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Why Tipping Is Better For Diners And Servers

Posted on by MenuShoppe.com

Tipping servers in restaurants has been common in the U.S. for years, but this practice is also causing a lot of controversy. Some people argue that this system should be done away with, so that servers can make a livable wage instead of relying on tips. Others think the tipping system should be kept in place due to the benefits it provides.

Tipping practices vary in countries around the world. In some countries like the U.S., it is an expected part of the dining experience. In other countries, it is considered inappropriate to tip. The question is, does the tipping system offer more benefits to diners and servers than harm? Despite the reasons to eliminate tipping in the U.S., there are many good reasons for keeping the system too.

Common Reasons to Get Rid of Tipping

Those who oppose the tipping system do so for a number of reasons. They claim:

  • Tipping isn’t necessarily based on how well servers do their job, making it an unfair practice not based on performance and often influenced by other biases.
  • Back of house staff like cooks suffer the most in the tipping system, as it is very rare for servers to share tips with other staff members.
  • Servers who rely on tips cannot depend on a stable, predictable income.
  • Sometimes servers are forced to grovel or put up with rude customers in hopes of getting a decent tip, which is degrading, especially when an appropriate tip is not guaranteed.

Reasons to Keep the Tipping System

While the reasons for getting rid of the tipping system are worth consideration, there are also several reasons to keep it. The following points are some of the main arguments used for keeping the tipping system that’s been in place in the U.S. for so long:

Higher incentives to provide better service

Since servers depend on the tips they receive for a large portion of their paycheck, they have more motivation to provide the best service possible. If servers stopped having to rely on tips and started getting paid hourly wages, they wouldn’t have the same motivation to offer high-quality service. Instead, they would receive the same hourly wage regardless of how well they do their jobs or how satisfied their customers are. This could lead to servers doing the minimum amount of customer service needed to keep their job, rather than striving to ensure that customers are happy. This, in turn, could end up reflecting badly on the restaurant and result in less business over time.

More opportunities to work on soft skills

Receiving tips offers servers plenty of opportunities to work on customer service skills, sales skills, and other soft skills. These skills come in handy for servers who are working on building a career in sales or other fields where they’ll be expected to deal with clients or customers on a regular basis. Being able to develop and improve soft skills while working at a restaurant can give them an advantage when they graduate and begin focusing on their careers. The same goes for servers who are building their careers in different fields or starting their own businesses. It’s difficult to find an industry where an individual does not benefit from a strong foundation of soft skills like communication, service, and sales.

Increased chances to make more money

It’s no secret that working in a restaurant isn’t typically considered a way to earn a high income. Those who depend on this type of work to earn a living need to make the most of it. The tipping system gives them a chance to do so by providing them with several opportunities to work toward receiving higher tips.

From making a simple gesture, such as writing “thank you” on customers’ checks, to joking around with customers, servers can boost their chance of earning a higher tip. More subtle strategies to receive a higher tip include introducing themselves by name and using tip trays that have a credit card insignia on them, which has been shown to make customers more likely to spend more money on service. If the tipping system disappeared, servers wouldn’t have these opportunities to increase their overall earnings, which would limit their income.

Is The Tipping System Better For Diners and Servers?

The tipping system offers servers incentives to provide better service as well as opportunities to develop soft skills and earn more money. It also provides customers with a better dining experience when the server is engaged and motivated. In the end, tipping also helps restaurants increase their revenue by utilizing excellent, well-trained staff and providing guests an experience that will keep them coming back.

Both sides of the argument offer valid points, but the reasons for keeping tipping aren’t heard quite as often. Taking these points into consideration is an important part of debating whether or not to leave the tipping system in place. 

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