If you want the people who serve you restaurant food to make a living wage in New York City, you will tip them 20%. If restaurants want to make sure their service employees make a living wage, they will abolish the tipping system, pay them more to begin with, and charge you more accordingly. Amanda Cohen and her staff at Dirt Candy know this, and now Tom Colicchio does too.
Cuozzo also rightly shames all the other interchangeable white, male faces of American Fine Dining™, many of whom have been sued for failing to pay their employees, who essentially tell him they just don't want to mess with success.
Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin: “Integrating the tip into prices is bad for the customer, the waiter and the restaurateur. You see terrible service in some Paris bistros because there is no incentive for the waiters. It is not good for clients to have a system where waiters have a guaranteed income.”
Eric Ripert, who presumably doesn't pay himself until every single one of his employees expresses satisfaction with his performance, knows that everyone works harder when their ability to pay rent hinges on the couple who splits an order of bacon-wrapped dates so they can argue over their Lonely Planet guides.
Yet Cuozzo's headline is misleading, if only because it gives ammunition to the Mr. Pinks.
Yes, "tipping is bad for everyone." But holding service employees hostage to a massive societal shift is immoral. Tip 20% no matter what; patronize restaurants that pay their employees (front and back of the house) living wages; shun restaurants that don't; support the movement to raise minimum wage across the board; and always tip the baristas.