Danny Meyer Bans Tipping At His Restaurants In America – But The New ‘Hospitality Included’ Menu Will Compensate?

Danny Meyer, a successful restaurateur in New York, has a plan to ban tipping. Soon all his establishments will do away with the need to tip the serving staff.

The patrons of Danny Meyer’s multiple establishments in New York can soon simply pay their bill, without burdening themselves about the tip amount to leave behind. The restaurants will soon be promising a “guilt-free” dining experience. Interestingly though, Meyer’s restaurants may have come up with a way to cleverly add the tip into the primary food-bill by adding something called “hospitality included” in the billing system.

During an interview with Eater‘s Ryan Sutton, Danny Meyer offered his vision to do away with the practice of tipping at every single one of his Union Square Hospitality concepts. Though the process is quite gradual and may take up to a year to be successfully implemented, Meyer is confident his approach will alter people’s mindset about eating out and free them of the burden of mandatorily tipping the staff over and above the food bill.

Danny Meyer

The elimination of tipping will begin at Meyer’s The Modern restaurant at the end of November and will be gradually extended to other establishments, shared Meyer.

“Starting at The Modern in late November, you will no longer find a tip line on your check, and there will be no need to leave additional cash at the table, the coat check, or the bar. Once these changes are implemented, the total cost you pay to dine with us won’t differ much from what you pay now. But for our teams, the change will be significant. We will now have the ability to compensate all of our employees equitably, competitively and professionally. And by eliminating tipping, our employees who want to grow financially and professionally will be able to earn those opportunities based on the merit of their work.”

Meyer’s approach and logic seems sound, especially when there are prevalent laws that specifically prohibit certain restaurant workers from receiving tips. Pointing out the same, Meyer added the following.

“[Backend workers like] dishwashers and cooks are prohibited by law from getting tips even though their contributions are just as vital to the outcome of your experience at one of our restaurants.”

Despite the noble intentions, Danny Meyer’s restaurants seem to have developed an interesting system that includes the tip amount right within the bill itself. The prices in the bill presented to a patron of Danny Meyer’s restaurants are expected to increase substantially. Patrons are expected to brace themselves for a 30 to 35 percent increase in the final amount to be paid, but there won’t be any column or space to leave a tip, reported MSN. However, Meyer justified the increase by saying,

“The gap between what the kitchen and dining room workers make has grown by leaps and bounds. Kitchen income has gone up no more than 25 percent. Meanwhile, dining room pay has gone up 200 percent.”

What he meant was the hospitality included surcharge, will allow his restaurants to offer a “little something” to every single staffer employed by his company, especially those who slog in the back, but get just scraps. Meyer added that his restaurants will be paying better salaries. New employees will start with $11 per hour for back-of-the-house staffers, $14 per hour for cooks, and $9 per hour for dining-room staff reported USA Today. Moreover, the surcharge will allow employees to have their salaries fortified with a “revenue sharing program.”

Danny Meyer

Leaving a tip is usually arbitrary and at the sole discretion of the customer. There have been many heartwarming as well as confrontational situations that have arisen due to the tips and their amounts.

Danny Meyer may have stripped the customers of this right to delight or criticize a restaurant staffer with the tip amount. However, has the hospitality included surcharge ratified the mandatory tipping culture or is it a right step towards eliminating the practice?

[Image Credit | Jason Kempin, Spencer Platt, Michael Nagle / Getty Images]