Restaurants Banning Tipping: A New Trend On The Horizon?

Restaurants Banning Tipping: A New Trend On The Horizon?

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PHILADELPHIA -

Imagine going out to a Rittenhouse Square restaurant, eating your dinner, paying your bill, but not leaving a tip for your waiter. Sounds good? Well it's a trend that may be coming to a restaurant near you.

Chris Branin has been shaking martini's in Center City for 15 years. And he makes good money doing it. Most of his income comes from tips, not his three-dollar-an-hour salary.

"I believe if you give good service and you have good customers, you can make a very good living," says Chris Branin.

BUT WHAT IF THOSE TIPS DISAPPEARED?

"I don't think it would fly in this country," says Branin.

Not so fast. Some New York and California eateries are joining in on a new practice of eliminating tips. Instead, the eateries add 18 percent to every bill or the owners raise prices on the menu. In return, servers get a straight salary anywhere from 15 to 30 dollars an hour. Diners we spoke to like the idea.

"I don't want to have to deal with a tip. Build it in with everything else I buy. There' s not tip when I go out and buy a new printer or anything else I buy. I just want it built into the price," says Joe Livezey, visiting from Woodlands, Texas.

"As long as the money goes to the people it should. I think it's a good idea," says Patrick Haines of Center City.

Restaurants that have banned tipping report that customers are happier, business is better and servers make more money.

"If you are getting paid a considerably higher salary, then that would make you want to work harder," agrees William Blue, a restaurant manager

But "no tips" is a hard sell to people like Chris Branin who go home with cash in their pocket every night.

"I wouldn't be happy about it. I believe you work on your service and your customer appreciates you. That's where the gratuity comes in," says Branin.

The policy hasn't really caught on here in Philadelphia restaurants. It remains to be seen if the practice will become the norm here.

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