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Old 08-19-2013, 09:46 AM   #21
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Ok, I reread the article ... I think the word "abolish" is misleading. They just renamed it and made it mandatory. They didn't abolish it, they didn't take it away or end it.
They did abolish tipping. Charging a mandatory fee is not tipping.

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I guess my original point is simply that true service positions, not retail or customer service, should be tipped. If I get a really good massage, I'm going to tip the person more than just the run of the mill massage. If I get a good hair cut, I'm going to tip that person. When I was a good bartender, I got tipped better. If my bar had said, there is going to be a flat 18% put on every tab, I would have been fine with that and probably more empowered to help those servers that were struggling. The people I tip, I am dependent on them for good service. If I get a grouchy check out lady or a lazy bag boy, it doesn't impact me.
How about a grouchy hospital nurse or a lazy teacher? What is a "true service position"?

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Sorry if I contradicted myself. I was agreeing with the article, as were they. Others started the conversation about actually not tipping, that's what I was speaking against. Make sense?

And as a teacher, I would love to be tipped ...
I was just thinking about that. Lawyers, doctors, nurses and teachers all provide services. Why is it people with little or no education or power have to depend on the kindness of strangers?
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:58 AM   #22
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I read the whole article. And looking at the picture, it looks like an upscale establishment. I have no idea of what the present percentage of tipping is the norm, but 18% seems a little low. But according to the owner, service has improved not only with the wait staff but also in the kitchen. And as any wait person knows, the kitchen staff can kill the efforts of any wait staff if they are not liked or has crossed them.

The word "Tip" comes from "To Insure Promptness." That starts at the door as soon as the customer walks in. How prompt will they be seated and given a menu, glasses filled with water and drinks order taken. That is usually the job of the hostess. Where is the tip there for that prompt service?

I would gladly pay the 18%, knowing that it is being distributed equally among all the staff. And since management has to report an estimated "tip" to IRS, and issue a 1099 form to each employee showing what was reported, it is all just a guess and some fudging on the employee's part. Now there is a record "on the books". For the restaurant and the employee.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:58 AM   #23
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Why is it people with little or no education or power have to depend on the kindness of strangers?
Because the people with education and power(and money) have made it that way...I can see this thread going off the rails by dinner time...
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:10 AM   #24
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Ok, I reread the article ... I think the word "abolish" is misleading. They just renamed it and made it mandatory. They didn't abolish it, they didn't take it away or end it. They simply up'ed their prices but are calling it a service charge. My guess is that it is a taxing issue as well for their staff. You don't have to claim something that was paid as part of a larger bill, it's not a gratuity.

I guess my original point is simply that true service positions, not retail or customer service, should be tipped. If I get a really good massage, I'm going to tip the person more than just the run of the mill massage. If I get a good hair cut, I'm going to tip that person. When I was a good bartender, I got tipped better. If my bar had said, there is going to be a flat 18% put on every tab, I would have been fine with that and probably more empowered to help those servers that were struggling. The people I tip, I am dependent on them for good service. If I get a grouchy check out lady or a lazy bag boy, it doesn't impact me.

Sorry if I contradicted myself. I was agreeing with the article, as were they. Others started the conversation about actually not tipping, that's what I was speaking against. Make sense?

And as a teacher, I would love to be tipped ...
But would like it as much if you got paid minimum wage?
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:31 AM   #25
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Oh, oh, oh ... so many thoughts, so many comments. I'll stick to sipping my coffee and biting my tongue until a thread on teacher pay is started

But I will say this, by definition, abolish means to get rid of. It's my opinion that this restaurant can't say they abolished tipping. They have simply renamed it. Patrons are still paying an extra 18% for the service they receive. It's not 18% more for their glass of wine or their delicious steak. It's 18% for the service they received from the restaurant staff. The management has simply said they will disperse (tip out) the 18% between all the staff. It's still tipping, IMHO.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:38 AM   #26
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Check out this article. No tipping allowed but an 18% service charge on every check. The service charge is shared among all the staff.

Tipless restaurants: The Linkery’s owner explains why abolishing tipping made service better. - Slate Magazine


I think it's a great idea. How about you?
Ok as long as the service and the food is good but being forced to pay 18% over the odds if the food or the staff are not up to scratch is a bit much. After all, how many diners would have the nerve to stand up to the establishment and refuse to pay it.

