Joe’s Crab Shack testing “no-tipping” policy in select locations

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Joe’s Crab Shack is getting rid of tipping, at least in some of their locations. The casual dining chain announced they’re testing a new no gratuity policy at 18 of their 130 restaurants nationwide.

Though the no-tipping movement hasn’t made its way to Southwest Florida yet, it’s already getting mixed reviews by customers.

“If they get rid of the tipping and put more money in the employees’ pockets, then the employees will be a lot happier and so will the patrons,” said Lesjuantavius Baskin.

“Tipping is part of the whole dining experience and obviously it should reflect the service that you get,” said Frank Froede.

Under the pilot program, gratuity won’t be added to the bill, instead workers wages will be raised to $12- $14 per hour. The restaurant stated in a press release “we have a responsibility to give our employees the best possible future while providing the best service to our guests.”

Proponents of the no-tipping policy say it will make the pay more stable.

“Being paid hourly as opposed to having to work for your tips, that’s actually a lot better because at least you have something that is set in stone,” said Baskin.

The new experimental policy may mean paying more for your meal, no matter the service, something not everyone says is fair.

“I believe that gratuity is based upon service,” said Froede. “There’s nothing wrong with motivating people to do good service because that’s why people go out.”

WINK News spoke to one waiter off camera who says he thinks most of the servers would quit if tipping was banned in Fort Myers, especially during season.

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