r/antiwork Jan 14 '22 Silver 5 Helpful 16 Wholesome 10

So sorry, I'm broke so I can only pay you $77 for my food. You were great though.

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u/Erect_Llama Jan 15 '22 Wholesome Take My Energy

One of the biggest things in America I'll never understand is why tipping is so important. Like why tf can't the server's get paid a decent wage? Why do they live off of tips?


u/dgl7c4 Jan 15 '22

My partner has been a server for years. I make 50k/year and she often brings home the same amount of money or more than I do each month. I completely agree that tip culture is stupid as fuck, and a lot of people barely scrape by in that industry, but there are also people who benefit greatly. There’s no way in hell that a “livable wage” would come close to what she’s making off of tips. I’m not trying to justify it but I also think it’s a tough issue to tackle when a lot of servers would prefer it stays the same than to make ~15/hr.


u/dangoodspeed Jan 15 '22

What about getting $15/hour and still accepting tips for superb service, but not expecting tips... especially to the point that someone's considered an asshole for not tipping?


u/Shopped_For_Pleasure Jan 15 '22

Or getting paid a salary reflective of what the service is worth like any other job.

If it’s a high end restaurant, pay them like $30 an hour or some shit. Lower end, idk $20?

Tipping is so fucking stupid. It’s not expected in any other industry because your doing exactly what youre paid to do. I don’t understand why handing orders to patrons is more special than the chef who made the meal and keeps the kitchen area sanitary, or the hostess who seats and organizes the place, or anything else. Hell, I’d say cleaning the place is probably one of the more difficult jobs in the restaurant and it’s probably paid the least.

Also, ironically, the best places to eat are always the places that refuse tipping. Theres a few great places in New York that refuse your tip, and it goes without saying the same thing goes for European countries (although tipping is becoming more popular as companies begin to use American software that has ‘tipping’ preloaded) and especially Japan. They all have been much more attentive and appreciative than anywhere that expects a tip.

Tipping is by far the most stupid obligation.


u/stilljustacatinacage Jan 15 '22 Helpful

This has long been my position on it as well, especially against the "we can pay a living wage and have tips!" nonsense.

I 100% support thriving wages for everyone, but tip culture is so toxic and transparent for what it really is: a way to condition the workers to endorse their own exploitation.

As others have said, tipped workers can make good money, better than any minimum wage hike will allow; so while many will support an increase to minimum wage, they'd never support the abolishment of tipping. It's too lucrative.

Meanwhile the gas station attendant, who is expected to be every bit as personable, on their feet, fetch goods for customers, process purchases, clean the store, stock the shelves... Well I guess they should have gotten a job at the restaurant across the street instead.

It's dumb. I hate it, but mostly I'm tired of customers and servers alike happily dancing along to the Pied Piper's tune.


u/Wheelchairpussy Jan 15 '22

High end restaurant wait staff don’t work any harder than low end for the most part though


u/kentonbryantmusic Jan 15 '22

Buddy serves at a high end restaurant in nashville. Makes 100k serving. He wouldn’t trade it for base wage.


u/skynetnord Jan 15 '22

Since covered since nobody wants to work we have seen wait staff up to $40 to $50 an hour here, people need to pay what people deserve or they won't go to work that's what's happening here in Australia, I don't know about there...

Yep tipping is stupid, how a person that acts on a day or what they look like or what they can say to a person eating the food they bring them should have nothing to do with how much they get paid..... Pay people what they deserve without tips!


u/[deleted] Jan 15 '22

I stopped tipping years ago. It's not my responsibility to supplement their salary.


u/OrvilleCaptain Jan 15 '22

A waiter at Red Robin already makes $30-$40/hr with tip. At a fine dining restaurant they make anywhere between $80-$300/hr. They are usually well compensated despite their compensation structure.


u/erikagm77 Jan 15 '22

It’s not expected in any other industry?

