To tip, or not to tip the barista? Daily Provisions addresses that customer conundrum with its tip-included pricing and cashless system. The cafe from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group is the first limited-service concept in his portfolio to apply the group’s “hospitality included” initiative, which works gratuity into pricing. “What we noticed is that cafes are putting tip lines on their receipts, and we don’t have that tip line,” says Assistant General Manager Max Rockoff. Additionally, Daily Provisions doesn’t accept cash—only credit card or mobile payments—which eases confusion on whether customers are supposed to leave the barista a dollar or two.

Through the initiative, advertised subtly on menus with a “hospitality included” icon, Rockoff says USHG was able to increase the pay of hourly staff without raising prices to include tips. Coffee options—provided by Joe Coffee, of which Union Square Hospitality is an investor—range from drip coffee to lattes, plus beer and wine by the glass. Rockoff says the group is still able to offer tip-included pricing and competitively priced items thanks to its location.

Daily Provisions shares a kitchen with its next-door neighbor, the revamped Union Square Cafe, also run by USHG. The full-service restaurant prepares all of Daily Provisions’ foods, which consist of egg sandwiches in the morning, lunch sandwiches and rotisserie chickens in the afternoon, and pastries and breads throughout the day. By not having to make room for a kitchen, Daily Provisions can operate in a small footprint—450 square feet, to be exact—at a lesser cost. The cozy space features some bar seats and high-top tables for standing, but operates mostly as a takeout business.

“It completely eliminates the awkwardness for our guests.”
—Max Rockoff, Assistant general manager

Photography by Emily Clark and Liz Clayman