Maltaran

Should tipping be banned?

333 posts in this topic

The BBC has put up an article on this subject, and since this (especially the American version) has in the past caused much discussion in these parts, I thought I'd share it with you all. Do you think that meals would be more enjoyable if you didn't have to do the maths at the end? Would it be fairer to the staff for a service charge to be put on all the bills and then get shared out among everyone?

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Pay workers a reasonable minimum wage and put it on the bill. It might even end up being cheaper than this vague system where you most likely end up over-paying because you want to be generous.

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There are ups and downs. This applies specifically to the American incarnation.

On the one hand, tipping allows bars and restaurants to get away without paying their employees a living wage.for people just getting into this industry, working dead morning shifts, that is a killer. Plus the math plus fundamental annoyance of expected amount being more than listed plus the hassle of getting that one cheap motherfucker to pay his fair share. Plus sometimes staff get shorted. Tax revenues would go up some.

On the other hand, you'd face huge objections, not least from the servers themselves, who typically make out far better on tips than they would on wage. Food prices for dining out would rise sharply as the venue would now be on the hook for more wages and would definitely pass those prices on to the consumer. It would be harder (more expensive) to run a restaurant and so there would be fewer of them. Quality of service would take a dive -- not just because the direct-incentive system is gone, but also because bartenders and waitstaff make significant money, so better workers tend to seek out the job. (Very low-end and very high-end restaurants would probably be affected less by that; low-end waitstaff don't get big tips anyway, and high-end restaurants would pay the wages necessary to retain talent.)

It's a bit complicated, before you even get into how hard it is to change behavior on a mass scale.

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I completely disagree with the sharing of tips equally among staff. I know a few restaurants that do this independantly and the staff hate it. A tip is supposed to be a customer's way of saying "Hey thanks for doing a good job!" Why should a great server have to share their hard earned tips with the lazy, slow and rude server? This would lead to a downward spiral of shitty service.

Besides, the math isn't that hard, most people pay by debit or credit these days, so the machine does the work for you. And if you pay cash their are apps and calculators to figure out tips. Not that hard, even for the math challenged, like myself!

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I completely disagree with the sharing of tips equally among staff. I know a few restaurants that do this independantly and the staff hate it. A tip is supposed to be a customer's way of saying "Hey thanks for doing a good job!" Why should a great server have to share their hard earned tips with the lazy, slow and rude server? This would lead to a downward spiral of shitty service.

Except that them being a reward for great service seems to be a pretense at this point.

One British tourist says she and her friends were followed out of a Manhattan restaurant by an angry waiter unhappy with a 10-15% tip.

"The waiter gave us the tip back and told us it wasn't good enough, that as tourists we didn't understand that we had to give more in New York," says Janine Windust.

"It was difficult and I lived and died by my tips," says Dublanica, who worked in New York restaurants for seven years and wrote a blog about it called Waiter Rant.

"If you don't tip, I can't pay the rent. But the reality is you can work hard and get no tips and do nothing and get good tips."

It's simply another charge that's not being called that and it isn't set by the restaurant so it looks like a general cost of going out.

Edited by Castel

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That's taking a few people and assuming that the whole population of servers act/feel this way.. Some people are dicks but I'm sure most servers are happy to receive the base 15%, and if they get extra, its a bonus.

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That's taking a few people and assuming that the whole population of servers act/feel this way.. Some people are dicks but I'm sure most servers are happy to receive the base 15%, and if they get extra, its a bonus.

You're speaking as if the "base 15%" is a standard fee and "extra" is just anything above that, which is my point.What is the point of calling something a bonus when you're expected to give X amount at the very least? Rewards are based on discretion no?

When you create a system where waiters are paid much less because you're expecting tips you're then expecting waiters to make up the wage from tips* . So it's not a reward as much as a cost. In that case, if we assume that 15% is the standard fee being paid and everything else the bonus then you should only be able to keep anything above 15% no? The rest goes in the pot to serve it's purpose.

* Although I heard someone claim that the restaurant is supposed to make up the difference between normal minimum wage and tips+minimum wage, is this true? It hardly seems enforceable at any rate.

