View Poll Results: Should we do away with tipped wages
I have worked as a tipped employee, keep tipped wages. 11 8.46%
I have worked as a tipped employee, get rid of it. 20 15.38%
I have NOT worked as a tipped employee, keep tipped wages. 11 8.46%
I have NOT worked as a tipped employee, get rid of it. 81 62.31%
Something else. 7 5.38%
Voters: 130. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:57 PM
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Time to do away with tipped wage practices?


Sitting here with COVID time on my hands contemplating essential workers. This of course includes restaurant workers making $2.13 (federal minimum) plus tips. Most states are higher and some have minimums that hourly + tips must earn. Cite.

Obviously, these workers aren't doing much from the tip side with restaurants around here restricted to a quarter of maximum occupancy.

One of the arguments for tipping is that restaurants would have to charge more for food to make up the difference. This strikes me as a "look over there" tactic. Spending $40 on food and $10 on a tip is exactly the same as spending $50 on food and not worrying about how much my server makes.

The next most common argument I hear from tipped workers is that they personally make good money from tips. I'm happy for them but strongly suspect that they are a small enough minority that doing away with tipping would do more good to the whole than the damage to them personally.

Globally it seems to be a mixed bag of where tipping is a thing so there doesn't seem to be much consensus there.

35 countries where you should always tip on food and drinks, and how much to leave

What say ye?

Poll follows.
  #2  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:10 PM
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I've always hated tipping. Just sell me the product, serve the dinner, wash the car, whatever, and I'll pay the posted price.

I have friends (cheap-ass bums) who never tip. That isn't the right answer! That just hurts the poor employee whose wages are low because the employer expects there to be tipping.

So, yes, I *do* tip -- somewhat generously -- but I hate it. It's not part of the contract.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:51 PM
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I've been fortunate enough to travel a lot around the world and in my experience unless you're being served by the owner or family (in a small place), service by a hired employee without tipping as an incentive, is invariably far worse.

I was recently in Shanghai and friends took us to a high end restaurant. No tipping. You want better service (like getting your beer opened 10 minutes after they bring it to the table) it was easy: go into the kitchen area and shout louder than the next table to get the staff off their phones.

If employees don't have personal vested interest (i.e. a reward) for working harder, most generally do the minimum they need to keep their jobs. I have absolutely no problem rewarding and providing them an incentive and I tip generously.

That said, maybe the incentive doesn't need to be a direct tip, maybe they can be given incentives based on how much their tables order etc, but there definitely needs to be some incentive there.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:31 AM
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An a person who grew up in a country without tipping, the practice always seemed absurd and unwelcome.
The downsides heavily outweigh the upsides of "slightly better service, in theory".

I visited North America a few months ago and, of all the differences between our countries, tipping was by far the thing I was least looking forward to. It should be done away with, or at the very least should be a 'tip if you feel like it and your service was beyond the call of duty'.
The way tipping is in USA/Canada, where there are thousands of articles on "how much should you tip?" shows that tipping is not about how good the service was, it's just an arbitrary and faux-obligatory percentage tacked onto a meal. And that's not to mention the fact that even people who grow up with tipping as part of their culture still have to have debates on which services should be tipped and which shouldn't.

Tipping is a niceness tax. It allows selfish people to pay less than nice people for the same product/service.
In theory, tipping is a great idea. In practice, it's garbage.
  #5  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Trinopus View Post
I've always hated tipping. Just sell me the product, serve the dinner, wash the car, whatever, and I'll pay the posted price.

I have friends (cheap-ass bums) who never tip. That isn't the right answer! That just hurts the poor employee whose wages are low because the employer expects there to be tipping.

So, yes, I *do* tip -- somewhat generously -- but I hate it. It's not part of the contract.
This sums up my feelings exactly. I am a generous tipper when I feel it's merited - in other words, when service isn't terrible - but I resent having to subsidize a business owner. I know some tipped workers do very well and wouldn't want to give up their tips for a larger set wage - my sister was a bartender for years, and she had many days of tips in the hundreds of dollars.

So let's say tipping becomes purely voluntary - how long before it creeps up to being expected again?

