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Tipping/Gratuity Culture

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    zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    EDIT: And a server making more than a senior data analyst (or, as I've seen before, a teacher with a masters degree) is not an argument in favor of tipping as a practice.

    I mean yeah, but at the same time I 100% guarantee that a service / tip worker who consistently makes more than me (also a senior analyst) is hustling and working a holy fuckload of a lot harder than I ever do and under a lot more stress to do it.

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    SixSix Caches Tweets in the mainframe cyberhex Registered User regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    EDIT: And a server making more than a senior data analyst (or, as I've seen before, a teacher with a masters degree) is not an argument in favor of tipping as a practice.

    I mean yeah, but at the same time I 100% guarantee that a service / tip worker who consistently makes more than me (also a senior analyst) is hustling and working a holy fuckload of a lot harder than I ever do and under a lot more stress to do it.

    Or they're really attractive.

    can you feel the struggle within?
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    zagdrob wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    EDIT: And a server making more than a senior data analyst (or, as I've seen before, a teacher with a masters degree) is not an argument in favor of tipping as a practice.

    I mean yeah, but at the same time I 100% guarantee that a service / tip worker who consistently makes more than me (also a senior analyst) is hustling and working a holy fuckload of a lot harder than I ever do and under a lot more stress to do it.

    Or they've lucked into a pretty high-end restaurant position, which often has its own rather discriminatory barriers to entry that aren't great. Still, I do agree in general, but I don't think that's an argument in favor of the practice at all but rather suggests that we're spending a lot of human capital in postions where it's not best utilized, because those positions allow employees to effectively panhandle a higher-than-market wage out of the clientele versus what would ever be paid for that work at a fair rate.

    Like yeah I've known people with law degrees that were waiting tables, because it paid well and was less stressful than lawyering. A real thing. But not a good one! I'd much rather that guy be lawyering, freeing up that food service job for somebody who doesn't have the skills and education to go be a lawyer...even if it means that job doesn't pay as much as it used to. Nobody wins when teachers, engineers, and lawyers decide bartending pays better than the profession they pursued the formal education for, because we've decided that one specific slice of the service industry is allowed to gatekeep social spaces at fairly steep rates.

    Meanwhile, in other countries I can just go out, order a $15 burger, pay $15 and mayyyybe leave $1 on the table if I'm feeling particularly generous, and that's that. There is no world where this is not a better experience for me, as a restaurant patron. Is it worse for the worker? Maybe, maybe not, but that doesn't seem to be a question Local H Jay was asking for the bank teller a page ago, without knowing at all how much that person was making. It's not a question anybody asked of me when they came and rented a movie from me. It's not a question I ask when I check out at the grocery store.

    As for the bank teller, I think some people assume "wearing a tie = making bank," but man I worked retail in the men's department and was required wear fairly pricey slacks and a tie and made less than a buck above minimum.

    mcdermott on
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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Again pointing out that most folks working restaurants have no benefits and insane hours and still make shit pay, idk how much overtime is to be had at the bank or how often you scrub the floors there

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Again pointing out that most folks working restaurants have no benefits and insane hours and still make shit pay, idk how much overtime is to be had at the bank or how often you scrub the floors there

    And instead forcing servers into a weird ad-hoc independent contracting situation with the patrons certainly isn't gonna help them get benefits. Decoupling their pay from the business's payroll isn't helping on that front.

    As for scrubbing floors...I mean I scrubbed plenty of floors for $7.25 an hour in fast food. Always fun when somebody just up and literally shits on the bathroom floor for no reason. Work is work man. I've scrubbed floors for minimum wage, I've scrubbed floors for more than minimum wage. So you're saying even if that bank teller is making minimum wage they aren't worth a tip because they don't scrub floors? Because intended or not, that does seem to be the implication here. And that's pretty fucked up, in my opinion.

    Please, describe more to me of the trials and tribulations that only tipped service personnel ever face.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    And to be clear if the answer is "hey man, I think we should tip everyone!" that's not an improvement, because literally all that does is establish a norm by which paying workers is totes optional.

    Which again is how tipping in the US started, and is a kinda sorta bad thing.

