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Thursday, April 28, 2016

New rules for tipping--again!

    I once again return to the topic of tipping.  Recently I have noticed that my check receipt has started to have my tip already figured out.  My receipt now shows how much a 15%, 18% and 20% tip would be.  No figuring out those tip amounts.  It is also a not too subtle way to suggest the new tipping amounts are now above the old traditional 10% tip.  It has always been my feeling that tipping is an outdated way of supplementing the low hourly wage of wait staff.   Interestingly the minimum wage that was recently raised for employees in Maryland wasn't raised for service workers.  With the newer automated ways that restaurants are using maybe a new method of revisiting the tip will start.


    Chili's, like some other restaurants, are installing these tablets at their booths to have customers order from their table.  According to sources,

   "The tablets let your order your meal—and pay for it—through a screen, as you would with online ordering. (They also, as a bonus, offer games for kids and news offerings from USA Today.) Chili's just completed what it's calling "the largest rollout of tabletop tablets in the U.S."—which includes the installation of more than 45,000 tablets across 823 Chili's restaurants."

   So using one of these new tablets who are you really tipping?  The person bringing you your food? The person cleaning the table?  Do you tip at the above mentioned rates for this reduced impersonal service? Or maybe it is time to just pay higher wages to wait staff and add the extra cost to the menu price as some restaurants are doing in Seattle which raised it's minimum wage to $15.  Of course opponents of paying a higher minimum wage would argue that the extra costs would have to substantially increase the cost of a restaurant meal.  A look at the extra cost for McDonalds would be 10% with a $10 minimum and a 27% increase in price with a $15 minimum wage.  Interestingly the cost of beef has increased 38% since the last increase in the minimum wage and McD's still seems profitable.  Furthermore it is not always accurate to just assume that the extra cost would all be passed onto the customer. The most relevant argument in this wage debate for wait staff is that eating out is still a discretionary expense for most of us.  If you can't afford to eat out and tip decently then maybe a little more home cooking is your best option.

     I once blogged on tipping pizza delivery persons fairly so I won't rehash this issue but only to say that anything less than a $5 tip for delivery is not going to cover the expenses of the driver to bring you your pizza.  And that isn't good on a business order of $100.  Ask any pizza delivery person who has received a $2 tip on that type of order.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

What I am really finding offensive is when you stand in line and place your order, they are still asking for a tip. You then have to pick up your order at the counter and then throw away your trash. I don't think that warrants any kind of tip yet one feels obligated to add money.