Tom Douglas announced yesterday that he will drop tipping at three of his restaurants, replacing it with a 20 percent service charge. The change will take place February 1 at The Carlile Room, Palace Kitchen, and Dahlia Lounge.
"Our research and internal data show that this is the average amount our customers tipped for the last 3 years," Douglas writes in a statement. "This charge will go to 'the house' and then 100% of the charge will be redistributed to our team through wages, commissions and benefits."
Douglas says the change is in response to the new $15 minimum wage. "The biggest question for our company in 2014/2015 was, how Tom Douglas Restaurants would respond to the new minimum wage. Because of our size, of which I am quite proud, our minimum wage schedule is accelerated versus many of our peers. We are committed to everyone on our team making $15 or more immediately instead of following the schedule as laid out in the Seattle ordinance regulations," he writes.
Douglas said his other full service restaurants will also implement the service charge in lieu of tips by the end of March.
Douglas also said this: "If at any point your experience was not up to your or our standard of deliciousness served with graciousness, simply ask a manager for a refund of your bill. Please feel free to drop us a note to email@example.com if you have any questions or click here to for more detailed information on our plan."