We automatically apply a 20% service fee to all checks at Hill East Burger.
The service fee landscape has gotten pretty confusing in DC, so we wanted to provide some transparency on our approach to staff compensation & service fees.
Half of the service fee we collect goes to front-of-house and kitchen staff, and half goes to the business.
Our staff comp structure provides higher-than-normal base compensation & benefits, and makes staff takehome less dependent on the whims of customer tipping and the fluctuations of busy vs slow nights.
Here’s how it works:
The portion of the service fee that goes to the business helps subsidize this increased base comp for our staff, and thus keeps the business sustainable (and menu prices reasonable).
Tips are always appreciated and are a guaranteed way of increasing your server or bartender’s takehome pay (100% of tips go to front-of-house staff).
Our goal in this system is to ensure stable and fair pay, so that our staff can afford DC cost of living (and are incentivized to stick around!). We’re also adapting to the ‘new world’ created by Initiative 82, which the DC public passed in 2022 in an effort to shift restaurants away from tip-based compensation.
Like many restaurants in DC, we’re learning as we go in this new era, and we’d love to hear from you if you have questions or comments about our approach.