When it comes to tipping, there's the decent people who do it, and the jerks who don't. Right? I mean, we all have our own reasons for tipping at restaurants, but they all pretty much amount to the same thing: It's the "right" thing to do. But what if it's not? What if it turns out that tipping is (gulp!) unfair?!?
A former restaurant owner says we need to totally rethink tipping. Bruce McAdams has done just about every job you can do at a restaurant: He's cooked, waited tables, bussed, managed, and owned them. And after years of experience, he's concluded that tipping is just plain unfair. And you know what? His argument makes sense.
If you have time, McAdams' whole TEDx Talk is thought-provoking. But one of the main points he makes is that tipping is unfair to the cooks and everyone else working at a restaurant besides the servers. When you factor in tips, servers make WAY more than cooks do. And a lot of those cooks spend years and tens of thousands of dollars at cooking school. They work just as hard. But they make peanuts compared to the waiters.
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So what -- should we be tipping the cooks, too? McAdams doesn't really offer solutions for solving this. But he does mention that some restaurants actually collect the tips and divide them evenly among the entire restaurant staff. So there's an idea! Would you tip differently if you knew your tips would be shared with the dishwasher?
Eh, probably not. Here's the other thing McAdams says -- study after study proves that except in extreme cases, we don't tip based on performance, anyway. Most of us tip based on whatever we usually tip.
So what's the point?!? What if we said "no more tipping!" and just raised everyone's restaurant bill by 15 to 20 percent? Then the owner could decide where all the money goes, hopefully fairly -- ugh, if only restaurant profit margins weren't so teeny. But that's probably never going to happen. Still, I will ponder this the next time I eat out ... just before I sign my name under that same tip I give every damn time no matter what the service was like.
Do you think tipping is unfair to the rest of the restaurant staff?
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