Tipping can be a tricky business.
There’s the fact that in many service jobs, tips make up a large part of the worker’s pay but aren’t mandatory; that every country seems to have different accepted rules; that the tip you earn as a server might come down to something as simple as scrawling a happy face on the check.
The confusion around tipping, and its effect on servers, is why some restaurants are abolishing tips altogether.
The latest to adopt an alternative policy is Packhouse Meats in Newport, Kentucky. According to Cincinnati.com, the establishment’s management has forbidden tips in favour of standardising its servers’ take-home pay: At the end of the shift, they get either $US10 an hour or 20% of their food sales, whichever is more.
The new process was established to protect the restaurant’s servers, owner Bob Conway told Cincinnati. “How much a server makes has nothing to do with how hard they work,” he said. “Servers had quit because they couldn’t make ends meet … We wanted our servers to participate in our productivity by giving them reasonable compensation based on sales. It takes the whim of the customers out of it.”
While Packhouse has to inflate his menu prices a little to cover the staff’s tips, impact on the diner isn’t all that severe — she only pays what she would were she to leave a 20% tip.
Conway says that, in contrast to the federal base rate of $US2.13 for servers, his serving staff is earning an average of $US15 an hour.
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