PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – On Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, Rich Zeoli talked with Brian Oliveira from the Girard Brasserie and Bruncherie, a restaurant in Fishtown, about their decision to make tipping optional.

Oliveira said they felt an obligation to do more for their employees.

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“We have decided to pay our servers and our whole staff higher than normal wages. That way they don’t have to work for tips. We pay everyone, on average, about $13 an hour and they get full healthcare benefits that we pay for, paid sick time, vacation days and we are a new restaurant, but once we get going, we will have a profit sharing program as well for all the staff.”

He stated by not relying on the whims of customers, he feels servers will be better off.

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“We are not banning tips in our establishment. We just have it set up so our servers don’t have to rely on those tips to make a fair wage. They’re working 40 hours a week. They should be paid for a full week’s pay. To us, that shouldn’t be up to the customer’s opinion of that server, which sadly, a lot of times the tip will reflect an opinion or a judgment of that person and not necessarily the service they have provided.”

Oliveira did point out that tipping is still allowed and many diners still leave something.

“It’s mixed. We get some people that will leave a full tip, some people don’t leave anything, some people leave five or 10 percent. I think it is an adjustment period right now for guests as well. I think some of them feel uncomfortable not leaving a tip whereas other people are in favor of the system and will still throw down two or three bucks to show a little gratitude.”


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