Say goodbye to tipping at Tom Douglas' Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen and The Carlile Room.
The end of tipping is nigh at Tom Douglas Restaurants, Seattle’s largest upscale restaurant group. Douglas announced that a 20 percent service charge will replace gratuities at Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen and The Carlile Room as of Feb. 1. His other full-service restaurants are expected to follow by the end of March, as the change is “closely reviewed.”
The entirety of the 20 percent service charge “will be redistributed to our team through wages, commissions and benefits,” Douglas said in a news release. Among the goals of the change, he said, is to “provide greater compensation equity for front of house and back of house.” (The company said it based the 20 percent figure on average customer tips over the past three years.) And while Douglas’s take on Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage has not necessarily been positive in the past, he promised, “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.”
Douglas pledged to maintain the high level of benefits provided to the company’s employees, as well as to “hold menu prices to [a] competitive level.” He’s also offering a guarantee to all diners as part of the new plan: “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.”