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Do You Tip?
January 8, 2013 at 11:11 AM

The One Argument Against Tipping That Actually Makes Sense (VIDEO)

Posted by Adriana Velez

waitressWhen it comes to tipping, there's the decent people who do it, and the jerks who don't. Right? I mean, we all have our own reasons for tipping at restaurants, but they all pretty much amount to the same thing: It's the "right" thing to do. But what if it's not? What if it turns out that tipping is (gulp!) unfair?!?

A former restaurant owner says we need to totally rethink tipping. Bruce McAdams has done just about every job you can do at a restaurant: He's cooked, waited tables, bussed, managed, and owned them. And after years of experience, he's concluded that tipping is just plain unfair. And you know what? His argument makes sense.

If you have time, McAdams' whole TEDx Talk is thought-provoking. But one of the main points he makes is that tipping is unfair to the cooks and everyone else working at a restaurant besides the servers. When you factor in tips, servers make WAY more than cooks do. And a lot of those cooks spend years and tens of thousands of dollars at cooking school. They work just as hard. But they make peanuts compared to the waiters.

More from The Stir: Waitresses Who Wear Red Score Bigger Tips From Men

So what -- should we be tipping the cooks, too? McAdams doesn't really offer solutions for solving this. But he does mention that some restaurants actually collect the tips and divide them evenly among the entire restaurant staff. So there's an idea! Would you tip differently if you knew your tips would be shared with the dishwasher?

Eh, probably not. Here's the other thing McAdams says -- study after study proves that except in extreme cases, we don't tip based on performance, anyway. Most of us tip based on whatever we usually tip.

So what's the point?!? What if we said "no more tipping!" and just raised everyone's restaurant bill by 15 to 20 percent? Then the owner could decide where all the money goes, hopefully fairly -- ugh, if only restaurant profit margins weren't so teeny. But that's probably never going to happen. Still, I will ponder this the next time I eat out ... just before I sign my name under that same tip I give every damn time no matter what the service was like.

Do you tip? If you do, do you tip based on service or percentage of bill?
Do you think tipping is unfair to the rest of the restaurant staff?


  • littlelamb303
    January 8, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Of course I tip.  I live in NY, I would not DARE not to, and these people are paid less than minimum wage.  I usually tip 20%(although in NYC they do expect more) if the service was poor, I would tip 15%, but that is rare that I get poor service.  I certainly don't think it is unfair.  I do believe people that live here probably tip better than other parts of  the country?  At least that is what I have been told.  I find it horrifying that people would actually NOT tip .  If I did not have enough money for a tip, I would not go out to eat.

  • supermomz25
    January 8, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    I always tip the waiter/waitress, period.

  • Spoiled_Blonde
    January 8, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    All the places I've worked in the restaurant business the waitress' had to split her tips between herself and the cook.. Sometimes even the person who bused the table.. So maybe that's just where I'm from, so no, it's not unfair...

  • Basherte
    January 9, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    I tip based on service. Because most of the wait staff around here make less than minimum wage. 

    If the service sucks, they get like 2 pennies. Seriously.

    If the service is amazing, we give a good bit. 

    I don't go out to eat often so the cost isn't a big deal. Matter of fact, it's been years since we've gone out to a restaurant.

  • Pammi86
    by Pammi86
    January 9, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    I tip, anywhere between $3 and $5 depending on the service. Also, our bill is never over $30.

  • DixieFlower
    January 9, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    I tip based both on service and the bill. The better the service the higher % I will tip. I will also tip the guy making sushi and if it's a hibachi type service I tip the cook also.

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