NYC restaurant tycoon Danny Meyer recently announced that he is going to end tipping in his establishments.
Without a standardized included gratuity, tipping is a practice that varies greatly from person to person, which means that for those working in the service industry income can be extremely fickle.
Furthermore, the practice doesn’t take into consideration all of the workers in our favorite restaurants. Meyer wrote in an open letter explaining his decision that, “Unfortunately, many of our colleagues–our cooks, reservationists and dishwashers, to name a few–aren’t able to share in our guests’ generosity, even though their contributions are just as vital to the outcome of your experience at one of our restaurants.”
The elimination of tipping would mean a price increase of about 21 to 25 percent on menu items. Meyer plans to split the service charge equally among all employees, ensuring that everybody receives these benefits.
Including a gratuity charge in a check is not an altogether new concept. In Japan, for example, tipping is not part of the culture; rather, restaurant workers are salaried and gratuity costs are built into checks.
Meyer’s pledge, though, is certainly a significant one in NYC, and it has the potential to create waves in the industry. It’s not unlikely that such a move could lead to changes in restaurants across the boards.
Featured photo by Steve Snodgrass.