For most of us Americans, it has been drilled into our heads that tipping at a restaurant is something that we should do, regardless of the level of service. And, if service is excellent, we should tip even more.
So, how should we react to these observations from Pete Wells, writing for the New York Times?
“Here is a technique that is guaranteed to have no effect on your service: leave a generous tip. I’ve tipped slightly above the average for years, generally leaving 20 percent of the total, no matter what. According to one study, lots of people are just like me, sticking with a reasonable percentage through good nights and bad. And it doesn’t do us any good, because servers have no way of telling that we aren’t the hated type that leaves 10 percent of the pretax total, beverages excluded.”
“That’s one reason we pay attention when a restaurant tries another way, as Sushi Yasuda in Manhattan started to do two months ago. Raising most of its prices, it appended this note to credit card slips: ‘Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted.’ Sushi Yasuda joins other restaurants that have done away with tips, replacing them with either a surcharge (Atera and Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare in New York; Next and Alinea in Chicago; Coi and Chez Panisse in the San Francisco Bay Area) or prices that include the cost of service (Per Se in New York and the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.).”
What do YOU think about tipping? Click the image to read more from Wells.
Sushi Yasuda photo by Dennis Yermoshin for the New York Times