There may be a move away from tippers and towards raising the minimum hourly wage for tipped employees such as wait staff, hairdressers etc. in New York. A state panel has suggested it be raised to $7.50 an hour (from its current $5). Others are criticizing the move saying it’s not enough since if there wage is not at least $8.75 per hour, bosses legally need to make up the difference but if they don’t, the state of New York is currently unable to enforce it and thus these workers are not being paid fairly. Thus a minimum wage needs to be set for all.
In light of this, some eatery owners are considering eliminating tipping. Instead, menu prices will be raised by 22 percent. One such restaurant owner is Tom Colicchio who has wanted to do this for some time but now, given the recommendations of the Wage Board to raise the hourly wage tipped workers can be paid, the potential increase restaurant expenses would justify this.
Others believe that the entire industry should move over to the European model whereby a service charge is just included in the clients’ bill and thus pay for workers is higher. A few restaurants do this already in America but now more are considering the option. However, there is some kind of a crowd mentality happening with restaurateurs right now as no one wants to act alone. Only if a whole bunch of them enact this, will Colicchio consider following suit.