True Bistro Pilots Gratuity Program for Kitchen Staff

True BistroPhoto by Adrianne Mathiowetz.

For the team at True Bistro, vegan philosophy extends beyond food. That’s part of what drove the owners to test out a new Kitchen Appreciation Program (KAP) that adds a four percent gratuity for kitchen staff, Managing Consultant Suzi Gerber explains.

“All the owners are vegan, and they’re vegan because they believe it’s the most right and compassionate choice,” Gerber says. “When [owner Linda Harrison] understood what it was and how it could be implemented, she was like, ‘This is very important to me,’ this is integrative with the rest of her thinking.”

The gratuity is meant to help close the gap in wage potential between front-of-house staff and those who work in the kitchen. The KAP is in beta mode this month, meaning that diners can request to have the gratuity removed. However, no one has taken that option so far, according to Gerber, and the restaurant is leaning toward making the KAP permanent in May.

True Bistro

Photo courtesy of True Bistro.

“This is a trend that’s moving through the restaurant industry, and Boston definitely has a pretty strong contingent of people following it,” Gerber says. “It’s a pretty strong passion of mine to highlight that we tend to undervalue our food service workers.”

The program comes alongside other initiatives the restaurant is taking to establish itself as a community locale and a main hub of the vegan movement. True Bistro will co-host (along with The Humane League and Veganizer) a Vegan Drinks event on April 24 where the restaurant will debut new menu items and cocktails from their new bartender, who Gerber says is “bringing our cocktails to the [same] level as the rest of the gourmet foods that we have.”

True Bistro will also start pop-ups on Mondays featuring Littleburg, a “vegetable-centric scratch cooking” venture run by Graham Boswell. The monthly pop-ups will start on April 29.