New York –   New York‘s restaurateur and head of the Union Square Hospitality Group, Daniel Meyer, announced that he will adopt a non-tipping policy at the group’s 13 restaurants. This idea aims to create a feasible policy to ensure that restaurant’s workers are not relying on their tips. They want to avoid servers’ income fall and reduce the stretch wage gap between servers who earn tips and kitchen staff who don’t.

Some of the most acclaimed restaurants in New York, such as Gramercy Tavern and the Union Square Cafe, as well as other restaurants in Seattle and Chicago, have jumped into the non-tipping policy wagon. They have announced their new measure to end the practice of tipping in order to equally compensate employees.

Server picking up a cash tip Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK/Boston Magazine

Mr. Meyer declared that he plans to pay higher wages to the staff and transfer the cost to customers by increasing prices on menus. The wage gap between customers and staff is only one of the many problems of tipping and this is affecting people who work in important and recognized restaurants.

Why is this important?

The important aspect of Mr. Meyer’s policy resides in how the whole tipping process may be changed, including the legal part, wich has converted tipped work in a way to poverty for most servers.

The executive vice president of policy and government affairs at the National Restaurant Association, Cicely Simpson, explained how America’s restaurant industry is helping and improving the nation’s economy and its opening pathways to success for over 14 million Americans. She further recommended to let the restaurants decide what’s better for those people, who work hard, to keep the industry growing.

 “With over 1 million restaurants nationwide, the restaurant industry is filled with unique business models, ownerships and varying concepts. It is vital that restaurants continue to have the freedom to choose what works best for their business and their employees.” Said Simpson to CNN.

Moreover, some people are worried about how this new measure may affect the whole industry, in the case of small bars or restaurants.

“The new model could work in Meyer’s restaurants because he draws a particular type of clientele who are there for a high-end experience. And he clearly trusts his employees and his customers and wants to take care of them both. If his clientele pay $40 for a steak now, they can probably absorb a $50 price tag. The real question is how it would affect the industry […] If restaurants charge more for meals, they’ll pay higher taxes. As restaurants move to higher wages, the benefit costs will be higher, too. As transportation and food costs rise, so does the cost of doing business, which are normally reflected in higher costs on the menu. I’m sure Meyer’s latest move will be a winner, let’s just hope isn’t a recipe for disaster for smaller restaurants.” Said Mel Robbins CNN commentator and legal analyst, in the CNN report.

Source: CNN