The House bill passed, cutting $40 billion from the food stamp program. President Obama has threatened to veto the measure. (Source: NYT).
Says Kevin Spacey in a brilliant speech championing Netflix, “House of Cards,” and the ridiculous amount of money wasted on making pilots.
American eaters, unlike their European counterparts, are accustomed to voluntarily adding 18-20% to any dinner bill to compensate the wait staff for their services. But one New York City restaurant has put an end to that. The critically-acclaimed Sushi Yasuda, a 14-year old Japanese restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, eliminated tipping last month and raised its menu prices to reflect that development, owner Scott Rosenberg tells The Price Hike.
Here’s what guests now see on menus and receipts:
Rosenberg suggests Yasuda might be the only U.S. restaurant with such a policy. He might be right. (Update: Turns out there’s at least one more.)*. A variety of ambitious American eateries like Alinea, Next, Atera and Brooklyn Fare already add automatic service charges as part of their pre-paid dining systems. But Yasuda’s move is closer to the European-style system adopted by Thomas Keller’s Per Se in 2005, where all prices are reflective of service, a policy Keller implemented to help correct the income disparity between cooks and wait staff, per this New York Times piece.
Chef David Kinch, in this Bad Deal Interview, makes an eloquent case for how abolishing tipping and levying a service charge could improve the lives of those who work hard to serve us good food.
This week I review Carbone in my Blooomberg column, awarding 3.5 stars to the high-end red sauce joint in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. It isn’t just one of our city’s best new restaurants, it’s one of Manhattan’s best seafood spots, period.
Carbone’s cuisine is the cuisine I ate while growing up on Long Island, at cheap seafood shacks and affordable Italian-American restaurants. Except Carbone isn’t cheap, or affordable, not by Italian-American standards, and not by New York standards. Dinner for two, after wine, tax and tip, can easily cost $350-$400 for two, almost as much as dinner at Jean-Georges.
So Claus Meyer owns two restaurants. One is Noma in Copenhagen, which will cost you about $437. The other is Gustu in La Paz, Bolivia, where the wine-paired tasting will run you about $130. Sounds cheaper, right? Not quite. After airfare, hotels, visas and yellow fever shots, you’ll actually spend a few dollars less in Copenhagen if you’re flying from New York. Check out The Price Hike and Bad Deal math below.