Because, as I’ve relentlessly insisted, tipping works better for everyone: the server, the customers and the establishment.
From our friends at THE RAIL a great industry publication:
CAN’T END TIPPING
Why it matters to you: restaurants have not been able to successfully end the tipping system.
The tipping debate has caused controversy in the restaurant industry for years now. Some establishments believe that tipping is an unfair practice that puts servers ahead of the back of house staff whereas others believe the tipping is a fair practice that shouldn’t be changed. It’s been less than a year since the Oregon-based restaurant, Le Pigeon and Little Bird Bistro decided to enforce a no-tipping policy and as of last week, they have reinstated tipping. The original deal was that they would raise food and beverage prices an average of 20 percent to include tip, but unfortunately the higher prices were too much for some diners. The prices are now reduced to not include the tip and it will now be given manually.
This restaurant made a vast effort to change the system which is incredibly noteworthy. Unfortunately, the tipping system is so ingrained in the restaurant industry that it becomes incredibly difficult to interject a new structure. According to a tipping expert and professor at Cornell University of Hotel and Administration, there is really no obvious solution to the problem. “The biggest reason for restaurateurs to keep tipping is that it allows them to reduce menu prices, which increases demand.” He goes on to recommend that restauranteurs look at the level of difference between employees specifically BOH and FOH, and replace the tipping system if this is where “the highest pay discrepancies exist.”
~ Prices will go up more than 20% . Trust me, they’ll have to. So customers will pay more at any place that’s even moderately popular.
~ Good servers at most places will make less money as the net wage hike will not cover the lost tips. The majority of servers I know are strongly against getting rid of tips.
~ Operators will lose as higher menu prices will decrease customer visits and spending. ~ Most sadly, another one of the rare person to person relationships left in our social life will vanish.
~ Based on my past as a tipped server in the past, and my years in many different aspects of the hospitality business, in concepts from low to high end, I think this is a mistake across the board.
~ Everyone will lose if we get rid of tipping.
Here’s a 9-18-16 update from the Chicago Tribune on how the no-tipping experiment is failing.
A Massachusetts Court ruled a Dunkin Donuts that has prominent signs saying that tips are not accepted can keep any money left on the counters and not give it to employees. Not my style of good morale management, but I can’t fault the court. If there’s “no tipping” than money left on the counter cannot by definition be a tip!
If you don’t like that logic than perhaps we are all better off preserving the personal touch of encouraging tips instead of taking another step toward a society with minimal human interaction.
As someone who earned the money to start out in life as a tipped employee, I say Long Live Tipping!
Read more here in Grub Street about this ruling.
Want help dealing with trends and challenges in restaurant and bar service? Shoot us a note and have a free consultation! Or join us on Facebook and Twitter to ask any questions!
Home of A-List Marketing, helping 100+ client bars, restaurants, music clubs, agencies + beverage brands increase their sales and profits.