Last week Hot Dish ran "Is It Time to Do Away With Tipping? Maybe." The story concerned Minnesota's recent minimum wage increase (it currently sits at $8 an hour but will increase incrementally until it reaches $9.50 in 2016). Governor Dayton has said he will not enact a "tip credit," which would allow bars and restaurants to pay tipped employees less than the new minimum wage if they make up the difference in tips.
So we took a stance. Maybe with the new minimum wage it's time to eliminate the custom of tipping? A server responds:
In regards to your column regarding eliminating tips, I certainly have an opinion.
I am a server that has endured rude customers, alcoholic and temperamental chefs, amazingly incompetent managers, vindictive co-servers, and greedy owners.
I have been sent home after 3 hours, work weekends and holidays, had my schedule switched at the last minute, and have been wrongly accused of no shows for shifts. I have two part-time positions (that is the restaurant business model to avoid full-timers' employment expense).
I also have purchased my own health insurance for 15 years now. I don't receive sick days or family leave.
I do this job because: I am very good and I have a high energy level (my cubicle could not contain me). I interact well with snobs and bumpkins. I anticipate guests' needs and yes, I make my living off of sales and service.
The recent $.75 wage increase certainly won't move me into the next tax bracket. That being said, I challenge you to research restaurant wages in Wisconsin. BOH in particular. Servers minimum is $2.33/hour. What do cooks, prep, and dishwashers make? Starting? Incremental increases? With the difference of (federal minimum) $4.92/hour per server is that "trickle down" going to the BOH? I highly doubt it. That is the argument for MN restaurant owners, less pay for servers and the difference will go to BOH. HA! MY ASS!!!!
A friend of mine was a captain for D'Amico catering. Flat wage/no gratuities. His problem was perpetual turnover and no shows. No incentive. No loyalty. Every Saturday the wheel was reinvented and training began again. I had friends in from Australia last summer. They told me about their dining experiences. Laughable yet sad. They don't tip and expect bad service.
As far as eliminating tipping, go ahead you get what you pay for. I am anticipating your response and research.
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