Danny Meyer, owner of 13 restaurants in New York City, recently announced that all of his restaurants will eliminate tipping and raise food prices. Here are five reasons why that’s a great idea:
1. It removes the responsibility from the customer
A tipping system relies on diners to determine how much a server should be paid. It’s a little bit absurd when you really think about it. You don’t go to a shoe store and determine how much your shoe salesperson should be paid. The amount they get paid is already factored into the cost of the shoes.
2. It gives servers more reliable income
Because restaurants with a tipping system expect customers to pay their servers, servers often get short-changed. Even the hardest workers are susceptible to being stiffed by cranky customers, or customers from other countries who don’t understand our tipping system.
3. Discrimination is a thing
Studies done by a Cornell professor have shown that white servers are tipped more than black servers for the same quality service, and that female servers with large breasts and blonde hair get tipped more than female servers with different body types.
4. Tipped workers struggle to make ends meet
Servers at high-end restaurants in big cities like New York can earn a comfortable living, but the majority of servers are not so lucky. According to a 2014 report from the Department of Labor, servers are almost three times as likely to experience poverty as any other workers. This is because restaurants are legally allowed to pay them much less than minimum wage.
5. It ensures everyone in the restaurant gets paid fairly
In higher-end restaurants, restaurant cooks often earn less money than servers, because the servers get the tips and the cooks don’t. A system which eliminates tipping and raises the price of the food ensures everyone who contributes to the dining process gets paid a fair amount of the profit.
Cover photo credit: Lars Plougmann/Flickr