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Could a no-gratuity model mark the end of tipping? In some New York restaurants, it has
New York restaurateur Danny Meyer announced via open letter that his 13 restaurants will ditch tipping in the next year. According to Mic, Meyer said many staff are stiffed when it comes to tip money, but will people be turned off by higher prices? - photo by Payton Davis
Within the next year, diners at 13 New York restaurants will no longer have to calculate tip amounts in their heads and through clever smartphone apps.

Why's that?

Because New York restaurateur Danny Meyer announced via open letter Wednesday he's eliminating the practice at his establishments to "make pay more equitable," Zeeshan Aleem wrote for Mic.

"We believe hospitality is a team sport, and that it takes an entire team to provide you with the experiences you have come to expect from us," Meyer's letter read. "Unfortunately, many of our colleagues our cooks, reservationists, and dishwashers to name a few aren't able to share in our guests' generosity, even though their contributions are just as vital to the outcome of your experience at one of our restaurants."

Kathryn Vasel wrote for CNN Money tipping regulations lead to differences in pay between front workers and those in the kitchen. Meyer's move should foster growth financially and professionally among the 1,800 workers at Union Square Hospitality Group, which operates the 13 restaurants.

Without tips, menu prices will increase 25 percent to 35 percent, according to BBC News.

And Aleem noted Meyer's hospitality group will raise pay for "traditionally untipped" workers and "institute a restaurant-run revenue-sharing program for servers," which will roughly match what they received in tips.

However, Lexi Dwyer and Alessandra Bulow reported for Today that the no-gratuity model isn't entirely new.

"Some high-end restaurants like Sushi Yasuda and Per Se in New York City already use the no-gratuity model, as do eateries like Ivar's Salmon House in Seattle, where an $11 minimum wage went into effect in April, and will gradually increase to $15 over the next several years," Dwyer and Bulow's report read.

Restaurateur-chief Tom Colicchio even went a step further than Meyer. Colicchio eliminated tips during lunch at New York City's Craft and said he suspects "that 10 years from now, no one will know what a tip is," according to Today.

Meyer does provide a "high-profile" example of the strategy, though, and his restaurants' new method does seem to address a nationwide issue in dining, Maura Judkis wrote for The Washington Post. Servers often make three times what cooks earn off tips, though a waiter's minimum wage is less.

That creates animosity, Meyer told Eater.

"I hate those Saturday nights where the whole dining room is high-fiving because they just set a record, and they're counting their shekels, and the kitchen just says, 'Well boy, did we sweat tonight,'" Eater quoted Meyer saying.

Judkis reported the tip system also proves unjust to servers, "whose livelihoods depend on the whims of hard-to-please guests." Advocates of better wages for restaurant workers applauded Meyer's decision for these reasons and because of its future ramifications, Judkis noted.

Dignity and profitability are not mutually exclusive ideas at Americas restaurants, Judkis quoted wage advocate Saru Jayaraman saying. Eliminating the two-tiered wage system is essential to ensuring a fair and just future for the nations 11 million restaurant workers.
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