Tipping waiters must be the most annoying method of paying someone. It makes it hard for the waiter or waitress to earn a living if it is a slow night or you’re just surrounded by a-holes. It requires the customer to do math, the last thing you’re able to do after loading up on endless plates of carbs and bottomless glasses of alcohol. It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone except the person who doesn’t have to pay their staff a living wage. One restaurant hopes to change that once and for all.
Danny Meyer, the CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group that owns several high profile restaurant chains such as Shake Shack, announced that his company will phase out the tipping system for its wait staff over the coming years. Instead, they will raise prices on their menu items so they can pay their waiters and waitresses a proper wage.
Do you have a tip for Danny Meyer?
This might sound like an insane idea that will drive away customers and leave only the sound of chirping crickets in Meyer’s restaurant but just think about it for a second. Imagine sitting down for a nice meal and not having to worry about tipping someone enough for a meal and wondering if you’ll have a heaping glob of salvia when the waiter or waitress recognizes you as a notoriously bad tipper. Can you put a price on that?
Federal law actually allows restaurants to pay their wait staff as little as $2.13 an hour because they work on a tipping system that some have to split with their fellow waiters and waitresses. The system also doesn’t work as well if you’re the cook in the kitchen actually making the food because there aren’t any laws that require tips to be split with the people who aren’t hand-delivering the food. So just try not to think about what an angry cook is doing with your food when they realize they aren’t getting as much money as the people who just pick it up and deliver it to your table.
Would you pay more for your food to not have to tip wait staff?