As it turns out, 2015 might be remembered as the year restaurants run by well-known chefs embraced a no tipping policy. Following Tom Colicchio's decision to end tipping during lunch service at Craft, his former business associate Danny Meyer followed suit, sharing that he would 86 tipping altogether at his Union Square Hospitality Group establishments. And with more and more places taking part in this revolution, Tom revealed why he wanted to do it in the first place.
"For me, I'm doing it because I feel that I should be the one who compensates my staff — and I shouldn't leave it up to a 100 different guests a night to decide how much they're going to leave," the Top Chef judge told The Daily Dish. "There's also studies that have been done that the amount of tip that's left has very little to do with service — it has more to do with your accent, the color of your skin, your gender. I don't think that's a fair way to compensate people. And so I would rather do that."
By all accounts, Tom's staff has been very comfortable with this move. "So far, it's been fine. We're only doing it at lunch right now. We're still kicking around the idea of doing it for dinner. But, so far, the staff's OK with it. No one's quit, that's a good sign because a lot of restaurants have done it and people just quit," he explained. "So no one's quit, they're staying around. So far, we're fine."
While it seemed like the movement was mostly contained to the island of Manhattan, back in November, Joe's Crab Shack also got in on the action, perhaps signifying that there is no end in sight. "Another restaurant, [Eleven Madison Park], just announced they're going away from tips," Tom further noted. "Per Se has been doing it for years now, so I think it's a trend that's going to continue, yes."
While we wait and see what other restaurants will join the movement, you can catch a new episode of Top Chef every Thursday at 10/9c. Check out a preview below.
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