A common complaint for restaurant servers is forever needing to rely on tips to be able to pay their bills. But that’s certainly not an issue for employees at Meadowsweet in Brooklyn anymore. The Michelin-starred restaurant just announced that it is getting rid of tipping entirely, and instead will pay servers $27 per hour, which works out to approximately $55,000 annually. Hourly kitchen workers will continue to earn $13 per hour.
Starting January 1, the restaurant eliminated tipping and raised its menu prices by 16 to 20 percent to make up for the increased salaries and gratuity dearth.
Meadowsweet is certainly not the only restaurant to get rid of tipping. Other high-profile chefs and restaurateurs, like Danny Meyer (Union Square Hospitality Group), Tom Colicchio (Craft), and Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park), have eliminated gratuity in an effort to pay their servers a better living wage.
“The goal is over the next couple of years, we can raise the income of every back-of-the-house employee,” Stephanie Lempert, general manager and owner of Meadowsweet told Pix-11. “We wanted to run the restaurant moving forward in a way that all our employees can benefit more financially.”
Lempert suggested that not all diners will feel the impact of the significant menu price surge. The average tip from their paying customers was approximately 22 percent, which would make up for the price point change.