Tip vs. No-Tip Policy
A web poll by VoucherCloud.net, an online coupon website, found that the majority of Americans tip their food servers less than 20%, and 1 in 10 leave no tip at all. Of those customers who tipped less than 20%, more than half explained their reason was that they could not afford it, and about a third said it was because they thought the service did not merit a larger tip. Moreover, the survey found that only 23% of Americans tip their food server 20% or more.
The Huffington Post mentions how leaving gratuity is necessary when dining out because restaurant servers’ pay is very low. The US federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and in some places, wait staff can legally be paid as low as $2.13. In New York, one of the most expensive cities in the world, salaries for waiters start at $5.00 per hour.
Recently some restaurants started forgoing tips and paying their staff higher wages. By folding tips into the meal tab, waiters are protected from being ripped off by the occasional stingy diner. According to CBS news, one theory is that “tips disrupt the working environment and leave servers unsure of their net pay from week to week”. The reasoning is that by removing an employee’s concern over income fluctuations, they can better focus on the customer and perhaps provide improved service.
Among the problems with tipping are not only that it can be unfair, but some savvy servers have figured out how to game the system. According to New Republic, things like giving a shoulder pat to the customer or touching their hands, crouching at the table, drawing smiley faces on checks, being a blonde, wearing an ornament in the hair, and wearing red can actually generate bigger tips.
Tipping is a practice with inherent flaws. However, until restaurant owners can afford to pay a living wage, tipping will stay to make up for lower employee compensations.
Do you think the no-tipping policy is going to catch on? We’d love to hear your opinion so leave us a comment below.