GGRA’s Official Statement on the Price-Fixing Lawsuit

The Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) is an organization that provides education, training, and resources to its member restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.  Our goal is to ensure that our member restaurants thrive and that they provide the best possible food, service, and dining experiences to the public.  

For some years now, there has been a wide-ranging public discussion about the issue of tipping in restaurants.   Laws in some states prohibit waitstaff from sharing their tips with chefs, cooks, and other “back of house” staff.   This has led to concerns about disparities in income between waitstaff and back of house staff.   Some in the industry, and in the public at large, have proposed that this disparity can be addressed by eliminating tipping and raising menu prices by a percentage approximately equivalent to the tip.  The additional funds could then be used to pay wait staff and back of house staff more uniformly.

GGRA has helped facilitate discussions of this issue among its members.  Some restaurants have adopted a “no tipping” policy, and have found that it works well for them, their staff, and their diners.  Others have opted to retain traditional tipping.  The choice is theirs.

GGRA recently learned that a plaintiff’s lawyer has filed a lawsuit alleging that GGRA and a number of restaurants somehow violated anti-trust laws with respect to their discussions of possible no-tipping policies.  Although we have not yet had an opportunity to fully review the lawsuit, GGRA is confident that it has broken no laws simply by facilitating a public discussion of this important issue.  GGRA has a very strong anti-trust compliance policy that we adhere to and reminds the membership of our role in upholding it.  We expect to be fully vindicated in court.

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