The CEO of one of America's largest restaurant chains is eliminating tips for waiters and waitresses at 13 of its New York restaurants.

The controversial move was announced by Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, on Wednesday.

Meyer was motivated to eliminate tips because he believes the practice of tipping is unfair to the kitchen staff. Specifically the cooks who toil over hot stoves and generally do most of the key work in restaurants.

Meyer released this statement explaining his decision:

Recently, our entire company has been engaged in a robust conversation about how we can provide even more meaningful career opportunities and advancement for our 1,800 employees. It has become increasingly clear to us that a major obstacle in this endeavor is the practice of tipping.

There are countless laws and regulations that determine which positions in a restaurant may, and may not share in gratuities. 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. 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.

  • Ms.Devereaux

    Ummmm so does this means that he will be giving them a nice set hourly pay? Back when I was a waitress I was averaging about 20/her what I would do is take my time amount and divide it by the number of hours I was at work and some nights I came out making anywhere from 15-27an hour easy so 200/8hrs is 25per hr I would work Friday 5pm-1am and bring home no less than 200 so I hope this man will be paying them enough to cover tips

  • side_i

    I agree to extent, but why not just pay those ppl a little more??

  • Jackie Byrd

    he sounds ridiculous. if he wants to be fair, chop off his salary and divide it between his employees.

  • Afiya

    They add 20% to the food price and up the waitstaffs salary per hour.

  • Logics Tay

    Hi everyone. I'm technically new here, but kind of a underground vet. I've been comment creeping for years lol. Finally decided to join the gang. ........ To the topic at hand. I agree I wait tables now Thur-Sat, after work to help payback student loans and grad school tuition. On a average I can push out 250-350, just on those three nights. BUT THIS WAS AFTER OUR RESTAURANT REDUCTIONS WE CALLED "tip pool" at the end of the night the company takes a percentage of your sales, then divides it into your tip collections and subtracts a nice little bit out your earnings. They do this to help the "back of house" earn extra money as well. Say if your sales are 1300 worth of food and earn you 142 bucks they're going to tax you at least 20-25 so you'll still leave with 110+. But think about it 17-20 waiters $20-$30 (give or take) that's 500-750 a night divided by the back help. Seems so much more sensible to do.

  • Fendi

    I just had this conversation with my mom this afternoon. I have food delivered often. I am not one to place tips on debit/credit cards because I don't feel the restaurant managers or owners have the right to know what delivery people receive in tips. Tips are discretionary. Whatever I tip someone directly is what I expect them to retain. I am not concerned about the kitchen staff. I've worked my áss off for many years (in law), having rarely received a "thank you" more or less a bonus, while people who suck at their jobs are given gifts, bonuses, etc. I am a very liberal tipper, and it pisses me off to think that a CEO would ever cut tips off for their servers or delivery people. Food service has to be one of the most demanding jobs around.

  • Fendi

    Thank you!

  • Fendi

    I will tell you who doesn't need to ever leave a tip jar at a register - Starbucks. Don't charge more for coffee than some places charge for meals, then expect tips. Their profit margins are crazy, and their employees can take advantage of benefits than a lot of employees don't have in their companies. Miss me with the greed.

  • lala's not fair to the customers! How about that? Putting all that Pressure on us

  • lala

    I'm sorry but where I come from, u don't get extra money for doing your job!

  • Naima Rei Gayles

    I'm a bartender and in my home state I only get 2.13 an hour/ plus tips... I live off of tips. Most people do in this industry.

  • Yes, I’m That Leah

    Ummm. If this guy had his **** together in the first place...

    My daughter is waitress for Uncle Julio's Fine Dining Mexican restaurant in Sandy Springs. The busboys clear her tables, and make the table side fresh guacamole to order. They make the guac fresh...right at her guests table. My daughter loves tipping them out. They help her w/ the guacamole.

    As for the cooks. They get paid plenty. They couldn't care less about anything going on in the front of the house. Bar, wait, busboy... nothing. In fact, my daughter does work in the back of the house sometimes. She gets $60.00 for 3 hours worth of kitchen work... and leaves for next job at Edible Arrangements.

  • Yes, I’m That Leah

    This guy is a loser... no doubt about that.

  • the guest

    Danny Meyer is responding to underpaid disgruntled chefs and cooks by penalizing the gratuity income of servers which is unfair. What he NEEDS to do is pay his kitchen staff a fair living wage for their hard work. NYC upscale restaurants are paying chefs and cooks salaries averaging $12-$15 per hour which is not enough to survive NYC cost of living.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Wait what kind of shyt... When I worked at Barnacles servers made 2.15 cents and they had TIP out bartenders... Cooks wages were much higher than servers.... The fawk is this! Hell I was a hostess and made 8.00... Servers need those tips... ??

