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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  #51  
Old 05-23-2020, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
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.
According to the law, your minimum wage was "guaranteed" as well in the sense that if you don't get enough in tips to cover the difference, the owner has to pay. I understand that some owners violate the law as well as some servers violate the law by not reporting all of their income.

In addition, for whatever purposes tips serve, they are for personal individual service. If I give a waitress a tip, it is bullshit that the kitchen porters and busboys share in that. They didn't provide me personal service.

Eliminating tipping takes care of all of that.
  #52  
Old 05-23-2020, 06:41 PM
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I think you’re greatly overlooking the power people feel when they withhold a tip because..slow service, forgot the bread, didn’t like the attitude, etc. Now there’s no way for them to express their righteous outrage and still feel they have the high ground. They won’t like not being able to penalize the bad server.

Plus people like fawning service, being doted on, flattered, rushed to if they spill a drink, someone to tell them, ‘let me see if I can ...’. All of those things will disappear, as will the appearance code.

People don’t like to tip, but they’d freak if, they effects tipping have on service, disappeared suddenly, I think.
  #53  
Old 05-23-2020, 06:48 PM
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I'm glad now that I separated out the poll into people who have and haven't working tipped positions.

The (currently) 7:1 spread among people who haven't was pretty much what I was expecting. The 2:1 advantage among those that have gotten tips is a little surprising. While the sample size is admittedly small I'd be interested in a debate panel of the two sides.

Or at least a bullet point list of arguments and counters....

ETA:

Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
People don’t like to tip, but they’d freak if, they effects tipping have on service, disappeared suddenly, I think.
Yet the countries where tipping isn't ingrained in the culture haven't fallen into chaos with rioting in the streets.

At least not because of the lack of tipping.

Last edited by Projammer; 05-23-2020 at 06:50 PM.
  #54  
Old 05-23-2020, 07:16 PM
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Where they haven’t had tipping they don’t really do always prompt, polite bordering on fawning, and a swift reaction to your every need. They aren’t missing something they’ve never had. Different thing entirely.

I think it would just remanifest, to be honest. Initially service standards would suffer, I’m making the same whether you get good, bad or indifferent service. In such a world, sparkling overly accommodating service will indeed shine.

And then, a very human thing will happen. They def think you’re worth more, and want to feel they’re encouraging that better level of service, so they’ll slide you a little cash on the side. You know you would!

Welcome to the real world. It’s the way it is BECAUSE of the nature of service AND the nature of people.

Last edited by elbows; 05-23-2020 at 07:17 PM.
  #55  
Old 05-23-2020, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
Where they haven’t had tipping they don’t really do always prompt, polite bordering on fawning, and a swift reaction to your every need. They aren’t missing something they’ve never had. Different thing entirely.
<<snip>>
I
Nope. I've lived in both the States and in Australia, and I can tell you for certain that service is just as apt to be prompt and polite here as it is in the States. It's true I've seen little of the fawning, obsequious behavior here, and frankly, I don't miss it.

In other words, your premise that a tipping culture breeds better service is simply not true. It all depends on the worker, and the management.
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  #56  
Old 05-23-2020, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
I think you’re greatly overlooking the power people feel when they withhold a tip because..slow service, forgot the bread, didn’t like the attitude, etc. Now there’s no way for them to express their righteous outrage and still feel they have the high ground. They won’t like not being able to penalize the bad server. . . .
Sure there is: write a review on social media. Or write directly to the restaurant owner, tell him what happened, and say you will post a review if it happens again.

Plus, I don't agree with your premise here. As galen ubal notes, it isn't an observed problem in some other countries. I don't find it to be a problem at convenience stores, supermarkets, or other outlets where there isn't tipping. Service there is pretty much like service at tip-appropriate places. (Usually pretty darn good.)

edited for typo

Last edited by Trinopus; 05-23-2020 at 07:45 PM.
  #57  
Old 05-23-2020, 10:27 PM
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Also since most people pay with a credit card, including tips, what keeps the managers and owners from keeping the tips? Its an honor system that they will pay waiters the tips.
  #58  
Old 05-23-2020, 10:32 PM
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Restructure your prices so that we don't have to tip for your employees to survive. Tipping is a pain on both sides, sez this former waitress. Just do away with the practice.
  #59  
Old 05-23-2020, 11:07 PM
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End tipping. Please. Pay your workers a normal wage.
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  #60  
Old 05-24-2020, 05:44 AM
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Even if tipping is kept, the minimum wage that employers must directly pay to tipped employees should be no less than 70-80% of the minimum for everybody else, not 29% like it is now.

