Pizza Today - October 2016 - 18

with SCOTT WIENER

man on the street

Don't Tip Your Waiter
More restaurants are moving away from gratuity models

I

felt like I was getting away with
murder. Did the printer somehow
forget to dash out the tip line? I
played along with what I perceived to
be a glitch in the system and signed
my credit card receipt when I noticed
a sentence at the bottom of the thin
slip of paper: "No tipping please, this
restaurant prides itself in paying all of
its employees a fair wage." After all the
noise I'd heard about restaurants nixing gratuities, I was finally facing one
for myself.
My initial reaction was one of skepticism. Tipping has always been my
way of incentivizing good service. If
you remove my ability to reward, service quality will surely decline. Waiters
will be less attentive. Mistakes won't
be corrected nearly as quickly as they
once were. My soup will be cold -
and there's nothing I can do to stop it.
Then I thought about it some more.
1 8 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6

Have I ever really penalized a server
because they forget my Diet Coke?
When was the last time I dropped a
30-percent bonus on someone just
because they brought me a stack of
extra napkins? My tipping M.O. is to
slide the decimal point one place to
the left and multiply by two to get
20 percent. Sometimes I round up and
sometimes I round down, meaning the
difference between great and terrible
service is just a few pennies. I guess
I'm not the puppet master I once
thought. And it's terribly naïve of me
to think the promise of a big tip was
the only thing preventing complete
anarchy. Keeping one's job, especially
one with a steady paycheck, seems like
pretty good incentive for providing
great service.
Of course your prices will have to
increase so you can pay those steady
salaries. The pizza that once cost $15 is

now $18, the same amount I would
have paid after tax and tip. Sticker
shock could be enough to scare your
customers, so you're going to have to
communicate the change as clearly
as possible. Bruno, the East Village
pizzeria where I experienced my first
no-tipping situation, states in all caps
at the top of their menu, "MENU
PRICES REFLECT OUR NO
TIPPING POLICY." It's important
to educate customers at the points
in which they're most likely to be
confused. Several restaurants have
already gone back to the traditional
gratuity-based model because customers didn't understand the change.
As a customer, I'm still getting
used to the idea of a gratuity-free
world. Both models might do the
same damage to my pocket, but
tipping never feels like part of the
actual cost because it's technically
optional. Restaurateur Danny Meyer
calls this the "two-pocket mentality."
Customers feel like their money is
coming from one pocket to pay the
bill and another pocket to pay the
tip. It's an illusion that puts all the
pressure on customer. He sees the
gratuity-free model as the wave of the
future, especially with pending minimum wage hikes.
There are plenty of reasons for and
against the policy but at the end of the
day, it will only work if your customers understand the concept. It's up to
you, particularly the early adopters,
to educate your guests so they spend
their visit thinking about the food and
not the bill. ■
SCOTT WIENER is the founder of Scott's
Pizza Tours in New York City and
SliceOutHunger.org.

By JOSH KEOWN


http://www.SliceOutHunger.org http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - October 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - October 2016

Pizza Today - October 2016
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Dough Doctor
Attracting Investors
Pizza & Pasta Northeast
2016 Hot 100 Independents
Ciao!, Baby
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - October 2016 - CT1
Pizza Today - October 2016 - CT2
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Pizza Today - October 2016
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Cover2
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Commentary
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 4
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 5
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Contents
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 7
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 8
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 9
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Contributors
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 11
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 13
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Interact
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 15
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Conversation
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 17
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 19
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 21
Pizza Today - October 2016 - On Tap
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 23
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Destinations
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 25
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Dough Doctor
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 27
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 28
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 29
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 30
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 31
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 32
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 33
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 34
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 35
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 36
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 37
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 38
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 39
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 40
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 41
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 42
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 43
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Attracting Investors
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 45
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 46
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 47
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Pizza & Pasta Northeast
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 49
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 50
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 51
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 2016 Hot 100 Independents
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 53
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 54
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 55
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Ciao!, Baby
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 57
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 58
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 59
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 60
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 62
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 63
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 65
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 66
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 67
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 68
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 69
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 70
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 71
Pizza Today - October 2016 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 73
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 74
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 75
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 76
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 77
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 78
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 79
Pizza Today - October 2016 - 80
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Pizza Today - October 2016 - Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Cover3
Pizza Today - October 2016 - Cover4
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