Customers at 18 Joe’s Crab Shacks around the country will no longer be expected to tip, as the restaurant chain founded in Houston and owned by Ignite Restaurant Group has introduced fixed hourly rates for servers as part of a major nationwide test.
Prices have been raised on menus in the participating market but are generally less than the standard 20-percent tip, according to a press release.
“We believe that consistently great service should always be included in the menu price, so we are taking the responsibility for paying the service staff,” Ignite Restaurants CEO Ray Blanchette said in the release. “I personally believe tipping is an antiquated model, and you have seen most businesses in America migrate away from it over the last 50 to 100 years.”
No Texas locations are participating in the test, and no nationwide rollout plans have been announced. The cities in the no-tipping test include Indianapolis, IN, Hobart, IN, Columbus, OH, Bellevue, KY, Ann Arbor MI, Auburn Hills, MI, Sterling Heights, MI, Omaha, NE, Fairview, IL, Peoria, IL, Schaumburg, IL, Robinson, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, St. Louis, MO, Independence, MO, Olathe, KS, West Jordan, UT, and Salt Lake City, UT.
The move comes on the heels of the announcement by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group that it would do away with tipping in most of its restaurants, but this appears to be the first national chain to test the model, which it began doing in August and continues to expand.