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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Bank work involves sitting in an air conditioned room and looking at a screen. I'm almost positive you won't need to be on your feet all day, lifting heavy objects, or cleaning really anything. The point I'm making is 15 dollars here isn't the same amount of work as making 15 dollars over there. Getting benefits, PTO, healthcare are things most restaurant workers and servers could only dream of, and having those things improves your quality of life and how you look at that job

    Fast food jobs suck ass and I'm of the opinion nobody who has to clean any kind of shit, human or otherwise, should be making min. wage. This isn't about measuring a yard stick of who is getting it the worst, this topic is explicitly about tipping and how it affects those who get tipped. There's plenty of other jobs that suck, deserve to get paid more, etc and I support making things better for everyone. It's not about who deserves a tip, it's that the tips can be withheld, sometimes by the employers and not just customers, and for very arbitrary and nonsense reasons.

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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Idk why I'm being made out like the bad guy when most people talk about these jobs like it's the distant past to them when it's still like, the reality for everyone still working those jobs. and I can guarantee you servers in small towns, outside of cities, aren't pulling in much more than min wage if at all.

    Hell you keep pointing out that some folks should be asking to be tipped up and many came forward to say uh yeah no most people don't for fear of losing their jobs. Asking to be paid fairly as a tipped worker is a complete farce.

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    Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    mcdermott wrote: »
    And to be clear if the answer is "hey man, I think we should tip everyone!" that's not an improvement, because literally all that does is establish a norm by which paying workers is totes optional.

    Which again is how tipping in the US started, and is a kinda sorta bad thing.

    Yeah, I totally agree with you on principle, but at the kind of restaurants I go to (which aren’t generally the type that have a server making more than a senior analyst), me tipping $0 on a $60 check for 3 people doesn’t mean I’m sticking it to the man, it means a single mom has $15-20 less to feed her kids that week.



    Jealous Deva on
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    HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    Bank work involves sitting in an air conditioned room and looking at a screen. I'm almost positive you won't need to be on your feet all day, lifting heavy objects, or cleaning really anything. The point I'm making is 15 dollars here isn't the same amount of work as making 15 dollars over there. Getting benefits, PTO, healthcare are things most restaurant workers and servers could only dream of, and having those things improves your quality of life and how you look at that job

    Fast food jobs suck ass and I'm of the opinion nobody who has to clean any kind of shit, human or otherwise, should be making min. wage. This isn't about measuring a yard stick of who is getting it the worst, this topic is explicitly about tipping and how it affects those who get tipped. There's plenty of other jobs that suck, deserve to get paid more, etc and I support making things better for everyone. It's not about who deserves a tip, it's that the tips can be withheld, sometimes by the employers and not just customers, and for very arbitrary and nonsense reasons.

    Then why do you keep trying to make it about that?

    Also bank tellers, which is who mcdermott specifically referenced, are literally on their feet all day.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Bank work involves sitting in an air conditioned room and looking at a screen. I'm almost positive you won't need to be on your feet all day, lifting heavy objects, or cleaning really anything. The point I'm making is 15 dollars here isn't the same amount of work as making 15 dollars over there.

    So they're not worth a living wage, or at least you don't care if they're making one. This is what you are saying. If they put a tip jar out, you're gonna tell them to go fuck their own face, because they aren't scrubbing floors. Whether they make enough to live or not.

    But you, you I should be socially required to just throw money at, money I don't owe you. Because you work hard. Not at anything that generates and actual bill that I'm required to pay, mind. But hard nonetheless. So I should give you some money. Unlike those lazy fucks at the bank or at another air-conditioned non-floor-scrubbing job.

    The entitlement here is pretty insane.

    So I'll flip it right back, I shouldn't be obligated to give you one penny I don't owe you, and you should have to fight for your pay with management like, well, literally everyone else. I'll have your back if you want to unionize, push for better minimum pay and working conditions, and any number of other things that will actually improve life for all low wage workers. But continuing to enshrine socially-enforced panhandling as an ad-hoc solution for those that can get into tipped positions? Yeah, gonna be a pass from me dawg. That shit needs to die forever.

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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Yeesh. Everyone is worth a living wage. Some people make money doing back breaking labor and others don't have to go outside or pickup large objects that can permanently damage their bodies. End of the day, were playing into the hands of business owners by even bickering about this.

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    ElJeffeElJeffe Roaming the streets, waving his mod gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    I should clarify that the guy making more than me in a day is doing that one day a week on a good night. His annual gross pay is not more than mine.

    And yeah, he works a lot harder than me on that one night. He earns those tips. I'm just pointing out that going from making $300 in a night from his tips to making $120 in a night is not really a win for him.