It had been a constant 50% for a fairly long time. But when the minimum wage was increased from $4.25 to $4.75 and then $5.15/hour in 1996-97, the law included language to fix the tipped wage at $2.13, where it remained when the minimum for everyone else was raised to $7.25 in the late 2000s. Clearly the restaurant industry had very effective lobbyists.
  #61  
Old 05-24-2020, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
In addition, for whatever purposes tips serve, they are for personal individual service. If I give a waitress a tip, it is bullshit that the kitchen porters and busboys share in that. They didn't provide me personal service.
It means they get a benefit from doing the busy shifts, rather than it being pure extra work with the same reward as a quiet shift. Back of house can make a big difference in how effectively front of house is able to work, so yes, they do affect the service you had even if it's not so obvious.

Speaking for myself, I've worked in a role that got some tips in the UK, in a small cafe and a foodie pub, and was personally OK with the system there. Most people did not tip, or just left the change, tipping was for big, complicated groups or unusually good service, and was pooled among all staff. It was a nice perk on top, not an integral part of my wages. It did mean that the crazy busy days usually had more reward than the days where I was hanging around waiting for people to come in, which kinda made sense, and think it helped get people working better as a team, as rewards went to everyone.
  #62  
Old 05-24-2020, 06:47 AM
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If you need to pay extra to get decent service, that isn't tipping culture - that's bribe culture.
  #63  
Old 05-24-2020, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
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.
No it doesn't. I have worked as a tipped employee many times and most people have no idea how much money is made that way (hint: it is two metric shittons more than anyone would be willing to advertise with a straight face). Sure, you have the odd shift where you make basically nothing but it is more than offset by those where you make over $100 an hour. Serving is a skill and hard work. Good servers get the good shifts and get paid accordinging tio their ability. A bartender on a lazy Tuesday afternoon is not equivalent to one on a busy Saturday night. The latter work their asses off but they will probably walk out at the end of the night with $500 in cash for a busy bar. High end waiting is equivalent. The service and economic model works quite well. If you don't want to pay it, nothing is stopping you from being an asshole.

The math is easy as well - $1 per drink or 10% of the entire bill bill times 2. If you can't figure that out, you don't belong there in the first place. You don't need to tip at McDonalds or Wal-Mart.
  #64  
Old 05-24-2020, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
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 ...
If you take a similar poll almost anywhere, tipping is not that popular. Yet this change does not happen. What exactly would 'we' do to make it happen, and who is 'we'?

Social conventions are not like laws where you just change them (which isn't 100% how even laws work, they have to be enforceable). And there's no way tipping would be outlawed.

The hidden flaws in the apparent consensus that 'we' shouldn't have tipping (let's ignore the non-scientific sample including any left/right effect on this pretty left forum, I assume in a scientific sample tipping the answer wouldn't be dramatically different) are at least two IMO:
1. there's no quantification of how much more currently tipped employees would be paid, part of the big hole in the story of who is 'we' (higher min wage than now?, govt will set even medium wages in each job according to what 'we' decide is fair?, some assumption that market equilibrium wages make everyone happy?). In reality this would have a huge effect on point 2

2. assuming tipping was not outlawed (which would put the discussion in clearly preposterous territory) the convention is mainly determined by the people who really care about it, in this case tipping oriented businesses' employees and owners. Members of the gen pop have their opinions but don't really care *that* much.

So what for example is 'high salary' commensurate with their 'high training and skills' that Smith and Wollensky waiters will now get? What's in it for them to take that leap of faith, and what's in it for the owner to change the system in any realistic scenario (which again excludes a law against tipping)? 'Ironing out inequalities' for service staff at lower scale places is not a serious answer to why either party at a given establishment that really cares about this (staff and owners) would make this change. Everyday observation makes it clear that offering 'no tip service' is not an actual inducement to real life restaurant customers, or else it would already be widespread. If anything the actual 'organic' social trend is in the opposite direction in recent years, toward higher tip %'s and more cases where people are 'expected' to tip (tip jars for counter service for example, I don't recall seeing those years ago).