Taxi drivers expect to be tipped. When there were luggage handlers at the airport (from your car to ticket counter) they were tipped, practically any position where someone provides a service while being customer-facing expects to be tipped. Coat checkers? Tipped. Bell boys? Tipped. Maid service? Tipped.


u/Adventurous_Dust_478 Jan 16 '22

I agree! Unfortunately, many of those no tip restaurants have a teeny sign adding an automatic % to the total due - which is the stupidist thing that I've ever heard - IDK Why, if they are going to expect a customer to tip, don't they just increase the price of the item by that percent and give it to the server.


u/Ok_Independence_9917 Jan 15 '22

You're speaking without having any restaurant experience, sales experience, or international travel experience. Service in Europe is often much much worse because they are getting paid regardless of whether or not they forgot to refill your drink. In sales, people are often paid commission. I've spoken to both Europeans and Americans on the subject and both agree. I've also lived in Japan. The culture is just much different there period so it's really not a great point for comparison. As a former waiter I would never like to get paid salary because then what is the motivation to pick up extra tables? A manager of a place like Cracker Barrel would see a huge dip in sales and would have to increase food costs dramatically. Why? Restaurants need to be able to flip tables to serve as many patrons as possible. If a server is paid a salary they will want to slow down how quickly the food comes out so that the table isn't flipped as quickly and they don't have to work as hard. You simply don't understand the industry well enough to criticize it. The system works and people who are actually good at their jobs get rewarded. Isn't that something we should be encouraging? This is just scratching the surface. I can go into much greater detail about the negative impacts on owners if anyone is truly interested. My friend owns a micro brewery. And for everyone saying that the owners a greedy this and scumbag that... Keep this in mind. Restaurant profits on average are only 5% of total sales on average. No other business comes with a higher failure rate. Tipping is an important and positive obligation. Removing it would negatively impact the restaurant business and the service you receive. So I don't see why people like you need to gripe about it and try to destroy a system which is good for the customer and good for the employee because they see it as inconvenient to themselves.... The only thing I will agree on is that employees who make more than the minimum wage for wait staff should not be expecting tips. Starbucks employees can easily make 15 an hour compared to the national minimum wage for wait staff of 2.14 an hour. Way too many individuals are holding their hand out expecting a tip and it's confusing to patrons who aren't sure who should be getting tipped what. So for employees like that, tips should be appreciated but not expected.


u/Shopped_For_Pleasure Jan 15 '22

Dude you can check my post history…

I have restaurant experience. I also live in Europe right now and have lived in Japan a lot of my life too (i have numerous posts and photos on my account confirming it too).

The service in the US is absolute dogshit.


u/No-Enthusiasm-2145 Jan 15 '22

You're describing the rest of the world, and it works better yes. Though hospitality could do with better money where I live too. It's kind 8f just seen as 'transitional' work that people aren't doing as a career. Which is really unfortunate for those that do actually enjoy it.


u/JackRakeWrites Jan 15 '22

It’s like that here in the Uk. Waiting staff are paid the minimum wage, tips are socially discretionary but generally happen. Some places split all tips between all the waiting and kitchen staff. We have an issues with some restaurants keeping tips if paid via card, so I always give cash.


u/mikes1988 Jan 15 '22

I'm in the UK. Our minimum wage applies to all industries and works out to about $13 an hour for the highest age group (workers younger than 23 get lower rates, which is total BS, if you're an apprentice it's much lower too).

A lot of restaurants still allow tips and if I get good service I'll tip 10% or so. The serving staff don't expect the tips here.

