Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Here's a Twist: Viewpoints Industry Has a Tip for Diners

Viewpoints Industry has noticed an important shift of attitude in the restaurant industry.  Tipping is a strange tradition, with different guidelines from one region to another.  On the surface, it seems to be a tax on diners which subsidizes already-wealthy restaurant owners.  They get away with paying their employees much less than the accepted minimum wage on the assumption that the bulk of the wait staff's income will be garnered from the generosity -- or the desire to impress -- of individual customers.  And some restaurants grab a portion of all the tips that come in during the evening.  But in the long run, tipping causes a lot of friction between waiters and diners that affects return business at a level above mere menu and ambiance.

Viewpoints Industry notes that tipping could be the cause of considerable unrest at restaurants.

The Viewpoints Industry TV show reports that the solution for some restaurants is to include a 20% gratuity on the final bill.  This can be problematic.  Many high-end restaurants have done this in the past, with the result that some customers, especially after a few drinks, will not notice the additional item on the bill and automatically add another tip on top of that.  There is also the question of tipping being voluntary and at the discretion of the customer.  Tipping has somehow evolved from a reward for good service to a mandatory fee along the lines of a fixed percentage, no matter how good, bad or dismal the service has been.  Of course, how voluntary is it when social pressures dictate a predetermined amount?  Wouldn't the proper thing be for the restaurant industry to simply ban tipping altogether and raise the menu prices to reflect a decent living wage for the staff?  It would then become like shopping in any other kind of store:  you pay for what you get.

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