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The No-Tipping Trend


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Move the decimal point one place to the left and double that number to find twenty percent gratuity. Maybe leave one dollar per drink. Or, don’t tip at all.

A trend spearheaded in the Twin Cities by Upton 43 and Heirloom leaves the complications of tipping to restaurants by factoring gratuity into the price of each dish or adding a flat service charge to every order. Hutton said the new method controls for arbitrary decision-making involved at best, or at worst, racist and sexist decisions at play.

The departure of variable gratuity also controls for differences in job difficulty among staff. While servers may double their wage with tips, those behind the scenes often end a busy night without an extra dollar in sight.

The experiment isn’t without its complications though. Recently, Upton 43 dropped its no-tipping policy after only a month.

Hear editor Rachel Hutton and MPR Classical’s John Birge weigh the pros and cons of this new approach to service.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

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