Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

Why a Surcharge

We're passionate about cultivating a rich and stable work experience that provides fair and equitable wages and benefits for our entire team. To achieve this, we utilize a no-tipping model which adds a percentage of the total to each guest bill as a surcharge. One hundred percent of the amount generated by the surcharge goes towards employee wages.

How it supports us

The no-tipping surcharge model supports the long-term health of our team, business and community in the following ways.

Promotes Wellbeing

A surcharge allows us to eliminate the tipped vs non-tipped employee structure. By taking full responsibility for aligning compensation with job expectations and performance for all team members, we increase stability, transparency, trust, and can offer clearer paths for employee development.

Creates Equity

A surcharge enables us to elevate wages for everyone and achieve equity in compensation for culinary, hospitality and leadership roles.

Aligns with Our Values

We recognize the problematic roots of tipping and how it contributes to present-day issues in the hospitality industry; removing tipping at our restaurants is a direct expression of our values.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the surcharge go?  

One hundred percent of the surcharge goes to pay our team, which covers less than half of our labor expenses. The surcharge is not broken up and redistributed to other business initiatives or investments.

Why is the surcharge taxed?  

The MN Department of Revenue requires us to tax surcharges added to food and beverage bills. 

Why don’t you offer a tip line on guest checks?

We took a big step away from tipping by changing our compensation model and offering a complete, liveable hourly wage for our entire team. Adding a tip line sends mixed messages to our team and guests and its presence signals that tipping is still an expectation. By eliminating it, we’re seeking to resolve the conflict that surfaces when there is pressure to give or receive a tip.

Can I still tip if I want to?

Tipping at our restaurant isn’t encouraged or necessary. We recognize that some guests may still want to do so because it feels like an important part of their dining experience; if you wish to tip, please write it in on your credit card slip or leave cash on the table.

Why not just increase your prices?

The surcharge is specifically tied to our labor costs, not food, and we feel that placing it on top of your bill is the most transparent place to assign that expense.

What’s the reasoning behind the legal language on your menu and website?

Simply put: we’re following the law. Minnesota state law requires we notify guests of obligatory surcharges with clear and conspicuous notice. The language on our menu and website is taken verbatim from state law and must be printed as is. The language is present to alert you of the surcharge and to protect us against claims of hidden fees and unauthorized charges. Our legal statement is as follows: 

We add a 21% surcharge to each order. Pursuant to Minnesota Statute Section 177.23, subdivision 9, this charge is not a gratuity for employee service.

Are all Vestalia Hospitality restaurants in a no-tipping surcharge model?

Yes, all of our restaurants (Pizzeria Lola, Hello Pizza, Young Joni) follow this model. The percentage and details vary slightly based on each restaurant’s service style and needs.