Firstly, a bit of context for this post: I'm Australian, so we don't have anywhere near as big a tipping culture as the good ol' US of A. Also, this is focusing on the restaurant industry and will most likely end up as a rant more than anything else. You have been warned.
WHY IS IT CONSIDERED MANDATORY IN THE US??? Why is the employee's basic wages allowed to be passed off to the consumer??? You run a business, you should pay at least minimum wage, not some bullshit token amount and expect the customer to make up the rest.
A defination of 'tip' per Wiktionary:
A small amount of money left for a bartender, waiter, taxi driver or other servant as a token of appreciation.
A "token of appreciation" shouldn't be mandatory. It should be a reward for good service. With tipping considered mandatory, service staff have less incentive to provide a better service. The reward should be supplemental to their wages, not a replacement of it. If you have a bad day and don't get tipped, you should still be able to afford to live.
Also, why is it that a chef, perhaps more important in the grand scheme of meal preparation, doesn't receive a tip? Perhaps because they wouldn't work for sub-legal wages and try to make their income livable by being nice to (sometimes) complete douche-bags.
Also, why is it that the waitress can be punished for any problems the chef has? If your dinner comes out half raw what do you do? Punish the waitress by leaving no tip (or a "minimum" tip, in the US) even though it was the chef's fault for putting out the meal too soon!
As you can (hopefully) tell, I'm against mandatory tipping. I think that a tip should be reserved for good service, with outstanding service receiving even more. I don't think I should be forced to tip when I receive average service. That's what your regualar wage should cover.
I know this sentence is going to be controversial, but if you're a waitress or such and trying to argue that tips allow you to have a decent wage otherwise you would be in poverty, then I say to you that you need to get a better job where your standard wage IS liveable, or at least find another employer who doesn't take advantage of his employees.
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