Yeah, no.The 18% service charge might be better for the restaurant, but it's still an exercise in misleading and attempting to manipulate the customer into paying more than they otherwise would. "Mandatory service charge" (or the even more frustratingly insulting "mandatory gratuity") is one of those things where if I notice it, I leave right then and there.
This isn't to say I don't support no-tip restaurants. I do! I've been to them, and given them my service - but if you're going to be a no-tip restaurant, do it honestly and actually charge the price you're going to charge, like they do in practically every other country I've visited, instead of using it as an opportunity to lie on your prices. Don't pull the wool over customers eyes, robbing them of their illusion of control (and let's be honest, actual control - options are options even if not taking, and the option and feeling of control is definitely some of what the tip is paying for) WHILE still attempting to manipulate them into thinking they are paying less than they are.
It's also... pretty arrogant to think he's the first no-tip restaurant in America, something that is pretty blatantly false. I actuallly... don't like his attitude at all.
But the ultimate point, that we are better off without tipping, still stands. At least for restaurant service.
I still considering tipping the way to go for barbering, where you really don't know the quality of what you're going to get before you get it, and I've never felt beholden to giving a "standard tip".