"We got negative customer counts between 8 percent to 10 percent on average among the 18 restaurants, and we tried it for quite a while, tried communicating it different ways," [CEO Bob] Merritt explained, adding that customers didn't like not being able to incentivize good service, and also didn't trust management to pay employees the higher wages.Did they take steps to ensure the service was first rate? I would think that the new policy — presumably touted to the customers — pushes customers to notice what the service is like and to think about how they've lost control. Were customers supposed to think of the place as benevolent in some special new way or just to enjoy the convenience of not having to figure out and add the tip? The scheme will obviously fail if the service isn't at least as good as it would be in a tipping situation. It might need to be better, because people may notice and be more irritated by whatever lapses there are. With tips, you get to work through whatever negative opinions you might have as you determine the final tally. Without tips, you take your bad attitude out the door like an unwanted doggy bag.
May 12, 2016
The restaurant chain raised prices by 12 - 15% and put the servers' wages at $14 an hour: