What to Do Before Opening a Restaurant & the Future of Tipping

Amanda Cohen Dirt Candy

Amanda Cohen

Advice from Amanda Cohen, Chef / Owner Dirt Candy, Michelin & NYT 2 Star vegetarian restaurant, which just reopened at a new, larger location 12 weeks ago:

“If you want to open a restaurant, work for one first to be sure.”

“Make sure you really love what you do, because it’s all consuming.”

“When you go to sleep at night, it’s still waiting for you in the morning.”

On the Future of No Tipping – Fair Wages for Front & Back of House

“Tip Policy: We pay our employees a fair wage, and they share in Dirt Candy’s profits, so no tipping, please. A 20% administrative fee is added to every bill to offset our costs. It is not a tip and none of it is distributed to the employees who serve you.” – Dirt Candy’s menu

Note: Alinea, Brooklyn Fare and Thomas Keller’s Per Se and The French Laundry have also eliminated tipping in favor of increasing employee wages.

On Politics

“Cutting edge vegetarian food with added flavor and no politics.” – Dirt Candy’s website

Fun Facts off Menu

1st Location New Location
Address 430 East Ninth Street 86 Allen Street
# Contractors Fired 2 0
Con Ed Gas Delay (months) 5 2
Square Footage (SF) 400 2,100
Construction Costs (per SF) $1500 $714
Construction Time 1 year 4.5 months
Staff 8 32
Seats 18 60

Amazing menu infographic courtesy of Dirt Candy and Liza Pagano

Dirt Candy Menu Infographic

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