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Tipping Experiment: the Linkery

Posted by gratrueities on October 17, 2008

Hi! There is a restaurant in San Diego called The Linkery where the owner and wait staff have agreed to do away with tipping. That’s right, there is no tipping. Well, I guess you can leave a tip if you want, but you don’t need to because they add a 18% standard service fee onto every tab. There is a very good story on this in the recent Food issue of the New York Times magazine.  And, here you can read the blog entry on the Linkery’s own site.

So, this is a pretty radical approach. Evidently the wait staff at the Linkery all like it because now they can just concentrate on giving great service and not be bothered with up-selling and other techniques to generate more tips. I guess the “back of the house”, the chefs and kitchen staff also really like it because they don’t have to wonder if they are getting the proper share of the tips–tips are split according to a formula everyone agrees with. It sounds like a Utopian, very democratic approach.

And, according to the article, the restaurant is still as busy as ever so it’s not hurting their business.

I just wonder what happens if you are the guest, the customer, and you go on a particular night when service is a little off. It’s possible that service is always spectacular but it would seem that occasionally one of the servers might have an off night. What if you are the customer at that point and you decide you don’t want to leave 18%, maybe you would only want to leave 10%?

What do you think about this? Would you like more restaurants to do as The Linkery is doing and add a set service charge to your bill? Let us know!

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One Response to “Tipping Experiment: the Linkery”

  1. Janeth said

    We were just in Las Vegas this weekend and my husband was really annoyed to have to pay an 18% service charge at a bar in the “Eiffel Tower”, where we received unfriendly and inattentive service. He is normally a pretty generous tipper. The two of us agreed we would like the opportunity to leave a smaller tip when the service seems to call for it, and a great tip when we want to express our appreciation for that sort of service.

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