Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ban on Voluntary Tipping

As most everyone knows, tipping after a meal has become a normal habit for most Americans.  Of course, while the amount of tip left often depends on the service, food, and overall experience, many people do not realize that a tip is much more to someone in the service industry than they imagine.

On average, most people in the service industry technically do not make over $5 an hour.  Their wage is dependent on how much in tips they earn.  In turn, tipping is an incentive for servers and bartenders to provide the best possible service.

One restaurant in New York City made news recently for breaking with tradition and taking the European and Asian approach of including the tip into the final bill handed to the customer.  This bold idea allows for employees of the restaurant to work on salary with paid vacations, sick days, benefits and insurance.  While great for employees, the downside for customers is the increased menu prices needed to help pay for these new installments.

The quality of restaurants is one issue stemming from this idea.  Understandably, the restaurant wants to be able to provide for its employees.  But in order to take on an idea like this, the quality of the restaurant - along with its food - needs to reflect its prices.  If a restaurant is going to raise their rates, then the food and service need to be top notch. 

We don't foresee this plan ever working outside of a large city. A family-owned place like us would never be able to survive financially by doing this. The upside is that we could still keep menu prices down while continuing to offer great service and a wonderful time. (hint hint)

Certainly, we here at the Uptown have no intentions of making this switch.  We do, however, like to stay in tune with industry trends, and we found the concept to be one of interest... one we thought was worth sharing.


  1. Weird is not the word I would use to describe NOT leaving a tip. I was a waitress once upon a time and knew the frustration of poor "tippers". It is not easy to serve the public and like you mentioned the wages are not very good. I would definately be affected if things were restructured in the restaurant business as I would not be able to afford eating out with my family of five! I always leave a tip even if the service was unsatisfactory. It is my choice to not visit the restaurant again. Thanks!

  2. I am all for the restaurant employees receiving a consistent income, benefits, etc. but the anticipation of a good tip can be pretty good incentive to provide quality service.