We have been talking a lot about Initiative 77 in Washington, DC.
The question seems to be, should customers tip, and allow restaurants to pay employees $3.89 (As of July 1st, 2018), or should we pay higher prices for food, and / or risk employee layoffs throughout the industry, while seeing a reduction in overall tips?
First off, $3.89 would have made an employee at a 1920’s Jolly Green Giant canning facility in Blue Earth, Minnesota very happy.
That’s not a lot of money, but that is what the business model is built off of. Not many restaurants can take this rapid acceleration from strong salaries for an era circa Japanese Internment Camps in the 40’s, all the way to a living wage for an era dominated by Latino Internment Camps of the future? (The future ones have TVs)
Our values haven’t changed, but the value of money has.
I’m from California where we have always lived without a “tipping” minimum wage, and people still tip their wait staff. A lot of people reference this when predicting how DC will dish out its gratuity, but these aren’t parallel comparisons.
The service industry shouldn’t be worried about the people that already tip well. They should be worried about those 1-15% tippers. Those people are only tipping because there is a societal pressure to do so.
Those are the guys that wrap their receipts around their pen when they sign the bill so no one can see their open disregard for human beings.
If that guy, let’s call him Chad, needs the threat of embarrassment to give any tip to his waitress, who is paying for law school, and is compensated in a couple shekels and 30% off meals, then yeah, raising the minimum wage will dissuade him from tipping.
You’re giving him an argument to not tip.
I don’t mind the Chad’s of the world as much as the Tiffanies. Tiffany is a sociopath that announces to the group that she didn’t tip because there weren’t enough raspberries on her mango sorbet.
Bitch, you know the waiter didn’t make the sorbet….
What type of mafia micro-aggression is that?
Mafia Voice: You tell the chef what I did to you. Let him know, if they push me again, I will hurt people close to him… But not necessarily related to him.
Give me a complimentary scoop of mango sorbet, with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a little half strawberry; or I will flood your social media with negative reviews.
SIDE NOTE: If you leave negative reviews on Yelp, You. Are. A. Dick.
Unless there is a severe health concern, you aren’t doing anything but ruining another human being’s life with your negative review. There is a family that has uprooted their life, and given up all they had to roll the dice in the restaurant industry, and with one, two-star review:
“Carnival Cruise had better veggie lasagna, and also I don’t like capers.”
You take thousands from the pockets of someone whose only dream was to support her family by doing what she loves; making food for people.
If it’s a severe health issue, I get it.
“The chicken mole was divine, but I had to take two stars off the review on account of the giant hole in the women’s restroom which is currently spewing molten lava.”
That’s a health hazard. You are doing a good deed by bringing that to light.
SIDE NOTE ENDED:
Some people are chomping at the bit to weasel their way out of tipping. Someone on Facebook suggested that if we tip the wait staff, even though they make the same minimum wage, then what stops us from tipping everyone?
I agree to a certain extent. There are some people we should stop tipping, or just stop paying in general:
I’m looking at you, “Guy in the bathroom handing out paper towels.”
You’re always putting me in this awkward situation because I didn’t want to wash my hands anyway. I am only doing it because of the social pressure to do so, and now you’re watching me. But now I am presented with a new social pressure – Do I tip this man for the service I didn’t ask for? I feel like you squeegeed me at a red light right there.
I usually just throw my hands up in the air and run out of the bathroom.
I don’t like that robots are taking people’s jobs, but I think it is equally annoying that people are taking robot jobs. I was perfectly okay having my hands dried by a machine on a wall. I did not need to add humanity to this particular equation.
So, do you want my completely uneducated prediction for 77?
I think it’ll pass, and minimum wage will go up. Prices for food will go up, and hours will be cut during slow seasons for people in the service industry when employers have to make up the difference in missing tips.
And people will stop tipping, but it will only be the people that were barely tipping anyway. So if anyone will win this battle, it will be the negative Yelpers and the receipt rollers, but then maybe, since they don’t have to tip, they will give better Yelp reviews because of their cost savings? And then maybe, because of the better reviews, more people will eat at said restaurants!!
Which people will lose out? Most likely the guys handing out paper towels in the tapas bar that plays loud Top 40 music on Thursdays. A machine can do the same work he can for half the cost nowadays.
I got an MBA from Villanova University, and did not apply any of it to this blog post.