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Would You Care if Tipping Didn't Exist?

Would You Care if Tipping Didn't Exist?

A provocative article that appeared in a recent issue of the New York Times Magazine broaches the question of whether America should still require tips.

The idea behind tipping is that it improves service by rewarding good waiters and punishing bad ones. But advocates for eliminating tipping say this logic is false, and they believe working for tips discourages teamwork. What's your two cents?


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dangergirlnga dangergirlnga 8 years
Tipping used to connote great service -- the better service you got, the better the tip. And the people earning the tips typically earned less money, because it's assumed that the tipping makes up for the wage (the last waitress wage I earned, less than 10 years ago, was just over $3.00). But now, too many people, in too many industries, are regarding tips as requirements, but do they really deserve them? Seriously, even one of the dry cleaners near my apartment (in NYC) graciously accepts tips now. And they're not the nice dry cleaners. I'd be a happy woman if I never had to tip again, but the fact of the matter is, waitresses, waiters & bartenders will never make a living wage on minimum wage.
Aestuo Aestuo 8 years
also, in my opinion there is something wrong when the person bringing me dinner or drink makes more than an average nurse (because I know some servers and bartenders do)
Aestuo Aestuo 8 years
"hope against hope that they get a good tip - that their customer doesn't subscribe to the 15% rule (which was established 25 years ago and which by no means accounts for the rise in price of living)" erm, can you do math? being a percentage it automatically includes inflation, because food prices and meal prices account for inflation. For example: Restaurant dinner 25 years ago = 25$ therefore 15% tip is about 4.00$ Restaurant dinner now = about 50$ therefore 15% tip is about 8.00$ now these numbers are for a relatively cheap dinner... not $20+ a plate plus wine or drink...
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
I would much prefer to never tip. In Australia it's not compulsory although we're made to feel that it is. So, waiters and waitresses get paid the same or more per hour than me as a base rate, but on top of that they get tips. In fact, bartenders get WAY more than I get per hour. I used to work in a very stressful job that was just as hard as waitressing or bartending, with the same hourly rate - but no tips. It's not like I put a little 'tips' jar on my reception desk! I don't mind tipping for exceptional service but sometimes nowadays I get the feeling that it is EXPECTED, although unlike in the US, most people who receive tips are paid a decent wage that does not need to be augmented with extra gratuities from customers. I like the idea that companies look after their employees and encourage good service from them in other ways. It's not my job to 'buy' the standard of service I receive - it should be of a high standard already. Does that make sense?
LadyLibertine LadyLibertine 8 years
As it was said before Australia does not have tips expected. But I do give tips. Mind you not all accept it. I know when I worked in one field I didn't. But that was just me.
PrincessLtrain PrincessLtrain 8 years
Sure it's a hassle to figure out the math sometimes, but I don't want to be forced to tip X amount because it's automatically incorporated into my bill if they didn't earn that X amount. I once ate at a restaurant where we never saw our actual server. The other waitstaff took care of us. Now why should she earn an automatic tip or even any tip at all!
ladygarnetoak ladygarnetoak 8 years
tipping does lead to better service - and people who work for tips can make ALOT more money than those making a "standard" wage
lyndsei lyndsei 8 years
It would be a better world if servers made more than $2.13 per hour, but they don't. Until such time that this amount changes then tipping should absolutely (at least in a restaurant setting ... not sure how I feel about Starbucks, etc.) be necessary. Having been a server at some point in my life, I wholeheartedly feel that $2.13 is slightly ridiculous and having to rely on tips is less than thrilling. For one, customers often base their tips on circumstances outside of the servers control (i.e. - kitchen/food problems and long wait times at the door), which is quite simply, unfair. Is is also unfair to the customer? Yes. They expect to be treated as if they are the only people in the world and they truly deserve this. However, what they don't always realize is that their server has 6 other tables that feel the same way, that the manager expects and screams often at them to scrub the counters, slice some bread, refill the ice machines, sweep the floor, check the bathrooms, blow up some balloons, sing a birthday song, be patient while the computer system is reboots, hold their pee for 6 hours, turn-over a table so more customers can come in, maintain a pleasant attitude, continue to smile, and God never forget to sell, sell, sell. So how then do they get what they deserve, because their servers work their butts off for $2.13/ hour to give it to them for the hope against hope that they get a good tip - that their customer doesn't subscribe to the 15% rule (which was established 25 years ago and which by no means accounts for the rise in price of living), that they like to give 18-20% or more (which trust me when I say more than 20% is like hitting the lottery). Should servers make more than $2.13 / hour? Yes. Should the well-being of a servers life be left in the hands of a common consumer? No, because that's like saying, "Thank you sir for your 15% tip," then turning around to your landlord and saying, "Well, I didn't make enough tips this month - do you mind if I give you 15%." I think it's unfair on both sides for tipping to exist, but until the structure changes it is absolutely necessary.
