No Tips Please, We’re New Yorkers: Checking in on the Post-Tipping World

The Modern, where profits are up since the restaurant eliminated tipping

Today, our buds at The Awl published a great examination of the post-tipping economy.

After Tipping

Writer Patrick Abatiell looks at some of the changes that have been made in New York restaurants to tackle concerns around how a tipping economy contributes to a fairly toxic environment for workers. The charge is being led by well-known restauranteur Danny Meyer, who is employing the following tactics: “Eliminate gratuity, hike menu prices, and raise worker wages.”

As Abatiell points out, this move is good for restaurants, too, which will benefit from the increased revenue — in other words, this isn’t a purely charitable decision. Vitally, the piece also addresses some of the more insidious concerns that exist in the service industry, notably pay inequality along gender and racial lines:

Women occupy only nineteen percent of chef positions industry-wide, and in any given position, a female worker can expect to earn seventy-nine percent of what a male counterpart earns. When you add race as a consideration, the outcome is even worse: According to the ROC, a black female server makes sixty percent of what a white male server does.

These numbers are boggling, and as the experts quoted here point out, extremely difficult to address. But, Abatiell says, the current interest in restaurant pricing and compensation makes this “the perfect time to push for these changes, and to think more critically about deeply rooted challenges faced by America’s eleven million restaurant employees.”

I’m curious to know if anyone has experienced these policies first-hand. Are you a restaurant employee? Or have you dined at one of these no-tipping establishments? Speak up here! And go read more at The Awl.

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