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No Tips At Glendale's Brand 158 Because It Pays Its Waiters More

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Glendale’s new Brand 158 restaurant is setting itself apart by not allowing tips, since it apparently pays its waiters well.

Restaurant owner Gabriel Frem said he wants to pay his servers a decent wage to create a steady work environment, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times. Since there’s less competition and worry about how much money servers will make, that lack of tension will translate to better customer service, he says.

“We think that if we stabilize the lives of our employees, they can then focus on the customer,” Frem says.

One more thing: Paying in cash is strongly discouraged. Frem says it’s for sanitary resasons:

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“It’s always fascinated me in a restaurant that someone, especially your bartender, is touching cash, then squeezing a lemon in your drink. I wanted to eliminate that."

Though discouraging tipping is a common practice in Europe, it’s rarely done here, save for restaurants like Trois Mec and Nozawa Bar in L.A. Frem says he avoids charging higher-than-normal prices (pizzas run from $12 to $17, for instance) by getting his servers to do other things as well, like help with social media:

“You don’t have to make a lot of adjustments to your menu. If you’re planning smartly, you’re letting people help you with certain things in the restaurant that would require a third party to come in and do.”

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