From New York to Chicago to Seattle to Los Angeles, bars and restaurants across the country are experimenting with getting rid of tipping in response to closing the pay gap between the kitchen and service staffs, or as a way to deal with the rising minimum wage. We gathered some of America’s best bartenders to ask them what they thought would happen if we got rid of tipping in America. Many believe the practice is too engrained in American restaurant culture for us to successfully abandon it. They argued the customers expect to tip and service staff need it as an incentive to thrive in the business. A few bartenders took the contrarian position, maintaining they believe getting rid of tipping could lead to a better hospitality culture, while also making wages more consistent and fair for everyone at a restaurant or bar.
Bartenders, in order of appearance:
Karen Grill, Aaron Polsky, Yael Vengroff, Alex Negranza, Eric Bennett, Anna Giordano, Erick Castro, Sean Kenyon, Giuseppe Gonzalez, Ryan Wainwright, Dan Sabo, Pam Wiznitzer, Charles Joly, Micael Neff, Chris Hannah, Eric Bugosh, Lisa Palmer, Julia Momose, Spencer Elliott, Houston Eaves, Alex Day and Sam Parrie
Producer, Director & Writer: Jeremy Repanich
Directors of Photography: Jenna Morse and Lee Fritz
Coordinating Producer: Alyson Sheppard
Editor: Backlot Digital
Executive Producer: Brian Berkowitz