and huge income made her think she could micromanage and harass the staff into the ground, because working for a nasty drunk with a serious vengeful streak for 20k a year is a dream job, right?

  245. Is there a middle ground for a woman like Winters? I don’t think so. I know personally folks who were belittled, berated, and not paid for work done. Her nasty demeanor and huge income made her think she could micromanage and harass the staff into the ground, because working for a nasty drunk with a serious vengeful streak for 20k a year is a dream job, right?

  246. At a couple of places where I worked, the male servers were getting mugged on the way to their cars just as much as the women. Like most places, we had to park far from the building so that guests could park close. Even if one changed out of uniform, walking to your car at the far end of (or even off of) the lot made it clear who you were.

  247. At a couple of places where I worked, the male servers were getting mugged on the way to their cars just as much as the women. Like most places, we had to park far from the building so that guests could park close. Even if one changed out of uniform, walking to your car at the far end of (or even off of) the lot made it clear who you were.

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