What additional costs can I expect when visiting a restaurant in the US where service is included?

I am going to a Michelin three-star restaurant in New York City this fall. On their website, it says that for the fixed-price tasting menu, both the course menu and the beverage pairing are ”inclusive of service”.

Does that mean that if add those two prices together, that’s what it ultimately will cost me? Am I not expected to tip a single penny, even if the service was fantastic? Will there be sales and/or state tax added on top of that?

For the record, even though I come from Europe, I have absolutely no problem with tipping when I am expected to. I probably over-tip anyway when I’m the US, just to not cheat the service staff over their hard-earned wages. I don’t want to offend anyone.

Answer

“Inclusive of service” should mean that you are not expected to tip. That doesn’t mean that you can’t tip if you want to, especially if the service was good. The US restaurant business is pretty much wedded to tips, and they will be appreciated no matter what. However a Michelin 3-star restaurant should be paying its wait staff a decent wage, with or without tips.

Yes, there will be sales tax on top of the price (unless you are in a state where there is no sales tax).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *