5 Reasons to Stop Tipping at Restaurants

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You know how the routine goes, you go out to eat and at the end of the meal you add a certain additional percentage onto your bill which goes to the server. Tipping is a cultural norm in the US, but there are plenty of reasons to stop doing it.

This is an argument to stop the practice altogether, by the way, not an assertion that you as an individual should just stop tipping. Don’t do that. No one is living closer to the edge of insanity than someone who has waited tables for years, and no one wants to be killed by a normally perky girl named Brenda outside a Ruby Tuesday’s. Overall though, it’s high time the custom of tipping was reevaluated.

5 Lawsuits

In recent years, there’s been a rise in lawsuits filed by servers against their employers, mostly based on the claim that the establishments are not properly following the laws on tips. Some restaurants pool tips among all employees, a practice that seems fair in theory, but has led to lawsuits in which front-of-house employees (e.g. servers and bartenders) allege that salaried workers should not be eligible to receive a portion of the tips, and also aren’t doing the work that the eventual tip is based upon. One such recent lawsuit was actually settled for more than $5 million.

4 It’s Already Happening

Some newer and more forward-thinking restaurants have already taken it upon themselves to eliminate tipping, instead adding either a surcharge, or increasing menu prices to account for the cost of service. In fact, there’s now such an abundance of high-profile restaurants in cities like New York and San Francisco that have done away with tipping, that it’s hard to deny it may be the wave of the future. Even celebrity chef Tom Colicchio supports the notion, saying, “It makes perfect sense,” and claiming he may try it in some of his own restaurants.

3 It’s Unfair

The practice of tipping, the standard level of which has increased from 15% to 20% over the last couple of decades, is at its core an extremely outdated system. Why is it that back-of-house workers are expected to slave away in a hot, hectic kitchen for a flat pay rate, while front-of-house servers control their own destiny when it comes to their paycheck? Especially in more upscale establishments, the discrepancies between the take-home of front and back-of-house can be tremendous, thanks mostly to the large tips that servers can rake in on high-priced bills.

2 It’s Discriminatory

Tipping is also an inherently discriminatory practice. You may like to think you’ve been tipping based purely on quality of service, but studies have shown that tips tend to vary based on factors like the age, race, weight and even height of the servers. It goes the other way too, as servers are often known to stereotype whether or not a given table will be good tippers based on many of the same factors. The fact of the matter is, allowing pay and/or service to be based on the whims and biases of each individual customer and/or server, is an undeniably flawed practice.

1 Too Much in the Hands of the People

Let’s face it; there are a lot of a-holes out there. There are a whole lot of a-hole customers. There are a whole lot of a-hole servers. So why are we putting so much power in their hands? Too many stingy customers show up looking for a reason to lessen their eventual tip. And too many slacker servers already believe a certain table isn’t going to tip well, and therefore focus their best efforts elsewhere. In the end, there are just too many variables in how tipping works, and only by eliminating the majority of the variables, will the overall amount of a-holery decrease. That’s just science.



Trying to get better service? Have a look at the Best Ways to Get Faster Service before your next dining experience.

If you're not nice to your servers, though, you leave yourself open to the startling things these Fast Food Employees do. Gross!