THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

Pro Tip: Should Bars and Restaurants Ban Gratuities?

by Robin Shreeves on Aug 22, 2013 in Culture
Pro Tip: Should Bars and Restaurants Ban Gratuities?

“Tipping promotes and facilitates bad service,” says Jay Porter on Quartz. The former owner and operator of San Diego’s The Linkery came to this conclusion after doing away with tipping and instituting an 18% service charge on all checks, with no additional gratuity allowed. After banning tipping, the service in his restaurant improved and the restaurant made more money, he claims.

That may seem counterintuitive to Americans, but it worked for him. In a six-part series on his blog, Porter explains how “the tipless/service charge model made us more successful in every dimension.” Servers made more money. Customers received better service. The business as a whole became more profitable. Instead of each server being solely focused on earning tips, the servers were able to partner with management to give all guests a good dining experience.

Is this the start of a no-tip restaurant trend? Currently, the only other gratuity-banning restaurant of note is New York City’s Sushi Yasuda, which pays its waitstaff a salary and offers benefits — including vacation and sick time — because it follows the Japanese tradition.

How do restaurant professionals feel about this idea? We spoke with Katie Loeb, a bartender with 8 years experience who currently works at Sophia’s in South Philadelphia. She is skeptical about no-tip policies being successful in places that set a minimum wage for bartenders’ at under $3 — which includes most of the U.S.

“Would it work? I don't know,” Loeb says, “Many people simply refuse to go to a restaurant that automatically adds a service charge — they see it as a control issue. For me, I like tipping — it provides incentive to give excellent service because I have an instant indicator of when I've gone above and beyond.” says Loeb.  

Loeb also points out getting rid of tipping would really take an overhaul of the entire tax system.  “Employers that pay federal, state and local business and wage taxes are a powerful lobbying force,” and if minimum wages for servers goes up, so will those taxes.

What do you think? Would doing away with tipping and charging an automatic service charge work in your city or town? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Photos by Danya Henninger

Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Shiner Beer Donates $100,000 to Hurricane Irma Relief

Shiner Beer Donates $100,000 to Hurricane Irma Relief

As hurricanes continue to devastate the US some breweries are helping out, including most recently The Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 19, 2017
You Can Get Drunk on Popcorn Now, If You Really Want To

You Can Get Drunk on Popcorn Now, If You Really Want To

A U.K. based company is making alcohol-infused popcorn at 5% ABV, if you really feel compelled to get drunk off your movie snack....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Sep 12, 2017
A Washington Distillery Makes Pickle Vodka and We're Into It

A Washington Distillery Makes Pickle Vodka and We're Into It

Blue Spirits Distilling has created a 120-proof, pickle flavored vodka that is just begging to be poured into your next Bloody Mary....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Sep 12, 2017
SPONSORED
You Can Now Drink Red Wine Out of a Forty, Just in Time for Fall

You Can Now Drink Red Wine Out of a Forty, Just in Time for Fall

If you're mourning the end of rose-in-a-forty season, don't worry: Forty Ounce Wines is now producing its first red wine in a forty, just in time for ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Sep 11, 2017
Lagunitas Brewing Co. Has Launched a Cannabis Beer

Lagunitas Brewing Co. Has Launched a Cannabis Beer

Working with CannaCraft Inc., a cannabis-extract manufacturing facility in nearby Santa Rosa, Lagunitas created the SuperCritical Ale, flavored with t...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 6, 2017
Carnival Cruise Lines has Opened the First Brewery at Sea

Carnival Cruise Lines has Opened the First Brewery at Sea

The Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines has hopped aboard the microbrewing trend with the founding of RedFrog Brewery, the first ever craft brewery on a...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Sep 6, 2017
Things No One Asked For: The Guzzle Buddy Beer Bottle Glass

Things No One Asked For: The Guzzle Buddy Beer Bottle Glass

One company is making glasses you can screw right into the top of your beer bottle....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Sep 6, 2017
Thieves Have Stolen $300,000 Worth of Wine from Paris Catacombs

Thieves Have Stolen $300,000 Worth of Wine from Paris Catacombs

Thieves invaded the Parisian catacombs to drill into a private cellar and steal 300 bottles of Grand Cru wine, the total value nearing $300,000....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Sep 6, 2017
Target is Introducing a Line of $5 Wines

Target is Introducing a Line of $5 Wines

Watch out, Two-Buck Chuck - Target is introducing its own line of wine, each of which will cost just $5. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 29, 2017
Feel Like a Kid Again With These Rose Wine Pouches

Feel Like a Kid Again With These Rose Wine Pouches

Between froze, rose drive-thrus, rose infused gin and tequila, and rose forties, the rose trend isn't stopping any time soon — and that time is defi...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Aug 29, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close