Anyway, yeah, I hate it.
  #6  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:20 AM
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You realize doing away with tipping impacts restaurant owners as well, right? Most places, where servers are making good money in tips, the owners require the servers Ďtip backí a per centage, based on sales, to the house. Usually on the pretext of Ďsharingí with kitchen staff etc. A practise that would absolutely not be tolerated in any other workplace. Pay a tax on your earnings to your employer? To upgrade another employees wages? Itís a practice that should be illegal but remains an unregulated open secret. This money is a cash slush fund for the owner, heís not declaring that money or paying taxes on it, for certain. And itís a LOT of money in a jumping restaurant.

So, yeah, tipping isnít going to disappear any time soon, because owners profit from it enormously.

(How it should work? Server tips out to the bus boy, based on his performance, same with bartender. Shitty bus staff, donít make coin, and thatís how it should work!If the floor staff didnít tip out to the bar thereíd be little incentive for the tender to prioritize the floor over their bar customers. If the tender gets a tip out, they make sure they get then what they need!)

Last edited by elbows; 05-21-2020 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:27 AM
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Presumably if restaurants are opening at 50% of capacity or whatever then they're only bringing back 50% of staff so it's not like those that depend on tips would necessarily receive less tips. I was talking with a friend the other day that has been making some huge tips. The people that I've known that made tips and were good at their jobs made far more than they would make if paid regular wages. It caps their earning potential.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:41 AM
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I tip generously and am disdainful of those who do not, but absolutely do agree that it would be better and fairer if we all paid a little more on the bill and tipped employees were paid a decent wage.

Like FairyChatMom, I feel as if I'm actually subsidizing management. I also just don't think the inconsistency of tipping is fair to people. A server in a restaurant can have her shift just completely fucked up by one cheap asshole.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:41 AM
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I tip generously and am disdainful of those who do not, but absolutely do agree that it would be better and fairer if we all paid a little more on the bill and tipped employees were paid a decent wage.

Like FairyChatMom, I feel as if I'm actually subsidizing management. I also just don't think the inconsistency of tipping is fair to people. A server in a restaurant can have her shift just completely fucked up by one cheap asshole.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:55 AM
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I think it would be a lot fairer if everyone paid a set price. Cheapskates stiff servers while some of us tip at least if not more than 15%. Essentially, we're paying a lot more for the same goods and services. They need to be paid a livable wage, but that needs to be reflected in the pricing that everyone pays.
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  #11  
Old 05-21-2020, 09:37 AM
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I think there's a place for tipped wages; there are plenty of jobs where the workers make more through tips than they would with an hourly wage, but it also gives the customer the option of tipping what they want. And it gives the valets and employers more flexibility in terms of not having to pay out when it's raining, slow, etc...

Take for example, valets. If they were paid a flat wage, I'd guess they'd probably make minimum wage. But that's only like 4 cars an hour at an average $2/car tip. I don't doubt that most valets park/retrieve more cars per hour than that, and make at least $2 per car. So in their case, I think they come out ahead being tipped.

Where the issue comes in for me is the practice of counting tips as part of the minimum wage. I think it's super-shitty that servers make $2.13/hr and that another $5 and change counts as "wages" to get them to minimum wage. Minimum ought to be minimum, no exceptions.

So there should be two options in my book- tip-only, with certain flexibilities and protections, and minimum wage with tips being literal extras that aren't tracked by the employer.
  #12  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:16 AM
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I was a server/bartender in the US for ten years, and I was pro-tipping for the most part during that time. Some of that was in California, where servers are required to be paid the regular minimum wage before tips (and the minimum wage was higher than in most other states); some was in Massachusetts, where we were paid the bare-minimum federal tipped wage of $2.63/hour (which meant I never actually received a paycheck, just a statement explaining how all my wages had gone to taxes.) I did generally make significantly more than minimum wage, even in MA, though there were some nights and some jobs that fell far short. My pay also fluctuated wildly, which made it nearly impossible to budget. In retrospect, I think I had a kind of Stockholm-eqsue resistance to examining my circumstances and asking whether this was really fair or right or good. I was determined to succeed on my own merits, and if I was failing it had to be because I wasn't working hard enough. Getting some distance from that world has, I think, allowed me to see things a little more clearly. I'm now better able to identify the ways in which I was luckier than most, and also the ways even I was getting screwed. I'm more open now to the idea of trying to do away with tipping, although I still have some practical doubts about actually implementing such a change.

