Joe’s Crab Shack Leads Industry in No Tipping Test

Joe's Crab Shack Leads Industry in No Tipping Test

Team Members will be paid at higher, fixed hourly rate

Joe's Crab Shack Leads Industry in No Tipping TestAs recently announced, Joe’s Crab Shack has been testing a new service model which brings an end to tipping for guests. This forward-thinking policy puts the brand at the cutting edge of the casual dining industry and reflects Joe’s commitment to being both a great place to eat and to work. This test is currently being conducted in 18 locations nationwide. No timeline is in place to implement this policy nationally; the company is testing the results of this pilot program.

“It’s simple, really. We believe that consistently great service should always be included in the menu price, so we are taking the responsibility for paying the service staff,” said Ray Blanchette, CEO, Ignite Restaurants. “I personally believe tipping is an antiquated model and you have seen most businesses in America migrate away from it over the last 50 to 100 years.”

Joe’s guests can expect the same great food and service without the obligation to leave tips. No service charge will be added to guests’ bills to replace the gratuity. Additionally, menu prices have been adjusted slightly to account for the added labor cost but the prices are typically less than the average 20 percent service tip.

The new policy, while guest-driven, is likewise intended to benefit Joe’s staff. Servers, hosts and bartenders will be paid higher, fixed hourly wages, which is expected to result in an improved team atmosphere, greater financial and employment security and reduced turnover.

“We have a responsibility to give our employees the best possible future while providing the best service to our guests. We look forward to learning more from this pilot program over the coming months,” said Blanchette.

Founded in Houston in 1991, Joe’s Crab Shack brings “100% Shore” fresh seafood, authentic flavors and Southern flair to more than 130 locations in more than 30 states. Joe’s menu features more than 25 crab items in addition to fish, lobster, mussels, clams and shrimp. The company supports causes in every neighborhood it serves and is a leading national partner with both Autism Speaks and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Joe’s is a member of the Ignite Restaurant Group (NASDAQ: IRG) portfolio of restaurants. For more information, go to