New Survey Shows Ohio Restaurant Servers, Bartenders Overwhelmingly Oppose Proposed Changes to State’s Tipping System

To better understand the potential impact of eliminating the tip credit for Ohio’s full-service restaurants’ tipped employees, a survey of nearly 1,000 Ohio servers & bartenders was conducted in April 2024.


The results overwhelming show Ohio servers and bartenders want the current tipping system and believe they will earn less money if the tipped wage is eliminated.

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Images and video available for media use courtesy of the Ohio Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance

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QUOTES FROM BARTENDER, OPERATOR, ORHA AND DR. CORDER

Lindsay O'Dell

Bartender, Submarine House In Huber Heights

“I’ve been in the industry 20 years and love it because of the people, especially my regulars,” said Lindsay O'Dell, a bartender at Submarine House in Huber Heights. “I make good money – well above $30 an hour – working at Submarine House where we serve wings, pizza, burgers, and of course, subs. I am the breadwinner in my family because of the restaurant industry. My husband is an engineer and I make more money than he does. The proposed change is said to help me, but to be very clear, I will make less money while my regulars pay more for a cheesesteak and a beer.”

John Barker

President & CEO of the Ohio Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance

“The results of this study send a thunderous message: servers and bartenders do not want this outside group to mess with their tips,” said John Barker, president & CEO of the Ohio Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance. “Eliminating the tipped wage would negatively impact their earning potential. It will also force restaurant operators to raise menu prices to cover higher labor costs, which would drive further inflation. It would also decrease their workforce, as we have seen in Washington, D.C., where the tip credit is being eliminated, There’s no question that our industry does not want the tip credit eliminated.”

Laurie Torres

Owner & Operator of Mallorca Restaurant in Cleveland

"I am an independent restaurant operator in the heart of downtown Cleveland and Mallorca was a dream come true for my family 28 years ago," said Laurie Torres, owner & operator of Mallorca Restaurant. "Most of my service team members have served at Mallorca for 15+ years and make $40 per hour, on average. I've run the numbers and now share two menus with customers; one with my current prices and a second where my menu prices would have to rise about 22% to cover the elimination of the tipped wage. Time and time again, customers say they would visit less often and tip less dollars. If the ballot initiative passes, my guests would pay more, my servers would make less and there is a real chance I would have to close my restaurant and lose my dream."

Dr. Lloyd Corder

Founder & CEO, CorCom, Inc. Research & Consulting

“In most of these surveys, we get 300-400 responses, but in Ohio we got nearly 1,000 responses,” said Dr. Corder. “That gives us a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. In other words, you can be very confident that the results are accurate and reflective of what all tipped workers in Ohio think.”


The study is one of more than a dozen conducted on the topic of tipped wage by CorCom Research and Consulting firm and authored by Dr. Lloyd Corder, founder and CEO of the firm and Professor at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.