As a customer, I've never minded tipping and I still kind of side-eye people who complain about it. As someone else pointed out upthread, there's no difference between paying $40 for your meal and adding a $10 tip, and just paying $50. I find it particularly ironic that some of the same folks who call us "ugly Americans" when we visit Europe because we don't bother to learn the language and customs of the countries we're visiting, can't bother to spend ten seconds Googling how much to tip in the U.S. It's not rocket science. Just do it.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:19 AM
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It is absolutely time to get rid of tipping culture. It impoverishes the people who depend on it. It confuses the fuck out of foreign visitors. A lot of locals don't fully understand it either. Pay service employees a fair wage, and do away with tipping.

And while we're at it, start making retail prices reflect the post-sales tax price, too.
  #14  
Old 05-21-2020, 12:59 PM
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It is absolutely time to get rid of tipping culture. It impoverishes the people who depend on it. It confuses the fuck out of foreign visitors. A lot of locals don't fully understand it either. Pay service employees a fair wage, and do away with tipping.
The hurdle that will have to be overcome to do away with tipping is to change to paying workers a good livable wage instead (as they do in other non-tip countries) - not minimum wage. I do not suspect that will ever happen, so tips will remain.

My problem with tipping is that it is the expected baseline, rather than a reward for exceptional service. In addition, I may think I am being generous (15% is good, yah?), but the recipient may have different expectations (Only 15%! Cheap bastard!), so my communication of gratefulness is not received correctly. And, as others have pointed out, in food establishments managers have found a way to carve out a portion of my tip to the server, which sounds very mafioso, if you ask me.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:38 PM
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Worked as one and get rid of it.

Yup, you can make good money. But there’s also tons of shifts that need to be covered where the tips suck.
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:51 PM
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If it can be gotten rid of, and restaurant owners forced to pay their employees a market wage, then I'm all for it. Until then, "I'm opposed to the current tipping regime" is a poor excuse for stiffing your waiters, delivery people and bartenders. So tip until you don't have to anymore.

That said, tipping shouldn't be outlawed either, directly or indirectly. If someone wants to reward their server for good service, they should be allowed to do so and the server should be allowed to accept. It just shouldn't be an expectation for every meal and it should be between the server and customer and have nothing to do with the employer at all. When I was working the drive through at McDonald's when I was a teenager, a woman told me to "keep the change" which was a quarter, I think. The manager got very upset and said I couldn't keep it because I could be fired or even be in legal/tax trouble. Frankly, that's bullshit.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:11 PM
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. . . And while we're at it, start making retail prices reflect the post-sales tax price, too.
Hear hear and darn right!
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:14 PM
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When I lived in Europe, I absolutely the fact that the price on the menu was the price you paid. There was no tipping and any tax was already incorporated in the price. I usually tip generusly, but feel I am subsidizing those who don't. Pay the staff adequately and asjust prices accordingly. Also in my lifetime, the tip amount has gone from 10% to 20% and when my parents were young it was 7%. I don't see that serving me a $50 meal is twice as hard as sarving me a $25 meal. The whole practice is absurd.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:24 PM
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Having grown up in, nominally, non-tipping Norway I say:
- Pay people a living wage at a minimum
- Then scale back tipping culture so you tip a small amount for great service, not 20% at a minimum because otherwise your server starves.
  #20  
Old 05-21-2020, 04:44 PM
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And while we're at it, start making retail prices reflect the post-sales tax price, too.
Agreed! Are there any jurisdictions outside North America that advertise the pre-tax price only (and surprise the customer with a 10-15% surcharge?)
  #21  
Old 05-21-2020, 05:11 PM
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And while we're at it, start making retail prices reflect the post-sales tax price, too.
That's on my to-do list when I'm anointed Emperor.

Along with requiring all products and services to advertise the bottom line price. No additional fees and nonsense. Looking at you, cell providers.
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Old 05-21-2020, 05:50 PM
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Sure, as soon as a living wage is to be had by all.
  #23  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:44 PM
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If it can be gotten rid of, and restaurant owners forced to pay their employees a market wage, then I'm all for it. Until then, "I'm opposed to the current tipping regime" is a poor excuse for stiffing your waiters, delivery people and bartenders. So tip until you don't have to anymore.

