There is another side to the proverbial coin:
You get paid for what you give.
Our wait staff have basic setup tasks relevant to their performing their jobs: rolling flatware, sweeping dining room, stocking alley, making tea, moving dishes to dish room, cleaning windows. Those who buy into the team concept offer to help do other things when not at customer table or attending their needs: taking out trash, loading drink coolers, etc. We pay above tip credit minimum minimum to start, and add on as indicated. See, we spend money and effort of our own bringing additional customers and adding to their experience that generates tips (specifically intended to generate higher tips), so we spend money on wait staff that way, too.
I am a firm believer in paying increased wages to my best labor assets in my business. Those people who excel and contribute more to my business in any of hundreds of possible ways, then I find a way to compensate them above the market rate. I have a cook who has been with me for 7+ years who makes well above the going rate in our market, and gets lots of other add-ons like food benefits, occasional freebies from other businesses (movie tix, restaurant certificates, etc). Both he and my other guy who works half the week are the reason we enjoy or work. They will get anything from us we can afford.
We have had 5 or 6 front of the house employees, most of whom were not motivated, lacked focus, lacked discipline, would not use the p&p to do the job, etc. This despite above market wages to start with 90-day review for increase, 1 year review for increase and occasional bonuses. Those folks didn’t get much wage from us, and evidently not much tip either. When we got a dynamite, motivated, house afire front employee, the business transformed. Our dine-in business grew, same people were tipping 50% to 100% more, customers wanted to dine in on “her nights”, and when she become with child, she got lots and lots of baby gifts from customers. Let’s say we paid her everything we could afford, and made sure we gave perks whenever available.
See, there is a two way street. If the employee wants a higher wage, they gotta make themselves more valuable to my business. If performance doesn’t increase efficiency, increase revenues, reduce costs . . . . then you aren’t worth more money out of my pocket. Harsh world, but the one I worked in for most of my adult life. It works that way in most of the rest of the business world . . . so I apply it to my business as well. I also bare no malice for those who decide they must move on because they need to earn more money and cannot get it from me. One must do what one must do.