May 20, 2015 arbeck commented on Washington State Rules for Local Distilleries Just Got So Much Better, Plus Boom Noodle Reopens.
Now if we could just get the local distilleries to follow the national labeling laws.
Apr 28, 2015 arbeck commented on Renee Erickson Eliminates Tips and Raises Wages to $15 in a Move Toward Greater Parity Among Restaurant Workers.
@chefjoe

Closer to a 37% increase. But you can forgive her for talking off the cuff and not saying $31. Like most people, she's probably bad at math. Which is why a service charge actually makes sense.
Apr 28, 2015 arbeck commented on Renee Erickson Eliminates Tips and Raises Wages to $15 in a Move Toward Greater Parity Among Restaurant Workers.
@Eckstein

Try making that same explanation 20 times a day. How fun is that? Especially when you are making it to customers who are on aggregate bad at math.
Apr 28, 2015 arbeck commented on Renee Erickson Eliminates Tips and Raises Wages to $15 in a Move Toward Greater Parity Among Restaurant Workers.
@AFinch

In a place where they were pooling tips, this doesn't redistribute income. If the restaurant was not pooling tips, then this does take away money from the front of the house.

In an ideal world, you would just raise prices on average 18.5%. However that has some extra costs. Most restaurants either price everything ending in .99 or price everything in an even dollar amount. So if you're chicken dish was $20 before, you should make it $23.70. However to keep the menu even, you make it $24. If you round some up and some down you should be ok on aggregate. Until you get a week where everyone orders the pork chop that was $23, should have been $27.26, but you priced at $27. The service charge keeps this from happening.

Also, humans are generally bad at math and comparing prices. If you go to one restaurant and all the prices are higher you have a hard time comparing it to another. Even though after tip at the cheaper place you come out the same, most people have a hard time seeing that. They only see the initial price. It's the same reason no one advertises the price after tax on items. If everyone went away from tipping, you could do it. But in the mixed environment, a service charge is probably best.
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Apr 23, 2015 arbeck commented on Occupy Activist Running for Southeast Seattle Council Seat Against Bruce Harrell.
Anyone who supports rent control shouldn't be taken seriously.
Apr 22, 2015 arbeck commented on The Morning News: Three Restaurants Abolish Tips and Add 18.5 Percent Surcharge, SPD Begins Crackdown on Downtown Crime.
Restaurants in England have the service fee and it works well there. Thomas Keller's places all have it. I'm all for it.
Apr 9, 2015 arbeck commented on Comcast Outage Renews Calls for a Non-Corporate-Overlord Internet Provider in Seattle.
@chefjoe

Comcast's network is not the internet. That being said, if you cut a backbone cable on any network (including the internet) things are going to go bad. Try cutting one of the transatlantic fiber cables sometime and then try to access websites in Europe.
Apr 9, 2015 arbeck commented on Seattle's Dystopian Present Brought To You By Comcast.
@mattymatt

That's unlikely. These kinds of outages are nearly always caused by someone digging where they shouldn't. There's not much you can do to control that.
Apr 9, 2015 arbeck commented on Seattle's Dystopian Present Brought To You By Comcast.
@j-lon No you're right, a municipal broadband provider would be just as likely to have a cable cut.

There are tons of legitimate arguments to make about Comcast. This isn't one of them. It makes the Stranger look shrill and stupid.
Apr 9, 2015 arbeck commented on Seattle's Dystopian Present Brought To You By Comcast.
I'm all for getting a new service provider in Seattle, but this is really a straw man argument for it. If a large fiber cable is cut, there's nothing Comcast can do until it was repaired. And it's exceedingly unlikely Comcast had anything to do with cutting it. It was probably some construction crew or someone digging where they shouldn't.

For that matter, even if there was a second service provider, they might be out as well. You see, fiber cables need to be laid in spaces where the city gives right of way for them to do so. For big fiber backbone cables, any new provider is going to be likely to use the same right of way as Comcast (if the infrastructure for laying a cable already exists on route A why make a new route B?). So someone digging into a cable might just break both cables instead of one.