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Leah & Louise adding 23% service charge to all bills: Here’s why



Leah & Louise say 21% of that will go to its servers and hostesses to make sure they make a living wage. The other 2% will help kitchen staff and managers.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Leah & Louise, a popular restaurant in Charlotte’s Camp North End, is transforming its business model to pay employees higher salaries. 

The restaurant says it is adding a “service charge,” which means your bill will have an extra 23% tacked on. Leah & Louise’s management says this service charge is in place with the goal of replacing traditional tipping. 

There’s a reason for this change, too. Leah & Louise says 21% of that charge will go to its servers and hostesses to ensure they make a living wage. 

The other 2% will help kitchen staff and managers. 

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The restaurant owners say the extra money, plus what they’re planning to contribute, will help pay for health insurance, 401(k) accounts and even team trips. They’re the latest restaurant in the Charlotte area, and across the country, that’s coming up with ways to try and keep their best workers. 

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The Fifth Street Group is the parent company to 5-Church Charlotte, Sophia’s Lounge, La Belle Helene and more.

They’re offering an initiative that lets diners leave a tip for kitchen staff and reward those working in the back of the house for their contribution. 

RELATED: How a Charlotte restaurant group intends to pay their staff a living wage without raising menu prices

The restaurant group will match all kitchen gratuity up to $500 a day.

All this is coming as a lot of businesses, and especially restaurants are having trouble getting or keeping workers. 

One survey shows that more than half of restaurant workers are thinking about quitting their jobs. And 76% of those say it’s because they just don’t make enough. 

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