Last Fall, Danny Meyer's high-end NYC restaurant The Modern eliminated tipping entirely for servers, coat checks, and anyone else. This "hospitality included" (or HI) system takes the historical average tip revenue and rolls that into menu prices.
A key reason was to make compensation more fair between servers — who usually enjoy all the tip revenue — and other restaurant staff like chefs, who usually get paid far less for equally-demanding work.
Early feedback was positive, and Meyer just rolled out HI to a second restaurant, Maialino. Other restaurants across the country are experimenting with HI too. One Brooklyn group even made a logo to hang in restaurant windows (shown here).
But as reported in The Atlantic, adoption of HI dining has been halting.
Shopper behavior is often irrational. And changing cultural habits is a daunting task. But Disruptive change like this has happened in the past: price tags, credit cards, bar codes, self-checkout, and now mobile pay have all radically changed shopping habits.
Good luck, Danny Meyer.
Image Source: gratuityfree.nyc