Wednesday, October 14, 2015

News Elsewhere: Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group to Eliminate Tipping at Its Restaurants

A major restaurant group that is based in New York is getting ready to do something that could rock the entire industry.

Eater is reporting that Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group is going to eliminate tipping at its 13 full-service dining spots starting in November--and it will "significantly" raise its prices that will allow wages to be increased. The article says that according to Union Square Cafe's newsletter, Meyer would love to see restaurants in the United States change over to the type of system found in Europe where menu prices would be all-inclusive, saying that "The American system of tipping is awkward for all parties involved." Come late November, Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants will slowly begin to switch over to the new system (which will take a year to complete and begins with a two-month trial run at The Modern), with tip lines ultimately being eliminated from the guest checks, according to Eater.

[November 16 update: According to an article in the New York Times, Danny Meyer's no-tipping "experiment" begins at The Modern this Thursday (November 19).]

Union Square Hospitality Group runs such spots as The Modern, Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, Eleven Madison Park, Marta, and Shake Shack, the last of which has several locations in the Boston area and will apparently not be part of this new system, since it is counter-service only.

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[Note: Please join the Friends of Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook Group Page to get more info on dining spots and also chat with others about Boston-area restaurants.]