Tip or Expect the Burger King Treatment

Thursday, August 11, 2005

An editorial in today's New York Times actually calls for the abolishment of the tipping system. In other words, this person believes we should adopt a European style of business where a service charge is automatically calculated into the bill.

This is a preposterous idea because it will completely wipe out any incentive for restaurant servers to give good service. If a waiter already knows he's getting three bucks for taking care of a specific party, what encourages him to makes sure the food is satisfactory and the drinks are filled at all times?

What will happen is waiters and waitresses will become the drones you see standing behind the counters at Burger King taking your order and possibly filling it correctly on the first try. No motivation exists to make the customer happy.

Tipping is the way consumers show their appreciation for the server sweating to the sound of rattling plates and boisterous chefs while making $2.00 an hour. And on the other hand, a voluntary gratuity procedure allows patrons to tip less than adequately for poor service which is not uncommon in the restaurant scene.

And a word of advice to the cheapskates: simply doubling the tax can turn out to be a tip as low as a 14%, while just leaving a dollar for every person in the party often means much less. Think about that the next time you get ready to stiff an excellent server who provided you with an exemplary dining experience.