    (Also I'm a data analyst for the state, so whatever you imagine I'm making, chop that in half.)

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    mcdermott wrote: »
    And to be clear if the answer is "hey man, I think we should tip everyone!" that's not an improvement, because literally all that does is establish a norm by which paying workers is totes optional.

    Which again is how tipping in the US started, and is a kinda sorta bad thing.

    Yeah, I totally agree with you on principle, but at the kind of restaurants I go to (which aren’t generally the type that have a server making more than a senior analyst), me tipping $0 on a $60 check for 3 people doesn’t mean I’m sticking it to the man, it means a single mom has $15-20 less to feed her kids that week.

    Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where there is unlikely to ever be some convenient bridge from A to B where nobody ever feels the sting of the transition. But our society will be better off if we do away with socially mandatory tipping, even if there are some bumps on the way there.

    I also fully understand that a single person no longer tipping does nothing to stop the practice, that's just the Fuck You Lottery for the unfortunate servers who get those patrons. To be excruciatingly clear, for table service I actually do tip, though less enthusiastically and generously than I used to. But I'd like to see more conversations about this where we actually consider doing away with the practice, and maybe encourage a critical mass of patrons to actually stop doing it...which is probably the only way it ever goes away.

    Unlikely in my lifetime, much like gun control, single payer healthcare, and walkable cities this is one of those things that just won't work in America for reasons. Despite working fine in other western industrialized democracies.

    mcdermott on
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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    I don't think the solution is to organize gangs of citizens to start stop tipping. That doesn't feel like how reform like this happens. That just sounds like being dicks en masse.

    It feels very much like this
    https://youtu.be/Gm2x6CVIXiE

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I dunno maybe americans should like, take in how many people working any service industry have a gun pointed at them and think.

    I mean yeah but that's an entirely different thread. The point, to me, is that most of the hazards and working conditions that apply to tipped service workers apply to untipped service workers, who are often making substantially less. And while we heard at least one anectdote where an untipped retail position came with some meager amount of PTO...which is good to hear...at least in my experience most retail positions weren't particularly great on that front. At which point tipped workers pointing to "working conditions" as justification for being handed money that is not owed to them is pretty weak, considering that plenty of people (including many who are being asked to fork over tips) are putting up with similar or worse working conditions for less pay.

    Similarly, the complaints about "difficultly budgeting" are hilarious to me. Yes, some weeks or shifts you'll make more, some less. Meaning your pay generally varies from "a little more than untipped service positions" to "a lot more than untipped service positions."

    And ultimately the preservation of tipping as some kind of solution to the living wage issue (for a very specific niche of workers) is about as reasonable as legalized panhandling as the solution for homelessness and unemployment. Perpetuating the idea that paying workers should be optional ultimately does more harm than good, IMO.

    I am going to be honest your visceral and clear distaste to anyone solving the living wage issue is clearly unreasonable.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I am going to be honest your visceral and clear distaste to anyone solving the living wage issue is clearly unreasonable.

    Solving it how? There is literally only one solution to it I am rejecting, because it's not actually a solution at all. It's a bandaid available only to a privileged subset of workers. It's not a solution.

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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Calling tipped workers "privileged" is... Big yikes my guy

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I am going to be honest your visceral and clear distaste to anyone solving the living wage issue is clearly unreasonable.

    Solving it how? There is literally only one solution to it I am rejecting, because it's not actually a solution at all. It's a bandaid available only to a privileged subset of workers. It's not a solution.

    I literally do not believe you have a solution or idea.

    Your participation so far is to brag about how you don't have to do tip work anymore then insist you don't have to tip any more.

    You are literally the evil all these americans have to deal with because of their shite labour laws.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Calling tipped workers "privileged" is... Big yikes my guy

    I mean the guy who works at my local Habit who's missing an ear is gonna have a tougher time getting a server position at The Cheesecake Factory, or a lot of other tipped service positions. So he works for what is almost certainly a lower pay, while still scrubbing floors and being on his feet and busting his ass. He makes $0 in tips.

    Among service industry workers there is absolutely an element of privilege to many or even most tipped positions. Maybe it's a bit harder to swallow coming from somebody's who's out of the service industry, sure. But I stand by it.

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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    I'll be sure to tell the next single mother supporting her kids she's super privileged and make sure to leave a meager tip if one at all now that you've awoken me to the evils of the system

    Local H Jay on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I literally do not believe you have a solution or idea.

