Four Reasons Why Tipping Sucks

Over the past few years, a number of establishments have experimented with no tipping. Most famously Danny Meyer of Grammercy Tavern fame has shown that the new business model can be successful. 

Think tipping can’t be replaced? Here’s why it should. 

1.    The reason why we tip is dumb and racist. 

 According to the internet, tipping started in England, and TIP stood for to insure promptitude, which is actually an urban legend. In the United States, tipping was once considered bad manners but became popular after the Civil War. Railroads and restaurants fought to keep tipping so they could pay their workers – the newly freed slaves -- less money


2.    Tipping encourages sexual harassment. 

Many front of house staff are women, and many must endure unwanted touching and harassment from guests because otherwise they won’t get paid. While some business owners, managers, and operators, like this one, stand up for their staff -- many don’t. 


3.    Guests aren’t getting better service.

Tips don’t usually correlate with better service, according to field studies done by Cornell University.  A tipping system usually means poorer service for women, the elderly, and minorities. Basically, white men get the best service…hmm. 


4.    The business model is failing. 

Tip credited wages haven’t increased in years, and because of inflation, there is a growing gulf between what servers are guaranteed and what they need to earn to live. This also means it falls into the hands of guests to cover a higher proportion of a server’s wage. In no other industry does the guest decide what they’ll pay for an aspect of the product or service rendered. 

There are too many servers living at or below the poverty level, not to mention cooks working two to three jobs in order to keep a roof over their head. What once was a great way to make a decent living while in school or a job to go to while changing careers, isn’t anymore. The majority of workers aren’t making enough to cover their basic needs. Something needs to change. 

What do you think?