Restaurant reaps rewards after it bans tipping
One owner says his sales jumped -- and his employees' pay rose -- after he did away with subjective gratuities.
Tipping helps ensure a better dining experience by rewarding wait staff for attentiveness and quick service, right?
Actually, not so much. The Linkery restaurant founder Jay Porter explains that his company disproved the industry's assumptions about tipping after he banned the practice in his second year of business.
"We instead applied a straight 18% service charge to all dining-in checks and refused to accept any further payment," Porter writes at Quartz.
That made the Linkery the first restaurant "where you couldn't pay more money than the amount we charged you." But he says instead of his waitstaff's performance lagging, "our service improved, our revenue went up, and both our business and employees made more money."
Research backs up Porter's assertion that tipping actually promotes bad service and doesn't always reward hard workers. For starters, servers who get the most tips are thin white women in their 30s with large breasts, according to research from Cornell University professor Michael Lynn.
But discrimination also swings in the other direction, Porter notes. Servers often profile guests, providing better service to those they believe will offer big tips. That creates "negative experiences for the many restaurant customers who are women, ethnic minorities, elderly or from foreign countries," he notes.
Tipping also encourages servers to maximize the number of guests they serve, which can lower the quality of their work.
Some top New York City restaurateurs recently discussed the issue of banning tipping via Twitter but were shot down by their own servers, Eater.com notes. That might be due to the potential for servers to haul in big tips on busy nights, but the truth is that many workers who rely on tips aren't exactly rolling in the dough.
The median annual wage for servers is about $18,540, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (While tips are taxable income, some people working in tip-based industries underreport their income, contributing to the $2 trillion shadow economy.)
To be sure, it's not as if flat service rates are unknown in restaurants. Automatic gratuities are the norm at many eateries for big parties, often charged 18% for tables of six or more.
But a June lawsuit over the practice indicates flat-rate tips may have a tough time gaining traction. Ted Dimond, 47, is suing Darden Restaurants' (DRI) Olive Garden and Red Lobster in Time Square, among other restaurants, for adding automatic gratuities to bills.
"They’ll have an automatic gratuity in the price and then they’ll have a line for an optional tip, but a tip and a gratuity are exactly the same thing," his attorney, Evan Spencer, told CBS Local. "They want to squeeze that extra little dollar out of everybody."
There should be no "tip" figured in. The cost should be the cost--if the service is so bad that a tip wouldn't have been given, then the manager should be taking something off the bill for the inconvenience. It is stupid to do "tipping"--it is a hold-over from segregation (when most servers were black), is demeaning, and serves to make diners feel as if they are Lord and Lady Beneficient.
Just pay the servers minimum wage to start, and increase their salaries as they show their worth--there's no need for the stupid "tip" industry (not to mention, that will do away with the $2 trillion shadow industry).
Just price the meals at an increased price and pay your servers a percentage of the gross bill.
Example: Hamburger: $5.00
18% gratuity .90 Total Cost $5.90
Next example: Hamburger $5.90
0% gratuity and a NO Tipping clearly stated Total cost $5.90
In the "Next" example you then give the server 15-16% of the bill ($5.90) and there you have it.
No Tip. No added gratuity.
Folks, this is not rocket science.
It is interesting how different experiences are.
A friend and I had lunch yesterday and we both tipped the water, who did and excellent job, 25% of the ticket. My friend decided he wanted another glass of wine and asked the water to bring it.
Since the check had already been closed out and the tip paid on those charges, my friend just gave the waiter an extra dollar when he brought the $5 glass of wine.. The waiter smarted off about "who gives a dollar tip" after already being given a $12 tip from my friend for his $45 lunch.
My friend was extremely pissed and just reached over and pick up the dollar himself and put it back in his billfold, smiled at the waiter and said "thank you".
I dont get tips.....
I sitll have to work....
Here is a good tip..... Dont bet on slow horses.....
I always thought TIP was an acronym for "To Improve Performance". If so, getting a TIP implies you're a slacker.
I'm OK with what the restaurant has done. It makes sense to me. But, when you add a fixed TIP percentage onto the bill, aren't you really just increasing the price so you can pay your employees a decent salary?
Ha Ha Ha... add that automatic gratuity if you want to! I may be only a small percentage of the average dining populationl, but I am a great tipper for any server regardless of gender, looks, race, etc. - right up until I see the automatic gratuity on my check.
I tip well over the 20% rule, usually about 40-50% of the check depending on overall service and the cost of the meal. But always at the very least a respectable amount because I understand the garbage that servers and retail workers have to endure. Thankless, ungrateful management and rude customers make for a very hostile environment which is one of the many why very few stay in those professions for an entire career.
With all of that, once you take away my right to decide what I think an appropriate amount for a tip then I will not complain, you just saved me money! That 18% is normally well below what you would have gotten in a tip if you left the decision to me. Some establishments will remove the 18% automatic gratuity if you ask them, and then I tip the server an appropriate amount. Others will not, and then I just let that server know that their managements policy just cost them money. Also, if that gratuity is automatically added to the check then the server has no choice but to claim that measly 18% tip and pay a tax on it.
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