LETTER FROM ANDREW
SPRING 2016

To our guests, friends, and family,

Since January 2016, three of our locations - Roman's, Reynard and The Ides - have moved to a Gratuity Free model, including service into the prices on our menus and therefore eliminating the practice of tipping.

This is a change from the way we have always done things.  I built my first restaurant, Diner, on tips I earned bartending late nights in Manhattan. When I opened each of my restaurants, I did so with a commitment to all of the people working in the restaurants that became our employees. We grew together along with the neighborhoods where we opened, and in the process, we began building relationships and sourcing from local farmers - extending our sense of purpose to a bigger community and higher principles - and ultimately changing the way we do business. Now, after 17 years, I have come to see how the tipping system we inherited doesn’t work for all the people inside of it and connected to it, and it is time for change.

The heart and soul of the experience at our restaurants is in the shared work all our employees do on a daily basis. But regulations make it so that tips can’t be shared with cooks, dishwashers and porters. Plus, the generous tips of our guests shouldn’t be the primary source of income for our service staff. With the decision to be Gratuity Free, we’re taking on the responsibility to pay all our employees competitively, fairly and with more stability– all of the menu price increases go to supporting all of our staff. The cost of dining with us hasn’t changed much, but the effects are far-reaching.  

I fundamentally believe that this change is rebuilding the foundation of our restaurants and is right for everyone– our employees, our guests, our farmers, and our businesses.  With the cooperation and engagement of our entire team, we plan on putting this into practice at all of our seven restaurants and bars this year.  

On behalf of everyone in our company, I thank you for being a part of this with us.

-Andrew Tarlow