They gave it a good try. Le Pigeon and Little Bird Restaurants have returned to a normal tipping program –
Return to Traditional Tip Model
Last year, we implemented a gratuity-free payment model at both of our restaurants. While we are proud to have experimented with this format, it unfortunately, did not work as well as we would have hoped. Our hope was that it would enable us to better support all of our employees in different & better ways, and improve our guests’ experience. While it was successful in many ways for some, it was not so for all. Some embraced it and some did not. Starting on Monday (May 22nd) at Little Bird and Tuesday (May 23rd) at Le Pigeon, we will return to a traditional tip model for payments. We are and have always been, committed to supporting our employees and offering our guests the best service and hospitality experience we can. We will continue to welcome new ideas and try new things in order to provide even better experiences for our guests and our staff in the future.
One issue that these types of tipping models have, is the public perception that, by marking up a bottle of wine 20%, those who buy expensive bottles end up paying an “unfair share”. A few months ago, a reader wrote, “Why should I pay more if I buy a higher priced wine? It’s the same amount of work no matter what I pick.” I asked a few random people who they felt about this, and several others had the same concern. It seems to me, if this is the pervasive attitude, overall wine sales may have dropped.