When Grub ran into Danny Meyer at this year's MoMA Party in the Garden, we asked him, of course, about the state of his no-tipping policy and the difficulties faced by his fellow restaurateurs making the change.
We recently spent two months in the USA, and trust me, tipping is a royal pain in the butt. To put this in context, we are Australian and we don't tip. Tipping is one of those practices we simply are not used to, but it is also one of the reasons Americans get ripped off when they travel.
When you pre-book tours and excursions through a company in your own country or the tour desk on a cruise ship, remember, you are working through middlemen. When you work through middlemen in any industry, everybody has to get their cut.
She had that way of looking past you, as if she were hoping that someone better was coming along behind you. Her entire demeanor said, "You madam, are a low priority customer." She was the hostess at a restaurant in South Beach.
When tipping amounts are disconnected from the perceived level of service and do not serve their original purpose, it is time for the practice to end. Wages for restaurant staff should be more predictable and reasonable. Going tip-free makes the experience simpler for all involved.
There is nothing more vexing than trying to figure out who to tip, how much and when -- especially when you're in a foreign country. You'll come face to face with employees at airports, train stations, hotels, restaurants and cafés. Do you have to tip everyone?