Angry Robot

Tipless restaurants: why abolishing tipping makes service better


Studies have shown that tipping is not an effective incentive for performance in servers. It also creates an environment in which people of color, young people, old people, women, and foreigners tend to get worse service than white males. In a tip-based system, nonwhite servers make less than their white peers for equal work. Consider also the power imbalance between tippers, who are typically male, and servers, 70 percent of whom are female, and consider that the restaurant industry generates five times the average number of sexual harassment claims per worker. And that in many instances employers have allegedly misused tip credits, which let owners pay servers less than minimum wage if tipping makes up the difference.

Note that this is not a reason to NOT tip; abolishing tipping has to be done at the restaurant level at the least.

• August 15, 2013, 7:40 pm |