People who do not tip their servers make excuses too often. What these customers do not understand is the amount of effort that tipped workers put into their products. People need to disregard the commonly held belief that tipping is only required if service is exceptional and realize why they should tip to help supply worker's incomes.
According to TIME, tipping started as a punishment as it connects to the racial oppression of the post-Civil War era. Many People of Color filled lower positions, such as barbers and waiters, because they could not get hired in higher jobs. Employers found the loop-hole of tips to pay these workers less. TIME shared this history and explained, “How tipping works today is pretty much the way it has since a New Deal-era solidification of the federal minimum wage for tipped workers.”
“Restaurateurs soon realized that they stood to benefit from the opportunity to subsidize a worker’s pay with guests’ extra money…” Greenspan states. This idea spread throughout the United States due to the money it saved employers, even though many citizens were against the practice.
Many people still refuse to tip in modern times. One excuse customers often make is that these workers are already receiving compensation, so they do not need tips. Yes, these workers are receiving a salary, but it is not very high.
The U.S. Department of Labor broke down minimum wage in every state. Arizona's minimum wage for baristas is $7 an hour, with servers’ wage even lower at $2.50 an hour.
For Arizona, “The State requires employers to pay tipped employees a minimum cash wage above the minimum cash wage required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ($2.13/hour),” according to the Department of Labor.
There is a misconception that people only need to tip restaurant servers. Consumers seem to not realize that hairdressers, chefs and many more occupations accept tips. Many of these workers make under minimum wage to account for tip-wage, but do not receive anywhere near the tips that would subsidize paycheck.
USA Today looked at the lowest paid jobs in the U.S. The top 12 lowest-paying jobs included different variations of waitresses or hostesses, cooks, fast food workers, maids and laundry workers. These jobs are in high demand, with low pay, because they can be performed by a majority of people. They are hard work, and could even be considered more unrewarding due to low wages and scarce tips.
One reason someone may not tip to their fullest capacity could be based on the server's performance. If customers do not tip because of a lack of quality service, they should tell the server themselves about their experience.
Forbes discussed the types of tippers and how tipping should not be a punishment.
“If you didn't get good service, the tip is not the time to let your server know,” Breslin writes. “Dining out is a negotiation, not a random event. Suffering silently through what you find is not your dream experience and tipping cheaply is passive-aggressive behavior. The art of negotiation means everyone got what they wanted, and part of the responsibility for that is on you.”
Customers refusing to tip is not the only problem. Many restaurants and chains should pay their workers more. Demos, an organization that focuses on economic justice,discussed the top 10 reasons fast food workers deserve a raise.
Raising wages would benefit the companies because those that invest more in their workers do better, according to the Education & Labor Committee. These employees are the face of the company in the aspect that they are aware of the demands of the job and customers. They have a right to be paid a fair amount because they cause the success of a company. A raise could provide for the overall good by reducing poverty and inequality. It could spark a ripple effect to push for increased wages for all underpaid workers, while reintroducing the idea of the American Dream.
No matter the service or misconceptions, tipping can make someone's day. Breslin ends her article by sharing her personal experience.
“But most servers, like I was, work hard and are paid a terrible hourly wage,” Breslin said. “Everything hinges on tips: your mood, your ability to pay your rent, your self-esteem. Sometimes, a great tip turned everything around for me. It was demanding work, trying to figure out what you wanted when sometimes you didn't even look up and see who I was.”
A line of work that requires tips is not easy, but it is how many get by. Many college students are working these jobs to put themselves through school, and others need these jobs to survive. Customers need to be more aware of the impact they can make by sparing some money to make a service member's day.