That said, tipping shouldn't be outlawed either, directly or indirectly. If someone wants to reward their server for good service, they should be allowed to do so and the server should be allowed to accept. It just shouldn't be an expectation for every meal and it should be between the server and customer and have nothing to do with the employer at all. When I was working the drive through at McDonald's when I was a teenager, a woman told me to "keep the change" which was a quarter, I think. The manager got very upset and said I couldn't keep it because I could be fired or even be in legal/tax trouble. Frankly, that's bullshit.
Unfortunately, I am starting to think that the only way that it is plausible to get rid of tipping is to outlaw it. Many restaurants in NYC had tried to get rid of tipping voluntarily, and most have failed - it is apparently too difficult to run a no-tip restaurant successfully when you have to compete with tipped restaurants, as servers at tipped restaurants will tend to make more and don't want to work at no-tip restaurants. Here are a couple articles discussing this. It might be possible that a restaurant could do no-tipping and pay their servers way more than their kitchen staff/managers to maintain similar levels of compensation to typical pay nowadays, but seems like that would breed resentment between the staff. As is right now, I feel like kitchen staff and managers put up with servers making more under the premise of servers earning their tips directly from the customer - but if the restaurant charged more for their food and didn't pay the kitchen staff any better than they do under the current regime, that would surely make them unhappy.

Ultimately I'm of the same opinion of most in this thread in that I think tipping is a lousy system but I do it anyway. Jurisdictions that allow for lower minimum wage for tipped employees further reinforce the requirement to tip, but it seems like even places where servers get paid regular minimum wage (which can be fairly high, $15/hr where I live) there is still an expectation to tip 15%.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:01 PM
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Unfortunately, I am starting to think that the only way that it is plausible to get rid of tipping is to outlaw it.
Under what legal theory could the government outlaw tipping?
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:29 PM
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Under what legal theory could the government outlaw tipping?
Under the same one that they outlaw 32-ounce sodas or spitting on the street. It's in the public interest. You probably wouldn't outlaw tipping so much as require workers to be paid a minimum wage. Tipped workers may be legally paid less than minimum wage. Do away with that and prices will have to go up, which will probably also put downward pressure on tips.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:29 PM
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Tax it at 100% -- perfectly legal, and would get rid of it right quick.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:43 PM
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Under the same one that they outlaw 32-ounce sodas or spitting on the street.
If you're talking about the NYC law, its highest state court ruled against it, and the law was repealed in 2015.
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Old 05-21-2020, 07:49 PM
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Tax it at 100% -- perfectly legal, and would get rid of it right quick.
I'm sorry, but whom do you propose to tax? The tipper, or the recipient?
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:10 PM
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I was thinking of the recipient. It would have the effect of destroying tipping as an institution, and is legal. I was just answering your question, how could it be done legally. It *could* be done. "The power to tax is the power to destroy." I'm not actually recommending it!
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:12 PM
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I think it makes it hard to figure out taxes.

I'd prefer we drop the practice and just have wages.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:19 PM
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If employees don't have personal vested interest (i.e. a reward) for working harder, most generally do the minimum they need to keep their jobs. I have absolutely no problem rewarding and providing them an incentive and I tip generously.

That said, maybe the incentive doesn't need to be a direct tip, maybe they can be given incentives based on how much their tables order etc, but there definitely needs to be some incentive there.
Every other job in the world incentivizes its employees to work hard by offering competitive wages, bonuses, benefits, choice scheduling, and on and on and on. Why should it be any different for restaurants? Why do restaurant owners get a pass on having to do the legwork to get the most from their workers?
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:42 PM
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In Oregon there is no lower tipped wage, all servers are paid at least the minimum, which in the Portland metro area is currently $12.50/hr, going up to $13.25 on July 1. And we tip our servers well, and most restaurants have gone to pooled tips, which means the back of house staff gets tip money when the servers do, which acknowledges that their work is a large reason why servers get tips. Somehow this has not resulted in a wasteland without restaurants--as a matter of fact, aside from the COVID situation we have an incredibly diverse and vibrant restaurant scene. Any restaurant that maintains it simply MUST be allowed to pay its servers the insulting $2.13 federal pittance is a restaurant that does not need to exist and it deserves to go out of business with a quickness. That's appalling--you can't even get someone to bring in your mail and water your plants for that little. The federal minimum wage is an insult and a disgusting one and I for one think Congress ought to be paid the minimum they think is adequate for others.

