As one of the only nations to pay their servers through tips, America has grown to foster an interesting dilemma between customer and employee – tipping.
Before we go any further, we food-loving gourmands over at CLICKON would like to remind all our readers that any perceived untoward ire that resides within the following sentences comes from a place of love, and not hate – it’s only the long years of tipping the salaries of countless waiters that have made us dead inside.
Being the last major nation to not pay its waiters a livable wage, the good ol’ United States operates on a wholesome capitalistic approach: pay your employees enough to cover taxes, and let the customer decide their income through tipping. What better way to ensure that your servers are doing their best other than by putting their entire income on the line?
This has gone on long enough. An individual shouldn’t be forced to behave like someone’s monkey for the sake of earning proper remuneration. Quite frankly, we believe a move away from tip-based income would do the entire restaurant industry a world of good – but such a move would do away with a lot of tax-free income.
It’s no secret that business adore tax-free money, and good waiters can reap the benefits in nightly. While the purported billions of unreported revenues is a problem in and of itself, it’s the discrepancy between the wages of the front of house and back of house staff that is causing schisms in restaurants across the states.
As the kitchen staff make a flat rate for the services they render, there is no opportunity – short of overtime – for them to make more money than the agreed upon rate. As such, the waiter who can clear several 20-top tables in a night is going to walk out of the joint with a lot more money than the kitchen staff will ever see during their service.
What it comes down to, really, is equality within the business. If the folks that are merely placing the food in front of someone are raking in more than those who prepared the dish, something along the line of workflow isn’t working right.
Conversely, if the waiter who’s down on their luck experiences a string of bad nights regarding tips, they’ll have walked away from their job making less than the folks in the kitchen – even if no food was prepared.
There are countless ways of looking at the problem, ad the more that we do, the more it becomes evident that something’s got to change. Unfortunately, until the downsides rear their heads more often than the benefits, everything will continue along the cycle it has, and you’ll still feel like the guilty asshole when you forget to tip in a country that demands it for the sake of profit.