And it's a crafty way of undercutting the staffs' pay. Where "Service is included" is the order of the day it's a common occurrence that management pays under the minimum wage and uses the tips to make it up rather than sharing out the tips as an extra. The hospitality industry is notorious for its sharp practice as far as staff pay and conditions are concerned.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:56 AM   #27
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As a guy who's worked in the industry for almost 25 years I agree with the article. Tipping is an idiotic, nonsensical custom. And punishing people that make $2.13 an hour by withholding their pay is perverse. Can you do that in any other business? If the bagger at the grocery store isn't chipper enough to suit you can you deduct 18% off your bill? If the nurse that takes your BP is grumpy do you get to not pay her the full price? And punishing a server because you are having a bad day doesn't make any sense.

Tipping does not improve the quality of your service. Contrary to what some seem to think, withholding a tip or leaving a poor one will not teach the server anything except that you're a bad customer- expect worse service when you return. Regular bad tippers will get a bad reputation, and once you get that rep people won't want to serve you. And when they do they have little incentive to go "above and beyond" for you. Your lousy tip isn't some miracle tool to train servers. As the Slate story says, people will generally do a good job because they have pride in their work and view themselves as professionals. Bad employees are corrected or eliminated by management, not tips. It's just a bizarre practice.

FWIW I also think it's bizarre that the burden of providing a decent wage should fall directly on the customer! Imagine a garage paying the mechanic $3.00 and hour and slyly suggesting you could kick in a few buys to help the guy make ends meet. You'd probably think that was ridiculous. Why is it different for servers?

Don't get me wrong- I'm not like Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs! I do tip because I know that (in my state) the server is making $2.13 and hour. I want the system to change but I'm not going to punish the server because of the stupid way American restaurants work. But I applaud those restaurants that have the guts to change it.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:57 AM   #28
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Well, I don't like being forced to pay a tip. Normally, I'll tip 15% for bare minimum service, 18% for good and 20% for great, and usually around 10% for take-out. On 2 occasions, I have left no tip because of very poor service, with the last being within the past month. We went out for breakfast at a chain restaurant known for its breakfasts. Our waitress took her own sweet time getting to our table (they didn't have a full house and had lots of waitstaff on duty) took our order, served my coffee, brought Craig his drink and then just disappeared. Another table that came in after us and got another waitress got their food, things that had to be cooked just like ours and still we waited. Finally, I was about to snag another waitress to see what was going on when ours showed up with our food. My French toast was room temp, my eggs were barely (and I do mean barely) warm and I had ordered over-medium but they were over-easy, if that. Craig's omelet looked more like scrambled eggs formed into a loaf than an omelet and all of his food was just slightly more warm than my eggs. And she didn't bring his toast because it wasn't done yet. And the salsa to put on his western omelet was fresh from the fridge and ice cold. We just decided to eat it because we didn't want to wait anymore plus you never know what they do to it if you send food back. The sad thing though is my French toast would have been pretty good had it been hot.

There was no sign of any manager (no black pants/white shirt as they are usually dressed), so we didn't even bother to try to speak to anyone. Besides that, after she dropped our food off (another waitress finally brought Craig's toast) and left the bill, she went and parked herself at the cash register so I'm guessing she was the head waitress or whatever and was the acting management.

Craig went to leave a tip when we left and I was like uh-uh, that woman obviously just left our food sitting. Whatever she was doing, whether it was a break or some management task, she should have either gotten back in time to serve our food hot or made arrangements for somebody else to deliver it. I would have been really upset if I had been forced to leave a tip for her with a service charge.

I've never stiffed a waitperson because the kitchen messed up or the food wasn't that great but cold food is not the kitchen's fault, particularly when I see someone's order that should have been placed well after mine come out and mine doesn't get served until long after and comes out room temp to barely warm. That's the waitperson's fault and there aren't any ifs, ands or buts about it.

