With restaurants suggesting gratuities of 30per cent, is America's tipping culture getting out of control
22:19 GMT, 19 September 2012
In a bid to boost their wages, New York food servers are now suggesting diners leave tips of up to 30per cent.
With many U.S. restaurants permitted to pay staff as little as $2.15 per hour, workers often rely on service charges to supplement their income.
But following an increase to 20per cent over recent years, the average tip rate is set to rise again.
Food for though: In a bid to boost their wages, New York food servers are now suggesting diners leave tips of up to 30per cent
An article in today's New York Post reveals that 'gratuities can run to 25 or even 30per cent, a number that might have been laughed off just a few years ago.'
Steve Dublanica – a former waiter and author of tipping guides Keep the Change and Waiter Rant – confirmed that the 'tip creep' phenomenon has plagued restaurant-goers for decades.
He told the publication: 'People are aggravated to no end by it. In Manhattan, when I talk to waiters they tell me, ‘No, we want 25per cent now.’'
Michael Lynn, a professor of consumer
behavior at Cornell University reported in a recent paper that the first signs of a shift in
New York's tipping culture was when 20per cent went from being a
generous amount, to being the norm.
'In Manhattan, when I talk to waiters they tell me, ''No, we want 25 per cent now.’'
a study of around 9,000 credit card receipts from a restaurant in
Poughkeepsie he found that 37per cent of customers left tips of more
than 20per cent.
Brian Moore,48, a former waiter at an Upper East Side diner, said he is upset by the 'sense of entitlement' displayed by staff who work no harder but demand higher tips.
He told the New York Post: 'It’s just expected no matter
what. Sometimes I feel like I’m going through
life like Robert De Niro going through the nightclub in ‘GoodFellas,’
tipping people right and left just for smiling at me.'
Some believe the phenomenon is linked to economic improvements.
Adam Weissenberg, a vice chairman at Deloitte who leads the firm’s American travel, hospitality and leisure division, told the New York Times: 'Based on our research, business people plan to travel more and increase their travel spending in 2012.
'This should have a positive impact on tips for hotel staff members… Or, as the Las Vegas taxi drivers say, ‘more trips is more tips.’'
Detailing New York's tipping culture Tripadvisor.com recommends that waiters and waitresses should be given a bonus of up to 20per cent for good service, while bartenders should be left $1 for every alcoholic drink purchased.