An female-owned Australian cafe is asking men to pay an extra tax when they visit the restaurant in order to help compensate for the gender wage gap.
For one week every month, Handsome Her, a bakery owned by Alex O’Brien, lays out three rules for their customers, one of them being an extra 18 percent tax for the male patrons, Broadsheet reported Friday.
“House Rules, Rule #1: women have priority seating. Rule #2: men will be charged an 18% premium to reflect the gender pay gap (2016) which is donated to a women’s service. Rule #3 respect goes both ways,” a chalkboard placed outside the cafe reads.
O’Brien said the initiative is a way to bring awareness to the wage gap between men and women. The money collected from the male tax usually goes to a variety of women’s charities. She plans to donate the first round of money to the Elizabeth Morgan House.
“One of my friends who works for a not-for-profit women’s service was talking about the pay gap and I thought it was a good idea, so we decided that one week every month we would charge men an 18 percent premium, which we will donate,” O’Brien explained.
Men don’t have to pay the tax if they don’t want to, O’Brien said, adding that most men have been receptive to the tax.
“There’s been nothing but positivity from everyone, males and females,” she said. “We are not imposing the surcharge, it’s voluntary. Men are asked if they want to pay the charge before being charged.”
Female customers are also welcoming the initiative, saying it brings more awareness to the issue.
“I think it’s a brilliant idea because I don’t think many people actually know the gap,” one woman said.
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