September 21, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Voicing His Concerns For the Santa Monica Restaurant Industry:

As the head of the Santa Monica Neighborhood Restaurant Coalition, Hunter Hall is deeply concerned about issues affecting local businesses.

Hall is not afraid to voice his concerns about the many challenges facing restaurant owners today. One of the big changes that might be upcoming in Santa Monica is a new minimum wage hike. The City of Los Angeles already passed a minimum wage increase that will go up to $15 per hour in 2020, and Santa Monica could very well be next.

“We’re not fighting anybody on the wage,” said Hall, who is also the Director of Operations for CBB Restaurant Group. “We want everyone in our restaurants to have a great minimum wage. The only thing we’re trying to do is create a dialogue with the city (of Santa Monica) to have an open discussion on what they can do to make it easier for us as operators to transition between the current paradigm and what I believe will be the future.”

The future, according to Hall, might mean an end to the long-standing tradition of “tipping” in restaurants.

“The entire tipping procedure as we know it, I predict will go away,” Hall stated. “Tipping is really an American thing. America is one of the only countries that has this bizarre tipping paradigm. I think eventually we’ll have more of a European model where employees are just getting a higher hourly rate and that’s it.

“In the American dining scene for the past 50 years tipping has become so engrained in everyone’s mind. People who go out to eat will tip constantly between 15-25 percent. The problem, specifically in California, is it propogates radical inequality between the front and back house of restaurants.”

Hall feels a more fair system to employees would be to implement a “service charge” where tips are included in the overall cost. In this way all restaurant employees – cooks, servers, etc. – would share in tipping profits, Hall said.

“Everybody who works in a restaurant is a team,” Hall said. “Everybody works just as hard as everybody else. The reason (the service charge) is a great system is that it allows the operator of a business to decide what the math is and figure things out.”

Hall believes that the “service charge’ model could be important to the survival of restaurants in the future.

“A lot of restaurants are starting to transition to a service charge model,” Hall said. “Service charges are nothing new; they’ve been used for years.”

Hall pointed out that many waiters and waitresses in Los Angeles County make minimum wage or slightly above plus tips. The Santa Monica Neighborhood Restaurant Coalition (SMNRC) was created to address needs of small businesses in the local area. Currently between 100-150 restaurants are part of the local coalition.

“We’re a relatively new group,” Hall noted. “We communicate with our members through email and we’re planning on having an upcoming meeting.”

The group wants to stay connected with city leaders as well.

“Really, the number one issue is keeping an open dialogue with the city and with Council members and the Chamber of Commerce to make sure that we have an ongoing and healthy discussion with one another,” Hall said. “Hopefully the city takes a really long hard look at just how difficult it is for someone to open a new business in Santa Monica. I can tell you firsthand that it’s hard running a business not only in California but Santa Monica as well. There are some really crippling regulations and minor issues that could lead to fines.”

Some of the main items on the SMNRC’s agenda include: a Santa Monica Specific Study; sufficient time for public comment and input (on the minimum wage increase); a responsibly phased-in implementation and annual reviews; relief for businesses that employ students and youth; a delay in additional paid time off; service charges permitted without restrictions; and non-profit exemption.

in News
Related Posts

4.6 Quake Felt in Santa Monica

September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020

4.6 magnitude quake recorded Friday night By Sam Catanzaro A 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck the San Gabriel Valley Friday sending...

Edify TV: Miramar Santa Monica Redevelopment

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Santa Monica skyline may look different in the future with a major redevelopment of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel &...

‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ Mansion For Rent On AirBnb

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, 30th anniversary of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Airbnb is renting out the mansion for...

SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% : Santa Monica Beat – September, 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% * As Covid-19 Cases Drop Will...

Edify TV: Sit-down Dining Safety?

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Despite a recent CDC report stating the risks of in-person dining, many Westside restaurant patrons feel the experience is safe....

Sur La Table Closing Santa Monica Location

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

1930s building listed for lease By Sam Catanzaro Sur La Table, the popular kitchenware retail chain, is closing its downtown...

Death by Suicide at Santa Monica Place

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Man dies by suicide Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro A man died by suicide at Santa Monica Place mall Wednesday....

Santa Monica Partners With Local Elementary Schools to Provide More Outdoor Spaces

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Playground Partnership agreement goes live By Toi Creel The City of Santa Monica and local schools are working together to...

Charges Filed Against Man for Sexually Assaulting Elderly Victims

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Juan Victor Mendoza faces four felony charges Prosecutors have filed charges against a man for sexually assaulting elderly victims at...

COVID-19 Continues to Decrease in County but Air Quality Reducing Testing

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

Smoke advisory in effect through Wednesday By Sam Catanzaro While COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in Los Angeles County, health...

Edify TV: Westsiders Working out Amid Poor Air Quality

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

With poor air quality due to wildfire smoke, local health officials are urging the public to avoid outdoor activity but...

COVID-19 Could Have Been in Area as Early as Last December

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

UCLA study reports significant increase in coughs and acute respiratory failure prior to first official cases of COVID-19 By Sam...

Willy California Wants Men to Rethink Their Closet

September 15, 2020

September 15, 2020

Local clothing line reimagines athleisure By Toi Creel With ranges in styles for men’s clothing from suits and professional clothing...

Police Searching For Robbery Suspects: Santa Monica Beat – September, 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

September 14, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Police Searching For Robbery Suspects * Should School Board Representatives Have...