Lara Kastner, Alinea
Achatz’s legendary avant-garde Chicago restaurant requires that customers pay for their meals when making their reservation — which you might also call buying a ticket — and that fee includes the price of the tasting menu with tax and a 20-percent tip.
Starting in April, this popular Pittsburgh spot will be banning all tips, and instead will be paying employees a salary with health benefits; full-time employees will earn $35,000 per year and will also be given stock options in the business. Instead of raising prices, the restaurant will begin taking reservations and will expand to fill more seats nightly.
Michael Lassen Patiucci
This brewpub is actually a co-op, meaning that everyone who works there is an “employee-owner” who is paid a living wage. Slightly higher menu prices make up the difference.
This bistro charges 15 percent on all dine-in meals, and doesn’t accept any additional tips. Instead, they pay their servers between $12 and $15 per hour, and spend downtime training them on the restaurant business.
You pay for the price of the meal when making a reservation at this in-demand Brooklyn hotspot, and that charge includes an 18-percent service fee that’s distributed evenly between the entire restaurant staff. In early December, there were reports that several servers were filing suit against the restaurant, claiming that they didn't receive any cut of that fee and that the restaurant withheld "significant portions" of additional cash tips as well.)
At Alice Waters’ groundbreaking Berkeley restaurant, a 17-percent service fee is added to the price of every meal. While guests are welcome to add additional gratuity, they’re not obligated to.
An automatic gratuity is added the prix-fixe price of every meal at this high-end New York restaurant, run by chef Thomas Keller.
Head to this sushi hotspot, and when you receive your bill you’ll find no tip line, just a note that says: "Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda's service staff are fully compensated by their salaries. Therefore gratuity is not necessary." The staff has actually been known to chase customers down the street to return cash to them when an additional tip has been left!
At Thomas Keller’s Northern California landmark, like at Per Se, diners aren’t under any obligation to leave a tip because a service fee of about 18 percent is added to the price of the $295 prix fixe meal.