Asche Asche 8 years
I worked as a waitress and our hourly wage was $2.83 an hour (this was a few years ago, but it's not much higher now.) With tips, my take-home was around $30-50 an hour (sometimes more if they ordered a nice bottle of wine!. I was able to work only a few shifts a week, and this enabled me to a) put myself through college b)have plenty time for studying (I graduated summa cum laude). Had I been making a flat rate of $10 or even $15 an hour, I'm not sure I would have been able to go to college.
hautepink hautepink 8 years
I also tip waiters that deserve it and I try to tip them as well as I can because I want them to feel like they gave me excellent service but I have a strong belief to NOT tip those horrible excuses for waiters. I don't think it should be expected but I've had waiters who were horrible and I didn't tip, one waiter, ACTUALLY, followed me to my car and yelled at me for not leaving a tip! RUDE
margokhal margokhal 8 years
As it is now, tipping is highly considerate - but it's still not an obligation (unless you're talking about gratuity). I have a lot of friends who are waiters and waitresses, and they've encouraged me to give more. In the U.S., where they don't get minimum hourly wages and THEN may have to share any tips with other staff...servers make the bulk of their earnings in tips. But a lot of times, service isn't that great. Then I don't give as much. They need to give them minimum hourly wages. Then we wouldn't have to worry about "having" to tip - unless service is *exceptional*.
aprilmayjune4 aprilmayjune4 8 years
My sister used to work as a hostess for a steakhouse chain. Everyone was paid the server wage and everyone shared tips. It was nice because everyone provided good customer service, not just the servers.
taratootie taratootie 8 years
I put no, b/c getting tips is so stessful, especially when your customers are just plain cheap! It would be nice if everyone were paid evenly. Daisy1845 and Tassie- servers are required to pay taxes on a certain % of their sales. In my experience its been 14%-16% average. I do agree that the work may be the same if youre an easy customer, but usually thats not the case. If we all tipped crappy on expensive dinners then the servers would be paying taxes on money they dont even make. Also, those of you citing parking and tranpsort and other fees that you pay making you not want to tip... that has nothing to do with the server. Basically if you can afford to go out and have dinner and tip properly, then do so. If not, then eat in. Also, crap servers get crap tips, but good servers always get 25% from me, more if they were amazing. BUT I will say that being a server for 7 years made me know how to be a precise, polite customer too, and you will get better service that way. Happy eating (and tipping)!!!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
personally i think that sometimes we would be much better off if there wasn't tipping. in other countries, it's not something that you do and i have to say that it makes things much easier. i've had soo many horrible servers that i feel like they don't deserve the tip, but then it's like a faux pas if you don't do it so it's a lose lose situation. you have bad service and you lose money.
Steffie523 Steffie523 8 years
again if tipping didn't exist, then your service would be crap. I am a full time college student and i do both catering (where i make a livable hourly wage) and waitressing (where i make only tips) - go ahead and guess which job i give better service at. LOL. Most waitresses don't expect you to go above and beyond for your tip, but if your service was good (*ie I kept your drink filled, got your order right, got condiments, took your dirty dishes, and was generally attentive and pleasant) then I DO expect a 15 to 20% tip. If you stayed at your table (on a busy night) for TWICE the length of all the people around you then you are expected to leave a higher tip b/c you are eating away at tips i could be getting from more people if i was able to reset that table. If you bring your children and they throw cheerios all over the floor, dump out the salt and pepper, toss the sugar packets,leave a DIRTY diaper on the table, etc then you are expected to leave a higher tip because I have to clean that disgusting mess up. If you can't afford to leave a tip then you can't afford to eat out, exspecially at a place you plan to frequent - because the waitstaff DO remember your face. (Side note watch the movie Waiting it's VERY true - EVEN in really nice restaurants.) And in all honesty if you don't believe in tipping then tell your server you don't support tipping when you sit down so that he/she doesn't spend her valuable time keeping up with someone who isn't going to pay, just please be pleasant about it, and we will be pleasant back. :)
SeptemberLights SeptemberLights 8 years
The minimum wage in Oregon is over 8$ an hour...waiters make really good money here. When my boyfriend worked as a waiter he was making anywhere from 2500-3500$ a month including tips!
