NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - When you dine at the new Church & Union restaurant, you'll see something new on your receipt – a line to tip the kitchen.
It's a new initiative to help provide a more livable wage for the back of house employees.
Church & Union is a newcomer to the Nashville restaurant scene. Still, it's already making big waves with this creative way to bridge the wage gap between servers and kitchen staff. Guests will now be able to leave a tip, not just for their server but also for the chefs.
"Each person, if we continue at this pace, will bring home anywhere from $15,000 to $17,000 this year in tips. That's in addition to their salary," Executive Chef at Church & Union Adam Hodgson said.
For years, the restaurant industry in Nashville has faced challenges with low wages and high turnover.
"I've been in the restaurant industry for ten years, and I've always been living paycheck to paycheck," executive pastry chef Emily Wilson Young said. "I think it's really great to see hourly kitchen employees finally able to put some money aside and start a savings account of some kind."
At the night's end, the restaurant will match up to $500 that the staff will split and take home. Since the start of "Tip the Kitchen," the restaurant's owner, 5th Street Group, has seen a more productive work environment and a much lower turnover rate.
"We post all of our data on Twitter for everyone to see so that more restauranteurs will hopefully adopt our system," Hodgson said. "We want this to be a movement to where the back-of-house feels appreciated and can really make this a career for themselves."
Since Church and Union opened in September, the kitchen staff has taken home more than $17,000 in tips.