How to Prepare Diners for Life After Tipping

Restaurants start explaining the gratuity-free model—and then they explain it again and again.

When a diner makes a reservation at Fedora, Gabriel Stulman’s speakeasy-inspired basement restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village, the confirmation e-mail warns customers to skip the tip. The reservation system repeats the no-gratuity reminder with a text message that arrives 30 minutes before each seating. Guests arriving at Fedora will also hear an explanation from the maître d’ about the recently increased menu prices, which have been put in place so Stulman can pay higher wages. When the check comes, it’s paper-clipped to a postcard printed with two key words: gratuity free.

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