Big Jones is returning to a traditional tipping model. For two years we had a service charge in lieu of tipping, but we are returning to traditional tipping starting Friday April 8, 2022.
We appreciate the encouraging words from those who understood what we were trying to do and for supporting us. After listening to customers and employees, we have decided to go back to a regular tipping model.
We were using a regular tipping model from our opening in April 2008 until the pandemic started in 2020. Beginning with the pandemic in 2020, there were many changes impacting our business and our employees. Employees started wearing masks, making it hard to see whether they were smiling. Our dining room was partially closed, then fully closed. We went from dine-in, to delivery and carry-out only, and back. (We even had a donut pop-up for a while.) There have long been numerous problems with the traditional tipping model that we use in the US. Considering that and the changes caused by the pandemic, we decided to switch to a service charge model instead of old-fashioned tipping.
After trying this for two years, we have learned that it causes a lot of friction for a small number of guests, and a little friction for many guests. So, we are switching back to regular tipping.
Previously: Big Jones charges a 20% service fee instead of traditional tipping. As of June 2020, Big Jones is a tip-free restaurant. As much as we appreciate and understand the generosity of the overwhelming majority of our guests, we have come to the conclusion that it is our responsibility to make sure that each employee is treated and compensated fairly and justly. Traditional tipping does not work well in our current coronavirus scenario, where we have limited seating and servers are required to wear masks. It’s unfair to servers to have their compensation tied to tipping in this environment. Read more: William Barber on the Racist History of Tipping: www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/07/17/william-barber-tipping-racist-past-227361 www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2020/04/tipping-in-the-u-s-is-a-civil-rights-issue