This coffee shop based in Salt Lake City is bidding goodbye to tips and giving a salary raise to their workers instead.
The tipping culture might not be a thing in Eastern countries, but in the West, one can not simply eat, pay and leave a restaurant without dishing out some extra cash. Many have witnessed arguments breaking out between servers and patrons over tips and it's high time to solve it just like this Salt Lake City, Utah, coffee shop is doing. The Three Pines Coffee located in the downtown area of the city, is working towards experimenting, eliminating the whole tipping culture in their store, per KUTV.
Nick Price, the business owner, has an interesting perspective to share with people when it comes to tipping. He told the outlet that "he has tipping fatigue as a consumer," but as a business owner, "he thinks that tipping is outdated and it isn't the best way for his employees to earn a living." Price added, "Because we get busy in the summer, tips are pretty good. Then we get slower in the winter and tips are pretty bad. I didn't think it was right for my employees to make less money in those slower months."
So, Price decided to raise his employees' hourly pay rate from $8 to $18 and increased the prices of each item by approximately $1. The tip is now included in the price of the items displayed on the menu of the coffee shop. However, not every worker at the shop was initially happy with the sudden change. But one of the baristas, Everett Hamby, appreciated how his earnings could be consistent after the removal of tipping. He remarked, "I know how much I'm going to bring home. It's very comforting because tips can be very volatile."
Hamby added that it was always uncomfortable and awkward for him to prompt customers for a tip every time they swiped their credit cards to pay. A customer named Pickle Williams also spoke in favor of the no-tipping policy and is glad to pay extra for her coffee to ensure that the baristas get paid a better wage. It has been a few days since the no-tipping policy was brought into effect at Three Pines Coffee and Price believes that the transition is going smoothly. He has planned to make the policy permanent if their 90-day trial of the new system becomes successful. He concluded, "I look forward to seeing if other businesses jump on this because I do think people are sick of tipping. I think it's the future of our industry."
Moreover, it is not the first time a tip-free model has been introduced by a restaurant or shop. A popular brunch spot in San Francisco called Zazie is paying its staff a living wage with benefits and sharing a part of its profits. The restaurant has increased the cost of items on the menu by 25%, but the response from customers has been very positive. "So far, we haven't had any complaints," the owner, Jennifer Piallat, told SF Eater. "One customer said she expected sticker shock but that the menu still looks reasonable."
The owner's idea was to bring the profit-sharing model back into business. Piallat implemented a new system that ensures every employee gets a raise, with servers getting a three to seven percent increase and the back of the house getting a 35% boost. All employees at the company will get a living wage ($15-20/hour), which also includes paid sick leave, fully funded health and dental insurance, paid maternity/paternity leave and a 401(k) plan. "The only person losing money is me," jokes Piallat. "My accountant doesn't like it, but I didn't want to risk anyone being dissatisfied."