Restaurant Bans Tipping — What They Do Instead is Amazing

Newport, Kentucky restaurant Packhouse Meats bans tipping in favor of paying their servers an automatic 20 percent of each bill

Packhouse
If you're a server at this restaurant you won't have to worry about getting stiffed when the bill comes.

All restaurant servers know that it’s pretty much a crapshoot whether a customer will give you a generous 20 percent tip, a stingy five percent, or worse — stiff you entirely. Packhouse Meats, a new meatball-centric restaurant that opened in Newport, Kentucky this January, is looking to change that. The restaurant has completely banned tipping, and instead gives each server a livable wage of $10 per hour, or 20 percent of each bill, whichever is larger. Initially the policy got raked over the coals on Yelp, but as Packhouse Meats owner Bob Conway told Cinncinati.com, they did this to protect their servers.

"I've heard the horror stories — $3 left on a $100 tab," he said. "How much a server makes has nothing to do with how hard they work. Servers had quit because they couldn't make ends meet."

At Packhouse, you’ll find “No Tipping” signs placed throughout the restaurant, and there’s no tip line on the checks. Servers do have to meet certain sales goals to make sure that they are doing their job well before they make that 20 percent, but the result, said Conway, is a fair living wage, which (most likely) won’t leave them sniffing for another job or struggling to pay the bills.

The no-tipping policy is commonplace internationally. In both China and Japan, tipping is not accepted, and in Japan it can even be considered offensive. The unwritten rule throughout most of Europe is that tipping is unnecessary, like in France and Germany. In Italy, tips are only given for exceptional service.

Curious how to tip when you're traveling? Check out The Daily Meal's guide to How to Tip or Not Tip While Traveling (Slideshow)

Perhaps Packhouse Meats will lead the way for a new American anti-tipping trend.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi


Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 150
3.117645
Ratings34


Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage


Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
David Guas Cooks Up Vidalia Onion Marmalade with Grilled Mini Sausages

150 Comments

tdm-35-icon.png

<a href="http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2014/06/03/tipping-america-excessive/" title="http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2014/06/03/tipping-america-excessive/">http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2014/06/03/tipping-america-excess...</a>

tdm-35-icon.png

Great idea - removes the guesswork and stops the inconsistencies - read my other thoughts here on BBC America.... <a href="http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2014/06/03/tipping-america-excessive/" title="http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2014/06/03/tipping-america-excessive/">http://www.bbcamerica.com/mind-the-gap/2014/06/03/tipping-america-excess...</a>

tdm-35-icon.png

Nothing ground breaking here. So they add the tip to the bill. It's common practice in some restaurants for large tables. It's funny that people demand great service at a restaurant but just take what they get from everything else. Imagine if we had the option to pay based on service for the last 20% of the bill from big companies and civil services like Duke, TWC, Cincinnati Bell, federal and local taxes ect. Electricity goes out? Sorry I'm stiffing you Duke. Hit that pot hole? I'll keep the last 20% of my property tax. Cops looked at me the wrong way? Sorry office, you're going to come up 20% short today. I'd go for that.

tdm-35-icon.png

I like it.

tdm-35-icon.png

Point to point

tdm-35-icon.png

Be the first to Comment...

tdm-35-icon.png

I buy almost everything except food and clothing from online auctions most people aren’t aware of the almost I unbelievable deals that they can get from online auction sites the site that has the best deals is .....W w w. saveblast,CℴM

I checked with the BBB and was told that it is all legit. How they can sell gift cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies that we all want for 50-90% off, I don’t know I do know that I bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 Low gift

cards for $48Why would I even think about shopping anyþlace else?

tdm-35-icon.png

I am from Germany. And what you write here about France and Germany is complete BS! People do give tips. And there is no stupid rule which tells you that a 20% is common or they add it automatically to your bill when your party has more than certain number of people. That BS only happens here in America! In Germany you tip everyone you like to tip. No matter if it is the service tech who comes to your house, a good sales person or a waiter/waitress. And at the end of the year you also tip your post man and the people who pick up the trash. It is just a common sense thing to show your appreciation for the good service and nice treatment. So next time before you write an article you better do a bit more research before you make a statement like this (btw. I grew up there and lived there till I was an adult. I am since 20 years in America and I go back every year to Europe)

tdm-35-icon.png

NOT FOR ME!

tdm-35-icon.png

When I worked in Japan, I learned that tipping is not accepted. Instead, the tip percent is already in themeal

tdm-35-icon.png

finally, civility and dignity!

