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Danny Meyer Says His No-Tipping Policy Is Either Brilliant — or the "Worst" Restaurant Idea Ever

The restaurateur brought a radical change to the hospitality industry, but is it working?

New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, who has been a guest judge on Bravo's Top Chef and is a good friend of Tom Colicchio, has shaken up the hospitality industry over the past few years by introducing a no-tipping policy at his restaurants and encouraging colleagues to do the same. Tom and many other restaurant owners around the country adopted the idea, which involves a 20 to 30 percent increase of menu prices in order to pass on guaranteed wage increases to staff rather than leave it at the mercy of diners trying to figure out how much to tip, but Tom (and many others) eventually went back to the tried-and-true tipping model after struggling with the new business model. 

Meyer now acknowledges the riskiness of adopting the no-tipping strategy, and said it has polarized people into either loving or hating the idea.

“I think it would be premature to say we have it down,” Meyer told Wall Street Journal of the no-tipping model. “In retrospect we were a little too overly ambitious.” He's still committed to working with it, but admitted that it will eventually pan out to be either “the greatest decision or the worst.”

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