Customers at Canary by Gorji in Addison/Dallas will no longer tip their servers. It's a controversial move.

Customers at Canary by Gorji in Addison/Dallas will no longer tip their servers. It's a controversial move.

Mona Reeder/Staff Photographer

Chef-owner Mansour Gorji wanted to eliminate tipping from his Addison-area restaurant Canary by Gorji long before it became a national, buzzy topic.

"I have been thinking about this for a long time, actually," says chef-owner Mansour Gorji. "I decided at the end to just conquer my fears and see what happens."

"I have been thinking about this for a long time, actually," says chef-owner Mansour Gorji. "I decided at the end to just conquer my fears and see what happens."

Mona Reeder/Staff Photographer

"I think it is a natural way of doing restaurant business," he says. 

On Tuesday, Gorji will eliminate tips at his restaurant and raise wages for his employees to better balance the pay for servers and kitchen staff. The Dallas Observer reported the news first. Menu prices in his restaurant will increase 18 to 20 percent on average, according to a statement from the restaurant.

The no-tipping movement has made headlines for about a year now, with celebrity chefs like Tom Colicchio speaking up about it. Restaurateurs who eliminate tips say they want to focus on great service and equalize pay. Gorji believes customers will have a better experience if servers aren't worried that they need to "turn tables" and get more customers in the door.

"We don't have to rush you through your food," he says. "If you want something very simple, we won't try to upsell you."

The no-tipping policy is popular in Europe, Gorji points out. 

Gorji runs an unusual business anyhow. His upscale New Mediterranean restaurant in the Addison/Far North Dallas area doesn't allow children. 

There isn't enough space in his small restaurant, the chef says.

Canary By Gorji

He also doesn't allow customers to wait for tables. If there's an unclaimed table in his restaurant (and no reservation attached to it), Gorji's staff will happily seat those customers. But if all the tables are full, he turns customers away.

Gorji doesn't plan to test the no-tipping policy; he says it will be permanent. And what if other Dallas restaurants don't follow suit? That's a concern for some restaurateurs: Colicchio told Bloomberg in an April 2016 story, "If everyone does it, then I think we'll see some change."

Gorji doesn't see it that way. 

"To be very honest with you, I don't care [if other restaurants join in]," the chef says. "I'm not trying to set a trend. I think this is good for me. That's all there is."

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