Some restaurants in New York City owned by mogul Daniel “Danny” Meyer are piloting a new “hospitality included” initiative, which is essentially just a euphemism for “no tipping.” Meyer’s restaurant, the Modern, rolled out the policy Thursday, Nov. 19.
The restaurant raised its menu prices to compensate for the lack of tipping. Instead of the profits from tips funneling only to wait staff, the initiative will disperse the profits from the higher prices to all employees, including back-of-the-house cooks and dishwashers.
It’s no secret that college students dine out frequently. Here are some students’ opinions on this new “hospitality included” policy.
“All of the articles about what’s happening in New York City, that’s very much New York City. That’s very much these very upper, higher-class restaurants, so you’re getting higher tips. They were talking about these waiters making $40,000 a year, that’s not the norm, it’s like $15,000 a year, so for this to happen in that kind of environment [New York City], I understand it … The way I see it is if they’re upset that the cooks aren’t being paid that much, they need to pay the cooks more, it’s not the fault of the waiters …
“I definitely think there are a lot of cons to tipping … [but] also, sometimes, people are just kind of crappy and they don’t tip, they don’t think that they have to, they don’t understand that’s the way [wait staff] are supposed to make their money is through tipping because they don’t get paid minimum wage.”
Second-year Adilyne “Ady” McKinlay
McKinlay grew up in a restaurant family. Her mom has been a waitress for a large part of her life.
“I’m more giving with my tip, only because I understand more how stress can affect personalities and how you deal with people,” Nieves said when asked if working in food service affected the way she tips. “I would say that it made me a lot more cognizant, a lot more understanding. I mean I did it before, but [working food service] was the extra kick.”
Second-year Briana “Bree” Nieves
Nieves is an employee at the Four Winds Cafe. This has been the café’s strongest year in tips, which Nieves attributes to the leadership of manager and alum Olivia Levinson (’11), and a more familial staff than in past years.
“Tipping is used a lot to take advantage of servers, employer’s withholding credit card tips, etc. On the other hand serving is about the only job that doesn’t require a high school degree that you can make a decent living off of because of our tipping culture. Tipping is always such an awkward interaction though, but one that benefits servers usually.”
Third-year Catherine Wooster
Wooster has five years of experience as a server.
“I think it’s a great idea because it takes a lot of pressure off the staff. How big your tip is can be influenced by so many factors like who happens to sit at your table, whether they are easily pleased people, how fast the food is made, etc. I don’t think patrons should be barred from tipping altogether. If the service is outstanding then yes people should be rewarded for the effort they put into making your meal a great experience. In other countries, like Germany for example, the tip is included but you can still give them ‘trinkgeld’ which is basically like an extra tip
… There’s no expectation because at the end of the day they’ll still make enough money to pay their bills.”
Second-year Kira Thoenes
Information for this article was gathered from usatoday.com and nytimes.com.