Last edited by Corry El; 05-24-2020 at 11:07 AM.
  #65  
Old 05-24-2020, 11:21 AM
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It’s been said before but I am saying it again. I have been all over the world and in most places tipping is not a thing. Service staff and taxi drivers will look at you funny if you tip. In places where tipping is a thing it isn’t an implied mandatory thing. It’s a little extra to show appreciation, not because the customer is afraid the server will starve. And it is never, ever more than 10%.

I don’t ever expect tipping to go away in the U.S.. This is a country that refuses to incorporate sales tax into the price of something, couldn’t learn the metric system, and can’t figure out Universal time instead of that am/pm nonsense.

Last edited by pkbites; 05-24-2020 at 11:24 AM.
  #66  
Old 05-24-2020, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Corry El View Post
If you take a similar poll almost anywhere, tipping is not that popular. Yet this change does not happen. What exactly would 'we' do to make it happen, and who is 'we'?

Social conventions are not like laws where you just change them (which isn't 100% how even laws work, they have to be enforceable). And there's no way tipping would be outlawed.

The hidden flaws in the apparent consensus that 'we' shouldn't have tipping (let's ignore the non-scientific sample including any left/right effect on this pretty left forum, I assume in a scientific sample tipping the answer wouldn't be dramatically different) are at least two IMO:
1. there's no quantification of how much more currently tipped employees would be paid, part of the big hole in the story of who is 'we' (higher min wage than now?, govt will set even medium wages in each job according to what 'we' decide is fair?, some assumption that market equilibrium wages make everyone happy?). In reality this would have a huge effect on point 2

2. assuming tipping was not outlawed (which would put the discussion in clearly preposterous territory) the convention is mainly determined by the people who really care about it, in this case tipping oriented businesses' employees and owners. Members of the gen pop have their opinions but don't really care *that* much.

So what for example is 'high salary' commensurate with their 'high training and skills' that Smith and Wollensky waiters will now get? What's in it for them to take that leap of faith, and what's in it for the owner to change the system in any realistic scenario (which again excludes a law against tipping)? 'Ironing out inequalities' for service staff at lower scale places is not a serious answer to why either party at a given establishment that really cares about this (staff and owners) would make this change. Everyday observation makes it clear that offering 'no tip service' is not an actual inducement to real life restaurant customers, or else it would already be widespread. If anything the actual 'organic' social trend is in the opposite direction in recent years, toward higher tip %'s and more cases where people are 'expected' to tip (tip jars for counter service for example, I don't recall seeing those years ago).
I think we are talking past each other. I'm not saying that it will happen, but that it could if we were sufficiently motivated to change it, which we are not.

It is one of those dispassionate majority/intense minority things that do well in public opinion polls, but the policy doesn't change because the minority is entrenched.

But as far as what should be the salary at a high end restaurant, this isn't rocket surgery. They would be paid like every other person in society is paid: no less than the minimum wage and whatever they can get in excess of that through their marketability and negotiation.

I agree with your observation about stupid tip jars everywhere and I refuse to do that. I'm not tipping at Subway. A restaurant around here which (was) closed to indoor dining and previously had carry out only service put in a tip jar with a sign talking about its staff's lost revenue due to no table service.

Yeah, fuck that. That's not tipping, that's simple panhandling and doesn't belong in any business. I'm out of work so help me out. Why don't you just sit outside playing a banjo with a hat next to you.
  #67  
Old 05-24-2020, 12:30 PM
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No it doesn't. I have worked as a tipped employee many times and most people have no idea how much money is made that way (hint: it is two metric shittons more than anyone would be willing to advertise with a straight face). Sure, you have the odd shift where you make basically nothing but it is more than offset by those where you make over $100 an hour. Serving is a skill and hard work. Good servers get the good shifts and get paid accordinging tio their ability. A bartender on a lazy Tuesday afternoon is not equivalent to one on a busy Saturday night. The latter work their asses off but they will probably walk out at the end of the night with $500 in cash for a busy bar. High end waiting is equivalent. The service and economic model works quite well. If you don't want to pay it, nothing is stopping you from being an asshole.

