SAUK RAPIDS -- To tip or not to tip, that is the question. At Urban Lodge Brewery and Restaurant in Sauk Rapids they decided to test out the no-tipping model.

Urban Lodge owner Roy Dodds says the no tipping model took off last year with restaurants from New York to L.A. changing their policies.  But he says their success was short lived.

"There was another restaurant group that did a survey study, they had 40 stores and they did a very thorough study of their customer base and surveyed them. What they found among st their customers were three things. First off those that liked the no tipping concept really love it and they gush about it."

Although the survey revealed those that loved not tipping, loved not tipping, it also gave some insight to those who prefer to have the choice.

"Sixty percent of their customers didn't like it because they felt like they were forcing them to tip by raising prices, even though you're paying higher wages and it didn't change your bottom line as a restaurant owner, they felt like you were requiring them to tip and most people prefer to choose how to tip based on the service they do receive."

Dodd's says high turnover was also an issue the survey pointed out. Several servers would train at a no tipping restaurant, quit once they gained experience and moved on to working at a restaurant that accepts tips.

At Urban Lodge they conducted their own customer survey and the results were similar.

"We found those same two things, the ones who love it, gush about it and the ones who want to control how they tip just don't like it and they are very quiet about that. So that's what's made us decide to go back to a traditional service model."

At Urban Lodge they had the no-tipping policy for just under six months. Since Urban Lodge has gone to a traditional tipping policy, Dodds says staff and customers have been happy with the decision.

(Chrissy Gaetke, WJON)
(Chrissy Gaetke, WJON)

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