Why a 'no tipping' experiment at Joe’s Crab Shack could set a na - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Why a 'no tipping' experiment at Joe’s Crab Shack could set a national trend

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Is tipping a thing of the past? Servers at Drake's say no way.  But one restaurant chain is testing out a new “No Tipping” policy.

Van Jenkins has been working at Drake's for about two years. She says it's a perfect job for a mother and full-time college student.

"I don't have to come to work at 9 to 5. I can be flexible,” Jenkins said. “I have fun, I'm serving, and I'm doing what I like to do."

She says her favorite part of the job is tips. But her fellow servers at Joe's Crab Shack could soon be kissing theirs goodbye.

The restaurant chain is testing out a new model called "No Tipping."

Credit card receipts will no longer include a tip line. Instead, employees will be paid more.

It's happening at 18 Joe's Crab Shack restaurants across the country -- but not in Louisville.

The Louisville location isn't adopting the no tipping model, at least not yet. But a location in Bellevue, Ky. is testing it out.

Beth Davis-Sramek is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Louisville. She said this new model is becoming a national trend.

"We're seeing this in more places where the minimum wage has increased. Generally, customers are going to pay more for their meal but feel better about it because they're not paying for the tip," she explained.

Joe's Crab Shack’s parent company, Ignite Restaurants, released the following statement:

"We are confident that this change will provide increased financial stability for our employees. A small price increase was taken to account for the added labor cost, but the policy is designed to benefit both the guests and employees." 

“The risk in doing this is that you are no longer rewarding performance,” said Davis-Sramek.

But back at Drake's, Jenkins continues to work hard for her tips, hoping they'll never be taken away.

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