    So what's yours?

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    MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I am going to be honest your visceral and clear distaste to anyone solving the living wage issue is clearly unreasonable.

    Solving it how? There is literally only one solution to it I am rejecting, because it's not actually a solution at all. It's a bandaid available only to a privileged subset of workers. It's not a solution.

    How are they privileged to have to put on a front of happiness and cheer no matter what's going on in their life in order to get a tip that will help them maybe clear minimum wage?

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I literally do not believe you have a solution or idea.

    So what's yours?

    I mean, honestly? As someone not in the USA?

    Eliminate the sub minimum wage and let tips be actual tips.

    You're the only weirdo bragging about making 6 figures or whatever and also shaming workers working here.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I literally do not believe you have a solution or idea.

    So what's yours?

    I mean, honestly? As someone not in the USA?

    Eliminate the sub minimum wage and let tips be actual tips.

    This still exerts social pressure on workers making less than servers to continue paying extra on services and small luxuries they may barely be able to afford, rather than having truth in pricing when people go out for those same small luxuries. We already eliminated the tip credit where I live. We already eliminated it everywhere I've lived as an adult.. So what's step two? How do we get people a living wage without socially enforced panhandling?

    I remember "having" to reach into my pocket to tip a server when I was making ten cents above minimum wage. Not legally required, mind. But for somebody who's not entirely socially comfortable not a social norm I was willing to violate (and still to this day I conform to it). That was bullshit. I was making half of what those people were making, and yet I was socially pressured into just...handing them my money? The fuck? This is an obscene system.

    Basically that shitty fake $20 from r/antiwork is right, even if it's something only an asshole would actually do. Tipping just creates its own microcosm of income inequality among lower-income workers. It's not a good thing, in any way shape or form. And in principle, the very idea of expanding "voluntarily paying workers at the register" is probably not a good step for society to take, and is unlikely to help us improve actual minimum pay and working conditions. It turns us into a nation of panhandlers.

    mcdermott on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    And yes, as we see here, it clearly pits customers against staff, while ownership laughs all the way to the bank.

    That's not a good thing either!

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    TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    Having management pay waitstaff for the service they want their restaurant to have is the clear answer.
    Customers can then choose what they want by selecting the establishment that offers the experience that they are after.

    Tastyfish on
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    MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I literally do not believe you have a solution or idea.

    So what's yours?

    I mean, honestly? As someone not in the USA?

    Eliminate the sub minimum wage and let tips be actual tips.

    This still exerts social pressure on workers making less than servers to continue paying extra on services and small luxuries they may barely be able to afford, rather than having truth in pricing when people go out for those same small luxuries. We already eliminated the tip credit where I live. We already eliminated it everywhere I've lived as an adult.. So what's step two? How do we get people a living wage without socially enforced panhandling?

    I remember "having" to reach into my pocket to tip a server when I was making ten cents above minimum wage. Not legally required, mind. But for somebody who's not entirely socially comfortable not a social norm I was willing to violate (and still to this day I conform to it). That was bullshit. I was making half of what those people were making, and yet I was socially pressured into just...handing them my money? The fuck? This is an obscene system.

    Basically that shitty fake $20 from r/antiwork is right, even if it's something only an asshole would actually do. Tipping just creates its own microcosm of income inequality among lower-income workers. It's not a good thing, in any way shape or form. And in principle, the very idea of expanding "voluntarily paying workers at the register" is probably not a good step for society to take, and is unlikely to help us improve actual minimum pay and working conditions. It turns us into a nation of panhandlers.

    But you did know the cost because tipping is a thing. So when you go out to order food you know you're going to add a percentage to it as a tip.

    It may suck, but if you can't afford to tip you shouldn't go out to the restaurant. It's not like you showed up to pay for the meal and sit there and then they sprang the idea of a tip on you at the last moment.

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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    I have to ask, when the main end of your politics ends in theoretically changing things but also de housing waiters do you view yourself as the good guy?

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    MalReynoldsMalReynolds The Hunter S Thompson of incredibly mild medicines Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I literally do not believe you have a solution or idea.

    So what's yours?

    I mean, honestly? As someone not in the USA?

    Eliminate the sub minimum wage and let tips be actual tips.

    This still exerts social pressure on workers making less than servers to continue paying extra on services and small luxuries they may barely be able to afford, rather than having truth in pricing when people go out for those same small luxuries. We already eliminated the tip credit where I live. We already eliminated it everywhere I've lived as an adult.. So what's step two? How do we get people a living wage without socially enforced panhandling?

