Tipping. It’s something that’s expected when you eat at a restaurant. It’s something that’s expected when you stay at a hotel. It’s something that’s expected in any service industry. But is it a habit whose day has come and gone, and should be retired?
In recent years, restaurants have taken to expecting customers to subsidize their operations. They pay their servers minimum wage, pointing to the fact that the tips they earn can double or triple that minimum wage figure.
Now, for those who don’t remember the good old days, a tip was something you gave someone in the service industry who had provided you with excellent service. Customers weren’t expected to tip, but it was always appreciated when they did.
But these days, restaurants are automatically adding 18% to a customer’s bill if they dare have 6 or more in a party. If you’re a mom and dad with four kids, you already know you’ll be dinged with that extra 18% at the end of the meal at your local family restaurant … even if the service is poor, your server is in a bad mood, and there are problems with the meals you’ve ordered.
The economy has been bad for a long time now, but is it fair to tack that economic hardship on the bills of people who dare to eat out from time to time, regardless of the type of service they receive? Do people no longer have a right to decide how they intend to spend their money? Is it mandatory to pay an extra 18% because a restaurant chooses to pay servers minimum wage?
That’s why fewer and fewer people are going to restaurants these days, and more and more are buying new cars (according to the June 14, 2013 edition of USA Today).
Tipping still has a place in society provided that it isn’t being abused or misused. Mandatory tipping doesn’t reward a server for doing his or her job well. It rewards any server, even those who provide mediocre or poor service.
Maybe it’s time to re-educate the general public as well as employers and employees as to what tipping is supposed to be all about. And if someone fails to tip appropriately, don’t get worked up about it. Somewhere in another part of the country, a worker isn’t claiming those generous tips. In the end, it all evens out more or less. Or does it?
Addressing Entitlement In The Marketplace (March 26, 2013)