D.C. Seems To Be Driving Itself A Little Bonkers Over the Prospect Of No Tipping

Recently, some of the more prominent D.C. restaurants have considered eliminating tips, which has lead to discussions about tipping. Needless to say, The Washington Post‘s Richard Cohen goes Full Metal Prima Nocta.

What I don’t get is why this is some radical proposal. In Massachusetts, parties of six or greater are required by state law to pay an eighteen percent gratuity*. Barbarism has not ensued in Boston’s restaurants as a result (or any more so than before the law). Just make that policy uniform for parties of any size, and pay people what they’re worth.

*Large parties will often short-change waiters on the tips even though serving a large party is really hard.

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2 Responses to D.C. Seems To Be Driving Itself A Little Bonkers Over the Prospect Of No Tipping

  1. BobTerrace says:

    Sometimes the restaurant tried to be sneaky in Massachusetts for a party of six or more. They don’t enumerate the tip as a tip. One time, we could not understand our bill and had to ask for a clarification and then they told us the 18% tip was added in.

    A funny anecdote: A buddy of mine and I sometimes go to a bar in Florida to watch the Patriots when we can not get it on regular TV. Many bars/restaurants have multiple screens and show multiple games. He and I are not big drinkers and will have at most one alcoholic drink and then iced tea for the rest of the three hours, along with appetizers and sometimes a lunch. Since the bill is not very expensive and we took up three hours of the waitress’s time, we often tip 50%. That sometimes gets a reaction of astonishment.

  2. rraszews says:

    One of the DC-area radio stations did a story about this a few months back, and i was really surprised that, while most people were broadly in favor of getting rid of tipping (I kinda suspect that a lot of those opposed chickened out when they realized they were about to tell the listening area that they wanted the option to stiff the waitstaff), the waitstaff who called in were uniformly against it. I mean, so uniformly that I almost suspect it was some kind of astroturfing movement by the restaurant lobby or something.

    They all had variations on the same notion, roughly, “As I personally am a good and professional server, tipping works out to my advantage. I do not want to get paid the same as my slacker colleagues who half-ass it.” Of course, one might be a little concerned that all of them seemed to feel this way.

    Crabs in a bucket. Making the proles fight with each other instead of working together to take down The Man. This is why we can’t have nice things.

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