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The End of Restaurant Tipping?

The End of Restaurant Tipping?

There's a growing number of those in the food industry who believe the practice of tipping should be abolished, and wait staff instead should earn a living wage.

“Its definitely not a one structure fits all,” says Walter Cervin at the Greater Houston Restaurant Association who remains open to the idea.  “There's many variables that go into this such as pricing, location, quick serve, casual dining.”

While some American restaurants already have done away with tipping, the decision is more common overseas. 

Stephen Barth at University of Houston's College of Hotel and Restaurant Management says his best dining experiences were in communities where tipping was not allowed.

“Australia, New Zealand, all of their service comes from the heart,” Barth tells KTRH News.  “They pay their people a living wage, food is spectacular, restaurants are good and the service is unbelievable.”

Barth says Americans have it all wrong when it comes to tipping, they pay according to the bill instead of the service.  He says many customers are guilted into paying a tip even for bad service.

“If you go in and spend $100 on a meal, you're going to get a good, descent service,” says Barth.  “But if you go in and spend $300 on a meal, has the service level really gone up $40 worth?”

Still, high-end waiters in New York city, Los Angeles, Chicago, even Houston earn hundreds of dollars a night, something they could not do if tips were abolished.

 

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