The shameful state of the salaries of restaurant workers, who often earn a poverty-level $2.13 an hour before gratuities, is a topic that’s hotter than the biscuits in Paula Deen’s kitchen these days.
But while politicians argue about the minimum wage and lobbyists push to keep workers’ salaries artificially low, I have an unconventional recipe for righting this obvious wrong: Tip more.
Yes, some industry-watchers believe it’s time to freeze the tipping tradition. Withhold your gratuity and a fundamentally flawed and unfair system will crumble, they say. They’ll get no disagreement on the flawed and unfair part from me, but unless the cost of the gratuity is baked into menu prices, pulling your tips will just hurt the people it’s trying to help.
Pull back the curtain on the service industry and you can hear them talking about us — often in unflattering terms.
Being tagged as a terrible customer can be embarrassing. Consider the lousy tippers database, which outs customers who have the gall to pay the menu price for their meals, minus a gratuity. Being a bad tipper can have real consequences. Just ask Drew Brees, who, as it turns out, is not a bad tipper.