Restaurant workers need to be paid properly and if I as a customer have no problem with tipping them then I fucking well will continue to do so. The restaurant owner needs to pay their employees and maybe I like paying my temporary employees as well. Tips should not be the only thing keeping a server from starving, that's sick.
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Old 05-22-2020, 02:30 AM
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I get tips, as a mover, pretty regularly. But it's what it's supposed to be, a little bonus from the customer because they want to. Sometimes the tips can be pretty generous and a good week will double my wages for that week. But I don't need rely or count on them. Do away with tipping as it currently is in the restaurant industry in the US, and a lot of folks are gonna whine and cry and have tantrums but everyone will be ok and most will be better off. Get rid of that stupid repressive double standard wage law.

Last edited by DorkVader; 05-22-2020 at 02:32 AM.
  #34  
Old 05-22-2020, 03:29 AM
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I oppose the practice of tipping, and avoid as much as possible patronizing any business that uses it.

I've always regarded it as an excuse to underpay workers, and taken it as a given that the employers would routinely confiscate any tip money for themselves. Regardless of what any laws say they should do, I don't expect the law to care what employers do to employees short of murdering them in a way too spectacular to ignore.
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:28 AM
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I endorse SmartAleq's suggestion. Congressmembers should be paid the federal minimum wage - if it's good enough for millions of hardworking Americans, then it's good enough for you, Senator.

In fact, I propose that special interests and donors and SuperPACs funnel enough money to Congress that their contributions can rightfully be called "tips" and thus, all Congress members earn the tip wage ($2.15/hr) exclusively.
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Old 05-22-2020, 05:49 AM
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As a customer and retired cheapskate I hate tipping, but feel obligated to be generous.

When I was a bartender for a couple of years, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and eighteen-year-olds could drink, I loved it. It made sense to me that I could earn more by my own efforts rather than be paid the same as some surly guy who didn't do his job well.
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:11 AM
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As a customer and retired cheapskate I hate tipping, but feel obligated to be generous.

When I was a bartender for a couple of years, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and eighteen-year-olds could drink, I loved it. It made sense to me that I could earn more by my own efforts rather than be paid the same as some surly guy who didn't do his job well.

In countries where tipping is not the norm, and people are paid a reasonable wage, you have the same odds of getting a server who is surly and doesn't do his job well. Quite low, because people in that position who are surly and incompetent usually get fired, no matter how they are paid.
I've been living in no-tipping Australia for quite some time now, and service is at least as good as in the States.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:32 AM
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Service is awesome in non-tipping Japan.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:42 AM
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I despise tipping & think it's wrong. Why should I pay you extra to do your job, whether that's bring some food, make a drink, drive someone somewhere, or carry a bag up to a room? I expect you to do that & shouldn't have to pay you extra for just doing the basics of your job. That being said, I do tip because it's not right to screw the guy on the ground for our society's payroll quirks.

Even the rules for restaurant tipping aren't consistent. When a waiter/waitress brings your food in a sit-down restaurant you're expected to tip but when the clerk in Mickey D's brings you your food...all of six steps from the fryer to the counter you're not. What happens when they give you a number at order time & then bring your tray to your table? I don't think there's an expectation to tip in that scenario, is there? Some sit down restaurants (Red Robin?) allow you to do your own ordering on a tableside pad/kiosk, turning the waiter/waitress into basically just a food runner.

However, unlike what others have said, i don't feel it's subsidizing the owner so much; it's more like the false advertising the airlines do. Oooh, look, fares to ___ for only $59!
Wait, you want a seat? You want to sit with your traveling companion, even if that's a minor child? &/or You want a specific type of seat that occupies one third of the plane? That's gonna cost you extra!
Want to go overnight (& who besides people going for a business meeting don't?) & carry more than a thong & a compact/camping toothbrush (w/o any toothpaste) in your pocket (will underwear with more material even fit in your pocket?), that'll cost you for a carry on (at least with the budget airlines). What to have anything to eat or drink in a span of a six hour window (including arrival at the airport early to get thru security); that'll cost you extra, too. I know that the price that an airline is showing is far below what it's going to really cost me, too. The price on the menu doesn't really represent what I'm going to pay in a restaurant, either.
  #40  
Old 05-22-2020, 11:44 AM
dalej42 is offline
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As a customer and retired cheapskate I hate tipping, but feel obligated to be generous.

