For over eight years, I was the owner and operator of San Diego’s farm-to-table restaurant The Linkery, until we closed it this summer to move to San Francisco. At first, we ran the Linkery like every other restaurant in America, letting tips provide compensation and motivation for our team. In our second year, however, we tired of the tip system, and we eliminated tipping from our restaurant. We instead applied a straight 18% service charge to all dining-in checks, and refused to accept any further payment. We became the first and, for years, the only table-service restaurant in America where you couldn’t pay more money than the amount we charged you. + You can guess what happened. Our service improved, our revenue went up, and both our business and our employees made more money. Here’s why:
This is San Diego restauranteur Jay Porter reporting on the paradox that working without tips has all manner of benefits to servers, customers and managers.