Most Restaurants only pay their wait staff $2.13 to start. It's completely normal and expected that the bulk of their wages come from tips. It makes them highly motivated. Suggesting that this guy is underpaying his staff suggests you are unaware of how the service industry works in the US.
> Most Restaurants only pay their wait staff $2.13 to start.
That is probably the main difference right there. In New Zealand they must pay their staff a “living wage”, which is $12.50 per hour before tax.
I see that as a fair cost of doing business: if someone is adult enough to own a business, they must be adult enough to pay for their staff’s work. Else they have no business being in business.
Working for less than a living wage isn’t an “employment” relationship, it’s a “master/servant” relationship — indentured servitude — something that ought to have gone out the window with your Emancipation Proclamation 150 years ago.