A popular New York City restauranteur is eliminating tipping in lieu of higher menu prices.
Many argue that the unprecedented change is bold, but Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group is so confident in new strategy that he is making the change at all 13 of his full-service establishments. Union Square's portfolio varies from high-end set-menu restaurants to casual dining spots and cocktail bars. Meyer's strategy has been dubbed 'Hospitality Included' and Union Square plans to roll it out in late November at its priciest eatery, The Modern at MoMA.
In a recent Union Square Cafe newsletter, Meyer writes: "The American system of tipping is awkward for all parties involved: restaurant patrons are expected to have the expertise to motivate and properly remunerate service professionals; servers are expected to please up to 1,000 different employers (for most of us, one boss is enough!); and restauranteurs surrender their use of compensation as an appropriate tool to reward merit and promote excellence."
Under the proposed 'Hospitality Included' initiative, pay will be able to reflect experience and seniority, leveling the playing field for everyone involved at the restaurant—from line cooks to front-of-house staff.
We want to know what you think: is this the new way of dining in the future, or will this be a flash-in-the-pan idea of late 2015?