Seafood chain Joe's Crab Shack is ditching the tips.
The restaurant is testing out the new policy at 18 of its locations. The restaurants are mainly in the midwest. None of them are in Florida.
In a news release, CEO Ray Blanchette called tipping an antiquated model, and something most businesses have gotten rid of in the last few decades.
"We believe that consistently great service should always be included in the menu price, so we are taking the responsibility for paying the service staff,” Blanchette said in the news release.
Servers, hosts and bartenders will be paid a higher wage, around $12. While guests will no longer be obligated to tip customers, the release does not say tipping is explicitly banned.
To compensate for the higher labor cost, Joe's has raised menu prices. The company says the increase is less than the average 20 percent tip a guest would shell out anyway.
The company says the new policy should lead to "an improved team atmosphere, greater financial and employment security and reduced turnover."
The company doesn't know yet when or if the program will be implemented across all 100+ locations nationwide.
There are seven Joe's Crab Shack locations in Central Florida, and one in Clearwater.
Some customers who ate at the location at the Daytona Beach Pier Wednesday said they'd still want to leave a tip.
"I don't ever wanna take tipping away from waiters and waitresses and bartenders, I think they should all be tipped according to their service," said Mildred Royalty, who said she was a former bartender.
While Joe's Crab Shack is the first nationwide company to move toward a no tipping policy, the concept is not a novel one. Restaurants in America's culinary centers, like New York City, have weighed ending tipping for some time. In October, the Union Square Hospitality Group announced it would end tipping at its restaurants in New York starting this month, rolling the policy out over the next year.
Proponents of the concept said it will address the growing disparity between servers and bartenders and other restaurant staff, especially cooks. It will also help servers who want to stay in the industry move up, because they won't have to fear the pay cut that might come with becoming a manager.