In response to Seattle's controversial new minimum wage law in effect April 1, Ivar's Salmon House has decided to immediately raise all server wages to $15 per hour and drop tipping from their tickets. Restaurateaurs have been discussing their feelings about the new law and possible ways to navigate it for months. Wednesday they are only required to raise wages from $9.47 to either $10 or $11 per hour, but Ivar's is taking it further. Per The Stranger:
"Bob Donegan, Ivar’s president and CEO, said that the Lake Union restaurant will be the only location of his restaurant chain to introduce the no-tipping system. Ivar’s will follow the city’s new minimum wage ordinance for its fast-food seafood bars, but is immediately raising wages to $15 an hour for everyone who works in its full-service restaurant. 'We are testing different models in different divisions,' says Donegan."
Despite mixed feelings among staff, Donegan is clear about his reasoning for the leap: "One, we always comply with the law. Two, we don’t want this to be a case of incremental changes over the next four years. We said, ‘Let’s get it over all at once.’"