It seems ludicrous to even ask the question, but we are putting it out there - should restaurants raise prices and eliminate tipping?

We raise the question after seeing a story in the Denver Post about a group of restaurants in New York that are eliminating tipping and raising prices - to "create a fair wage system for employees."

Danny Meyer, the owner of the restaurants says the tipping system isn't fair to all restaurant workers since they aren't allowed to share in gratuities, even though they all have a part in the consumer services.

Only a handful of restaurants nationwide have tested the concept of a non-tipped environment, and Christen Fernandez of the the National Restaurant Association says restaurants should have the freedom to decide what works best for them.

In our tipped-and-taxed-to-death society, it's doubtful  things will ever change - but would we even want it to? Would we be willing to pay 20% more for our food if there was no tip to leave? Would the service we receive suffer because there was no longer substantial incentive for the wait staff to go out of their way to make us happy? Would we pay the higher prices but, still, somehow feel obligated to leave a tip?

Either way, there is no scenario in which we end up paying less than we do now when we go out for a meal, so, from the consumer's stand point, it would seem to be better leaving it the way it is. At least now, you control how much more you are going to pay out. On the other hand, if eliminating tipping means higher wages for the workers, then maybe that is the way to go.

Take the poll below, leave your comments,  and tell us what you think. We'd also love to hear how waiters and waitresses feel about the idea of raising wages and eliminating tips. After all, this is mostly about them.

[DENVER POST]