I have a lot to say about the tipping system in America. I was at dinner with my friend the other night, and he told me that in Japan, it’s considered rude to tip servers, as it implies they are poor. That got me thinking, just exactly what is the basis of America’s tipping system? Is it an excuse to pay servers less money, or for the government to tax them more on credit card tips? The whole thing doesn’t make sense to me, and here’s why.
If you go on a dinner date for 2 and order a bottle of wine for the both of you valued at 80-100 bucks, you’re going to get the same service as you would for a family of 4-6 people, but you’re going to end up tipping the same, if not more, at the same restaurant. Large parties usually get even worse service, and that’s when tips are included in the bill to make sure servers don’t get stiffed.
I get it. It’s harder to deal with large parties. But when I went out for my 21st birthday, there were 10 of us and I got some of the worst service ever. Yet, I didn’t have a choice of what I got to tip, since the service fee was already included in the bill.
Why can’t we just pay servers regular wages. More importantly, why does society tell us to tip almost every service, not just food servers? Tipping hairdressers, valet drivers, hotel workers… people shouldn’t be getting extra money for doing their job unless its an exceptionally good service. There have been times when I worked past jobs where, maybe three times in total, I’d get an extra 10-20 bucks just because I was good at what I did. I never expected it, it just happened. That’s what tipping should be. It should be a thank you for great service, not a mandatory construct ingrained into our brains.
And don’t even get me started on tipping on take-out food. That just doesn’t even make sense.