When I was a bartender for a couple of years, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and eighteen-year-olds could drink, I loved it. It made sense to me that I could earn more by my own efforts rather than be paid the same as some surly guy who didn't do his job well.
Iíve heard that as well. But, the owner of the bar wants to sell liquor. So, if one bartender is constantly ringing up fewer sales, Iíd be interested as to know why. Sure, the opening bartender at noon during the week isnít gonna have the same sales as Saturday night. But, two bartenders on the same shift? Especially if itís at the same station?
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  #41  
Old 05-23-2020, 01:03 AM
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I despise tipping & think it's wrong. Why should I pay you extra to do your job, whether that's bring some food, make a drink, drive someone somewhere, or carry a bag up to a room? I expect you to do that & shouldn't have to pay you extra for just doing the basics of your job. That being said, I do tip because it's not right to screw the guy on the ground for our society's payroll quirks.

Even the rules for restaurant tipping aren't consistent. When a waiter/waitress brings your food in a sit-down restaurant you're expected to tip but when the clerk in Mickey D's brings you your food...all of six steps from the fryer to the counter you're not. What happens when they give you a number at order time & then bring your tray to your table? I don't think there's an expectation to tip in that scenario, is there? Some sit down restaurants (Red Robin?) allow you to do your own ordering on a tableside pad/kiosk, turning the waiter/waitress into basically just a food runner.

However, unlike what others have said, i don't feel it's subsidizing the owner so much; it's more like the false advertising the airlines do. Oooh, look, fares to ___ for only $59!
Wait, you want a seat? You want to sit with your traveling companion, even if that's a minor child? &/or You want a specific type of seat that occupies one third of the plane? That's gonna cost you extra!
Want to go overnight (& who besides people going for a business meeting don't?) & carry more than a thong & a compact/camping toothbrush (w/o any toothpaste) in your pocket (will underwear with more material even fit in your pocket?), that'll cost you for a carry on (at least with the budget airlines). What to have anything to eat or drink in a span of a six hour window (including arrival at the airport early to get thru security); that'll cost you extra, too. I know that the price that an airline is showing is far below what it's going to really cost me, too. The price on the menu doesn't really represent what I'm going to pay in a restaurant, either.
This. All of these comments about "subsidizing the owner" are misplaced. However it is structured, you the customer will be paying the wages of the restaurant employees. Whether the bill is $40 and you are expected to "subsidize the owner" by tipping $10 or the bill is a flat $50, then the result is the same. The owner gets his money from customers. You are paying his bills no matter what.

I also agree that all prices should be bottom line out the door prices. Of course I need at least a carry on bag if I am flying and probably a suitcase. You would take a suitcase on a 3 hour road trip if you were staying overnight, so why not when I fly across the country? That sort of hiding the real price is infuriating, especially when it is more than the ticket itself. You charge me $59 (plus tax, plus security fee) to fly me from BWI to LAS, but it is another $70 for my suitcase to be stuffed in the cargo hold? That is simply intentional misrepresentation.

And don't get me started on "resort fees." In Las Vegas you end up paying well more that double the advertised rates after taxes, fees, and "resort fees." I'm a good capitalist. I have no problem if the Wynn wants to charge $250/night. But don't tell me it is a SUPER DEAL! $99/night!!! when it is not that at all.
  #42  
Old 05-23-2020, 01:39 AM
UltraVires is offline
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Sure, as soon as a living wage is to be had by all.
Several have mentioned this, but IMHO it is a side issue. Whether the government should mandate that servers make $7.25/hr, $15/hr or $30/hr, that isn't the question here. The question is the delivery mechanism.

Should whatever they are required to make be done through regular wage payment with transparent pricing or done under the current system where the customer is shown a falsely low price and expected through a sometimes confusing custom of then paying additional giving the server a mix of a fixed wage and a tipped wage?

Whether the wage is too low applies to servers and the guy at Autozone. I'll leave the prior debate for another day and go with the getting rid of tipping.

