The Linkery Restaurant is Different – Is that Bad?

The Linkery restaurant has been praised for the unique way it conducts its restaurant business. It was a farm-to-table restaurant that had a strict no-tipping policy. The ingredients came from local farmers. “Most people didn’t think it could be done, or at least not by us, but we were willing to do things totally “out of the box” and, one way or another, things work out.” The restaurant occasionally received emails and messages from people who did not like the way they ran their restaurant – that they listed all the farms on their menu, or that told the details of the changing menu. Perhaps most importantly, for their decision to charge for table service instead of taking tips.

In fact, in March 2010, the San Diego City Attorney’s office contacted The Linkery’s owner claiming that the restaurant violated California Business and Professions Code Section 12024.2 for unfair competition and making untrue or misleading representations about pricing. The restaurant charged an additional 18% on the total food bill for the service. This cost was clearly displayed on signs and on the menu to make it clear that the food has one price and the service another. Furthermore, takeouts were not subject to this service charge. Despite this, San Diego City Attorney’s office argued that the practice violated the Code Section 12024.2 for unfair competition and making untrue or misleading representations about pricing, even though many other similar businesses, such as caterings use the same system.

The attorney office backed from its claim and The Linkery was off the hook.

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