Thursday, 8 April 2010


Tipping and the Law

I am glad that the question of tipping has come up for clarification, but I am not confident that the right choice has been made. I find tipping divisive, ill-directed, and productive of the worst kind of obsequiousness. I understood it was illegal in New Zealand in the fifties and believe it should be elsewhere. It is most important to avoid confusing 'gratitude' and 'salary'. And to avoid the bizarre position they have reached in the USA, where a waiter has to pay tax on the mere assumption that he is getting tips! Good food is as important as good service and we certainly do not need the discretionary aspect of tipping to reward either; we simply stay away from bad restaurants and patronise good ones. 


Of course tips should not be counted as part of the waiter's wage. But I do not see why a Service Charge could not be levied by the restaurant and used to pay staff wages; all staff; including cooks and scullery staff, and not just the smarmy waiter who crouches by your table and tells you that he is called Jason and will be attending to your needs this evening. Customers should be asked NOT to leave money on the table.

No comments: