Operating a Profitable Restaurant – Episode 7


No matter which¬†stance you hold on tipping, the restaurant industry has and will continue to be vastly effected as the American tip culture unfolds. Not only will this seemingly European ideal have a tremendous impact on the overall guest experience, but it’s undoubtedly going to change the fabric within restaurants entirely. The dynamic will change between guest and server, roles will alter within management positions, and the general public will either catch on or cut out…

In this episode of Operating a Profitable Restaurant, RSI Partner and Strategic Development Officer, Matt Vannini takes the plunge into the polarizing conversation around the future of tipping in America. For those of you who haven’t yet read Danny Meyer’s pivotal interview on eliminating tipping within his restaurants, you’ll hear a brief summary in this Podcast as Matt joins 509 Management Company, founder and partner, Ken Hughes while they map out the implications for this quickly growing movement. Ken is a seasoned veteran in the restaurant industry and well established in the Washington restaurant scene as the owner of Jak’s Grills (3 locations), Sunset Alehouse, Greenlake Alehouse, and El 42 Cantina.

In a culture so ritualized to tipping for service, where do you begin explaining to your guests that a 20% service cost has now been baked into your menu pricing, but ensure them the service will remain unparalleled? How do you motivate your team members when tips are obsolete, yet that’s all they’ve ever known in the business? What significance does this have on your hiring strategies, and how does it compare from the big guy in town to the little guy around the corner? To hear Ken’s thoughts on tipping, the guest experience, staff motivation and the effects this ideal poses to the industry, tune in to this week’s episode and get an insider’s look on Hospitality Included.