Tipping Controversy: Warranted or Not?

Guest Check Presenter | Public Kitchen Supply

What are your thoughts on automatically added tips when you’re dining at a restaurant?

If you haven’t heard about this recent tipping controversy, then let us, at Public Kitchen Supply, give you some back story and pose a few questions. In the last few weeks, some New York City restaurants are coming under fire for building in a tip to your bill when you dine out at their restaurant. Yes, you may say they already do that on parties that have over 8 people. This is not the same, this is every table, regardless of the amount of people.

These restaurants claim that these tips, though added to your bill when it’s brought to you, is “optional.” You have the power to cross out the 18% tip and instead include your own or, if you’re feeling generous, you can include an additional tip beyond the 18%.

As you can imagine, some people are obviously upset over this. It creates the sense that you have to pay their percentage, even if you don’t feel it’s warranted. When it comes down to it, most people don’t want to feel forced to pay a waiter or waitress a set amount of money. They get that amount of money regardless of how well or poorly they performed. If you see your bill and you’ve automatically got an 18% tip on the bill and your waiter forgot your salad, left your drink empty for several minutes, and then messed up your entree, you would expect to have the option to leave a poor tip, not see a bill that already gave them an 18% tip.

Some people also assume that automatically building in a tip creates a sense that the wait staff can slack off because they know they’re getting an 18% tip regardless of how they perform, so why go above and beyond?

While these restaurants have signs saying you are allowed to cross out that tip and leave your own, some people feel like that’s poor etiquette and that you should just pay that amount if they want to go back to that restaurant at some point. So how do you deal with a restaurant that does this? Would you continue to go or stop so you don’t feel the pressure?

If you were a restaurant owner, would you add a “optional” automatic tip to every bill?

If this caught on and became a national trend, would you feel it was justified?

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