Seattle Restaurateur Tom Douglas Drops Tipping

Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas (Lola, Seatown, Palace Kitchen, Tanaka San) will replace tipping at his restaurants beginning February 1, and replace the practice with a 20 percent service charge, Douglas has announced.

The first restaurants to make the transition will be Palace Kitchen, The Carlile Room, and Dahlia Lounge. His remaining restaurants will follow by the end of Match. "

"Our research and internal data show that this is the average amount our customers tipped for the last three years," Douglas writes in a statement. "This charge will go to 'the house' and then 100% of the charge will be redistributed to our team through wages, commissions and benefits." 

The decision was made in response to Seattle's new $15 minimum wage, which has forced the restaurant industry to reconsider its approach to distributing profits among its workers. The city is among the first in the country to approve a $15 wage. "Because of our size, of which I am quite proud, our minimum wage schedule is accelerated versus many of our peers," wrote Douglas. "We are committed to everyone on our team making $15 or more immediately instead of following the schedule as laid out in the Seattle ordinance regulations."