As for the price increases, it's hard to imagine there will be complaints from customers. Since it's an all-tap wine bar, Lois can raise its prices in pretty small increments. So, the cheapest glass of wine only went from $5 to $6, and the most expensive liter (Lois serves large-format, too) only increased from $70 to $80.
“To reassure anyone who is worried about incentives for great service, we explain that we included a revenue share into our model, so we effectively built in a floor, but no ceiling,” O’Malley says.
So far, O’Malley notes, there has been an “overwhelmingly positive response” from Lois’ customers, as well as the staff. She also credits the positive response from customers to Meyer “for setting a highly publicized precedent.”
I asked O’Malley if she thinks other small businesses will follow suit, as there’s the the undeniable question of whether or not a small business can, in the long-term, take on something like this as seamlessly as a giant business operation. For her, it comes back to the point that there are so many different kinds of models for this movement. "What works for Danny Meyer or Eleven Madison Park likely wouldn't work at Lois or other small neighborhood bars. There is a lot of room for businesses of any size to figure out what works best for their situation. I think (and hope) we'll see a lot more small businesses trying out whatever version of ‘no tipping’ that works for them.”
With Meyer’s bars (and restaurants) rolling out their “Hospitality Included,” no-tipping program over the course of 2016 (so far, it’s only happening at The Modern), it'll be interesting to see if other bars choose to follow in Lois' footsteps.
For now, there's at least one place where you can go forth and drink your drinks without that 10-minute debate about how much you should tip.
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Lucy Meilus is Thrillist's New York editor. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.