Joe’s Crab Shack is testing a no tipping policy in 18 of its restaurants across the country.
This is the first chain to a no-tipping policy. Some high-end establishments, such as Tom Colicchio’s Craft (at lunchtime only, for now) and all of Danny Meyer’s restaurants, have announced that they are doing away with voluntary gratuities. Joe’s Crab Shack is at least tentatively following, and beginning to pay its employees a living wage.
“We… believe that it reflects our commitment to not only being a great place to eat but a great place to work,” Ray Blanchette, CEO of Ignite Restaurant Group, parent company of Joe’s Crab Shack, told Think Progress.
The restaurant will raise menu prices between 12 and 15 percent, and will increase the hourly wage of wait staff, bartenders, and hosts to $12 to $15 an hour.
“It’s expected to result in improved team atmosphere, a significant reduction in turnover, and greater financial security for the employees,” Blanchette told Think Progress.
The no-tipping experiment began in August and will continue through the remainder of 2015. The chain might expand this practice to other locations sometime next year and it seems to be received well by customers so far.
“The restaurant that it’s been tested in the longest is gaining the most traction,” Blanchette told Think Progress. “It seems the longer we do it the better we get at it.”