seespotrun seespotrun 8 years
^I still say "NO" to tips. Tips are privilege, not a right. If you don't like it, work elsewhere. When I go to a restaurant, I go for the food. Not the service. If waiters / waitresses / servers have a problem with it, go find another job where you are GUARANTEED a wage you feel you deserve.
rebekah rebekah 8 years
waitresses/waiters get paid well below minimum wage, but in a restaurant that gets good tips, we might be able to make a good living off of it. If tipping didn't exist and the waiter/waitress was payed say $7/hr there would be 1) an extreme shortage of waitresses 2) we wouldn't give a rats ass if your food got out to you in time and no, we wouldn't be nice to you and get things for you these tipping surveys make me really angry because the people that are like omggg i should never have to tip they are getting paid to do this job obviously need to go pick up an apron and try coming home from an overcrowded restaurant covered in other peoples p*ss and sh*t.. also, we don't just serve your food, we [in most cases] clean up the messes that your bratty kids leave all over the floor and when they pee on the floor and undo all of the toilet rolls we clean that up as well., thanks jerks. tip your waitress because she's getting paid $2.13/hr [in ga] and comes home smelling like crap after getting hit on and/or talked down to all night long.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
mesayme - i agree, like for cabbies for instance - they are cab drivers. they get paid to drive a cab. why do i tip them? they just drove me somewhere and i paid the fare. so why the tip?
jenious jenious 8 years
I always tip cash for those reasons, too, shoneyjoe. That includes my hair stylist, and most services. I let them decide.
anniekim anniekim 8 years
Tipping does pay the server's salary--unfortunate, but true. I don't think this is a new development,though. It's certainly been the case for last 30 years or more. The tips jars at places without table service are not the same. Those jobs are legally required to pay regular minimum wage, so those are gratuities in actuality, not just in name.
telewyo telewyo 8 years
I just hate that tipping has become the customer paying the server's salary instead of something extra to show appreciation. I feel like I can't tip less than 20% these days or I'm really affecting a person's life. I wish the employers had to pay a livable wage and we could go back to a tip that depends on service quality. I even feel like I have to tip at places like Chipotle or Qudoba even though those people aren't doing anything extra for you or even serving you and a tip is supposed to be extra, I still feel like I have to tip because I know they make crap for wages.
anniekim anniekim 8 years
In RI the waiter minimum wage is $2.89 an hour. In some states it is less. At this pay level a waiter is paid by the customer in tips much more than the restaurant owner. As a waiter I think of myself as a contract worker, hired by the customer for their table. This is the financial reality. I also work sometimes as catering staff at a higher hourly rate without tips. The catering gig is a competition to see can do the least work. Tipped restaurant service is a competition for more tables and happy customers. Which do you prefer?
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I wish tip was included in the price of the food. I always tip 20%, but that gets to be kind of ridiculous on an expensive meal.
gabi29 gabi29 8 years
If tipping were eliminated in restaurants, I predict that service would sink to an almost horrendous level. Consider restaurants where tipping isn't required such as fast food establishments; the staff is less inclined to ensure a satisfactory dining experience. If a server knows that he/she is going to get paid the same amount no matter how hard he/she works, there is less incentive to please the customer. Waiting tables helped put me through college, and the quality of my tips motivated me to provide the best service possible. Those that dislike tipping have probably never worked in a restaurant. It's an emotionally demanding job at times, and I think that tipping helps establish a personal connection between patrons and servers. If you have trouble calculating a tip, just multiply the bill by 2 and then add or subtract a dollar or two based on the quality of the service.
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