Discouraging or even abolishing tipping: much of Europe has been doing it for years now, and individual restaurants around the United States are starting to catch on. Instead of tips, menu prices are adjusted, and servers are given a living wage so that they don’t have to live off of optional and erratic gratuities. Chefs and restaurateurs can also benefit from getting rid of the tipping tradition. In an interview, Top Chef star Tom Colicchio said he would be on board for a tip-less society, especially since most labor violations that end up in court actually stem from problems with gratuity.
“If I increase my menu prices by 20 percent and do away with tips, then I guarantee that these lawsuits would disappear,” Colicchio told The Daily Meal. “This is why we want to have a new system where there is no tipping.”
Colicchio went on to explain that a few months ago, rumors had been going around on Twitter that he and David Chang were going to be the first celebrity chefs to dip into the tip-less pool, but it hasn’t happened yet. He says that younger diners at his restaurant are already getting used to a tip-less society with Apple Pay, Uber, and OpenTable, which all include tax and gratuity costs in the initial fees.
“Nobody wants to be the first to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to be the first one to get out there, because customers still like to think they are in control of what their server makes. But five years from now, I’d be surprised if tipping hadn’t practically disappeared altogether.”