At the start of the new year, bartenders, waiters and other tipped service employees in New York got a raise. The minimum wage for these workers went up 50 percent from $5 to $7.50. And it might change dining out as we know it, at least in America.
In many parts of the world, restaurant staff salaries are simply factored into the prices on the menu and tipping is not necessarily expected. But in countries such as the United States, adding a gratuity is completely common, with 15 to 20 percent the norm.
Some top restaurants in New York are now changing this custom to jibe with the new economics of minimum wage. At its most basic, the overall cost of business just went up. Restaurants are now paying their servers 50 percent more than before. Full stop.