Edited by Castel

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No waitstaff should ever, ever be hassling anyone about the tip. It happens once in a while and it gets publicized because it gets everyone riled up, but it is rare and if it happens to you you are free to tell them to fuck off.

EDIT: Yes, the employer must make up the difference between minimum wage and what they pay if the employee doesn't recover it in tips. But in practice the minimum wage is generally so low that it takes virtually nothing to satisfy the requirement, and if you're in a place crappy enough that you routinely don't make minimum wage from your tips, you are probably expendable and too worried about retaliation to demand it. The larger issues are a. minimum wage is nearly unliveable and b. serving and bartending are generally understood not to be minimum wage jobs here, so if you're only making minimum wage, even if the employer has met their obligation, you're earning much less than you were expecting.

Edited by Inigima

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There's a Japanese resturant in London, Tokyo diner, that does the same. They make a point of saying on their menu that tipping is not encouraged, and that any tips left are donated to a homeless unit.

I don't eat out often, but when I do I like to reward good service with a tip. I don't like the American system where tipping is supposedly discretionary but is in fact mandatory. If you can't afford to pay your staff a living wage then add a service charge to the bill.

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American tipping culture disgusts me. Waiters should be paid a decent wage as a matter of course, and tips should be purely voluntary contributions reserved for truly exceptional service. There's no reason why the food service industry should receive a mystical exception to the simple idea that employers should pay workers what their labour is worth. It would be just as bizarre to say that teachers should be paid $2.00 an hour and at that the end of every day all the students should drop a few coins in a jar on their desks.

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I agree. Or better yet make politics minimum wage, and make them live off tips by satisfied voters. Bastards would starve to death.

Edited by Derfel Cadarn

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I'm so glad I got out of the service industry. All this tipping hoo-ha is getting ridiculous.

Rude waiters refusing 15% wtf?

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Has the "standard" American tip always been 15 percent? Because I swear it seems like 15-20 years ago I thought 10 percent was standard and 15 percent was considered a tip for good service.

Am I just remembering that wrong?

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There's no reason why the food service industry should receive a mystical exception to the simple idea that employers should pay workers what their labour is worth. .

:agree:

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Has the "standard" American tip always been 15 percent? Because I swear it seems like 15-20 years ago I thought 10 percent was standard and 15 percent was considered a tip for good service.

Am I just remembering that wrong?

Growing up (15-20 years ago) my dad's words of advice were 10% is the bare minimum, that's what you give if you get fairly poor service. 15% is for standard service, 20% for very good service and 25-30 for exceptional service. I'm something of a bigger tipper myself, just because I know servers here rely almost entirely on that money. 15% for me is bare minimum, 20% is my average tip. Biggest tip I ever gave was almost 50% but that was because someone I was with (reluctantly) was very rude to our waitress.

Paying people in the service industry a fair wage would be ideal, I don't know if it'll ever happen here though. But even if it did I would still tip, just wouldn't feel right not doing it. I hate it when people don't tip. If you can't afford the tip you can't afford the meal.

Edited by KiDisaster

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I'm so glad I got out of the service industry. All this tipping hoo-ha is getting ridiculous.

Rude waiters refusing 15% wtf?

I'm betting that story is fake.

KiDisaster,

My father's was slightly different twenty years ago: 20% in NYC and 10% everywhere else in the US.

Edited by Tempra

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I'm betting that story is fake.

KiDisaster,

My father's was slightly different twenty years ago: 20% in NYC and 10% everywhere else in the US.

Makes sense. I've never been to NYC but the cost of living must be absurdly high there.

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Food prices for dining out would rise sharply as the venue would now be on the hook for more wages and would definitely pass those prices on to the consumer.

They're already passing those prices onto the customer. In the form of tips. Eliminate tips, raise food prices 20%, and the customer's essentially paying the same thing.

Has the "standard" American tip always been 15 percent? Because I swear it seems like 15-20 years ago I thought 10 percent was standard and 15 percent was considered a tip for good service.

It has changed. When I was a kid I used to hear 15% as a good tip all the time. I now hear 20% more often, 15% is the low end of normal.

Edited by AverageGuy

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Logic dictates that due to the extortionate prices in NY City that their tipping percentage should in fact be lower than the rest of the US.

I've been watching a lot of Star Trek lately.

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