  • RageE

    Don't Cooks get paid more than the other staff anyway?

  • jeniefrumdabloc™


  • Yes, I’m That Leah


  • Aanelove

    Having studied hospitality, he brings a valid point. I agree with him 100%.

  • the guest

    Chefs and cooks receive salaries and health insurance, servers do not which has always been the industry trade off. For this to be fairly implemented all workers must receive salaries and health insurance-- not simply discontinue the gratuity of servers.

  • the guest

    Danny Meyer is not the first to adjust the gratuity system.

    However, there are 5 star NYC dining establishments that have done so more intelligently. Instead of eliminating gratuities, they increased the salaries of servers and pooled the servers gratuities with the kitchen with the goal of everyone making a fair and equal living. This aleviated mutual resentments of server gratuities and back of the house salaries. Here they said the goal was for everyone to enjoy the prosperity of the fine dining business.

    What Danny Meyer is doing is not good business. Why cut off an entire stream of traditional revenue when it can be pooled by the front and back of the house? He's not doing this bcause he's a worker advocate or out of the kindness of his heart. Trust me, somewhere somehow he's getting a major tax break or some other financial kick back or benefit for him to eliminate gratuities altogether.

  • Milani

    Morning Sandra, Rose of the morning to all of you.

    Interesting post. I can see where this guy is coming from, but I understand both sides though. When I worked in a few casino hotels in Atlantic City, some of the best gigs were both in the back and front of the house. The servers, bus boys (bus people for the PC) etc were only paid $3-$4 an hr PLUS tips and were union gigs, but they still made money. On a good day, customers tossed tips to these people left and right, and they made out like bandits. You couldn't tell them anything.

    The cooks/chefs may do most of the work, but they hardly complained because they were heavily compensated for their work. Every time a position opened in one of the kitchens, people flocked to HR hoping to get hired because (at least at that time) they were some of the highest paying jobs in the industry. I was a slot technician and made a pretty penny, but it was nothing compared to the cooks/chefs, food servers, cocktail servers, etc.

  • <—Doesn'tTalkToStrangers

    As long as they raise the wages of all, and raise the food prices, I think this is fair. They would have to provide insurance also to FT staff.

    I can dig it... Let's see how this turns out. I usually tip 20%, so as long as I don't feel like I'm being taken advantage of, I'm cool.

    The food and service should be quality. This might help a restaurant get more quality servers working for them :shrug:

  • Bootcampgirl

    Morning...I am a server part-time and most everyone else is to so providing health insurance is not a big enough carrot..IMO..The BOH gets paid decent and they get paid hourly...I may do my job flawlessly but we have cooks that may have a bad day, so therefore, it's my fault. We do a lot of running around...for 2.13/hr...some people tip and some don't...


    My only question is will the wait staff receive the same wages as the kitchen staff? If so cool, it is part of the reason for tips bc they only get 2.15-3 an hour.

  • You Aint Shyt-LuhYou, B.Sweet

    What's the problem here? The waitstaffs wages have to be increased (so that they at least get minimum wage per hour without the tips).

    There are a lot of places where tipping isn't a regular practice. I'm all for it. I have no problem tipping however I do wonder why we've set this expectation to tip people and give them more for doing their job well. My job may give me a bonus for good behavior but it's not expected.

  • You Aint Shyt-LuhYou, B.Sweet

    They have to raise their wages. They pay a lower wage because of the tips. Without tips they have to increase their pay to at least minimum wage.

  • Yoni

    I always tip 20% as well. I very rarely complain about food (and service) but if the service/food is horrible, they will get 15 to 18%.

  • You Aint Shyt-LuhYou, B.Sweet

    Jenie they are going to increase their wage per hour. They have to because then the employees wouldn't be making at least minimum wage.

  • scentsychick30

    Well hopefully he's increasing his staff wages,and I also assumed the other staff made more hourly then wait staff.

  • You Aint Shyt-LuhYou, B.Sweet

    Folks there is nothing to see here. There are a lot of countries where tipping is uncommon and when it happens it's not at the percentages expected in the US (ie 10% can be standard and considered generous).

    Tipping also takes the responsibility off the employer and onto the customer to help the employee make a livable wage. They need to pay their employees.


    Gm,this is a very personal way to feel...and you are entitled to feel this way.but won't they still be DOING THEIR JOB if they feed you something that fell on a dirty floor.serve you with a smile.hate it or love it,EVERYONE isn't working to DO THEIR JOB,while leaving the WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME attitude at home.just sumthing to keep in mind when eating out(and at the mercies) of such places....tis all.

