OPERATIONS

Starbucks shift supervisors, not asst. managers, can share tips

BY Dan Berthiaume

Seattle – The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that Starbucks shift supervisors are eligible to share tips left in plastic containers by cash registers with baristas. However, assistant managers are not entitled to share in the tips.

Current Starbucks policy divides tips among baristas and shift supervisors, and excludes assistant managers and managers. Lawyers representing Starbucks baristas and former assistant managers had presented opposing arguments about whether the policy was legitimate in May. Judge Victoria A. Graffeo ruled that assistant managers at Starbucks are involved in too many managerial duties that do not involve directly serving customers to participate in collecting tips, but shift supervisors should be eligible.

"The [Department of Labor] has consistently and, in our view, reasonably, maintained that employees who regularly provide direct service to patrons remain tip-pool eligible, even if they exercise a limited degree of supervisory responsibility," Graffeo wrote in her ruling.

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NRF looks to Congress to resolve health care reform concerns

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation told a congressional panel that retail and chain restaurant companies continue to have serious concerns about the Affordable Care Act and remain worried by the quickly approaching deadlines for full health care reform implementation, anticipated for January 2014.

“Our nation — particularly employers — cannot afford for the ACA to stumble out of the starting gate,” NRF VP and employee benefits policy counsel Neil Trautwein said in prepared testimony. “We fear that as time diminishes between now and January 2014, a cascade of additional last-minute regulations will create added confusion and thus could encourage more employers to back out of coverage.”

Trautwein is scheduled to testify before a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on the “Challenges Facing America’s Businesses Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” There he will share NRF’s contention that Congress should mitigate the adverse impact of the ACA by redefining full-time coverage eligibility to 40 hours, from the current 30 hours, and reiterate NRF’s call on Congress and the Administration to delay ACA implementation for up to one year.

“NRF strongly supports efforts to redefine full-time coverage eligibility at 40 hours per week, hopefully with flexibility for employers to define a lower standard, if they so desire,” Trautwein testified. “We respectfully urge that this and other steps to help soften the impact on employers be taken before the ACA is fully implemented.”

While NRF has consistently opposed the ACA, it has also engaged in discussions with the Administration, federal regulators and Congress on the unique ACA-specific challenges confronting the retail and chain restaurant industries. Similarly, NRF initiated a concerted effort to educate and engage its broad-based membership and other stakeholders on the law’s many requirements, restrictions, provisions and penalties.

“NRF stands ready to help the Administration and Congress make the ACA more workable, so long as it remains the law of this land,” Trautwein said.

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7-Eleven brews ‘Awesummer’ promotion to offset rivals

BY CSA STAFF

DALLAS — 7-Eleven is looking to leverage social media this summer with a limited duration offer designed to generate traffic at the retailer’s more than 10,000 worldwide locations.

The announcement comes on the heels of Dunkin’ Donuts’ decision to focus more on its beverages and Starbucks’ announcement that it would be raising prices on select beverages.

"7-Eleven iced coffee provides an indulgent, afternoon beverage treat and a refreshing alternative to hot coffee on warm summer mornings," said Nancy Smith, 7-Eleven merchandising VP for fresh foods and proprietary beverages. "And, on Wednesdays this summer, they just might taste a little sweeter.

Medium-size 7-Eleven Chillers Iced Coffee will be available for $1 every Wednesday from now through Aug. 28 at participating stores nationwide. The company is advertising the summertime promotion on social media and encouraging shoppers to post about it by using hashtag #Awesummer.

Smith added that customers responded positively to the $1 hot coffee Wednesdays last winter and the company’s middle-of-the-week offers resonate with them.

7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 10,100 7-Eleven stores in North America. Globally, 7-Eleven has some 50,700 stores in 16 countries. During 2012, 7-Eleven stores generated total worldwide sales close to $84.8 billion.

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