The math is easy as well - $1 per drink or 10% of the entire bill bill times 2. If you can't figure that out, you don't belong there in the first place. You don't need to tip at McDonalds or Wal-Mart.
1) How is busy time/down time different than any other job? Sometimes you get slammed and are working on a Saturday night and other times you are dicking around on the SDMB at 10am on a Tuesday.

2) The entitlement mentality is what I (and I believe many others object to). I'm an "asshole" if I don't tip, but the idea of a tip is supposed to be an extra incentive, one above the normal, for a job particularly well done.

And if the math is so easy, maybe the restaurant can do it right there. See where it says Bud Light-$4? If it is expected that we tip $1 per drink as a matter of course, just have that say Bud Light-$5. Instead of mocking those unfamiliar with the tipping system, possible people traveling from a foreign country, or just plain stupid people and telling them they cannot enjoy bars or restaurants, just print the menu honestly.
  #68  
Old 05-24-2020, 01:34 PM
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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.
Tipping exists because some employers managed to use the law to exempt themselves from minimum wage requirements; I hate supporting this practice.
  #69  
Old 05-24-2020, 01:38 PM
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. . . Why don't you just sit outside playing a banjo with a hat next to you.
It could work... People would pay me to stop playing...
  #70  
Old 05-24-2020, 02:37 PM
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...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.
I hate tipping. I'd FAR prefer to just pay the $50. I don't want to feel like I'm doing a performance review at the end of a meal. I just want to pay what I owe.

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Originally Posted by elbows View Post
I think you’re greatly overlooking the power people feel when they withhold a tip because..slow service, forgot the bread, didn’t like the attitude, etc. Now there’s no way for them to express their righteous outrage and still feel they have the high ground. They won’t like not being able to penalize the bad server.

Plus people like fawning service, being doted on, flattered, rushed to if they spill a drink, someone to tell them, ‘let me see if I can ...’. All of those things will disappear, as will the appearance code.

People don’t like to tip, but they’d freak if, they effects tipping have on service, disappeared suddenly, I think.
And this is exactly why I hate tipping. I don't want my server to feel they need to fawn on me. I want to feel like we are social equals and I want to pay a fair wage and not have it be my responsibility to determine what that wage is.
  #71  
Old 05-24-2020, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
If you need to pay extra to get decent service, that isn't tipping culture - that's bribe culture.
I believe you misspelled 'extortion' there.
  #72  
Old 05-24-2020, 04:00 PM
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I think we are talking past each other. I'm not saying that it will happen, but that it could if we were sufficiently motivated to change it, which we are not.

It is one of those dispassionate majority/intense minority things that do well in public opinion polls, but the policy doesn't change because the minority is entrenched.

But as far as what should be the salary at a high end restaurant, this isn't rocket surgery. They would be paid like every other person in society is paid: no less than the minimum wage and whatever they can get in excess of that through their marketability and negotiation.
Again I think my basic point is best considered by really thinking about my question: 'who is we'?

If asked to say how this change would actually come about, I'm pretty sure you'd have only two possible answers:
a) by govt force, a law against tipping: but it's obvious IMO that's not gonna happen
b) as you said before, some restaurants offer 'no tipping service here' and it gradually catches on. But you haven't answered why that hasn't already happened.

I think it goes to the point you ignored about not quantifying what the tipped staff would be paid in non-tipping system. If non-tipping was imposed then obviously the labor market would come up with non-tipped wages that resulted in eventual equilibrium, just like every other >min wage non-union job. But that's not the question here, which is how can a *spontaneous change* to a different system occur. If one restaurant offers 'no tipping service here', raising its prices accordingly, the problem is asymmetric information and lack trust between owners and customers. How do the customers know the staff isn't getting less and the owner more. Noting that though classical economics says the wage increases must be commensurate or the restaurant couldn't staff itself, average people are notorious for their low level of understanding of and faith in classical economics. What they will see is higher prices, with no guarantee that that money is going to staff in place of their tips, nor even any guarantee they won't actually be made to feel socially obligated to give (perhaps smaller) tips anyway.

And again note I'm not the one who has to prove why individual restaurants 'would' not do this. They obviously *don't* do it. Many 1,000's of places, in an *extremely* tough business (at all times not just now). Virtually none of them has ever had the great idea of getting new business by telling customers not to give tips, raising employee pay, and raising prices. Funny thing.