  • Unita Lucinda “Lucy” Freebush

    Dagnabbit Fendi! What the hail were you doing when I kept requesting the law regarding LamO? Getting food delivered? What'd you order? J/K...not really.

    I understand what you're saying. The places where I have friends serving or are manager/owners state they tip out the bussers, hosts, and whomever assists them.

  • Roc

    I saw this on GMA. He is raising their salaries as well.

  • Unita Lucinda “Lucy” Freebush

    I don't see servers at this establishment getting the same wages as they were when they were being tipped. Danny may see the back of the house not getting the same wages as the front of the house, but I do believe servers do work hard for what they get, if not, many consumers reflect that through tipping or even verbally letting someone know (raises hand).

    If people tip based upon the check, meal, and services provided, that will not equate to minimum wage.

  • Unita Lucinda “Lucy” Freebush

    I just saw it on CBS while reading this. I'm not buying what he's cooking, but we'll see.

  • Unita Lucinda “Lucy” Freebush

    Food for thought. Interesting.

  • Blue

    Typical CEO. Out of touch.

  • Trey

    I never understood "tipping" for doing your actual job duties. I do software and its based off what a client I have to deal wither their BS from time to time...but its part of my

  • jussaying

    Tipping is only custom here in the States anyway. If he is raising the servers salaries like they are in Europe, I don't see the issue.

  • Jen_n_juice

    He sounds retarded. In order to cut out tips he's gonna have to bring the wait staff at least to minimum wage. So how's he gonna make up the difference? Raise prices right? So you'd rather your customer pay an extra $20 on an entree now than tip $5 on their meal. I don't see this lasting long

  • PettyEyezPrime

    I tip based on service. I don't like it but I do it?. I tip well too?. People work hard and serving people is stressful.

  • sunni_daze

    This was on the news and this is not the complete reason.

  • Bird

    Well that's cool as long as he pays them at least normal minimum wage and not food server's minimum wage which is very low. Still the wait staff will be responsible for interacting with the public and taking all of the heat when the meal is not prepared properly.

  • Bird

    Great policy. You'd be shocked how many restaurants, limo/black car services, etc. keep credit card tips and don't give them to the employees at all.

  • <—Doesn'tTalkToStrangers

    I hear you sis...

    I think this is going to be a good experiment to see if they increase the food prices, and wait staff salaries, will that be a decent wage... ?

    And FOH to folks that don't rip! Stay your punk azz at home fuggers!!!! *bams table*

  • Readytochokemothernatureonout

    I hope he's paying them nicely as some of them survive off tips because the hourly rate is piss poor.

  • 1/8

    Ok... what is the "complete reason?"

    If he takes away the servers' tips, he needs to pay them enough money to survive.

    I used to date an illegal immigrant who worked as a waiter and he worked his @$$ off... not to mention the verbal abuse he endured while serving rude, obnoxious customers.

  • Torae

    I really hate tipping...I do it but I hate it...I especially hate fake nice customer service because they want you to tip. If you're going to be phony at least make it believable. I make sure to tip but I don't like it lol...

  • Meme81

    Honestly, I think the 'no-tipping' movement is just a push to tax low wage earners at a higher rate. Since most tips are in cash, a lot of that income probably wasn't reported, and the government wants that coin!
    And dude should keep the tip system to ensure his employees will work hard to serve the customers.

  • sunni_daze

    I believe he is paying everyone the same amount to avoid the tip issue. Something like $15 an hour.

  • Giselle

    Best comment yet!

  • Impressive Empress

    Why not institute bonuses or tip sharing to boost the moral and support kitchen staff? Why not pay them more? He's an idiot.

  • tynamight

    If he decides against tips, then he needs to compensate by paying them a decent, livable wage.

  • understandingoverignorance

    This is so lame. All this genius has to do is have the tips be portioned out between the waiters and cooks by simply telling the patrons of his establishment that we tip both the chef and the waiters thanks again.

  • Ms.Devereaux

    hmmm oh ok I guess that'll work

  • Jozie723

    They are valuable... thats why you should PAY them. Waiters and waitresses make $2.00 an hour and then have to split tips with everyone but the cook and dishwasher....

  • zatshiphassailed

    He is way beyond cheap. Some restaurants (like tgi fridays) something called service charge (10 percent on your bill) each month the people get a "tip" in their salary. The kitchen staff gets way more that the servers and bartenders.

