Little Bird Restaurant to Eliminate Tipping

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  • #25571
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    Little Bird Restaurant has announced that effective January 3rd, no more tips will be allowed. Instead, gratuity will be incorporated into the cost of the food and beverages. Sister restaurant Le Pigeon has been a tip-free establishment for about six months. The restaurants’ owners state that this will mean better pay for the cooks and wait staff.

    I wonder, is this the way to go? Every now and then, I hear that some visitors to the US or new arrivals are taken by surprise at the hidden expectation of tips. In fact, in some of those countries, tipping could be considered condescending because it would be perceived as a statement that the server is not being paid adequately.

    #25572
    paulwalker
    Participant

    T. I. P. S. To insure proper service. But this is bogus really.

    What concerns me about tipping in restaurants is that most establishments share the tips, or in some cases the waitress or waiter collects it all. This is inherently unfair, because sometimes the wait staff has nothing to do with bad service. Sometimes they do. The average customer really doesn’t know. So, say, a meal arrives late. Is it the waiters fault? Nope. So, say, the waiter is just oblivious to the table. The waiter’s fault? Yes. So how can anyone really understand how to tip. I guess you could say the “tip” is an overall experience, and that is how most tip, so that is why tips should be shared by everyone. Doesn’t happen that way, though.

    I was once with a party that spelled out the tip on the check, with specific tips to specific members of the team. That is is a bit much, IMO.

    Just a reminder how complicated a restaurant service can be and why there is such high turnover.

    Lack of tipping, however, gives the consumer no choice, so I don’t think that is the answer either. Probably best to keep the current system. Those establishments that get big tips will survive, those who don’t will not. Pretty simple.

    #25575
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    The waitstaff at very high end restaurants can make from $80,000 – $150,000 per year when tips are included (source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304137304579292350943682222 ) In reading that story, I noted that the waiters and waitresses profiled had a high level of professional training and were very young. This leads me to believe that this is a very demanding job with a high rate of burnout.

    However, I am just a customer. I do my part as a good diner by tipping the customary 20%–which I once thought was 15%–but the system by which this money is distributed among people at the restaurant is completely opaque to me.

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