Zayde Naquib, founder and Director of Coffee for our friends & partners at Bar Nine in Los Angeles contacted us to reveal that Bar Nine staff will no longer accept tips in the coming year. Bar Nine opened in 2013 in Culver City; their new tipping policy was inspired by New York restauranteur Danny Meyer, who is also eliminating the practice of tipping in his restaurants.
Here is Zayde Naquib’s e-mail in full, explaining Bar Nine’s decision:
One of the founding principles this company was built on was hospitality, as well as offering work in this field as a potential career that is rewarding and engaging for our team. This is something I’ve thought about doing for a long time, but after Danny Meyer announced he was eliminating tips from his restaurants, it inspired us to just go for it.
The major reasons and benefits of making this move are to:
- Guarantee a living wage for our employees
- A hope to be able to offer a career in hospitality
- A simpler guest experience that takes away the feeling of obligation of the tipping model
- Minimizes the time required for the “transacting,” allowing service to be the focal point of the experience
- A goal to create better team work with our staff with a revenue sharing program
It fits into our model of trying to “do business better” as we have demonstrated with our commitment to sustainability through solar energy and a glass-only take-away program. We feel strongly that change in the community comes through the efforts of small businesses as much as anything else, so we want the choices we make to reflect that
Ultimately we feel it’s the way the industry will go completely over time. Since this is obvious to us, we don’t think waiting makes sense. There is, after all, no time like the present.
Our bar team will have a substantially higher base rate than industry averages and will have a revenue sharing program added as well. The better the business performs, the more opportunities for growth personally for each of our team members.
To accommodate the change, we will be introducing very modest price increases to our items in January, most items will be .25 to .50 cents higher than current pricing. Given our average tipped amount is higher than that, often our guests will be spending less money than they do now. This is a very exciting prospect for us.
Will tipping soon be a thing of the past? Is this the model of the future? We’re opening this feature up to comments and we encourage you to sound off.