Culture is upstream of economics. Restaurants in Japan don't face any special problem to set wages to attract the necessary staff with no tipping. But that's not *why* there is no tipping there. To a great degree there is tipping in the US because there always has been. The fact that things would work if there wasn't doesn't mean it's ever going to spontaneously change. And again I think a discussion of doing this by govt dictat is ridiculous. Even the most collectivist people have higher priorities of things to collectivize than tipping/no tipping.

Last edited by Corry El; 05-24-2020 at 04:03 PM.
  #73  
Old 05-24-2020, 05:07 PM
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Sitting here with COVID time on my hands contemplating essential workers. This of course includes restaurant workers making $2.13 (federal minimum) plus tips.
Note that the law says that if the amount the employee makes in salary and tips combined is less than the non-tip minimum wage, the employer has to make up the difference. Yes, I am aware that there is a difference between "that's the law" and "that's what actually happens."

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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 ‘tip back’ a per centage, based on sales, to the house. Usually on the pretext of ‘sharing’ with kitchen staff etc.
Two of the things that stood out in a recent Democrat-proposed $15/hour minimum wage bill was, (a) the minimum wage for tipped employees will reach the minimum wage for non-tipped ones, at which point there would no longer be two separate rates, and (b) not only would every employee have the right not to participate in "tip sharing" (i.e. "my tips are my income"), but the employers must tell all of their employees this.
  #74  
Old 05-24-2020, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Corry El View Post

If asked to say how this change would actually come about, I'm pretty sure you'd have only two possible answers:
a) by govt force, a law against tipping: but it's obvious IMO that's not gonna happen
b) as you said before, some restaurants offer 'no tipping service here' and it gradually catches on. But you haven't answered why that hasn't already happened.
I'm pretty sure I know why it hasn't happened - and I'm going to use a related example. Every time I have had a party at either a catering hall or a restaurant, there has been a mandatory gratuity of 20%. I can't choose the amount of the gratuity, I don't give it to the individual servers and the gratuity is paid with the rest of the bill, usually a few days before the party, when I can't yet know how good the service will be. Given all of that, there is no reason that the price per person listed for the various options cannot include the 20% - in other words, rather than listing Menu 1 as $30 per person,it could be listed as $36 including the 20% gratuity. Except I lied - there is a reason. And that reason is competition - the restaurant with the $30 per person price looks less expensive than the one with the $36 price. It isn't really - but it looks that way on the surface. And business owners fear that customers won't look below the surface, so they tend to do what the competition does.


But actually , the way it could be eliminated by government force is not by a law against tipping , but rather elimination of the tip credit. Because once that's out of the picture, restaurants will be forced to raise prices enough to pay the servers minimum wage. And at that point, many of them may well publicize a "no tipping required policy" to explain the increased prices. (But it still won't happen for other reasons)
  #75  
Old 05-24-2020, 06:12 PM
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I've worked (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) as a tipped worker, and I say keep tipping AND pay them more. Basically, I think, based on my own experience going to other countries, that US service is better due to tipping. I think it's a good incentive that you don't get if you don't have a culture of tipping. On the other side, I think we should increase the salaries of these workers, especially at this time and in these circumstances, though really I think that paying them below minimum wage and expecting them to make that up in tips is stupid and that should be done away with.

JMHO and all.
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  #76  
Old 05-24-2020, 06:49 PM
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The math is easy as well - $1 per drink or 10% of the entire bill bill times 2. If you can't figure that out, you don't belong there in the first place. You don't need to tip at McDonalds or Wal-Mart.
The math is only a part of the problem. Give me a complete list of all tipping situations, please.
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Old 05-24-2020, 08:39 PM
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Much like money in politics, or profit in healthcare, it’s Incredibly hard/impossible to turn the train off the track once you‘re on it. Almost ‘you can’t get there from here’, I’m afraid.

Any attempt to end tipping will see most every server take an actual pay cut, in fact. That’s a pretty hard sell, so good luck with that. Any half measure will see the good server flock to the still tipping places. And high end places will and do, only want the best servers. So now, you’re right back where you started.

Plus, it’s dreadfully free market when you think about it. When hiring a server you want someone who can work fast, sell lots, and keep guests happy. People who are good at it make a lot in tips, while the owner sells lots and has happy customers. It is truly, on a daily basis, a direct; work harder, work better=make more money, equation. It is literally a ‘the better I do, the better up you do’ arrangement that works for both.

