Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

No tipping allowed at new Fishtown brasserie

Cristian Mora and chef Brian Oliveira - who plan to open Girard, a French BYO brasserie/bruncherie, in Fishtown - say they will pay their workers about $11 an hour, provide health insurance and offer sick days and profit sharing as part of the compensation.

No tipping allowed at new Fishtown brasserie

Cristian Mora (left) and chef Brian Oliveira across the street from what will be Girard (Photo: David Palumbo)
Cristian Mora (left) and chef Brian Oliveira across the street from what will be Girard (Photo: David Palumbo)

When you go to a restaurant where you're served by a waiter, you're expected to leave a tip.

But the no-tipping movement - which seems to be gaining some traction in the U.S. - is coming to Philadelphia.

Cristian Mora and chef Brian Oliveira - who plan to open Girard, a French BYO brasserie/bruncherie, in Fishtown - say they will pay their workers about $11 an hour, provide health insurance and offer sick days and profit sharing as part of the compensation. 

Girard is on target for a September opening at Girard Avenue and Marlborough Street, just down the block from Stock, the new pho shop.

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Girard, a BYOB coming to Fishtown, intends to pay its servers a living wage to eliminate the need for tipping. Is this a good idea?
It's a great idea. This policy works fine elsewhere in the world.
It's a terrible idea. Staff has no incentive to perform.

Mora said menu prices would be 10 percent to 30 percent higher, item by item, than similar restaurants.

The restaurant will be reservation-only. "We don't want people to wait," Mora said. "There won't even be a waiting list." Walk-ins would be seated only at an open table.

Mora and Oliveira met in 2011 while both were working at Parc, where Mora still works as a server. Oliveira, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who did his externship at the former James in South Philadelphia, manages Honest Tom's Taco Shop in West Philadelphia and sells soups and stocks.

The space, being built from the ground up, is next to Mora's apartment.

In addition to 70 seats inside and outside, Girard will offer grab-and-go selections.

Architect Joshua Otto, a co-nominee this year for a James Beard Award for Tria Taproom, plans a stark design inspired by pop art with white marble counter tops and tabletops, an open stainless steel kitchen and reclaimed hardwood floors for a European look and feel. 

Scope menu here. Oliveira will book brunch standards as well as liquefied fruits and vegetables, which are presented as “Liquid Breakfast.” Among the dinner entrees will be a rôti (roast) du jour. Tuesday will be Denver lamb ribs; Wednesdays, roasted cauliflower; Thursdays, crown roast of pork; Fridays, whole roasted fish; Saturdays, ribeye au jus; Sundays, venison ossobucco. 

Though it's BYOB, they'll offer infusions and mixers for mocktails.

Michael Klein Philly.com
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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