A movement is gaining momentum in the U.S.: Doing away with tipping in restaurants, in favor of paying workers a living wage.
Thus far, few restaurants do it, but many more have been calling for an end to tipping for a long, long time. Now that we’re heading that way, Fox News talking heads have to have their say.
There is news that Union Square Hospitality Group, located in New York City, is doing away with tipping in favor of a living wage very soon. On Fox News’ Outnumbered, Andrea Tantaros gave us the following nonsense, according to The Raw Story:
As someone who grew up in the restaurant business — my parents, they own a number of restaurants — if you take away that incentive to work your tail off and everybody is just getting that flat wage, you’re not going to see the servers hustle. And that’s not going to be there. Why? [Because] you’re all going to get the same amount of money.
While it’s true that tipping can serve as an incentive for good, fast service, in reality, servers often don’t make enough to live on no matter how good they are. They’re at the whims of patrons whose judgment of their work is dependent on a whole host of very subjective factors, up to and including being in a bad mood from having a bad day. Servers get rewarded for good service, but also get punished for things over which they have no control.
Furthermore, what Tantaros is suggesting is that being paid a living wage will make restaurant workers lazy. She’s not only insulting these workers, she’s insulting the restaurants for which they work. In addition to implying that servers are worthless workers unless they’re slaves to their tips, there’s an implication there that the restaurant owners can’t find other ways of motivating their servers to work hard, and well.
Danny Meyer, the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, agrees:
The American system of tipping is awkward for all parties involved: restaurant patrons are expected to have the expertise to motivate and properly remunerate service professionals; servers are expected to please up to 1,000 different employers (for most of us, one boss is enough!); and restaurateurs surrender their use of compensation as an appropriate tool to reward merit and promote excellence.
It’s also important to note that the tipping system isn’t always fair. While the best servers at the high-end restaurants in New York can bring in six figures a year, mid-level cooks can’t even expect to clear $40,000 per year at the same restaurants. That causes problems for restaurants looking for qualified cooks for their kitchens. The ones that are outstanding open their own restaurants, and the ones that can’t do that go where they can earn a living wage.
Tantaros tried to justify her remarks by saying that she grew up in the restaurant industry, so she knows what she’s talking about. What she’s doing is advocating slave wages. We’ve heard the argument that higher wages make workers lazy because they have no incentive to work harder, for longer. It’s a sick and sad argument that needs to go away.
Watch the entire ridiculous discussion below via The Raw Story:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwxKDQ7wIPU?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
Featured image via screen capture from embedded video