I don’t know how we’d go about stopping it though. If customers stop tipping, it just hurts employees in the short term. Employees would have to stop taking the low paying jobs, really. Or we’d have to pass a law – heaven knows we have enough laws already.
I’ve been bugged by this for many years. I’ve known people who wait tables and make hundreds of dollars a night in tips. That’s pretty good to make $200 or $300 a day! Granted, that pre-tax, but still – that’s a lot of money. However, I’ve also known people who are getting paid $2 per hour, with the remainder of their pay coming from tips. Aparently in Utah, this is standard practice for a restaurant owner to pay such a low wage because the tips make up the rest. The first time I heard that, I almost went crazy! I thought there was a minimum wage law in this country? How can a company get away with doing that? And I found out about several more places in Utah that practice the same slave-wage rules – and I’m not talking about the mom-and-pop places on the corner.
Why does it bug me so much? Becauase a TIP is a GRATUITY. Dictionary.com says:
1. a gift of money, over and above payment due for service, as to a waiter or bellhop; tip.
2. something given without claim or demand.
a. a bonus granted to war veterans by the government.
b. a bonus given military personnel on discharge or retirement.
"Over and above payment due FOR SERVICE…" It’s a way of saying THANK YOU as in GRATITUDE. That means "Wow – you did a great job! Thanks for doing such a great job – here’s my personal way of saying thank you for the service!" Even Wikipedia has a huge article on Gratuities. They even talk about how some jurisdictions allow for the lower wages to be paid that I was talking about.
Back to Jack’s comment… if we did stop tipping, the government and businesses would have to go back to paying full minimum wages. However, the quality of service could dip. HOWEVER, businesses with bad customer service would end up losing to those businesses with GOOD customer service and would have to do something or else possibliy go out of business.
I do believe that tipping is a way of saying thank you to someone for a job well done. Which means that it should not be customary or socially required. Just because you do a good job doesn’t mean you should get a tip. That is why the business should be paying you for – good work quality. If the business won’t pay you what you’re worth, go work somewhere that will pay you what you’re worth.