Another reason I don't like it is that it implies a social caste. These people here are my societal inferiors so I am tossing them a few crumbs to carry my piss bucket. No, treat them like people and pay them a wage like everyone else.
  #43  
Old 05-23-2020, 01:54 AM
galen ubal is online now
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<<snip>>
Another reason I don't like it is that it implies a social caste. These people here are my societal inferiors so I am tossing them a few crumbs to carry my piss bucket. No, treat them like people and pay them a wage like everyone else.
Thank you, UltraVires. This is exactly the sentiment I had been wanting to express, and hadn't been able to word effectively.
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Last edited by galen ubal; 05-23-2020 at 01:55 AM.
  #44  
Old 05-23-2020, 08:56 AM
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I think we need to distinguish purely voluntary tipping from tipping that, while not added automatically to the bill, is almost mandatory.
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I've been fortunate enough to travel a lot around the world and in my experience unless you're being served by the owner or family (in a small place), service by a hired employee without tipping as an incentive, is invariably far worse.
This doesn't hold, in my limited experience. But if a U.S. tip is typically 14% to 20%, and the tip in a no-tipping country is typically 0% to 8%, the incentive to serve well is actually greater in the "no-tipping" country! (8% vs 6%) Especially since most U.S. consumers have a standard tip (e.g. 15% or 20%) which they give regardless of service.

No thread on tipping is complete without mention that Mr. Pink doesn't tip. (99% of you have watched this scene 9 times already, but maybe one of you has missed this great scene from a great movie.)
  #45  
Old 05-23-2020, 09:26 AM
Corry El is offline
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This. All of these comments about "subsidizing the owner" are misplaced. However it is structured, you the customer will be paying the wages of the restaurant employees. Whether the bill is $40 and you are expected to "subsidize the owner" by tipping $10 or the bill is a flat $50, then the result is the same. The owner gets his money from customers. You are paying his bills no matter what.
Yes, if you have any belief in classical microeconomics the equilibrium return on the capital and labor restaurant owners put into their places is not going to be a function of whether there's a tipping culture or not. Many people have instinctive distrust or rejection of classical economics, heavily emphasizing the relatively marginal cases where it doesn't largely explain wages, prices, capital returns, but ignoring the vast majority of cases where it does.

IOW when speaking of whether 'we' should have tipping or not, do you assume equilibrium employee compensation, customer prices and returns on capital and (their own) labor for restaurant owners would be much different with or without it? If you do, or if you think 'we' can just raise employee compensation and nothing else happen, you're probably mainly making a wrong assumption.

Tipping is mainly a social convention not a determinant of wages, prices and capital returns on businesses that use it as a compensation model. I don't like tipping, frankly not mainly because I think it results in people being paid less*, but it can create socially uncomfortable situations for me that don't anyone else any good**. But just saying 'we' are going to change a social convention is pointless, it doesn't work that way. It's not immutable, but it's also not decided by some centralized 'we' on a voting basis.

*Like a lot of things it would result in some paid more and some paid less. Who thinks that service staff at famous high priced restaurants would ever get a salary equal to 20-25% (if you're talking NY) of the exorbitant bills there like they do now? Those jobs are often handed down within families. Other tipped staff might end up making more.
**I just pick a %, 20 for restaurants, and give it unless something really unusual happens. I'll look up what 'you're supposed to' give in other traditional tipping situations and just do it, I resist tipping in previously non-tip situations. I just don't feel like agonizing over it.
  #46  
Old 05-23-2020, 02:47 PM
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Yes, if you have any belief in classical microeconomics the equilibrium return on the capital and labor restaurant owners put into their places is not going to be a function of whether there's a tipping culture or not. Many people have instinctive distrust or rejection of classical economics, heavily emphasizing the relatively marginal cases where it doesn't largely explain wages, prices, capital returns, but ignoring the vast majority of cases where it does.

IOW when speaking of whether 'we' should have tipping or not, do you assume equilibrium employee compensation, customer prices and returns on capital and (their own) labor for restaurant owners would be much different with or without it? If you do, or if you think 'we' can just raise employee compensation and nothing else happen, you're probably mainly making a wrong assumption.

