Mandatory 25 Percent Tips Would Weed Out Bad Customers


restaurant bill

It's a ballsy idea to rally behind a mandatory 25 percent tip, but that's just what some restaurant workers in San Francisco are doing. The reasoning these standard tip supporters give is simply this: Customers, on average tip between 15 percent and  20 percent, but the restaurant worker actually has to claim 15 percent of that to the IRS. How in the world are they supposed to make any money?

That makes perfect sense to me. Of course, I have my own reasons for thinking a mandatory 25 percent tip is a brilliant idea -- and they have everything to do with the fact that I myself am a former restaurant worker.

My first point is directed at all those people who say that if servers know they will automatically be receiving a 25 percent tip, they'll slack off and won't do a good job. You know what I think of this argument? It's total BS. Yes, at every place restaurant -- just like every other place of employment -- there are some slackers in the bunch. (Those you complain about to management.) But most servers value their work and do a good job regardless of pay. And if this hasn't been your experience, then I'm sorry, but you're going to the wrong restaurants.

Moreover, if a restaurant's policy is that its workers receive a standard 25 percent gratuity, you can bet your life that the creme de la creme of the food industry workers will be beating down the door to work there. In other words, crappy servers will be totally replaceable -- there's no need to keep them around.

Of course, the best part of a mandatory 25 percent tip is that it will weed out the bad customers. Think about it: Those entitled diners who like to brag that they only tip 10 percent because tips are voluntary and blah blah blah will be so pissed off they'll avoid places that require mandatory gratuity. So who's left? The people who appreciate good food and service and respect that -- like all good things -- it comes at a price.

Because at the end of the day, guess what? If you have enough money to eat out at a nice restaurant, then you have enough money to pay your server fairly. Otherwise, I'm sure McDonald's has a nice booth for you.


Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

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Sarah... SarahHall58

I shouldn't have to tip my server especially if they suck. It's just that, a TIP. The restaurant could pay their employees more like everyone else in the world. Manadatory tipping isn't going to fix the issue.

zandh... zandhmom2

If I had a pay a manadatory tip, then McDonalds it will be!

nonmember avatar buckettgirl

Tips ARE voluntary and should reflect upon the service you receive. WHY oh WHY does anyone reward a crappy server with any kind of a tip?? I don't care if they are trying to make a living - if you are a crappy server, you don't earn your tips and you should find other employment.
With the entitlement generation entering the workforce, it is getting even worse.
We can't afford to eat out often, but when we do, it is usually to whatever restaurant we have coupons to eat at. I have the right to eat out and keep my dining bill within my budget; servers aren't entitled to my paycheck either.
FWIW, I do tip well for great service; I tip 99% of the time; I NEVER tip a bad server with a bad attitude.
If customers are forced to tip, it would drive them away... you want to create jobs by getting people to spend, not piss them off so they keep their wallet closed.

JCKit... JCKitten87

i'm sure im not the majority here, but me and my husband do tip well for good and excellent services and understand being short handed, we both worked in food service for more than a couple years. but i have an issue with mandatory tipping unless the server is really great than i dont, last place i went added a mandatory tip of 15% to the check with out being listed on the menu, i was more than MAD because the whole hour we were there we were not even offered a refill and did not see our server after we got our food at all, but that has been the only experience like that but has always been my worry on mandatory tipping, and this wasnt even a NICE resturant, it was an ihop! like i said we are good tippers and my only requirement for good service is friendly attitude and not to sit there with out a drink, once we tipped a guy $20 for a $45 meal at redlobster all because he was very attentive even thou his section was totaly full :)

sunny... sunnybunny5us

That isn't a tip. The point of a tip is that it between you and the server. It should not be taxed and it should not relieve the business of paying their employee. If anything needs to be changed about tipping, it's that restaurants shouldn't get to pay less than minimum wage based on the idea that the customer is taking up their slack.

ashjo85 ashjo85

25%!? So, you're saying that I should be obligated to give them 10% in tip that I know right off the bat is going to be TAX FREE INCOME, regardless of how the service was? Give me a freaking break. You know what the solution is? Have restuarants pay their employess regular wages, and eliminate tipping (not ban it. More like hair salons!) If I feel like tipping you for an extra good job, run off with your tax free money. Don't you dare obligate me to give it.

zandh... zandhmom2

And why do they only have to report 15% of their tips? I have to report every penny I make.

arlis... arliss123

I agree with everyone else. The tip exists to let the server know if the customer was pleased with the service. And if I was, I tip well.

nonmember avatar Kristi

Sorry but if I get crappy service I don't tip. Usually I tip at 20%, but if I don't see the person after they take my order, they're rude, someone else drops off my food, etc, why should I have to tip them? A tip is something you earn for good service, not saying you need to kiss my @ss to get a good tip or anything, but you do need to be pleasant and check to see if we need anything. I've worked in a restaurant before as well, I know what goes on behind the scenes. But there's no reason you should get an awesome tip (and really, 25%?!?!) for doing a mediocre or bad job. If that's how things will be then we'll be ordering our food to go and they won't get anything.

nonmember avatar just me

Ha! Bring it on...those restaurants will be 'Out of Business' in no time. I'd actually love for a few of them to try it and be run into the ground.

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