Danny Meyer bans tipping at his restaurants
Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer has abolished tipping at all 13 of his New York restaurants including the Gramercy Tavern and The Modern at MoMA.
From next month food and drink prices will be raised at all 13 venues in Meyers Union Square Hospitality group to make up the difference.
The Modern in New York’s Museum of Modern Art will be the first venue to abolish tipping, which will be rolled out across all of Meyer’s restaurants next year. Burger chain Shake Shack will not be effected by the changes.
Diners will be told that the hospitality will be included in the price of their meal and there won’t be the option of leaving a tip in the receipt even if they wanted to.
Viewing tipping as a “major obstacle” to career advancement in the catering industry, Meyer announced the changes in an open letter on the Union Square Hospitality website this Wednesday.
He hopes the “bold” move will democratise the restaurant business, where chefs, front of house staff and kitchen porters are often left out of the tipping process.
“We believe hospitality is a team sport, and that it takes an entire team to provide you with the experiences you have come to expect from us.
“Unfortunately, many of our colleagues 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,” he said in the open letter.
“By eliminating tipping, we will now have the ability to compensate all of our employees equitably, and those who want to grow financially and professionally will be able to earn those opportunities based on the merit of their work.
“We are making a bold decision for our team and our guests, and we don’t take this lightly. We remain more committed than ever to our promise of delivering excellent dining experiences with warm hospitality,” he added.
Mayer, who employs 1,800 people, has long been critical of America’s tipping culture, having criticised the practice for the last 20 years.