No Tipping Policies Are Increasingly Popular

no tipping policies make better employees

When you go to a restaurant to eat you expect that you will leave a tip of some sort. The actual amount is generally up to you but, if you’re like most people,  you tip somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

Most servers need the tips badly since wages at restaurants are notoriously low. It isn’t just frustrating when a server gets little or no tip — it may mean a bill doesn’t get paid. While we like to think that tips are performance based the truth is that all too often tips reflect a problem with the cook, our bad mood, or our frugal natures. After all, it isn’t the server’s fault that your steak was raw or that your pasta took over an hour to make it to the table yet the server is the one that will see your dissatisfaction reflected in the amount of money that she takes home at the end of the day.

Tipping Is Unfair

Tipping, even in the best of circumstances is unfair. While we like to think that tipping is a reward for good service all too often it is a reward for a great body, having blond hair, or reminding the guest of his mother. According to New Republic some of the more common ways to ensure a good tip are:

  • Having blond hair
  • Wearing red
  • Touching the customer on the hand or shoulder
  • Crouching to eye level when taking orders

There are more and a good server will take the time to figure out what works. My son found that removing the hair from his arm increased tips exponentially, for example.

No Tipping Trend

Although various restaurants have had no tipping policies over the years the trend is increasing, especially in upscale restaurants. There are a variety of reasons cited, too. Most people in the food industry recognize that tipping is unfair, creates competition between servers, and doesn’t necessarily reward the quality of service that the customer is getting. Restaurant owners say that they can’ t afford to pay a living wage and depend on tipping to take up the slack.

Some eateries have done away with tipping, however, and have found that their business actually increases when they implement a no tipping policy. When the servers don’t have to worry about how much money they are making in tips, if it will be enough to cover their expenses, and how many guests get seated at their tables they can relax and do their job. Less competition means a more relaxed working atmosphere, employees that work as a team, and happier customers.

Adding Service Charges

So, when you do away with tipping at your eatery how can you afford to pay the servers a living wage? There are a variety of ways that restaurant owners have found to make up the difference in the salaries that they are paying when they take on a no tipping policy. Some are adding service charges to the final bill while others have raised their menu prices.  Some establishments have just increased their employees pay and hoped that a higher quality atmosphere would increase their sales. There are no hard and fast rules — just keep in mind you tend to get what you pay for.

In any case, the  no tipping trend is something that needs to be watched carefully so that you can see whether or not it is something you want to think about in your own company. What are your thoughts? Would you ever consider doing away with tipping?

photo credit: via photopin cc

- Marye Audet

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer, and editor. Cooking, baking, and recipe development have been a major part of her life since she baked her first loaf of bread at age 13. Luckily, with a husband, eight children, a son in law, and three grandchildren she has enough test-tasters to handle the steady stream of experiments that come from her kitchen.

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