Changes to Tips and Service Charges – Examples

With the increase in minimum wage, and the discrepancy this can cause for back of the house employees, many Washington restaurants have moved to a service charge model.
Here are some examples of their wording. 

 – Maximilien Service Charge Webpost

 – Tom Douglas Service Charge Model Letter (PDF)

 – Ivar’s Explanation of Cost Increase and Tipping Changes

– Tutta Bella’s Explanation of Service Charges (extensive)

 – Iron Rabbit’s Letter to Guests about Service Charge

The 10 restaurants of the Huxley Wallace Collective (Seattle) have the following statement at the bottom of their menus: In lieu of gratuity, a 20% service charge is added to each bill. This charge is retained by “the house”, and 100% is distributed to our team in the form of wages and benefits. You have many options to dine in this city and we are grateful you chose us. 

Six Sea Creatures restaurants use the following statement: {20% service charge added to each bill. This charge is retained by the house, 100% of which is distributed to staff.} Thank you for dining at ____________.

Indochine (Tacoma) has the following statement on their menu and website:
Indochine includes an 18% Service Charge on all guest checks. The entirety of this Service Charge is retained by the house, of which 100% is distributed to our staff in the form of wages and commissions. Any tip left for the service staff is entirely optional.


Instituting service charges can be complicated, and businesses should be sure they are aware of the regulations surrounding this issue and in compliance. If you are considering a service charge after the passage of I-1433 please read our HERO manual page 35-37. These two pages offer in-depth answers to tricky questions and what the legal requirements are regarding service charges. The HERO manual is a free membership benefit. You can also read our article and FAQ on service charges (with examples).

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