UPDATE: This has been (so far) a big year for New York City’s restaurant industry. Always the trendsetter, New York’s Fast Food Wage Board issued its polarizing recommendation to increase the minimum wage of fast food workers from $8.75 an hour to $10.50 an hour by the end of this year, with an anticipated increase to $15 per hour by 2018.
Following on the heels of this recent industry development, New York restauranteur Danny Meyer, of Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), announced through a press release on October 14, 2015, that he planned to eliminate tipping at all thirteen USHG restaurants. USHG’s no-tip policy will be rolled out at pilot restaurant The Modern in late November, with the remaining twelve USHG restaurants set to follow suit in 2016.
Many restaurant groups and owners have found themselves embroiled in wage and hour litigation respecting tipping issues. The USHG’s decision to eliminate tipping is an attempt, in part, to avoid tipping litigation. It may, however, come at a price to restaurant patrons.