Visiting the US soon - do I really have to tip? to – 228 points –

Hey Folks!

I've been living abroad for over half my life in a country where tipping is not the norm. At most you would round up. 19€ bill? Here's a 20, keep this change.

Going to the US soon to visit family and the whole idea of tipping makes me nervous. It seems there's a lot of discussion about getting rid of tipping, but I don't know how much has changed in this regard.

The system seems ridiculously unfair, and that extra expense in a country where everything is already so expensive really makes a difference.

So will AITA if I don't tip? Is it really my personal responsibility to make sure my server is paid enough?


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To be as clear as possible - the minimum wage for tipped staff is $2.13/hr. That's why you have to tip.

This is deceiving though. In The US tipping is literally everywhere now.

If you are waited on, I. E. Sat at a table or served at a bar, tipping is expected. If you go to a counter and place an order and someone hands you something while you're standing there, those workers aren't making 2.13/hr.

I don't tip if there's no service being provided. Bringing my food to my table after I ordered it from a kiosk and filled up my own drink at the soda fountain doesn't qualify.

And this isn't universal either. For example, Culver's will bring your food out to you but you don't tip. So I would add that if you're waited on and pay for the meal AFTER eating and being waited on, then you tip.

Not true, restuarants have to make up the difference in their wage if they dont make enough in tips.

Yes, up to minimum wage, which is still often not enought to live on.

It's definitely not enough to live on, but that's beside the point, isn't it? I don't tip any other people because they earn minimum wage-- do you? The point is that the person isn't actually making only $2/hr-- they're making at least minimum wage, with the opportunity to make more via tips.

Tipping needs to end, and the laws changed to reflect it.

Being a waiter is a skilled job that deserves more than minimum wage.

I don't disagree, but that is irrelevant to the discussion, is it not?

That's just my response to the argument that you can choose to not tip because waiters will make minimum wage regardless. Minimum wage is not an appropriate salary for that line of work.

However, yes, I agree that laws should be changed to remove tipping or at least to require restaurant owners to pay an appropriate wage for the work with optional tips on top for exceptional service.

Is it a customer's responsibility to ensure an employee gets paid enough?

Do you tip the Walmart Greeter? Why or why not?

This does depend on which state you’re in (some states don’t have a “tipped wage”), but the vast majority of service workers are not raking in the big bucks, so be generous if you can!

Oregon has kind of a hybrid tipped wage. There's a minimum tipped wage, but if tips don't add up to at least the regular minimum wage then the establishment needs to make up the tips for the shift.

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A higher federal minimum wage would solve this problem. Employers are required by law to make up the difference between the base wage and the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hr) if nobody tips.

But obviously $7.25 isn't a living wage either, so any tipped employee that actually makes the federal minimum is living almost entirely on tips.

That's assuming that employers follow the law, which for restaurants is rarely the case.

Fair point. And this is why unions are beneficial to the working class, and also why shitty companies like Starbucks try to bust unions.

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