This would be unsupported by both servers and owners, so I’m just gonna wish you Good Luck!

Last edited by elbows; 05-24-2020 at 08:40 PM.
  #78  
Old 05-24-2020, 10:24 PM
Urbanredneck is offline
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They say to tip on the total bill. Well most places put on extra sales tax for restaurants. So if I buy $10 worth of food and they add $2 to make it $12, why should I tip on $12?

There was one Gordon Ramsey where managers were taking servers tips but not telling the customers. They manager just got that much more money. They said they paid their staff fairly though.
  #79  
Old 05-24-2020, 11:47 PM
D'Anconia is online now
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Originally Posted by carnut View Post
Restructure your prices so that we don't have to tip for your employees to survive.
Why is it up to the employer, or the customers, to provide for their survival?
  #80  
Old 05-25-2020, 07:10 AM
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I'm pretty sure I know why it hasn't happened - and I'm going to use a related example. Every time I have had a party at either a catering hall or a restaurant, there has been a mandatory gratuity of 20%. I can't choose the amount of the gratuity, I don't give it to the individual servers and the gratuity is paid with the rest of the bill, usually a few days before the party, when I can't yet know how good the service will be. Given all of that, there is no reason that the price per person listed for the various options cannot include the 20% - in other words, rather than listing Menu 1 as $30 per person,it could be listed as $36 including the 20% gratuity. Except I lied - there is a reason. And that reason is competition - the restaurant with the $30 per person price looks less expensive than the one with the $36 price. It isn't really - but it looks that way on the surface. And business owners fear that customers won't look below the surface, so they tend to do what the competition does.


But actually , the way it could be eliminated by government force is not by a law against tipping , but rather elimination of the tip credit. Because once that's out of the picture, restaurants will be forced to raise prices enough to pay the servers minimum wage. And at that point, many of them may well publicize a "no tipping required policy" to explain the increased prices. (But it still won't happen for other reasons)
1) Yes. Agreed. We were discussing that upthread and it is very much related to this. This type of "competition" is nothing more than, IMHO, unfair trade practices which serve no useful competitive benefit. If I have a flyer in my hand that says a hotel room is $99, I should expect to lay down a $100 bill on the counter and get both $1 back and my room key with no hard feelings from anyone. No bell hop secretly wishing I would die because I didn't pay more in the form of a tip.

If bell hop service is included, then be out there to take the bags from a customer. If you expect money, have a little sign at the curb that says "Bell hop service--$3 per bag" Easy, right?

And it gets even worse. Sometimes you can slip the desk clerk a $20 or so and they will upgrade you to a nicer room or one with a nicer view. Just post the damn prices for a nicer room. In every relevant way, this is theft from the hotel by both parties. Everyday transactions should not be conducted like a drug deal.

Of course, the vast majority of people know the prevailing custom and will read the fine print for any exceptions or disclaimers. However, allowing this practice only serves the singular purposes of allowing businesses to mislead people (or cause ill will when they do tip) who are inattentive, inexperienced, or uneducated. I don't see what value that adds such that it should be allowed to continue.

The catering place that pretends to be cheaper by saying $30 (plus mandatory 20% gratuity) than the other all-inclusive $33 place is simply counting on your inattentiveness or poor math skills to get your business, just like the hotel that charges $14.95 per night for Wi-Fi that is free at every cheap Motel 6 or McDonalds in the country, is engaging in an unfair business practice that simply should not be allowed.

2) Many states do require a full minimum wage to be paid prior to tips, and I haven't seen any change in practice because of that.
  #81  
Old 05-25-2020, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by D'Anconia View Post
Why is it up to the employer, or the customers, to provide for their survival?
What you said is harsh, but correct. But it illustrates the sordid nature of the tipping culture: You, the customer, must ensure that this poor waitress does not starve to death.

Nobody worries about that any other time. If you buy tomatoes from a farmer's market, nobody is asking you to think of the poor farmer and if he's making ends meet this year. You pay the listed price and walk out.

If you buy wiper blades at Autozone, nobody is guilting you into thinking that you should toss in a couple extra bucks to make sure the cashier can pay the water bill this month. You pay the price and walk out.

