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Thread: MD proposes law banning mandatory tipping at restaurants

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    Default MD proposes law banning mandatory tipping at restaurants

    I'd be good with this. I believe in only tipping if the service is acceptable. Great service gets great tips, while shoddy service warrants little or nothing.

    http://www.wtop.com/?nid=708&sid=1916559

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Ever eat at a restaurant and when the bill comes there's a charge you didn't expect? Many restaurants tack on an automatic tip when serving large groups, such as groups of 6 or 8 people. Cheryl Glenn says more than once, she's gone out to eat and the service wasn't great but the restaurant tacked on an automatic tip. Glenn thinks automatic tips discourages some waiters and waitresses from providing good service because they know they'll still get their tip.
    That's why Glenn, a Maryland delegate (D-Baltimore City), is sponsoring a bill that would ban restaurants in the state from adding automatic tips for parties of fewer than ten people.
    If the bill passes, restaurants that break the law could be fined up to $5,000.
    The Restaurant Association of Maryland is against the bill. The group's Melvin Thompson tells the Baltimore Business Journal it should be left up to individual restaurants to decide whether to use automatic tips, and the size of the dining party they're used for.
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    Perhaps some tax controls would be a better idea. The problem as a server, is that you get income taxed for 8% of your sales as tips. You and I both know that servers make more than 8% of their sales. I often times hear servers whine about being stiffed, because they have to pay taxes on the sale, yet when they got a 5 from a 12 dollar check, I never heard them offering to pay more than the 8%. I always found that interesting.

    When I was a server, I never auto-gratuity'd anyone. I was never disappointed, either, mostly because I was a damn good server. I should clarify that I did auto-gratuity when I was at Friday's, because it was their policy and I HAD to follow it. I still feel I would have made more money had I not been made to do that.
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    I'm with Chutney on this one. When I was laid off in 2001 I worked a server at Ruby Tuesday. They too tacked on a mandatory 15% for parties of 8 or more people. With some parties (mostly senior citizens who traditionally tip poorly and like to stick around longer than they should) I felt it was justified, because they would have most likely "stiffed" me on the tip and the table would not be flipped as many times through my shift. On the other hand there were parties who would have most likely tipped more, but because there was already a gratuity included felt as though THAT was enough.

    My personal feeling is that government needs to stay the hell out of it and let the business decide what's best.
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    I got some of my best tips from old people. By treating the like they were young. I once remember an ezra leaving me 10 dollars because I would not stop commenting on her perfectly tufted beehive. Guys, you should have seen this thing, it was clear she spent HOURS on it. It was PERFECT, and it was not a wig.

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    I worked 6 years in the restaurant industry from the time I graduated from high school, throughout college and shortly after I graduated colllege, so I can look at this from a restaurant worker's perspective. I have to agree with CD and DB on this too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanuk View Post
    I'd be good with this. I believe in only tipping if the service is acceptable. Great service gets great tips, while shoddy service warrants little or nothing.
    On the one hand, that's not how this works (it's automatic, not mandatory) -- even when it's added, you can still tip less than the amount on the check (or not tip at all). I believe the check is required to inform you of this by law, at least some places.

    On the other hand, one reason it's done is because those who favor it know that plenty of people think it really is mandatory and will pay it without looking closely or questioning it.

    I always liked the checks that give you the bill and then the tip amount for various percentages underneath as a note (usually 10%, 15% and 20% although I hear that these days, 20% is the new 15%).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kensey View Post
    On the one hand, that's not how this works (it's automatic, not mandatory) -- even when it's added, you can still tip less than the amount on the check (or not tip at all). I believe the check is required to inform you of this by law, at least some places.
    Just try to pay one of those bills with a credit card after a tip has been placed on it by the restaurant if you don't want to pay that tip. There will be a hassle and a need to involve the manager and just about everyone else when you try to pen-and-ink void that tip off the bill. Trust me--I've done it.

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    The server is required to tip out the bartender and busboy, as well. I'd hate to think what a server might do to my food if they thought I might leave a lousy tip--and servers do indeed see it coming. Good thing I am a good tipper. I give 15% even if it's lousy. (Unless they are abusive, of course.) Last time I heard, "tipwage" was $2.13/hr. I don't think I am better than them in any way, so I don't think think I am above tipping. I waited tables and tended bar for years, and would do it again in a heartbeat, if our president ordains it so. For the first several years I was a Registered Nurse, working full time, I made less than I did in some restaurants. But I digress. I always tip the minimal accepted amount, worst case scenario. If I have to wait excessively for food or a drink, I know it's not the server's fault.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JiveTurkey View Post
    If I have to wait excessively for food or a drink, I know it's not the server's fault.
    This can't be any closer to the truth. A customer can usually tell if the food is delayed by poor service, or a s***ty cook.

    I'll start by saying this: We don't go out to eat much because we're excessive tippers. We tip at least 10 dollars, mostly we tip 20's. Add that to the 30 dollar check, and that s*** gets expensive fast. The ONLY time we do not excessively tip is when we KNOW our server let our food sit in the window for no reason. We can tell. My experience as a server, combined with D's extensive experience as a restaurant Manager helps us to render our observations.

    Then they only get a 5, which is usually still 15-20. I'm with Bev, I NEVER stiff anyone, even when I want to. I usually don't have to worry about it, though, because we frequent the same restaurants when we do go out to eat, and most of the time the servers are fighting over who gets our table.

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