Tipping is mainly a social convention not a determinant of wages, prices and capital returns on businesses that use it as a compensation model. I don't like tipping, frankly not mainly because I think it results in people being paid less*, but it can create socially uncomfortable situations for me that don't anyone else any good**. But just saying 'we' are going to change a social convention is pointless, it doesn't work that way. It's not immutable, but it's also not decided by some centralized 'we' on a voting basis.

*Like a lot of things it would result in some paid more and some paid less. Who thinks that service staff at famous high priced restaurants would ever get a salary equal to 20-25% (if you're talking NY) of the exorbitant bills there like they do now? Those jobs are often handed down within families. Other tipped staff might end up making more.
**I just pick a %, 20 for restaurants, and give it unless something really unusual happens. I'll look up what 'you're supposed to' give in other traditional tipping situations and just do it, I resist tipping in previously non-tip situations. I just don't feel like agonizing over it.
I think you are overstating the difficulties. If customers would prefer a system with no tipping, then some restaurants will offer it. They will put a sign up that says tipping is not necessary and that all gratuities are listed in the menu price. If that is something customers like, then more and more restaurants will do it so that the social custom changes.

And, yes, of course there will be some changes to the compensation system like in the end high restaurants you mentioned. I have always thought it is silly that if I have plans to meet my wife for dinner and it turns out that I am not that hungry and get a $13 salad, or alternatively, I decide to splurge and get a $50 dish that the server's compensation increased simply because he or she carried a higher priced item from the kitchen to my table, or if we ordered a bottle of wine that night instead of iced tea (that the server would have to refill) that her compensation is much higher for carrying wine.

Of course, someone working in a high end fine dining restaurant is not swappable with a Denny's waitress. That individual needs to have special training, have knowledge of the menu items, be able to recommend food and wine pairings, have a crisp and professional appearance, etc. so the salary for that person will definitely be more in line with those needs if the restaurant wants to stay in business.

But, I think that getting rid of tipping would reduce a lot of the inequality that comes with two waitresses, doing almost the identical job, getting varying degrees of compensation just because of the food offerings. Without tipping, the compensation would treat like things alike.

Perhaps restaurants could differentiate based on service levels which they have no incentive to do now when people largely just plunk down 15% to 20% unless the service was either horrific or out of this world.

The worst example is a buffet restaurant like Sizzler where you pay upfront and they ask you how much of a tip you would like to put on the card. First, it's a buffet and I am serving myself. Sure they bring drinks, but since I'm already getting up, just put in a drink machine. Second, I don't know what the service will be like but you already want me to tip. How does that incentivize good service?
  #47  
Old 05-23-2020, 04:17 PM
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At top end restaurants or in classy cocktail places, the servers can make a incredible amount on tips. So much so, that giving them full Minimum wage would cut their pay by about 90%.
  #48  
Old 05-23-2020, 04:20 PM
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No, we're not proposing cutting their real wages by 90%. We'd ask that re-structured restaurant prices reflect the status quo to at least a greater degree than that. The objection is not realistic.
  #49  
Old 05-23-2020, 04:43 PM
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When I was a tipped employee, in fact I rather liked having money in my pocket at the end of my shift, and then every two weeks I also got a check. (A very small check.)

But, at the most high-end restaurant I ever worked at, tips were pooled. And we also had to tip out some people who got minimum wage, which was a different minimum wage than what we got. For example, the dishwashers and busboys. They only got a small portion of the pooled tips but it seemed to me, as people whose minimum wage was guaranteed, they shoudn't have. Also in that restaurant the hostess made minimum wage and was also one of the people who got the divvied up tips at the end of the day. In my opinion we all should have been making more money.

I also don't get the tip inflation. At one point the standard was 10%. Then it went up to 15%, which was a lot harder for people to calculate. Then 20%. WTF? The meals and drinks are also getting progressively more expensive. If we're gonna do it, then go back to 10%; if we're gonna make it a mandatory thing then figure it into the bill.
  #50  
Old 05-23-2020, 05:01 PM
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At top end restaurants or in classy cocktail places, the servers can make a incredible amount on tips. So much so, that giving them full Minimum wage would cut their pay by about 90%.
That's just it though. People dining at high end restaurants expect a corresponding high level of knowledge and service. Such a restaurant could not meet that demand and hire quality people by paying minimum wage. Who would put up with snooty rich people all day snapping their fingers when you could work at Subway for less hassle?
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