BTW, we rarely go to this restaurant because it seems like there is always a problem there, whether it's with the food, service or whatever. Obviously, there's a problem there. Unfortunately, it's 1 of only 2 restaurants that serve breakfast (other than McD) that are close and we don't like the other restaurant's breakfasts, they always seem greasy and just serve basic stuff, no French toast, pancakes with fruit compotes, etc., just basic breakfast items.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:57 AM   #29
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Sorry, but I will not visit any restaurant that has a mandatory service charge (tip). I tip for good service...bottom line.
IMHO an establishment that has a service charge policy creates complacency amongst it's staff. Why work hard when you are going to get a tip anyway.
I like the policy if ALL restaurants did this across the board like many foreign countries do.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:59 AM   #30
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Oh, oh, oh ... so many thoughts, so many comments. I'll stick to sipping my coffee and biting my tongue until a thread on teacher pay is started

...
Not a thread, but have a look: http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...ml#post1291820
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:02 PM   #31
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Oh, oh, oh ... so many thoughts, so many comments. I'll stick to sipping my coffee and biting my tongue until a thread on teacher pay is started ...
You could start a thread on teachers' pay.

Also, no need to bite you tongue. Let us know your opinion.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:05 PM   #32
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The whole tipping thing goes way beyond the little pile of folded bills you tuck under your plate. The low pay is used to calculate the Social Security for these folks and it leads them into an old age with very little to rely on. Granted they could declare the tips and increase the Social Security payment however when you are living week to week that is not a great option for most people. I really think the time has come to end the practice.

Are we still on the rails, Rock?
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:08 PM   #33
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As a guy who's worked in the industry for almost 25 years I agree with the article. Tipping is an idiotic, nonsensical custom. And punishing people that make $2.13 an hour by withholding their pay is perverse. Can you do that in any other business? If the bagger at the grocery store isn't chipper enough to suit you can you deduct 18% off your bill? If the nurse that takes your BP is grumpy do you get to not pay her the full price? And punishing a server because you are having a bad day doesn't make any sense.

Tipping does not improve the quality of your service. Contrary to what some seem to think, withholding a tip or leaving a poor one will not teach the server anything except that you're a bad customer- expect worse service when you return. Regular bad tippers will get a bad reputation, and once you get that rep people won't want to serve you. And when they do they have little incentive to go "above and beyond" for you. Your lousy tip isn't some miracle tool to train servers. As the Slate story says, people will generally do a good job because they have pride in their work and view themselves as professionals. Bad employees are corrected or eliminated by management, not tips. It's just a bizarre practice.

FWIW I also think it's bizarre that the burden of providing a decent wage should fall directly on the customer! Imagine a garage paying the mechanic $3.00 and hour and slyly suggesting you could kick in a few buys to help the guy make ends meet. You'd probably think that was ridiculous. Why is it different for servers?

Don't get me wrong- I'm not like Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs! I do tip because I know that (in my state) the server is making $2.13 and hour. I want the system to change but I'm not going to punish the server because of the stupid way American restaurants work. But I applaud those restaurants that have the guts to change it.
All excellent points, Rob.

One restaurant's doing this is an interesting experiment. It sounds like it was successful. Unless all restaurants adopt the same policy, it's only an experiment.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:22 PM   #34
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But I will say this, by definition, abolish means to get rid of. It's my opinion that this restaurant can't say they abolished tipping. They have simply renamed it. Patrons are still paying an extra 18% for the service they receive. It's not 18% more for their glass of wine or their delicious steak. It's 18% for the service they received from the restaurant staff. The management has simply said they will disperse (tip out) the 18% between all the staff. It's still tipping, IMHO.
I'm sorry, but it's not. A tip is given - or, crucially, withheld - voluntarily, as is the amount. A service charge is not.

