Tips based on service

A dive into why you should always tip 20 percent


art by Connor Niebruegge

Tipping 20% should always be mandatory for all jobs that rely on these tips for a living.

Ryan Moore, Editor-in-Chief

In the United States, it has always been taught that you tip 20% to the person providing you with service and any less than that is rude. This “20% rule” always applies, no matter the quality of the service. However, in countries like Japan, China, Switzerland, and Denmark, quality service is expected and therefore it can be considered rude to tip. This begs the question: should we tip on the quality of service or stick to what we have now?

You should always tip 20% even if the service is bad.

The restaurant industry is messed up in the sense that in order to have lower prices they don’t pay their staff a livable wage and make the customer pay the difference. Because of this, you absolutely must tip the worker. Without a tip, these workers cannot sustain themselves, a home, or a family. Take the focus off yourself and look at the worker as a human who is trying to make money. If the restaurant were to change the way it pays its workers then we can talk about how tips would work, but until then we must give these people what they need, their wages.

Tipping a low amount is not the most effective way to correct bad service. If given bad service, whispering behind the workers back and then tipping a low amount is not going to do anything because the waitress won’t have time to improve or correct the mistake. Instead, they will just be sad and annoyed at the low tip. The more effective thing to do is to politely correct them. This will give them immediate feedback and hopefully they do better for the rest of the meal. However many people today don’t like face-to-face confrontation and both parties are left unsatisfied.
Although some would say that we tip for good service you have to realize that these are human beings and that mistakes happen to everyone. Just because the restaurant system wants tips to be an incentive for the workers, it doesn’t mean it works that way. Many of these workers rely on their tips to make a basic wage. In other jobs without a tip based wage, mistakes happen all the time yet workers are still paid. People use this financial power they hold over the workers, many of times, in a bad way. We should not refuse to give the worker less of a wage just because they screwed up once or twice as all of us have done.

Instead of having to tip restaurants should move to a new system in which tipping is not required. In this system, restaurants would raise the wage of the workers so that they can support themselves and their families without relying on tips. In many restaurants that have already used this system prices only rose 12-14% so customers will actually pay less than they would if they were to tip. Because the restaurants are actually getting more money because they will be getting all the money that would usually go towards tips. Because of this they can provide employees with more benefits such as health care.

Unfortunately, it does not seem like America’s restaurants will change their ways so we must stick to tipping 20%. Tipping the workers servicing you is important because they need the money in order to live and because tipping a low amount won’t help them improve and we must remember they are just as human as we are.