“No matter what side you’re on, it’s a broken system,” said restaurateur Kevin Boehm, partner in Boka Restaurant Group, a multiconcept operation based in Chicago. His comment opened an industry panel on tipping presented on Sunday in Chicago by Union Square Hospitality Group, Danny Meyer’s restaurant company and a pioneer in exploring alternatives to compensating servers through tips. USHG introduced its “hospitality included” no-tipping policy last fall.
Since then, the model has been a hot topic of discussion in the industry, with most restaurateurs taking a wait-and-see approach as they learn from the leaders. Five of those leaders’ top learnings, hits and misses were revealed during the panel.
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