Posts Tagged ‘Casa Nueva’

Egaliatarian: A democratically run Ohio restaurant violates regulations

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

This is a tale of a worker-owned restaurant in Athens Ohio named Casa Nueva. It’s been around since 1985. They believe in egalitarianism. It is incorporated into their business practice. Nancie Buerkel told Slate reporter Joe Donatelli “What we truly believed in was that everybody, from the dishwasher, the prep cook, the cooks, the servers, provided the customer’s meal, so they should share in the tips.” It turns out that new associates at Casa Nueva all earned less than minimum wage for their hourly rate (a common restaurant practice for wait staff), but when the tip pool was added and then divided, they were paid “way more” than minimum wage.

The restaurant’s policies, codified in a 67-page book, include the background to Employee Co-Ops and acknowledge the “tension” between a workplace that actually practices democracy and the need to run a profitable business enterprise. Thanks to Slate, you can read a copy of the Member Handbook.



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