Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mandatory 20% tipping

In my neck of the woods, plenty of debate has been aired over the mandatory 20% tip thing. The talk always ends up with diners versus servers swapping stories of poor service versus poor customer behavior.

If my wife and I dine out twice a week, that's two hundred meals a year between us. But a server who serves only three tables of two patrons per hour over an eight hour shift has served twelve thousand people in a year. Seems to me a given that servers can easily top any horror story a patron can give with one of their own about poor patronage.

Personally, I am in favor of the mandatory 20% tip. Since all meals will now be 20% higher, food quality will become the competitive edge. And when service goes down the tube as a result of the loss of merit pay, restaurants will have to lower their prices to keep the customers coming in. Eventually everyone will be paying less, and restaurants will need to ensure they hire only the finest staff because of the competitively tight profit margins. The service we used to get will return, and the attitude-laden service will diminish. Problem solved.


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