Union Square Hospitality Group Topples Tipping

Written By Scott Joseph On October 14, 2015

tip jar

Back in August we discussed that there was another movement afoot to dismantle the largely American practice of tipping in restaurants. We noted at the time that this isn’t a new thing — people have been talking about it for decades — but that with calls for paying higher wages to people in hospitality the time might finally be here.

Now Danny Meyer, one of the most successful restaurateurs in the country, has announced that he will do away with the practice of tipping servers at all 13 of his Union Square Hospitality Group properties. They include such celebrated restaurants as Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern. As the New York Times reported Wednesday, the Modern, the well-regarded Michelin-starred restaurant inside the Museum of Art, will be the first to make the change. Instead of adding a mandatory service fee to the bill, as some restaurants with no-tipping policies have done, Meyer’s restaurants will raise menu prices. 

A person who answered the phone at the Modern Wednesday said that he did not know when the new policy would go into effect and that the staff members were having a meeting in the afternoon to learn more about it. He said there were a lot of mixed feelings among the servers. According to the Times, the other 12 restaurants would follow by the end of 2016.

Danny Meyer is also the man behind the popular Shake Shack chain, which will not be part of the new policy, so feel free to leave your change behind when you pay for your burger.

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