Bruno Pizza, the soon-to-open East Village restaurant helmed by former Box Kite chefs Justin Slojkowski and Dave Gulino, along with restaurateur Demian Repucci, is officially going service-included. Repucci has been toying with the idea of abolishing tips from the restaurant for a while now, but as of last month was still consulting with a labor lawyer. Now, as a job posting on Craigslist reveals, "Bruno will not accept tips. Instead, all employees will be paid a solid hourly wage and work as a unified whole."
The news comes via Amanda Cohen, who instituted the same policy at her vegetarian hit, Dirt Candy, when it moved to a bigger space on Allen Street. She says she's received surprisingly little pushback for charging her diners a flat 20 percent service fee in lieu of a tip, and actually advised Repucci on making the decision.
The move will make Bruno an outlier on the New York restaurant scene. Besides Dirt Candy, the few restaurants that are service-included in this city are mostly very expensive tasting menu restaurants, like Brooklyn Fare, Per Se, and most recently Atera. But with the minimum wage for tipped workers set to rise, we may see more restaurants like Bruno follow the same route, as Bay Area restaurants have started to do in response to a similar minimum wage hike.
An opening date hasn't been set yet for Bruno, but it should be just weeks away.