Kitchen Appreciation Fee

a note from chris & sara –

Kitchen appreciation fee

What is the Kitchen Appreciation Fee and why am I seeing this on my bill?
The Kitchen Appreciation Fee is an automatic (and optional) 3% fee that will be added to the total of the bill before tax is applied.  This fee is not a tip for your server, it is shared among our kitchen staff only. We feel this is the best and fairest way to show appreciation for the unsung heroes in our back of house, and that when the restaurant succeeds, everyone should benefit from that rising tide.


In the current state of the restaurant industry, we are navigating continually and unpredictable rising costs, and it’s never been more difficult to attract talent. Many talented cooks and back of house employees left hospitality during COVID-19, found other vocations and have not returned. However, guest volume on the front end has never been higher as people are delighted to re-enter the world and enjoy life the way they did in a pre-pandemic world.
This small fee makes for a healthier restaurant overall in the following ways –
* we believe this is the most transparent, honest, and fair way for our guests to show appreciation for the hard workers in the kitchen
* it attracts talented, qualified cooks with the desire to level up and become the next generation of great chefs in our community
* it fosters loyalty among employees who have chosen to stay, which allows for an investment in further education and training
* it directly rewards the kitchen staff for the success of the restaurant, in a similar fashion to the front of house
* it encourages constant improvement on the quality and consistency of food
* it creates a culture of teamwork and elevates the expectations of the staff
* Most importantly, we hope its’ impact is evident in the quality of food and overall experience you have when dining with us
If you’d like to opt out of this, please inform your server and we will remove it.
Why don’t we pay our kitchen staff a fair living wage?
We absolutely do! In fact, we strive to offer the highest wages for kitchen staff in our market. The kitchen fee is not in lieu of a competitive wage, it is in an addition to it. Every member of the kitchen staff is guaranteed an incremental bonus based on the success of the restaurant.
Why should guests subsidize this? 
Sales of food and beverages are the only source of revenue and cover all costs to operate a restaurant, so in reality, our customers are already supporting labor cots.
Why not just increase menu prices? 
Increasing prices would not yield the same result.  By giving the kitchen staff a percentage of sales, it adds value across all facets or the restaurant, incentivizes the kitchen staff and helps them to feel included in a deeper way to the overall success of a busy service, and allows for the type of training that has become very hard to invest in otherwise.  When the whole team benefits from busy services, it ultimately leads to a better overall experience and vibe for our guests.
Why not have options to tip the kitchen?
Unfortunately, it’s not a legal option in North Carolina.  Kitchen employees are not tipped employees, so under our state law they are not allowed to share any tips.  A set fee is the only way legally to share a percentage of sales with our back of house employees.
Thank you for all your support of Wye Hill Kitchen & Brewing, and allowing us to continue to serve our beloved Raleigh community.