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Tipping Culture

 

                It is awkward, it’s expensive, it’s always there; it’s tipping. As a server in a restaurant and a person who enjoys going out to eat often, I have always wondered what it would be like to not have to tip. Servers make incredible amounts of money just off the tips alone in Canada and earn way over minimum wage with tips as well as the wage. Speaking for myself, I have never made less than $20 an hour when the server (wage plus tips), which is great pay for a simple job. A server will get extra pay for their simple efforts at work, but this is usually only seen in the serving industry. A doctor, construction worker, or a dentist will not be given extra money for their efforts, then why should servers?

 

                Usually, tipping runs a person 15% on each bill, which can create quite increase in price when bills are larger. Often people will say that the lower minimum wage is the reason for tipping, but societal norms are the underlying cause of these actions. A person will feel awkward if they do not tip because it is “irregular” when it comes to dining at a restaurant. This can create a bigger financial burden on patrons because of the increased cost of dining out which is the real issues. Being a student, it annoys and irritates me knowing I am expected to at least tip fifteen percent of my bill to a person who is just doing their job.

                The history of tipping as started in Europe and has traveled west in the late 19th century after the American civil war. There has been attempts in the States to stop tipping in the in the 1920s because of class-based issues but had been repealed later that century (Danny Meyer’s, Kathleen Elkins). Currently, some shops such as Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, and Union Square Café in New York have said no to tip with the purchase of their meals in hopes of ending the tipping norm. In Canada, there has been a more moderate view on how to tackle the tipping problem. Indian Food Co. has added a 12% administration fee to each bill to order to help create fair wages for employees, not just front of the house (No Tipping please, Emily Chan).

                The solution to this problem could work from the bottom up approach and lead to the Canadian government to make servers equal wage to that every other minimum wage. Restaurants would first have to band together and effectively say “no tipping”. This would give policymakers a signal to change labor costs of servers to the average wage of 11.40. This could be an option of how to end tipping.

 

Bibliography

 

Elkins , Kathleen. “Danny Meyer’s anti-tipping policy is nothing new — 6 states once banned the practice.” Business Insider. N.p., 22 Oct. 2015. Web. 3 Mar. 2017.

Chan, Emily. “‘No tipping please’: Toronto restaurant gets rid of gratuities.” CTVNews. N.p., 7 Nov. 2015. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.

 

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