It is just unusual and inconsistent to say that in this one particular context you as a customer have a complete obligation to ensure by voluntary donation that the server (and not the hostess, or the line cook, or the pot washer) has enough money.
  #82  
Old 05-25-2020, 08:20 AM
doreen is online now
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
1)

2) Many states do require a full minimum wage to be paid prior to tips, and I haven't seen any change in practice because of that.
It's only about 5 or 6 states that don't allow a tip credit at all. There are more states require a direct wage higher than the $2.13 allowed by Federal law - for example, in most of NYS, food service workers must be paid a cash wage of $7.85 with a tip credit of up to $3.95 to get to the minimum wage of $11.80. Part of the reason you don't see any changes in practice is because people don't know about the differences - maybe someone might know that their own state or city mandates a higher minimum than $2.13 , but they probably aren't going to research everywhere they travel to, and find out that Washington requires servers to be paid the full minimum wage by employers and NYC requires a direct wage of $12.50 so they a smaller tip is needed to bring those servers above minimum wage than is needed in Alabama, which only requires direct wages of $2.13. Another part of the reason is because even if I do know that a server in Washington must be paid $13.50 per hour before tips and would be inclined to tip less, the chances are good that other people won't know and I don't want to look cheap. Which is why I think eliminating the tip credit on the Federal level is the only thing that might work - different rules for different states and cities is just going to result in people having a default setting and tipping the same in Washington, NYC and Alabama.
And I say might because there are a surprising number of people who seem to justify poor treatment of servers based on the practice of tipping and would continue to tip 20% just so they don't feel guilty running the server ragged.
  #83  
Old 05-25-2020, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
What you said is harsh, but correct. But it illustrates the sordid nature of the tipping culture: You, the customer, must ensure that this poor waitress does not starve to death.

Nobody worries about that any other time. If you buy tomatoes from a farmer's market, nobody is asking you to think of the poor farmer and if he's making ends meet this year. You pay the listed price and walk out.

If you buy wiper blades at Autozone, nobody is guilting you into thinking that you should toss in a couple extra bucks to make sure the cashier can pay the water bill this month. You pay the price and walk out.

It is just unusual and inconsistent to say that in this one particular context you as a customer have a complete obligation to ensure by voluntary donation that the server (and not the hostess, or the line cook, or the pot washer) has enough money.
Yes, yes, yes. I don't want the guilt, nor the cognitive load, of having to think about whether I'm paying enough. Just tell me the price up front.

I hate tipping SO much.
  #84  
Old 05-25-2020, 08:57 PM
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I despise tipping. Along with the personal issue (How much do I tip? Is 10% considered good, bad, an insult? Did the person really go above and beyond?), I feel it's an easy and cheap out for the employer to get away with not following their obligations to the employees.

I have also traveled around the world, spending quite some time in lands where tipping is not expected, even living in one land where a tip is not accepted. The service was always what I expected from an employee: polite, professional, quick, and competent.

The US needs to abandon the practice.
  #85  
Old 05-25-2020, 09:05 PM
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I despise tipping. Along with the personal issue (How much do I tip? Is 10% considered good, bad, an insult? Did the person really go above and beyond?), I feel it's an easy and cheap out for the employer to get away with not following their obligations to the employees.

I have also traveled around the world, spending quite some time in lands where tipping is not expected, even living in one land where a tip is not accepted. The service was always what I expected from an employee: polite, professional, quick, and competent.

The US needs to abandon the practice.
  #86  
Old 05-25-2020, 10:13 PM
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More than that. Another reason to get rid of tipping, consider the racial part. The thought of a server would not want to serve black customers because they feel they dont tip very much.

It's a taboo subject but its a fact that restaurant servers often dont want to serve black customers in because they supposedly do not tip well.

Consider this article "Whats Behind the Racial Differences in Tipping" which had a poll that found 34% of servers (even black servers) say black customers dont tip well or at all. The article also shows actual studies that prove blacks tip less than whites with various reasons.

Also Racial Differences in Restaurant Tipping.

And "The Racist History of Tipping" which traces the racist history of tipping back to the black Pullman train servers.

Granted, servers, given enough time, can size up a patron pretty quick and tell who will tip the best and want to serve that customer over others.

Getting rid of tipping altogether would stop this.
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