American Company First To Ban Gratuities

October 15, 2015

Gratuities (or tipping) have always been an American ‘thing’. Whilst cruise ships of other nationalities also have automatic gratuity policies on-board it’s always been the American ones where it’s been the most obvious and received the most vocal complaints from guests.

However in a bold move one New York restaurateur is looking to reverse that trend by banning tipping in all of his restaurants and paying his staff a fair wage instead.

The man behind the move is Danny Meyer, who owns thirteen restaurants in New York, including The Modern. In a statement released to the press today he said that tipping is an unfair system as it only benefited a few restaurant workers. Whilst waiting staff can receive salary top ups with this method, behind the scenes staff like chefs and kitchen workers could not.

“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,”

The new policy, which will be introduced from next month, will see menu prices increase from between 25-35%; however it’s hoped most guests won’t notice a difference as this extra would have been around what they were tipping anyway.

Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, said Mr Meyer’s decision could have a ripple effect in the industry.

“I think that because it is Danny Meyer and he is considered a leader in the restaurant industry, that a lot of people are going to look at this move,” she said.

What are your thoughts on tipping? Do you just pay your automatic grats or do you still like to tip the staff you want to in person (or do you remove them all together)?

Should cruise lines be following Danny Meyer’s example?

Let us know in the comments below…