Danny Meyer is looking to make the restaurant industry more equitable for all employees. As one of New York City’s leading restauranteurs, Meyer hopes to set a standard for the industry by fairly compensating all employees and improving the dining experience across the board.
Restaurants in Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group will soon be rolling out a new policy called “Hospitality Included,” which forbids diners from leaving tips on credit cards and cash tips will be strongly discouraged. Yes, Mayer and his group will be banning tips.
The ban on tips will be accompanied by an increase in menu prices across the board, which will allow the restaurants to provide workers are fair and reliable wage. Meyer tells Easter New York, the increased prices will more accurately reflect the true cost of fine dining.
All employees who contribute to the dining experience, from the dishwasher to the host, will be fairly compensated for their work. According to Meyer, the practice of tipping results in an industry with underpaid cooks and a shortage of good kitchen staff, especially in a high cost of living city like New York.
This is not the first time Meyer has attempted to ban tipping. He tried to implement a similar practice back in 1994. At the time, the public and wait staff were not ready for such a change, but he expects things to be different this time around.
“We think that the more of our restaurants we do this with, the safer it will be for all of them,” Meyer said. “And we think the more of the restaurants we change over, the more courage, hopefully, that will create for other restaurants to join in, which would then turn this into a virtuous cycle.”
Tipping has become a standard practice throughout the United States, however, tipping is not a common practice across much of the rest of the world. In fact, many countries view tipping as an insult, as it essentially undermines the dignity of working for a steady wage.
In order for this practice to work, customers will need to be receptive of the new changes.
The new changes will affect some of the most iconic restaurants in New York City, including: The Modern, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, and Porchlight. Visitors of these restaurants should expect the transition to occur in late November of this year.