Should restaurants eliminate tipping?

When one restaurant stopped accepting tips, customer service and revenue went up. Here's why.

Not all cultures have the same views on tipping in restaurants. But in the United States the idea that waiters should be tipped based on the quality of their service is pervasive.

Except at The Linkery, a former farm-to-table restaurant in San Diego (they closed to move to San Francisco) where tipping was banned. Instead, the restaurant experimented with an 18 percent service fee added to every check, with no extra tip accepted.

Here's what happened at the restaurant, as Jay Porter, the restaurant's founder, explained on Quartz:

By removing tipping from the Linkery, we aligned ourselves with every other business model in America. Servers and management could work together toward one goal: giving all of our guests the best possible experience. When we did it well, we all made more money. As you can imagine, it was easy for us to find people who wanted to work in this environment, with clear goals and rewards for succeeding as a team.

The theory for why changing this common industry practice led to better service and higher revenue? As Porter explains, most people don't vary the amount they tip based on the quality of service. That means in order to make more money servers are motivated by the number of guests they serve not the amount of money they make from a tip. That lowers the quality of service across the board, which, of course, decreases the value of the restaurant.

It's a convincing case, just don't start the no-tipping trend the next time you're out to eat, unless it's at this Japanese place in New York City.

Read more: Quartz

Photo: Flickr/cafemama

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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