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Should tipping in restaurants be banned?

foodpsychologist's picture


Tipping restaurant waiters is something that many of us cannot avoid. You might be rewarding a waiter for his/her good service, you might be being simply courteous, or you might be trying to convey your social status and give the tip as a mark of prestige; whatever the reason tipping  seems to have a negative impact on the restaurant work culture.


A practice that started by the nouveau riche Europeans in the 1800s, to ensure prompt service in restaurants, has metamorphosed into a lucrative money minting opportunity for the waiters, not only in Europe, but all around the world. You might be making a waiter happy, but do you realize that you are actually sowing the seeds of discontentment in the other staff members who do not get extra allowance in the form of tips for their work? For example, a junior kitchen assistant is justified in sulking over the issue that he does not get a tip for each and every chore that he does, while his colleague, a waiter enjoys the privilege of extra income.


Tipping seems to be a potent factor in hampering teamwork in the restaurant staff and fostering discontentment. Moreover, the waiters themselves feel that tipping is not a fair practice because all waiters do not manage to get equal tips. Lucky waiters seem to bag jackpots, while others have to be satisfied with meager amounts.

Lastly, we should realize that a good restaurant experience is not the outcome of good waiter service alone, but a consequence of the collaborative effort of the entire hotel staff, and tipping waiters alone is being rather unfair to the rest of the staff.



image credit: christidaugherty

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foodwithme's picture
Tipping is one way to reward good service. A motivating factor for the waiter to perform better and also others to work hard, feel it improves the overall efficiency to some extent. I have been to a few restaurants where all the waiters have a common box in which they collect tips and share it equally among themselves at the end of the day.
vikas.kumar's picture
the common box idea is great!
Anonymous's picture
Tipping as a means of making up very low pay (seemingly in a majority of restaurants around the world) seems to be a necessary evil. Perhaps we should weigh in that factor too before choosing where to dine. Disgruntled staff = adequate, but not exceptional food Owners/Chefs won't change unless we, the customer tell them to.
foodpsychologist's picture
Thanks FoodWithme and Anonymous for your viewpoints. They are look fair enough. But I wonder why should waiters be the only people to be tipped, when there are so many other professionals in the restaurant? Also we don't see this in any other business. Sales boys working in shops and customer help staff in health care centers should also be tipped in that case. Why isn't that such a common practice ?
Suran's picture
I don't tip at restaurants, period. The way i see it--the staff chose to work at a minimum wage establishment. I find it funny when i hear any waitress/waiter say 'tips are what make me pay my rent or put food on my table'. Well if thats the case, find a higher paying job for goodness sake. I am in the public service sector and I don't get 'tips'. I once had a waitress come after me and call me a dirty name before I left the restaurant for not tipping...boy was she classy for doing that! i never returned to that place! Its MY CHOICE to leave anything after a meal. I was once told that the staff actually LOSE money if they don't get tipped my every customer they serve. Its that the case...leave the job! I don't know where this ball of yarn started from, but why should i tip? you are making your wage working there, just as I am making a wage working at my job. It really is silly when a hear all the outrage for not leaving a tip. Its my money at the end of the day and I can do whatever I want with it!
vikas.kumar's picture
i completely agree. its definitely MY CHOICE whether i want to tip or not.
JC's picture
You either choose to pay the tip or the waiter will spit in your food or ignore you the next time you go to that restaurant. That does not sound like a choice to me. It sounds like either you tip or you get screwed over. That is not a choice. That is a regulation!
vikas.kumar's picture
one smart thing to do is to tip before hand, i.e. just after you've taken your table. it's one sure way of ensuring good service...and at times even an extra helping!
tiporelse's picture
ummm hello? i am not sure where you are from "suran" or anyone else that agrees with him/her for that matter, but your response to this is ridiculous. maybe you dont know or dont care, but almost all servers around where i am from do not get paid minimum wage. They get paid $2.13 an hour in SC as well as many other places, which means they rely on tips to make a decent income. Therefore, your whole comment about you not getting paid tips in your hourly wage job is just an incompetent statement. Those who do not tip are rude, incompetent, and I commend that waitress for standing up to you for being such a jerk. You should tip at any sit down restaurant when you have someone running around for you doing whatever you ask; that is called being considerate (the opposite of selfish which is the characteristic that you seem to have mastered). If you are too cheap or cant afford to tip at a sit down restaurant, then you shouldnt be eating there. Take your ass to mcdonalds and save us servers the trouble of having guests like you. Booyah!
Anonymous's picture
Get a real job.
JC's picture
The customer should not have to pay for both his food and to pay the wages of the restaurant staff. It is unethical and should be illegal!
Anonymous's picture
Tiporelse... I completely agree with you, this whole line of reasoning is ridiculous. I have recently begun working in conjunction with a full serve restaurant and even though I was a generous tipper before it has made me more generous. It is a part of the culture, so much so that the only job in our state that is allowed to pay BELOW minimum wage is wait-staff. So all of the other staff in the restaurant are making a better hourly wage than the wait staff. In most restaurants the wait-staff also shares a portion of their tips with the rest of the "non-wait-staff". Tipping should be considered a part of the cost of eating in the restaurant. If we were to somehow do away with tipping, then prices would go up so that the restaurants could pay servers the wage they deserve. In other words, you'd end up paying it anyway. Suran, your attitude is deplorable, and if you eat in the same place more than a couple of times, they know who you are and don't care about you, in fact you are probably quite the center of conversation, and not in a good way. If I owned the restaurant I would probably ask you never to come back.
Anonymous's picture
My brother owns a rather successful restaurant and does not pay the minimum $2.13 rate. He pays all wait staff $10 an hour & they each keep their tips, but are asked to contribute something in a lockbox for the 2 dishwashers. (and meals are free) Restaurants are really making large profits for $$$$ meals and drinks (2.75 glass of tea or coke) They should now be forced by the government to pay at least minimum wage or higher and not that 2.13 bull-crap. Restaurants are making big profits & should not rely on its customers to cover 50% of its wait staff's salary. Restaurants make enough to employ an accountant. However, I was in another 4-star food joint & noticed they automatically suggest on receipt tips in 18-20-25% range. Whats wrong with 15% ?
Anonymous's picture
Do these waiters tip you when they come to your place of employment? NO! What makes them so special?! Screw them and screw their tips!
Should Tipping In Restaurants Be Banned?