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Tipping: Yea or Nay?

tipping
I’m admittedly not great at math, but I’m typically pretty quick with tipping at a restaurant — I guess I prefer practical arithmetic to theoretical algebra.
But I always find it interesting to see how different people tip. Some folks are always incredibly generous — often, they’re the ones who have worked in food service and they understand what the server is dealing with. Other times, I find myself with someone who I know to be generous and caring … but you might not know it from the amount they leave in that tip line. And yet another friend of mine told me recently that he always, always tips in cash so that the server or delivery person can take that straight home, no taxes paid on it. (Does it really work that way? I have no idea — I lasted part way into my second shift as a truly incompetent waitress before handed in my apron and headed home … completely and deservedly tipless.)
Well, it could all be a moot point in the near future if Danny Meyer has his way, according to New York Eater. He’s eliminating tipping at his Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants (there will also a significant price increase on all food items, as servers will be compensated by their bosses rather than the customers in this new system). While that might seem novel (or even a little crazy) to some of us, it’s not unheard of — no tipping is standard in Europe, and it’s becoming more popular among high-end restaurants, but Meyer’s decision to remove the option to tip (even removing the tip line from the receipts) in more casual restaurants in the U.S. is certainly new.
After reading a bit about his reasons (really, you should check it all out here), I have to say it sounds like a pretty great plan. I do like having the option to reward truly excellent service with a tip that goes over the norm, but I also love the idea of having no stress or complication at the end of a meal — the price is the price is the price, and if the service is particularly good (or bad), you can always talk to a manager, just like you would in any other service industry, right?
What do you think? Are you in favor of eliminating tipping? Or do you think restaurants should keep things they same as they’ve always been? —Kristen

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2 Comments
  1. Julie says:

    I’ve been to Europe (England, France, Spain and Ireland) never had worse service in my life (mostly waiting entirely to long to order and unable to get service fast enough) It could only mean the workers are not being compensated the way they should have been by their employer(s). I’m leaning more toward keeping it the way it is and rewarding good service & not rewarding bad service. 20% seems to be the average mean to tip these days for good service (so I’m told) and easy enough to figure out, but then I enjoy dining and don’t want to deal with people who don’t feel like there being compensated for the work they do like most cashiers I meet.

  2. Lisa says:

    There are countries in Europe where tipping is not necessary, some where you just round up to the next euro or dollar amount, and last month on my visit to Germany, Switzerland and Austria 10% tipping was encouraged. Ultimately it’s always up to you.