C-Flo Tackles Tipping

“Ever notice that former restaurant workers tend to be generous tippers?”

–Jacqueline Burt

I often hear people, especially older generations, complain about tipping. It’s too much extra money, it’s unnecessary, the wine was overpriced (seriously). So let’s talk this out.

If you ever complain about tipping being expensive, don’t expect any sympathy from me.

Look, if you’re going out in a part of the world where tipping is customary, prepare to pony up. Going out is expensive. The cost of libations and nosh has increased at a much faster rate than wages have. This is the reality. Whining about normal tipping percentages, or ludicrous margins on alcohol, is stupid. There are tons of options available. Vote with your feet. And if you live somewhere without a ton of options, why do you live there? You must love it there and not care about restaurant variety, or you wouldn’t have taken pride in your slower pace, and getting away from it all, and being off the grid. Right? Otherwise, vote with your U-Haul.

When it comes to tipping: This is the cost of going out. By bringing in a large party, you take up all or most of a server’s time, and large groups are notorious for undertipping or underestimating what each person owes. Automatic 15-18%+ gratuities on large parties are necessary to combat the selfish and the cheap. Think about how and why the system works, rather than trying to slip through the cracks unnoticed.

Additionally, servers tip out to the bartenders, waitresses, doormen, bussers, and kitchen. These tip outs are usually based on sales, not tips, as they should be. To illustrate what this means, if a server were to not be tipped on their only table, a large party, they would still tip out. This would come out of their minimum wage, and they would have worked that shift for an illegal wage, or in some cases, nothing. It’s all about incentivizing good service.

If we moved to a non-tipping system, food, drink and especially alcohol would see increased prices to pay for the increased wages. Furthermore, there would be no incentive to give good service, as a quick stop by a typical crack staff of motivated non-commission individuals can show you.

I’m not in the gastronomical service industry anymore. But I think it’s important to have perspective and look into why things are done, instead of resorting to knee-jerk solipsistic victim complexes. Grow up and stop being cheap if you’re going to go out in public. I haven’t eaten Kraft Dinner since 1984, so there’s plenty left for you to buy.