REGION, NJ -- Joe's Crab Shack seafood restaurants may soon become the first national chain of eateries to eliminate tipping. 

"We believe that consistently great service should always be included in the menu price, so we are taking the responsibility for paying the service staff,” said Ray Blanchette, CEO, Ignite Restaurants. “I personally believe tipping is an antiquated model and you have seen most businesses in America migrate away from it over the last 50 to 100 years.”

Blanchette says that Joe’s guests can expect the same great food and service without the obligation to leave tips. No service charge will be added to guests’ bills to replace the gratuity. Additionally, menu prices will rise slightly to account for the added labor cost but increase is expected to be less than the average 20 percent tip for servers.

This test is currently being conducted in 18 locations nationwide. No timeline is in place to implement this policy nationally; the company is testing the results of this pilot program. The nearest Joe's Crab Shack is located at 4901 Stelton Road in South Plainfield.