Waiters Lobby for 20% Mandatory Tips

Anyone who’s ever waited tables knows the agony of the crappy tip. But should diners be forced to pay mandatory 20% tips?

Yakup Ulutas thinks so. He’s founded FairTip.org, an association that’s lobbying for a 20% mandatory standard gratuity, like New York’s Per Se restaurant most famously instituted last year.

I’m all for tipping good service, and I feel sorry for waitstaff who get stiffed. But why not just pay your servers more than $2.13 per hour to start with, and incorporate the wage increase into the price of food?

As I’ve ranted at length before, making tips mandatory won’t make service worse at top-end restaurants. But, as a betting man, I’d make book on service quality taking a dive in more downscale, family-style restaurants, if 20% tips were mandatory.

Until then, research shows that servers looking to max out their tips should limber up their knees and start visiting their local florist:

    One study showed that when waitresses wore flowers in their hair they earned 17 percent more than when they didn’t. Another study suggests that waiters who squat beside tables receive an average tip of 18 percent, versus a 15 percent tip received by waiters who stand next to their tables.

Waiters’ Tip Fight Grows [Washington Post]