Jan 08

Someone just posted this awful article on Facebook: http://www.huffingtonpost.c…

Someone just posted this awful article on Facebook: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-walsh/open-letter-to-bad-tippers_b_4549644.html

Summary: The article argues that not tipping is kind of a jerky behaviour, which I agree with. However, it then goes on to defend the practice of tipping as if THE VERY FABRIC OF OUR SOCIETY DEPENDED ON IT. THERE IS LITERALLY NO ALTERNATIVE, PEOPLE.

No alternative? Really? Could we not just force restaurants to pay their staff a living wage and be done with the barbaric practice of tipping altogether?

The article is totally BS when it deals with this, saying that prices of food will double etc. Bullshit. Japan is supposed to be one of the most expensive countries in the world. It is where I live. There is no tipping. Is the food more expensive? No. In fact, I usually spend less on an equivalent meal in Japan than I do in Ontario. The final food prices are generally the same as Canadian prices are before the tax and the tip. Sometimes a bit cheaper, sometimes a bit more expensive. ALWAYS cheaper after the tax, though, in my experience.

Okay, the portions are sometimes smaller, I suppose (although not always). But seriously, do you need a plate the size of a stereo system?

Oh, and when did 20% become the minimum tip?

I'm not cheap. I tip when I'm in Canada. Usually between 15% and 20%, mostly depending on how often my water/pop gets refilled. But I hate doing it. Not because I begrudge service workers their money, but because I think the practice is wrong: it isn't actually a motivator for anything other than forced cheeriness (which is exhausting, because then I have to be forcibly cheery in return); it forces me to guess how much my meal is going to cost ("okay, that's 8.95 plus 17.5% tip and 13% HST…"); and it is actually unfair to the servers. (Think about it: if the owner does a bad job of marketing and not very many diners show up, why should the servers suffer for that?)

This article in SLATE was pretty interesting: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/culturebox/2013/08/tipless_restaurants_the_linkery_s_owner_explains_why_abolishing_tipping.html

So for now, I will keep tipping when I'm in Canada, because that's how the wait staff make their money, but I think anyone  in favour of that system is mental.


Embedded Link

An Open Letter To Bad Tippers
Now, to speak directly to a certain terrifying subset of this species. These are the lowest, most shameless sorts of customers. Their existence is a constant, chilling reminder that evil exists in the world. They are the non-tippers.

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  1. dan

    I am working at a place that adds the tip to the bill with the option to wave it. We also share our tips with the kitchen and proportionally at the end of the month. It has the advantage of doing the calculations for customers while allowing some wiggle room if something went wrong with service or if they don’t seem happy. Tips allows us to earn bit more then a “living wage” too. I am at a unique place that offered its staff to be paid a living wage or take tips (there was a golden era of both), staff opted for tips in the end.

    Can’t help think the Mr.Pink argument from the beginning Reservoir Dogs. At the moment I put more trust in the customer then the owners to increase wait staff wages – but I agree it is a bit of a patchwork solution and not a elegant process for customers.

  2. Andrew

    Interesting. Of course, I found that in England (assuming you’re still there) the tipping system was much more optional.

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