Now, off the rails! My husband was a teacher for many years. There has long been talk of giving teachers bonuses (tips?) for various achievements and the usual argument against it is that it would undermine teamwork and morale. Some years ago, there was discussion of basing bonuses on student achievement on standardized tests. How well or poorly students do on tests is not really under the teachers' control. I'm sure you're well aware of all the variables affecting that
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:32 PM   #35
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Some years ago, there was discussion of basing bonuses on student achievement on standardized tests. How well or poorly students do on tests is not really under the teachers' control. I'm sure you're well aware of all the variables affecting that
Hah, they've done basically that in Florida. Now the schools "teach" for the FCAT test and pressure the students to do well. My granddaughter is just turning 11 and for the last couple of years is extremely stressed during the month or so before the FCAT is taken because of the pressure they are putting on the students. I hate that they did that to the kids. She gets like I remember being for the PSAT and SAT for college.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:56 PM   #36
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I just don't go for it, its my choice to tip for the service I recieve.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:13 PM   #37
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Hah, they've done basically that in Florida. Now the schools "teach" for the FCAT test and pressure the students to do well. My granddaughter is just turning 11 and for the last couple of years is extremely stressed during the month or so before the FCAT is taken because of the pressure they are putting on the students. I hate that they did that to the kids. She gets like I remember being for the PSAT and SAT for college.
And do the teachers get a bonus if the children do well?

In Virginia, we have the Standards of Learning tests - SOLs for short. Smart marketing, eh? The schools are penalized by the state and federal governments if the students don't do well, so they're forced to put pressure on the students and teach to the test. It's lazy politicians who think evaluating school effectiveness by testing is going to improve the schools that are at fault.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:48 PM   #38
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If they want to have a "no - tip" establishment then ok with me.

However - to add an extra service charge to my meal is not acceptable.

The price of the food is what it is.

Tips are a "reward" or "punishment" of sorts.

I tip based on the service I receive - end of story.

As for those places where tips are to be shared, I can understand and sympathize with the bartenders, dishwashers, etc, but it is not my problem.

Those positions need to be paid properly since they really don't have the ability to pad their income like the waiters etc do.

If I were to walk into a restaurant and saw that they intend to charge me extra for the use of their tables, I would leave.

I think it's an insult and I think it's the responsibility of the establishment to take care of it's employees. If you take good care of your employees you will have happy employees .. if you have happy employees you have happy customers .. if you have happy customers you make money.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:47 PM   #39
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Too good! Love it!

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You could start a thread on teachers' pay.

Also, no need to bite you tongue. Let us know your opinion.
It's an opinion that has been shared and heard by everyone at least a million times. Teachers aren't paid enough but more importantly, aren't appreciated enough. It's not my paycheck, it's the parents and students that say "Thank you" that make my job worth it.

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And do the teachers get a bonus if the children do well?

In Virginia, we have the Standards of Learning tests - SOLs for short. Smart marketing, eh? The schools are penalized by the state and federal governments if the students don't do well, so they're forced to put pressure on the students and teach to the test. It's lazy politicians who think evaluating school effectiveness by testing is going to improve the schools that are at fault.
You're right, it is due to lazy politicians. BUT, they are working in response to society bitching that our kids aren't doing well enough and the parents who complain that schools don't teach their kids how to be polite, good kids who will be in the NBA/NFL/MLB or famous computer programmers/scientists/actors.

Here's the deal. Regardless of your profession, you're never going to feel you earn enough or are appreciated enough. I've been a teacher for the Deaf for 15 years at both a residential, state school for the Deaf and now in the mainstream as an itinerate teacher. I put in about 50 - 60 hours/week and drive about 500 miles a week traveling from school to school. I put in about 20 hours a week (in addition to the part time job I get to help make ends meet) during the summer planning for the next year and attend every workshop I can get into to just stay up on my skills. I have my Master's degree and am working on my doctoral. I don't do this for the $42,000 I supposedly make per year, I do it because I do think I make a difference and for the handful of thank you's I get at IEP meetings. If I were to be paid based on how my kids do on standardized tests, I'd be on the bottom of the pile because they have special needs and unfortunately, most states that have performance pay don't take this population into account. Our country has a messed up system that doesn't have an easy fix. Education is a stumping point for politicians but when it comes time for change, we are the first to get brushed aside. I dream for the day the Labron James's of the world worry about their house payment and grocery money and teachers get to roll around without a care in the world. Hey, a girl can dream, can't she?

So that's my soapbox ... nothing new or profound. Thanks for "listening"
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:04 PM   #40
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As a guy who's worked in the industry for almost 25 years I agree with the article. Tipping is an idiotic, nonsensical custom...
I couldn't agree more.

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The word "Tip" comes from "To Insure Promptness."
Sorry, Addie, but I'm afraid it doesn't.

snopes.com: Etymology of Tip
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