Really? New York restaurants are now suggesting 30% tip for waiters.

Are you leaving service help enough of a good tip where they wont want to chase you down and give you a piece of their mind?

Isn’t it time you started cooking at home again…?

It seems dining out in America is set to become an ever increasing expensive affair as some restaurants here in NYC are now starting to push the idea on to their diners that they leave upwards of up to 30% gratuity tip to restaurant staff.

With some restaurants only paying restaurant staff no more than $2.15 an hour (is that even legal this author wonders?) forcing staff more than ever to rely on tips to make their living (and one assumes keep up with inflation or at least afloat in a city like NYC) a push is being made to start inferring that diners start leaving 30% tip on their bill. This is of course set to once again reignite the adage what’s a fair tip in the first place and really whether a diner is actually required to leave one in the first place?

Traditionally leaving a tip is a standard American exercise meant for the diner to acknowledge superior service to staff but more and more it is becoming a kind of expectation amongst service employees irrespective of the quality of the service they provide and one has to wonder a clever way to pass the expense of the hired help from the owner of the restaurant to the diner instead.

With gratuities having creeped up to a suggested 25-30%, a figure once deemed laughable many New Yorkers are starting to take note and ask themselves what exactly they are paying for?

nypost: “People are aggravated to no end by it,” says Steve Dublanica, a former waiter and the author of “Keep the Change: A Clueless Tipper’s Quest To Become the Guru of the Gratuity.”

The endless parade of tip jars in places where they were previously unseen is a major irritant, he says, chuckling over the one he spied recently at a newsstand in a suburban mall. In New York City, those angling for a handout include bodega cashiers, grocery baggers, dry cleaners and hardware clerks.

And even hardware clerks? Of course it’s one thing to reward good service when one receives it but to be stared to death for failing to pay a surcharge (which it’s what it really is) must begin to strike some New Yorkers as presumptuous and a question of good manners. Then again it just might be high time that minimum wages were raised in the country or simply an idea that some sort of entitlements which are often found in other countries throughout the world be passed onto society, such as subsidized health care and education. That of course often means higher taxes and levies on employers who are quite loathe to consider them now that successive administrations have lowered them and in some cases simply abolished subsidies and allowances that many across the world take for granted.

Then again such thoughts are tantamount to socialist sensibilities and if there’s anything that a red blooded American (or aspiring capitalist as all American’s are presumptiously so) will tell you, being a socialist is a no no. Of course that’s always a convenient argument when you’re one of the few who still have the mobility to make money where as most of society is forced to live with reduced income levels (than say from a decade ago).

So how exactly did the tip the service worker suddenly go into overdrive?

If you’ve wondered how it came to pass that every service worker with a brain stem now operates from behind a tip jar, Dublanica points to Starbucks for pioneering the trend. From there the practice gradually went viral, as other workers saw them and said, why not?

“People have realized, if I put out a jar, people will invariably put money in it, and even if it’s only $5, it’s a little more than I was making before,” he says. Seeing “a benefit for the worker that they don’t have to pay for,” companies don’t complain.

But not everyone is too thrilled about the rise of the tipping quotient

Offers Steve Dublanica: “It’s true that there are substantial numbers of people that are unhappy about tipping,” he says. “But the alternatives are even less popular.”

So the slow shift toward ever higher tips will continue, begging the question: Where will it end? Ten percent was the norm back in Eisenhower’s day, and it’s taken 50 years to reach the point where 25 percent isn’t unthinkable. How much longer before we’re seeing a suggested gratuity of 40 or even 50 percent?

Which makes me wonder, if any of you out there are inclined to tip me for having written this article I will heartily accept it (just send to my paypal account at my personal email address) but then again I guess writing tabloid copy hasn’t as of yet being perceived as a necessary service you grimy lot have come to appreciate yet. How’s that for my 30% tip…?

  • Steve Dublanica

    Offers Steve Dublanica: “It’s true that there are substantial numbers of people that are unhappy about tipping,” he says. “But the alternatives are even less popular.”
    That quote was actually from Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University.

  • BiafraRepublic

    New York State’s Minimum Wage for food service workers is currently $4.65/hr., which is greater than the Federal tipped worker minimum wage of $2.13/hr. However, if tips plus wages are less than the Federal (or local if higher) non-tipped minimum wage, employers are generally obliged to make good the difference.