The Daily Rail: When No-Tipping Succeeds

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Joël Robuchon recently passed away at the age of 73 following a long battle with cancer. Robuchon was named “chef of the century” by the French restaurant guide Gault Millau in 1989 and was the most decorated in Michelin history (holding 24 stars within 10 cities). Rest in peace chef. 


Is that stuck in your head now? We’re sorry… Jason Alexander is the most recent actor to play Colonel Sanders in the line of famous people donning the Colonel’s gear. Starting Monday, he will join the likes of Norm Macdonald, Reba McEntire, Rob Lowe, and more slingin’ some chicken for KFC.


We feel like most of us are probably only on cold coffee/drinks at this point in August, yeah? Well the rise in popularity of cold drinks in general for giants like Starbucks and Peet’s has led to everyone putting more time into the R&D of their cold beverages, they now account for more than 50% of Starbucks’ sales (vs 37% 5 years ago). Might not even be a bad idea to ramp up the frozen drink menu


Why it matters to you: Cutting boards are a constant need in our kitchens, we analyze which is best for each job.

Cutting boards are a concern in any kitchen, making a decision of whether or not you use plastic or wood for certain jobs should also be a consideration of any responsible cook, chef, or restaurant owner. 

Wood is a time honored classic cutting surface. Wood has been known for some time to have a sort of “self-healing” property for any sorts of damage they take from your knife but are also harder to cut into in the first place. This surface also has antimicrobial properties which will halt bacteria from seeping into the board and in turn will drastically reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination. Finally, the wooden cutting board is a lot gentler to our ever-important multi-tool of our industry; the chef’s knife, it stays sharper for longer when cutting on wood (which means fewer sharpening’s will be necessary and longer lasting knives).

Now what about plastic cutting boards? It is often thought to be the more sterile of the two due to it being the more modern but that isn’t always the case. As a plastic cutting board is used more and more it will scar, as it scars there are thousands of hard to clean places for bacteria to hide and accumulate over time drastically increasing the chances of cross contamination. We always like to recommend certain boards for certain jobs, plastic is overall great for veggies and other non-proteins and wood is the only reasonable choice for meats (if you have a choice). Now that you have an idea about both just be sure that everyone in your kitchen knows how to clean them properly!

[Source: Spoon University]



Why it matters to you: We wanted to share a few success stories from restaurants that went no-tips-allowed.

We have mentioned restaurants attempting to go tip-free before and struggling with the concept so we figure it might be about time we share it actually working out! Recently a fast casual restaurant opened its doors in Bloomington, Indiana called Hive. Hive employs roughly 45 employees and has been tip-free since inception! How they made this model work was the fact that they opened their doors with (roughly) 20% higher menu prices than their competition in the area to make up for their increased labor costs. If there is any occasional push back on the price, which there occasionally is, the manager will simply remind the customer of the high quality ingredients they use and that there is no tip involved (though lots of people refuse to tip-tipped workers so we have our doubts about that method).

Front of house workers at Hive make between $8 and $10 an hour while Back of House makes between $11 and $12 so far with his aim to pay BoH between $14 and $18 an hour (double FoH). Hive expects to start generating a cash-flow sometime early next year (should they stay afloat) but they are confident that they’ll make it, we will have our eye on them as this is the most recent example we can think of for ‘tip-free’. 

The owner of Hive also said that he would never recommend going tip-free in full service restaurants because he believes that reversing a labor model that relies on tipping would just be too difficult for existing establishments to handle. We’d tend to agree with him, if it isn’t tip-free from the get go then the employee backlash from a change so drastic would likely be enough to fold any restaurant. Good luck out there folks, one day we may find an acceptable middle ground…

[Source: Skift]