Once there may have been a good reason to give cash tips to those who gave service over and above what one might expect. However, in my seventy-plus years, I have noticed three glaring issues with that generous policy.
- One: tips are generally limited to restaurant servers, taxi drivers, and hairdressers, whereas the best service I ever get is from my pharmacy and from my supermarket, employees at which never expect or get tips.
- Second: servers, taxi drivers, and barbers now expect a tip even if their level of service is nothing special, and some get quite belligerent if they don’t get one.
- Three: their employers treat the fact their employees get gratuities as a way to pay them less as a regular wage.
It is also worth mentioning that the amount to tip a server, say, after a group meal often becomes the subject of heated and sometimes acrimonious debate.
I propose that gratuities (as a standard way of doing business) be prohibited, and I make the case that this will be better for the employees, can save customers money, and still cost the employer nothing.
Let us suggest that a nice meal out for two or three people carries a charge of $100. Under the current arrangement, most customers will then add a tip, say 20%, and the actual cost becomes $120. However, if under a no-tip policy, the servers are given a 15% wage increase and the business adds, say, 12.5% to its menu prices to cover the increase, then the customer will pay $112.50.
The employee benefits because their regular wage goes up. The customer benefits because their costs go down. The employer comes out even.
A win-win-win solution.