Tipping has long been a controversial topic in the service industry, with many people feeling obligated to leave a gratuity regardless of the quality of service they receive. While it may seem like a small gesture, the truth is that not tipping can have a much bigger impact on the industry as a whole.
One reason I choose not to tip is due to the consistently poor quality of service I have received at many restaurants. Whether it's slow service, inattentive staff, or just a general lack of effort, I feel that if I am paying for a meal, I should not have to also pay for good service. In many cases, I feel that I am being taken advantage of as a customer, and that the staff are simply going through the motions in order to get a tip.
Another issue I have with tipping is the mandatory charges that are added to the bill at many restaurants. These charges, which are often disguised as "service fees" or "gratuities," can add a significant amount to the overall cost of the meal. While these charges are meant to be distributed among the staff, I feel that they are often used to pad the profits of the restaurant instead. In these cases, I feel that I am being asked to pay twice for the same service, and that my money is being misused.
In addition to these issues, many restaurants now require customers to bus their own tables after their meals. While this may seem like a small task, it is one that is traditionally done by the staff in order to keep the restaurant clean and presentable. By having to bus my own table, I feel that I am being asked to do the job of the staff, and that the restaurant is saving money by not hiring enough staff to do the job properly.
Another issue that I have with tipping is the fact that the suggested tips on checks seem to be constantly inflating. In most cases, the default suggestion for a tip now starts at 18%, and it only gets larger from there. This can add a significant amount to the overall cost of a meal.
While it may be argued that these suggested tips are meant to reflect the cost of living and other factors, I feel that they are simply a way for restaurants to increase their profits. In a time when many people are struggling financially, I feel that these inflated tip suggestions are unreasonable and unfair.
Furthermore, I believe that these suggested tips can create an unhealthy dynamic between customers and staff. In some cases, customers may feel pressured to leave a large tip in order to receive good service, while in other cases, staff may feel entitled to a large tip regardless of their performance. This can lead to a cycle of dissatisfaction on both sides, and can ultimately harm the dining experience for everyone involved.
One final reason I do not tip is that there is no separate tipped minimum wage in California. This means that all workers in the state, regardless of whether they receive tips or not, must be paid at least the minimum wage. This is in contrast to other states, where tipped workers are paid a lower minimum wage and are expected to make up the difference through tips. In California, there is no need to tip in order to ensure that workers are being paid fairly, so I feel that it is unnecessary to do so.
This holiday season, I have been having a good experience tipping less. While I have always felt a certain level of discomfort when it comes to tipping, I have found that not leaving a gratuity has actually been a liberating experience. I no longer feel the pressure to conform to societal norms, and I am able to be more selective about where I choose to eat.
One thing I have noticed during this time is that there has been no discernible difference in the quality of service I have received. In fact, the service has been just as mediocre to bad as it has always been, with mediocre food to match. This has only reinforced my belief that tipping does not necessarily lead to better service, and that other factors, such as proper training and good management, are much more important.
As a result, I have decided to make it my New Year's resolution to tip less in 2023. While I know that this may not be a popular decision, I feel that it is the right thing to do for myself and for the industry as a whole. By standing up for what we believe in and refusing to accept poor quality service, we can help to create a better dining experience for everyone.
Ultimately, I believe that the best way to bring about change in the service industry is for everyone to stop tipping. By refusing to leave gratuities, we can send a message to restaurants and other businesses that we expect better quality service and fair wages for all workers. This holiday season, I hope that others will join me in standing up for what is right.
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