Schwartz Brothers Restaurants in Seattle joins others locally and beyond in saying goodbye to the practice of tipping.
Following in the recent footsteps of Seattle steakhouse El Gaucho, Schwartz Brothers Restaurants has announced that its three Seattle locations — Daniel’s Broiler Leschi, Daniel’s Broiler Lake Union and Chandler’s Crabhouse — are ending tipping. A 20 percent service charge will be automatically added to guest checks at those locations beginning April 5. No changes are planned for the pricing structure at the company’s other two restaurants, Daniel’s Broiler Bellevue and Spazzo in Redmond Town Center, at this time.
In addition to El Gaucho, Renee Erickson, Tom Douglas and the Huxley Wallace Collective have gone the service-charge or service-included route as Seattle’s minimum wage rises, generally pledging to keep servers at competitive compensation levels while increasing pay to the historically less-well-compensated back-of-the-house workers. The practice of tipping also has been criticized for being racist, sexist and ineffective. Nationwide, other restaurateurs including New York’s prominent Danny Meyer are also making the change.
After “several months analyzing all of the different pricing models and observing the impact to employees and customers at other restaurants that have made pricing changes,” CEO Lindsey Schwartz wrote in an email, “we’ve come to the same conclusion as many of our peers.” Schwartz notes that “an additional optional gratuity [will] be available at each guest’s discretion, but not expected.”
Schwartz’ email says that many patrons “have noticed and commented on the large number of team members that have been with the company for many years,” and that the change “will allow us to continue to offer competitive compensation and benefits to our outstanding team members.”
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“As in the past” — and as with El Gaucho’s similar announcement — the email notes that guests should consult a manager should they have any issues with food or service, and the company will “make it right.”