The Daily Rail: Danny Meyer's Struggles with No-Tipping Policy

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Today's Specials: 


BUSINESS: Use These 7 Pro Tips to Avoid Inventory Headaches [Sponsored by Orderly]

With this handy Inventory Field Guide from Orderly, you've got a list of seven pro tips that will take your restaurant inventory management to the next level. Isn't that what every busy restaurant owner wants?



Some Scared Americans

A recent survey revealed the top fears shared by many Americans. This infographic shows the percent of people that reported being “afraid” or “very afraid” of the following things. You may or may not be surprised at what people find scary nowadays. And no, killer clowns did not make the list.

Infographic: Americans' Top Fears Of 2017  | Statista

The Chair Ghost

A California bar found a fairly odd clip on their security film that they posted to their Facebook page. The footage shows a chair moving and falling over on its own in a super creepy way. A different video showed the same thing happening again during the day. Paging the women from Poltergeist.


Don’t Shout ‘Yo!’  

Jimmy Kimmel featured a segment on his show where bartenders discuss the most annoying ways that customers try to get their attention. Take a look at what these bartenders say when they’re asked what annoys them the most. (Starts at 2:46 but the beginning is also worth a watch).



Why it matters to you: No-tipping policy implementation presents real challenges.

When Danny Meyer’s restaurant group struggles with something, you know it’s hard. They have been implementing an aggressive plan called Hospitality Included (HI) over the past couple of years. To say it hasn’t gone exactly as planned might be an understatement. According to a post on GrubStreet, they have seen massive server/bartender turnover and have only marginally increased wages for the back of the house. That is adversely affecting their service standards with employees that are unprepared to replace the seasoned folks that have fled. In fact, it may even be contributing to a sales decline at some of the HI compliant restaurants.

We have covered this topic thoroughly over the past year, and we have also struggled to recommend or reject no-tipping. We know this: if your state still allows tip credit and doesn’t require full minimum ware for servers, then no-tip policies are going to be even more difficult to implement. Let’s face it, the culture is entrenched. Guests like to “pay” for service and servers/bartenders want to earn for their direct performance. Consequently, it might just be that HI and policies like it are just a bit too early in their evolution to be pain-free. For now, if you’re able to pay your servers that reduced tip credit wage, then look cautiously at no-tipping.



Why it matters to you: Sexual harassment could easily be happening to your staff without your knowledge.

Sexual harassment has become very prevalent as the multiple allegations coming to light. We’ve discussed before how the restaurant industry is dealing with a sexual harassment problem and this week only reconfirms that concept. New Orleans celebrity chef John Besh is under fire for allowing sexual harassment and assault in his restaurant work environment. In an eight-month long investigation, 25 current and former employees of the Besh Restaurant Group claimed to be victims of sexual harassment while on the job. In the complaints filed, one employee alleges that she and many other females were sexually harassed and verbally assaulted almost every single day by managers and supervisors. 

A spokesperson for the Besh Group claims that they have never received an internal complaint about sexual harassment but will now incorporate procedures to address these concerns. In his own statement, Besh admitted to “a consensual relationship” with an employee which he admitted was “unacceptable.”

Restaurant operators need to keep this on their radar and be extra cautious that their employees don’t experience unwanted sexual behavior -- even if it seems jokingly. In a 2014 study be a restaurant advocacy group, nearly 80% of female restaurant employees reported experiencing on-the-job harassment from other employees and a staggering 66% from management. As owners, these are the statistics that we need to be aware of and not tolerate in our restaurants.  

Hero Image Courtesy of Medium