  • Jozie723

    Tipping your servers is a requirement of those who choose to eat out. If you can't tip choose a restaurant that doesn't use servers who make $2.00 an hour.

  • TheRealLee

    Precisely. Best comment yet. Tipping is used as justification to keep server wages low. Increase the wages across the board and you have a job where good customer service is not an extra concept. Why do waiters get the tips and not the others. Also the wages should be the same daily and not based whatever the wind blows with no tippers, cheap ones, and generous customers. Start off with minimum wage for that state and do annual COLA or bonus plans. Plus, increase the pay annually based on a merit system, such as how long the employee has been there.

  • TheRealLee

    This is why tipping needs to go away and wages need to increase per that state for servers, cooks, etc. You tip good today, tomorrow they get no tip. Something is terribly wrong with that system.

  • TheRealLee

    He has an opportunity to revolutionize the food industry by doing something great. Follow your words with action. Increase pay for all employees and make it where tipping is not necessary and a thing of the past. The server is no more or less important than the person who cooked the food, or the person who washes the dishes, or the person that cleans the restaurant. Make it equitable and fair, have a merit system or bonuses like other jobs. Doesn't have to be splashy but it's a start.

  • Low E. {CIRCA 1908}


  • Fendi

    Trust me, I'm not surprised in the least. When it comes to money, some people have no moral compass, so I try to one up those I believe would be the offenders.

  • Fendi

    What are you inquiring about re: LamO? BTW, I just had food delivered yesterday. I have to eat, ya know. With all of these conflicting reports aka lies about LamO, I don't want to touch another thing that any competing blogs report. I am not a fan of speculation.

  • Orange Moon

    I guess I am the only person that agree with his concept. He is right, if all staff members aren't able to share in the "guest generosity," then no one should. Would anyone even consider going back to a restaurant if the food wasn't good??? No. I have always thought that receiving tips for doing your job was vain, and I worked as a waitress at Applebee's for two years. People today are becoming more aggressive with asking for and assuming a tip for their service and most of the time, they give terrible customer service.

  • Orange Moon

    Or he can just hire people that support his "no-tipping" movement.

  • Showtime

    I find tipping to be absurd anyway. Why I gotta tip the taxi driver and a waitress when they already get paid? Don't get me wrong I treat everyone with respect and I'm not the type to hassle a waiter/waitress but the tipping thing is strange. Thats like tipping the cashier at the grocery store .

  • Aanelove

    People forget gratuity is a 'gift' NOT a 'must'. This is where the lines are blurred. Health insurance etc is just part of a package which is of no use of your main salary is less than the server.

  • tintin

    damn and in toronto we complain about $6.16

  • Meme81

    Guaranteed those will be people that will be serving something 'extra' with the meals cuz they're not being paid and they don't care.

  • slim3542

    I personally tip the cooks sometimes.

  • Unita Lucinda “Lucy” Freebush

    I was asking the blog about divorces being finalized in Cali and why can't the judge go on and sign the papers. That's all. Just being nosey rosey.

  • Floriduhh Evans

    ?????? finally back of the house getting some love. Restaurants run on the backs of the kitchen and support staff. Waiters are just the showmen, as long as they are making a decent hourly wage, I think this is a good decision. Mr. Meyer is a boss in this industry won't be surprised if this starts a trend.

  • Fendi

    The courts are so backlogged, it takes approximately 6 mos to a year to have a judge sign a damn judgment. It is absolutely ridiculous. Based on reports I read, I thought Khlamar were divorced. Apparently, his kids (clearly, via their mom), are trying to have the judge fast track the divorce aka sign off on the papers since there's no reason they shouldn't be divorced. That way, if he doesn't make it, Khloe doesn't get his hard earned coin. I'm not mad. I will say this is all speculative, because all of these reports are speculative. Hope that helps.

  • Fendi

    The courts are so backlogged, it takes approximately 6 mos to a year to have a judge sign a damn judgment. It is absolutely ridiculous. Based on reports I read, I thought Khlamar were divorced. Apparently, his kids (clearly, via their mom), are trying to have the judge fast track the divorce aka sign off on the papers since there's no reason they shouldn't be divorced. That way, if he doesn't make it, Khloe doesn't get his hard earned coin. I'm not mad. I will say this is all speculative, because all of these reports are speculative. Hope that helps.

  • Unita Lucinda “Lucy” Freebush

    You gave. That's all you can ask of a valued rose.

  • TheWayItIs

    YES and lets be honest a cook...even a 1st line cook makes more than a waitress and hostess!! That's some BS If I was patrons I would stop going to his establishment!! EVERYONE makes more than the waiters and waitresses that's why tipping is necessary for most!!