oops I posted in reverse so I am editing the post to put original post uptop
GT99 wrote: ↑
Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:31 pm
protagonist wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:46 pm
I don't like doing it....I wish restaurant owners and other owners of establishments were forced to pay a minimum wage. I would rather them pay their employees more and charge me more for food and drinks, as the system should work and as it works in other countries.
With a $15 minimum wage I probably would not tip other than in exceptional circumstances if I was not waited upon.
But given the system the way it is, and given how difficult it is nowadays to survive on minimum wage , I feel for these people. If you have a son or daughter who has worked in the service industry, you probably know what I mean.
Alas, nobody wins when you take away the tip model. Most other countries might do it that way, but most other countries have far worse restaurant service than the US - I've spent many months in Europe and noticed this very consistently.
Here's what happens when you take away the tip model:
1. Servers lose - they make much more money than they would on a static rate. Waiting tables is one of the best jobs for someone without other marketable skills from a $ perspective (hours can suck). I average $13 per hour in the late 90s waiting tables at a suburban sports bar where a pitcher of beer was $5 and most meals were under $10. Food prices and average tip rates are MUCH higher now than they were than.
2. Customers lose - not just because servers have less incentive to give good, fast service, but by incenting restaurant owners to minimize staffing, so servers have more tables to serve. This is readily apparent in Europe - I've seen many cases where I've been in a pub with things like 15 full tables and 10 people sitting at the bar, with just a bartender and 1 server (standard in the US is 4 or 5 tables per server).
3. Owners lose - not because they have to pay more, but because of the slower service mentioned in 2. Drinkers drink less and tables turn slower.
To be clear, I'm only speaking about standard sit down restaurants. I don't think it makes much difference in most other formats.
Sorry for the long post, my mind just kept bringing up all my experiences into the post.
I really believe you are highly misunderstanding or misrepresenting the restaurant service industry in Europe(as is the case you mention) I go to Europe often. I have been to almost every country in western Europe and also have been to a couple in Eastern Europe. I have not found these issues you speak of. Overall, service is no different in Europe than it is in the US. Dont confuse over the top friendly waitstaff in the US with service quality. But there is a difference that you have to understand. In Europe, eating out is supposed to be a relaxing stress free experience and service in Europe is performed on demand, not by having waitstaff on your back thru the entire meal by pretending to be your friend asking you questions about the food(always when I have barely even tried it).
When I go out to eat, I want to have an experience enjoying the company of friends and family. I dont need an additonal "friend" join in. Yes it can seem very friendly, but the reality is that the server feels forced to be overly friendly with you because of the tip factor. That also creates anxiety on both parties. That comes to a point that it is just fake. Personally annoys me. I go to a restaurant as a means to enjoy a meal, not to fake make friends with my server. That can happen if I go to that establishment often, but that will happen naturally vs this fake one time deal.
1. Servers overall would actually make a decent living with a wage and not have to worry about tipping. Will some lose out? yes especially those that work in very popular hotspots.(but overall most people would benefit) However, their wage should also be appropriate to the place and location. a place that makes 10M a year, should pay its waitstaff based on that vs a restaurant that makes 1M a year. A high end restaurant should pay its waitstaff way more than those at applebees.. that stuff would still be appropriate to the location. Overall though most people prefer knowing how much they will have a week.
We are always talking about how bad they have it because they are in the tipping industry with their income. So make their income be predictable so that they dont have to worry about it. Cant have it both ways. Where I live, some places of town, servers and bartenders make 100k a year. Is that fair to those that have to really work their butt off to even make half of that. teachers, firemen, police, construction workers, etc. Yeah these servers would lose out but they probably should stil make 60k(I think most people would be incredibly happy making that for serving drinks and food), for having few skills, thats well above the average family income.
I am down to pay 15% more for my food and include it in the price for sit down restaurants. After all, everyone tips way more regardless of quality service. So that is pretty much a myth, that tipping is meant to create quality service. It only creates fake interactions(not all are like that of course, some people really enjoy it)
2. I do not know the staffing levels in bars or restaurant differences between the US and Europe, but i can tell you I have never felt that I was under serviced if that is true. Could it seem slower? yeah.. but there is a reason for that, the patron is expected to be left alone enjoying their meal. If you need something, you raise your hand at the waiter(s) who usually is looking from their corner to all tables to see if someone needs something. That is my usual experience over decades of going and being in Europe. So maybe is not understanding that custom, that may seem like the service is not as engaged but if you are aware of that, your experience will be incredibly different and enjoyable.
3. Owners dont lose anything other than paying decent wages and they can increase prices accordingly. I dont know what restaurants in Europe you are comparing it to, but if the owners of all these bars and restaurants that I have been to in Europe are losing... they would need a restaurant the size of a walmart in order to acommodate the patrons if they were winning just a bit. This "slow service" you speak of, surely does not deter the place from being packed to the rim where you can barely walk in. And I have been to hundreds of restaurants and bars in the US where I am waiting forever to get service from either a bartender or a server, so not sure that tip really is making much of a difference.
Like I said, I have been to countless restaurants and bars in Europe.. I dont see much of a difference to the US when ordering drinks or food. Well, yes there is a difference, here, I have to start calculating tax and tips and how much and where and when, and was the server sucky? was he she over the top? was her help more than appropriate? did he roll his eyes at me, was my drink not filled at all times? did they not kiss my ass enough? (whenever I order a meal here(USA), coincidentally, it is always also the servers favorite dish and I have incredible taste to have chosen the same way my server would have, I am amazing wow). Of course should be a given that I am making a point exagerating the circumstance. Oh and lets not start talking about discrimination tips. Clearly more attractive servers will get higher tips, nothing to do with service. Did I fall for that when I was younger? yes I did... overly friendly lady server with low cuts.. you would think it is a different kind of tipping establishment. How is that related to your food service.. not at all. Now of course, I dont give a crap, you get what you deserve based on tips customs. Or.. the other way would be, just charge me the total, here is my credit card, good bye. Keep me out of trying to figure out your pay and subsidizing your business. After seeing both systems in place and in action for more years that I want to admit, I much prefer the European system by a long shot, And I see no issues at any of these european establishments because of it.
At the end though, Food is provided to patrons in the same way in both continents. you order it and the server brings it to you when it is ready. Done. No more needed. Thats the key factor. If the table is dirty, both will clean it for you and so on. The only real difference i see in the European and US waitstaff, is the amount of small talk and visits to the table. In the US is non stop. In Europe small talk is basically non existant and visits to the table only happens on demand. Which could be why as you said, they dont need as much waitstaff to keep the same quality of service. They dont have to interact with the customer about trivial and menial things the ENTIRE time they are there, so therefore the amount of time wasted with customers requires less people to serve and they are able to focus on the actual needs of each table as requested. I think most of the US servers become overly stressed and anxious having to go with over the top friendliness with people they dont know. Next time you are in Europe, check out the waitstaff.. and once they have nothing to do assisting tables, they sort of stay in one place looking over their tables. If a hand is raised, they will come over to you right away. In the US you constantly have to try to chase your server when you actually need something because, you have no idea where they are since they are constantly interacting with all their tables 100% of the time and you only see them when they come by your table.
This is my experience overall, but you always risk bad apples anywhere regardless.