I do find our food prices are a bit higher compared to the US, likely to allow the restaurants to pay the higher wages. A burger and fries in my local pub is like $16, and a ~16oz coke would be like $7 (with no free refills) - but with no expectation to tip 18-20% the pricing is probably on parity with the US.


u/dangoodspeed Jan 15 '22

It's also important to note that $13/hour in UK also includes healthcare. It's pretty rare in the US for someone to be working waitstaff and not have to pay for their own healthcare on top of that.


u/mikes1988 Jan 15 '22

Worked out the effective tax rate of someone on that wage doing 37.5 hours a week (a normal sort of week for a lot of people in the UK. We would be paying about 10-11% tax, the rate in the US is around 5%. I just looked at rough prices for medical insurance there though and we're definitely getting the better deal in the UK lol. Would $5000 be a good starting point for individual medical insurance bought privately?

Add in that in the UK your employer is obliged to give you 28 days paid annual leave and pay statutory sick pay (which granted isn't a huge amount of money).


u/dangoodspeed Jan 15 '22

I'm in NY and I just looked up the "best" state-run health plan. $1,117.23/month or $13,406.76 per year. That still comes with a $800 deductible, $6,200 max out of pocket (so you won't ever go over $19,606.76 for the year in medical costs), 20% emergency room visit, $350 for ambulance, pretty much everything still costs money.


u/el_grort Jan 15 '22

Or gratuity fees for certain restaraunts, like exists in Europe, advertised on the menu and rolled into your payment.

The most annoying part of US servers tends to be how loud they bitch if people opt not to effectively voluntarily donate to them but also how loudly the denounce any change. It's either or, if it's so good to gamble your income due to how much you make, stop whining when the system you choose to gamble on doesn't work. But maybe I'm annoyed because it made service subreddits less about things that happened while serving and more Americans moaning about not being tipped while also defending the system the inherently allows that to the hilt.


u/5LaLa Jan 15 '22 edited Jan 15 '22

We need to break out of the $/HR mindset. Renting your time often results in doing the least work possible. Imho that’s not laziness, that’s capitalism, maximizing profits.

Obviously, that’s the framework we are in but, every job should have some type of profit sharing. In Japan, employees get 2 profit sharing bonuses a year which often are equivalent to half their annual salary. It’s not just the Nords/EU that have it better than us.

ETA: I know dangoodspeed mentions $15/hr and tips. Agree that’s obviously better than current, maybe I shouldn’t have replied to yours, just dropping my 2 cents


u/SacCyber Jan 16 '22

California pays tipped employees $15/hr and we still have a strong tipping culture.

Alaska, California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington all require tipped employees to be paid the same minimum wage as every one else in those states.

Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Hawaii, and New York require a significantly higher (over $7/hr) minimum wage for tipped employees than the federal minimum.

However we only focus on the federal minimum and the states that use it. If anyone mentions the other states they’re an asshole who shouldn’t go out to eat.

Minimum wage is not a living wage. However saying the servers in Austin Texas making $2.13/hr with a $1700 rent is suffering the same as the server making $15/hr with a $950 rent is disingenuous. Saying we should tip them both the same is odd mental gymnastics. Saying we should tip someone who serves a party of 2 $20 because the food is expensive but we should tip another serving a party of 2 $4 because the food is a value is also mental gymnastics. The expensive restaurant server is not doing 5x more work or providing 5x more value.

I tip when I go out because it’s expected and I can afford it. But I go out for food not service. I actively seek out restaurants that don’t do table service, but table service is forced on me if I want something other than fast food.


u/Ok_Relative_5180 Jan 15 '22

What about just eating at home and being a cheap ass bitch on ur own time??


u/[deleted] Jan 15 '22

I would never tip anyone making that much. I bet the entire tipping spiel would crash.


u/dangoodspeed Jan 15 '22

"that much"? That's like the bare minimum anyone should be making.


u/[deleted] Jan 15 '22 edited Jan 15 '22

For taking orders and bringing out food, no one can complain about that. The wage should fit the job. There isn't a one size fits, all and not every area has the same cost of living.

People also have the choice to move to a place that costs less to live if they cannot develop the necessary skills to find better (higher paying) employment.

We should also have a cultural conversation about how we encourage people to settle for less and demand more simply so the numbers can work out.