New York Eleven Madison Park Restaurant doing away with tipping

The movement to do away with tipping in New York gained steam with the announcement Tuesday that fine-dining restaurant Eleven Madison Park will move to a model in which service is included in menu prices.

Eleven Madison Park owner Will Guidara told Eater NY that he would raise the price of the restaurant’s prix-fixe menu to $295 from $225 in the new year, when minimum wage rates in New York City rise $2.50, to $7.50 per hour, for tipped employees, and increase 25 cents, to $9, for non-tipped employees.

Guidara said he would keep tipping in place at his á la carte restaurant, The NoMad, also in New York.

The movement to do away with tipping was given a shot in the arm earlier this year when respected restaurateur Danny Meyer said he would gradually eliminate tipping at all of his 13 full-service restaurants, starting in November with The Modern at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Guidara worked for Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group for many years, including a stint as general manager of The Modern. He was later appointed general manager of Eleven Madison Park and ended up buying the restaurant from USHG, in partnership with executive chef Daniel Humm, in 2011.

Advocates for eliminating tipping say the model is antiquated, devalues the professionalism of servers, and creates pay imbalance between front- and back-of-house staff.

Several restaurants across the country had previously eliminated tipping, but most did it by adding an automatic service charge rather than raising menu prices. Others, including The Lazy Bear in San Francisco and Alinea and Next in Chicago, have started selling all-inclusive, non-refundable tickets, doing away both with the need to tip and preventing no-shows.

Joe’s Crab Shack, a 131-unit casual-dining seafood chain owned by Ignite Restaurant Group Inc., has been testing a no-tipping policy at 18 of its restaurants for several months, taking Meyer’s approach of raising prices instead of adding a service charge while increasing the hourly wage of front-of-the-house staff. Ray Blanchette, CEO of the Houston-based company, told Nation’s Restaurant News earlier that he expected turnover to fall and teamwork to improve.

Meyer told NRN earlier that with the increase in minimum wage and resulting higher menu prices, the wage gap between cooks and servers would rise even further, something he could address by doing away with tipping.

Contact Bret Thorn at bret.thorn@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • I would like to personally thank Ken for all his help in helping me to find a job. On June 1st I was released from my job of 11 years. I was unsure of what my next steps would be. I haven't been through an interview in years and I felt like I was unprepared. Ken took the time to help me step by step. He first gathered all my personal information and work history. He built a resume from all of that information and articulated my accomplishments in a way I never could have. He sent me tips on what to wear, questions to ask, and called after my interviews to see how it went. He gave me support and encouragement when I was at my absolute lowest. I couldn't have asked for a better recruiter! Thank you again Ken! Thanks, Again, KenGeneral Manager, Logan's Road House, Chattanooga TN
  • Ken Schreifels was a great help during the whole process from start to finish. He was with me every step of the way with tips and words of encouragement. If I had any questions or concerns, no matter what time of day it was, he was there to answer it. I would recommend Ken to anyone. Thank you, William  I Would Recommend Ken to Anyone Looking for a New JobGeneral Manager, Fuddruckers, New Jersey
  • David Israel was a pleasure to work with and was instrumental in helping me find an excellent career opportunity .

    David was extremely professional and took the time to really listen to where I was in my career and what I was looking for. As a result of the work he did to connect me with the right opportunity, I was able to obtain a great starting salary and great benefits as well. I would highly recommend David’s services to both job seekers and employers. Josh Axmacher David Israel was a pleasure to work with!
  • Tim was nothing but helpful from the start!

    I was originally contacted by Tim as a reference for someone who used to work for me. He must have recognized that I myself was a good fit, because within a few minutes the conversation turned to me applying for the job.  He was always pushing for me. He was there to help with everything, every step of the way, and was in constant communication. He played a massive role in me landing an amazing job with an even better company. I can't stress enough how awesome this guy was. Tim will coach you through the entire process and be your biggest advocate. He has a lifetime of experience and knows exactly what companies are looking for. A+, 10/10, two thumbs up, 5-stars. Thanks for everything Tim! Brock Kinley Tim was nothing but helpful from the start
  • Tim was very patient and thorough when going through the process of trying to find employment for me and my skills. I appreciate the time and effort he put in for me and I would recommend Tim Walker & Patrice and Associates to anyone looking for great opportunities. Carolyn Floyd Tim was very patient & thorough!