tdm-35-icon.png

What is the minumum wage in Kentucky? Min. wage in Washington State is $9.32 per hour, so with tips a wait person can make $15 -$20 dollars per hour

tdm-35-icon.png

YEAH 10 BUCKS AN HOUR IS A LIVABLE WAGE.

tdm-35-icon.png

That is probably a good idea, but it does nothing to improve service at the table. I still believe that a server should earn their tip; I'm not there to subsidize the owner of the restaurant. If the service is good I do give 20%. Except for breakfast. Then I give $5.00. For lunch my minimum (depending on service again) is $7.50. Limiting a tip to 20% for inexpensive meals does nothing for the server except put them into a new tax bracket.

tdm-35-icon.png

I buy almost everything except food and clothing from online auctions most people aren’t aware of the almost I unbelievable deals that they can get from online auction sites the site that has the best deals is W w w. saveblast,CℴM

I checked with the BBB and was told that it is all legit. How they can sell gift cards, laptops, cameras, and all kinds of goodies that we all want for 50-90% off, I don’t know I do know that I bought my son an ipad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 Low gift

cards for $48Why would I even think about shopping anyþlace else?

tdm-35-icon.png

So ten dollars an hour or 20% of bills whichever is larger is supposed to be a living wage?

tdm-35-icon.png

Be the first to Comment...

tdm-35-icon.png

Stupid,Stupid, Stupid idea!! It's nothing more than a restaurant imposed 20% gratuity! Does anyone believethe restaurant is going to lose money? They should give a decent wage to the servers, but tipping is MY option to reward service that I think worthy. and penalize those who do not earn the extra reward. The food service industry never should have made tipping part of the salery in the first place, but what socialist ever decided they should all be paid the same,..... regard less of how hard or how well they work! Where is the incentive to make my dining experience special if there is no extra incentive?

tdm-35-icon.png

What a stupid comment! If I do not feel welcome or the service is bad, I just don't go back. Most service people realize that they are part of the reason why people might want to come back. And they will act accordingly, even if service is included in the price. Your comment just shows that you are a very limited person who obviously has not travelled a whole lot yet.
I recommend it!

tdm-35-icon.png

so if you work there and have a guest check of $200 the restaurant gives you $40.00, one table may be one hour worth of work. Three tables like that and thats $120 you would have to work 12 hours to make that at $10 per hour

tdm-35-icon.png

Tipping is archaic and offensive. Just give employees a living wage.

tdm-35-icon.png

I agree, except.... tipping is not supposed to agument the living wage. Tipping is supposed to reward those that take your dining experiece special. We've all had the good one and the bad ones. If you make the reward the same for every service,.... What is the incentive to do better? Spiill the soup in your lap,...you'll get the 20% anyway. Not a great idea, Comrade!

tdm-35-icon.png

wonder what the sales quota is to make 20% and wether its doable

tdm-35-icon.png

Your story is misleading at best. In Europe most restaurants automatically charge you 18% or so extra as a tip for service. It says so right on most menus. So there IS tipping, only it's compulsory.

tdm-35-icon.png

Lived in many countries where tipping is not done. I am currently in S. America and it is like that here.

I love it~!!

tdm-35-icon.png

Be the first to Comment...

tdm-35-icon.png

I so not agree with this. Forcing "Tips" is not good. There are servers that SUCK. And there are servers that deserve more 20%. As someone that worked at restaurants most of her late teens and early 20s, I think this is a horrible idea and you won't catch me eating at any of these establishments. I would like my choice back please.

tdm-35-icon.png

Here in Europe wait staff is not for teenagers. It is a career, a profession. A career that a person can make a decent living from. All restaurants here include the tip and you can round up your bill or leave an additional tip if you felt you got great service.

tdm-35-icon.png

Good. I hope it catches on like wildfire. I've always found it ludicrous that people who do generally the same amount of work get vastly different pay just because of the price of the food being ordered. What may have started as an optional way to show appreciation has become an ironclad, senseless rule that allows the employer to shift their job to the customer: the job of figuring out how to run a business profitably while paying employees enough to get them to work there and then evaluating whether they're worth what they're being paid. All other employers have to do this; there's no reason restaurants shouldn't behave the same way.

tdm-35-icon.png

Good. I hope it catches on like wildfire. I've always found it ludicrous that people who do generally the same amount of work get vastly different pay just because of the price of the food being ordered. What may have started as an optional way to show appreciation has become an ironclad, senseless rule that allows the employer to shift their job to the customer: the job of figuring out how to run a business profitably while paying employees enough to get them to work there and then evaluating whether they're worth what they're being paid. All other employers have to do this; there's no reason restaurants shouldn't behave the same way.

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human