New York City restaurateur Keith McNally has come under fire for saying that the English are the worst, with critics saying he should pay the staff more instead of blaming the customers.
London-born celebrity website owner Balthazar ignited a social media storm on Monday after criticizing his countrymen on Instagram.
In a post featuring Union Jack, he exclaimed: “ASHAMED TO BE ENGLISH.” I wonder why the English are generally the worst caterers in New York restaurants? ‘
Especially if they are middle or upper class. This is not a complaint, just a fact. (Even the Scots generally tip better than the English in New York restaurants.)
But followers were quick to point out that McNally should know that the tipping system in the United States – where it is customary to add between 15 and 25 per cent – is alien to the British.
Keith McNally says he’s ‘ashamed to be English’ after calling out Brits for being awful
Instagram users blasted McNally for blaming customers and said “the system in NYC is weird.”
McNally regularly posts pictures of himself with his famous guests, including Sienna Miller
Although British-born Vogue editor Anna Wintour counted Balthazar, McNally launched a blistering attack on the English as the worst of tippers.
Others have suggested that McNally and other New York restaurants should pay their employees more rather than leave it to customers to increase their paychecks.
Daniel Milner said, “Why do you stand up for the rights of restaurateurs not to actually pay their employees and attack their customers instead, pay for your opinions?”
Another user added: “Change the system! Going to a restaurant should be an all inclusive experience. The expectation of paying extra to get food on the table is anathema to many. The concept of having to charge extra for service will only create confusion and resentment when it doesn’t happen.” That in. The price in the list should be the price of everything.
Anna Wahlberg noted that it was not only the British who found New York’s tipping heart strange, saying, “In Europe it is quite different…the system in New York City is strange…”
But McNally doubled down, saying, “I don’t think that’s the reason.”
“Time and time again my servers have given English customers exemplary service only to receive often less than the standard 15% tip,” he says, adding: “I think most middle- and upper-class Englishmen are badly tipped because they subconsciously want to keep the people serving them in their place. As they have done for hundreds of years F****g.
The restaurateur then followed up on his original post by sharing a photo of a card left by a British customer at another New York restaurant, the Minetta Tavern.
It read: ‘Keith. Your comment Brits don’t say stress on me. I always tip >20%. Dinner at Mineta tonight was fantastic, as is the service from Jeremy. Today I tipped 50%. Thank you.’
McNally wrote next to him: “I never wanted this to be the result of my recent post about English people tipping.”
One follower quipped, “How far has James Corden gone?” A reference to McNally’s infamous feud with James Corden, when the restaurateur banned the British talk show host from his restaurants due to his “abusive” behavior towards servers.
Corden later called McNally to apologize and the ban was overturned.
The average salary for a flight attendant in Balthazar is $31,559 per year, according to Glassdoor, a site where millions of workers anonymously review companies.
The average waiter at The Wolseley, a relatively upscale London restaurant, earns £31,461 a year, says Glassdor, which is about $39,000.
However, it is estimated that the cost of living in New York is up to 30 percent higher than in London, suggesting that The Wolseley pays much more in real terms.
The Mail has contacted McNally for comment.
The restaurateur followed up on his original message by sharing a photo of a card left by a British customer at another New York restaurant, the Minetta Tavern, which he said he received a 50% tip after seeing McNally’s ranting.
McNally has strict rules for employees about how to serve celebrities and doesn’t want them to get special treatment
McNally banned British talk show host James Corden (pictured above with his wife Julia in 2018) from his restaurants last year over his “abusive” behavior towards servers. Corden apologized and the ban was lifted
On Sunday, McNally revealed a mystery celebrity who dined at Morandi, another of his restaurants, left a $1,000 tip.
Servers were thrilled to hear X was coming tonight. X is tremendously generous and usually leaves more than a large amount to tip. X decided to sit in the booth today. (Usually go for a window table). X left a $1,000 tip for the Mercedes valet,” he said.
The 71-year-old regularly posts pictures of himself with his famous guests, including Anna Wintour and Sienna Miller.
Other famous guests have included Mick Jagger, Cher and Andy Warhol, but McNally has strict rules for the staff about how to serve celebrities and doesn’t want them to be given special treatment.
“Never make them drink in the house,” he told The Sunday Times, “always talk to the person who’s with them the most.”
“Celebrities really impress them with overly detail-oriented service. They just want to be left alone.
McNally was born in Bethnal Green, east London, in 1951 to Joyce, a cleaner, and Jack, a dockworker and amateur boxer.
He moved to New York in 1975 to become a manager, but soon turned his sights on restaurants after working a series of kitchen jobs from oyster shaker to entrepreneur.
McNally believes, “Celebrities get really affected by the overly detail-oriented service. They just want to be left alone.”
McNally moved to New York in 1975 before opening his first restaurant, The Odeon, in 1980.
Five years later, he opened his first restaurant, Odeon in Tribeca, with his first wife, Lynn Wagenknecht, and his brother, Brian.
The Odeon quickly became “the epicenter of the downtown art scene,” with Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Anna Wintour, Lorne Michaels, and the cast of Saturday Night Live among the regulars.
McNally has often courted controversy on Instagram, where he is an outspoken, unflattering version of himself.
Like many restaurants, it too has had its fair share of failures over the years. The pandemic drove two: Soho bistro Lucky Strike, which he opened in 1989, and Augustine’s in the Financial District.
Cherche Midi Bistro on McNally’s Lower East Side closed in 2017, just four years after opening, while Schiller’s Liquor Bar followed a year later.