After the meal comes the math.
Dining out has long included figuring out the tip when the bill arrives, but that tradition could be changing with the number of restaurants testing "no-tipping" policies is growing.
In recent months, a handful of national chains have moved to dispose of gratuity. The owner of New York City's Craft explained to CNBC's "On the Money" that the move was done in part to make his staff's pay more rational. In many states, tipped employees receive hourly wages below the minimum because of gratuity. In theory, a no-tipping policy leaves waiters and waitresses less at the mercy of tips, which can fluctuate wildly if hourly wages are boosted as a result.
Moreover, Colicchio said reaction hasn't been what one might expect.
"I'm doing it because I think that I should be able to control, or at least compensate my staff," restaurateur Tom Colicchio explained in an interview with CNBC. He started lunch service — with no tipping — at his flagship Craft restaurant in New York City's Flatiron District, last month.
Colicchio, who is also lead judge on Bravo's "Top Chef" reality show, says the reaction from diners has been positive. "Everybody's fine. There's been very little pushback at all."
As a reason for the change, Colicchio cited research into tipping behavior that examined the correlation between the service people report receiving and the tips they give.
"We know through studies at Cornell University that the amount of money left in a tip has very little do with service, it has more to do with your accent, your race or your gender," he said. "So, I'd prefer to compensate my staff."