Trey Parker and Matt Stone Declare That Casa Bonita Will Have No Tipping — Except For Rascal Scooters
South Park has proven that no one is better at ruthlessly skewering American society than Trey Parker and Matt Stone. And, in their eight-figure renovation of the beloved Denver area Mexican restaurant and entertainment megaplex Casa Bonita, they’re attacking another inane American institution — gratuity.
Parker and Stone have spent “infinity dollars” (or 40 million of them) on a massive renovation project to transform the popular birthday party destination in suburban Denver from a crumbling deathtrap into a towering monolith cathedral of dancing, diving and newly delicious Mexican-American cuisine. Though Casa Bonita is not yet fully open to the public, a crowded waitlist of South Park fans and Denver loyalists alike are experiencing limited “soft openings” on a rolling basis as Parker and Stone gear up for the restaurant’s grand unveiling. The pair promised lifelong Casa Bonita fanatics that they will maintain as much of the traditional charm as is feasible, but they recently made the decision to overhaul the typical system of paying waitstaff near-minimum wage and allowing customers to subsidize their labor with tips and instead pay servers a flat $30 an hour rate, more than double the minimum wage in Colorado, and eliminate gratuity altogether.
To the rest of the world, paying restaurant employees a living wage is an embarrassingly mundane announcement, but here in the land of the free and home of the 18-percent surcharge, “no tipping” is a downright radical move — unless, of course, we’re talking about mobility scooters.
“During our soft-opening nights, we found that guests simply weren’t tipping. We believe it’s due to our unconventional, pre-pay ticketing system,” a spokesperson for Casa Bonita told local news station KDVR. “In order to provide a higher-than-average, dependable wage, we shifted to a no-tipping model and doubled the hourly rate to more than $30 an hour for our service staff,” they said, adding, “This shift also benefits our guests, who can enjoy Casa Bonita without incurring unexpected costs. Of our 256 employees, 93 were a part of the shift and a total of two were unhappy about it.”
On the eve of our Independence Day, this kind of change may be upsetting to some patriots — after all, the only thing more American than tipping is obese citizens puttering around a Walmart in a battery-powered basket scooter. However, Parker and Stone are characteristically unsatisfied with the status quo, and they’re more than comfortable overturning both of those American institutions.