    I remember "having" to reach into my pocket to tip a server when I was making ten cents above minimum wage. Not legally required, mind. But for somebody who's not entirely socially comfortable not a social norm I was willing to violate (and still to this day I conform to it). That was bullshit. I was making half of what those people were making, and yet I was socially pressured into just...handing them my money? The fuck? This is an obscene system.

    Basically that shitty fake $20 from r/antiwork is right, even if it's something only an asshole would actually do. Tipping just creates its own microcosm of income inequality among lower-income workers. It's not a good thing, in any way shape or form. And in principle, the very idea of expanding "voluntarily paying workers at the register" is probably not a good step for society to take, and is unlikely to help us improve actual minimum pay and working conditions. It turns us into a nation of panhandlers.

    One time a teacher made me cry because I couldn't tie my shoes, but when I turned 30 I did not make it Society's Problem.

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    AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    If we want to talk solutions I've been trying to propose one...
    Aioua wrote: »
    i want to try and craft a way of killing tipping that might be at least somewhat politically feasible

    step 1: fix the minimum wage thing
    this is just removing bullshit and as we've seen doesn't do much to stop tipping but i think is a necessary precondition

    step 2: remove custom tipping options at point of sale
    basically force anyone who wants a tipping-type structure to use the automatic gratuity system instead of leaving it up to the customer, set the rate (18% is popular) and how tips are pooled/distributed by statue

    step 3: require menu pricing to include the gratuity amount
    at this point the difference between a tipped and non-tipped establishment is invisible to the customer, which would make it easier for a business to change modes depending on which mode is better at attracting employees without worrying about scaring away customers with higher menu prices

    then, maybe down the line if these more tightly regulated gratuity systems remain common we can evaluate if they are still exploitative or actually beneficial for the employees

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
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    MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    And yes, as we see here, it clearly pits customers against staff, while ownership laughs all the way to the bank.

    That's not a good thing either!

    Restaurants generally have pretty shitty profit margins so probably not all the way to the bank.

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    AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    Also holy shit, if you really want a direct action from the worker class to try and fix it it should be tipped employees going on strike not just refusing to pay tips.

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
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    TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    I think you guys in the US also just have to accept that you're weird here. Especially when it comes to bartenders getting tips.

    But these threads always end the same way, some people adamant that there's no way a restaurant can operate in a world without tips, other people pointing out that this isn't how everywhere else operates and then other people getting mad at other people for not tipping even if that's not what anyone said. We've had at least three I think in the last few years and it always ends the same.

    Tastyfish on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited March 2023
    Tastyfish wrote: »
    Having management pay waitstaff for the service they want their restaurant to have is the clear answer.
    Customers can then choose what they want by selecting the establishment that offers the experience that they are after.

    Gee, what a revolutionary idea.
    I have to ask, when the main end of your politics ends in theoretically changing things but also de housing waiters do you view yourself as the good guy?

    I mean this is a thread about tipping not a thread about UBI. You have zero fucking idea where my politics end.

    Economically I generally fall somewhere to the left of Bernie.

    mcdermott on
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    MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    I think its hard to implement because even if you show proof that the average waiter and below will make more money without tipping everybody thinks they're the high earner who would make more without minimum wage so you need the pressure to pass the law coming from somewhere else.

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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    8 pages in and I don't see the point being solved any easier than what Vowels put up.

    Like, yeah.

    are YOU on the beer list?
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    Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Jackie Registered User regular
    I would love to know where your politics end.

    So far it's mostly being mad at anyone making a tip.

    I would love to think you're better than that.

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    MagellMagell Detroit Machine Guns Fort MyersRegistered User regular
    8 pages in and I don't see the point being solved any easier than what Vowels put up.

    Like, yeah.

    I don't know, if Jay and Mcdermott yell at each other for five more pages I think they might figure something out.

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    TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    8 pages in and I don't see the point being solved any easier than what Vowels put up.

    Like, yeah.

    It is the way to fold the apparent cost of service into the actual price (which I think most of us would be happy with as an end point?). The only real stumbling block is how much people hate restaurants automatically adding the gratuity onto bills. It's also something that's going to be personally memorable and pretty much universal, so you need some good natured politician happy to get this through as a one and done thing who can then retire and take the flakk.

This discussion has been closed.