I’m speaking your language, aren’t I?
While it may not yet be the norm, a few restaurants have began to operate this way.
Their logic (in paraphrase) is this.
Tips are random. They are meant to compensate for low wages. Its hard for our waiters to calculate how much money they will make from week to week. We now pay them a higher salary so they don’t have to rely on tips – which are generally based on a customer’s whims and reasoned by factors out of the wait staffs control anyway.
According to the Associated Foreign Press, customers in the U.S. are expected to add an extra 10 to 20 percent to their tab at the end of a meal – but increasingly restaurants are foregoing these tips.
While the US federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, wait staff can legally be paid as little as $2.13 in some places. In New York, one of the most expensive US cities, salaries for waiters start at $5.00 per hour.
For wait staff, tips help bolster pay in line with other restaurant workers who don’t receive gratuities.
Now Riki Restaurant in New York and Brand158 in Glendale, California are amongst those who have adopted the “No tipping” policy.
The no-tip policy is especially being adopted by upscale restaurants, said Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.
Gabriel Frem, owner of the upscale Brand 158 restaurant in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, also sees his establishment’s no-tipping policy as a way to protect staff from the whims of diners.
“We interview and hire our employees, not the guest, and we expect to pay them, and be responsible for their actions,” he said.
“If they do great, we keep them, and if they don’t, we let them go.”
“We don’t want their pay to be at the mercy of a guest’s random calculation, based on unpredictable factors,” he concludes.
Of course it may be easier said than done for most restaurants, who simply can’t afford to pay their wait staff a higher salary.
But we can dream, can’t we?
Thanks to Yahoo News for information used in this story. Read more at their site here.