The US’ toxic tipping culture!

The toxic US' tipping culture

As a Briton living in the US, I generally don’t use food delivery services, or eat out at a restaurant due to the insane tipping culture, which allows businesses to pay as little as $2.13 per hour. I understand that businesses have to make up the hourly wage to the minimum wage if tips fall short of the federal $7.25, or the state minimum wage, if higher, a fact that I’m sure many customers are unaware of.  But, unless a restaurant is totally dead, a server will make more than the minimum wage, so it’s kind of a moot point!

This blog is inspired by Louis Rossmann’s video about a DoorDash driver pitching a fit because the customer didn’t tip him. And as Louis points out, tipping culture has made employees angry at customers when they don’t tip, instead of being angry at their employer or the government for allowing employers to pay as little as $2.13 an hour. In my opinion, I believe that the customer should not be expected to subsidize workers’ pay so a business owner can maximize their profits, pushing the cost to customers.

On the rare occasion that I do dine out, I do tip, mainly out of an obligation to do so, not because the service was exceptional. Someone taking my order, and bringing my food and drinks to my table should be the minimum expectation. I have never had a server complain, or come after us for the tip we leave, but I hate that I am expected to tip 18 to 20%, which can get expensive. When Erin and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary, our meal cost $110, so a 20% tip is $21 for 5 to 7 minutes of work.

I often see stories pop up in my Facebook news feed about servers publicly shaming customers who didn’t give them the tip they feel they deserve, posting a photo of the ticket. The tipping culture has produced a bunch of entitled employees who think they should get a 20% tip, saying I waited hand and foot on these people and they only left me a $10 tip, that’s literally your job, be happy you got a tip!

There are non-tipped workers that do other physical jobs that get paid $10 or less an hour, and you’re complaining that you only got a $10 tip for realistically a maximum of 10 minutes of work.

One comment I heard is “If you can’t afford to leave a tip, stay at home.”, which is what I do, and I certainly don’t use delivery services, because I don’t want to feel pressured into leaving a tip, in addition to a 10—15% surcharge per item ordered, over what it would be if we went to the restaurant ourselves.

In my opinion, the tipping culture in the US has become toxic, with an entitlement complex among the employees, as shown in the linked YouTube video above. Aggressively banging on the customer’s door, and calling the customer with a confrontational attitude. This is America, where guns are rife, so all it takes is acting like this at the wrong door, and BANG, you’re dead! And in many states with stand-your-ground laws on the books, the shooter would likely walk away as he or she felt threatened.

Be angry at your employer, or your lawmakers, not the customers, the customer does not employ you!

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