The movement to end tipping just went national.
Joe's Crab Shack will become the first national restaurant chain to end it tipping policy, according to Restaurant Business. Servers will now be paid $14 and up, depending on past performance, with menu prices rising between 12 and 15 percent to compensate. The chain began rolling out the policy in August and is still working to implement it at all 18 of its locations.
The CEO of Ignite Restaurant Group, which owns Joe's, told investors that the company hopes the move will improve staff retention and improve cooperation among servers, who may have been reluctant to share responsibility for a big party because they would have to share the tip, too.
Moving away from tipping in restaurants, led mainly by high-profile NYC figures like "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio and Shake Shack CEO Danny Meyer, are coming as a national campaign is calling to raise the federal minimum wage for all jobs to $15. Servers in restaurants typically start out making $2.13, with tips accounting for the rest.
Though raising the minimum wage has broad support, eliminating tipping has met with some resistance. Last month, a Quinnipiac University poll found that 56 percent of New Yorkers would rather keep tipping than see menu prices rise by 20 percent to offset the wage increase.