Daniel Humm’s Eleven Madison Park in New York - already under fire by some for removing meat from the menu, yet maintaining the same prices - has just announced a reversal of their much-vaunted no-tipping policy. Previously, service tips had been included in their $335 menu. This, which effectively equals a 20% price rise, is in order to make sure that staff are paid enough in relation to market fluctuations.
“The cost of operating a restaurant in Manhattan has never been higher,” said an email to customers from Eleven Madison Park. “As ever, our priority is to find ways to support our team; the individuals whose heart, dedication, and significance to this restaurant cannot be overstated.”
No one can argue with the need to pay hospitality workers more for the work that they do, but with supply chain issues and inflation already seeing prices creep upwards on menus, the hit will ultimately be taken by the customer. Some customers are more committed than ever to getting back to the dining rooms, others have happily ordered in for the last two years. Does this mean fine dining will become more expensive and more exclusive?