Danny Meyer to eliminate tipping at NYC restaurants

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW YORK – A large group of New York City restaurants will eliminate tipping in order to increase pay for kitchen staff.

The 13 restaurants that belong to Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group will stop tipping by the end of next year.

Friends, we’ve reached the (no) tipping point,” Meyer tweeted Wednesday.  “Hospitality is a total team sport.”

These establishments range from museum cafés to acclaimed restaurants, including Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern.  The Modern, inside the MoMA, will be the first restaurant to ditch the tip, starting 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,” Meyer said in a statement.

Other restaurants that have eliminated tipping have added a mandatory surcharge to bills. However, the Danny Meyer restaurants will simply raise the price of menu items.

“Once these changes are implemented, the total cost you pay to dine with us won’t differ much from what you pay now,” Meyer said.  “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.”

Meyer says eliminating tips will raise pay for cooks and other kitchen workers, while keeping servers’ income the same. Dining room workers earn most of their income from tips.

Meyer believes the current system of tip distribution in New York City restaurants leaves kitchen workers struggling to pay rent, and could become untenable in the future.