Liberals believe eliminating tipping produces better service

Danny Meyer, whom the New York Times spoke of as if he were a well-known celebrity, announced that at the many restaurants he owns, tipping would no longer be encouraged. Instead, food prices will be paid to guarantee automatic tips to waiters (I refuse to use the term servers, or food professors, or whatever other PC term people use for waiters).

In a sweeping change to how most of its 1,800 employees are paid, the Union Square Hospitality Group will eliminate tipping at Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe and its 11 other restaurants by the end of next year, the company’s chief executive, Danny Meyer, said on Wednesday.

The move will affect New York City businesses that serve 40,000 to 50,000 meals a week and range from simple museum cafes to some of the most popular and acclaimed restaurants in the country. The first will be the Modern, inside the Museum of Modern Art, starting next month.

Menus will explain that prices include “hospitality,” and checks will not provide blank lines for a tip. “There will be one total, as if you were buying a sweater at Brooks Brothers,” Mr. Meyer said.

There's a helpful hint: Brooks Brothers sells very expensive clothing.

There  are three kinds of things you can buy: a product, a service, and a service linked to a product.  When you buy a product, like a sweater "at Brooks Brothers," tipping is unnecessary, because quality of the delivery doesn't enter into it.  You take it off the shelf and buy it.

When you buy a service, like someone who cleans your gutters, you are paying a set price for a service, and you know what you are getting.

But when you buy a product, like prepared food, that also has a delivery element attached to it, like waiters, that's where tipping becomes useful.  You would think that a restaurant would want to ensure prompt delivery of food and attentiveness to labor quality.  But being a waiter is unskilled labor (sorry, waiters and waitresses – what you do may be hard work, but it is unskilled labor) and so does not attract the best quality of workers.  That's where tipping comes in, giving waiters an incentive to do their job properly (as well as a small disincentive to rise up, strangle their diners, and stage a great proletarian cultural revolution).

Without tipping, in a regime where everyone gets paid the same regardless of quality of work (like this company!), guess what happens to incentive for good, prompt service.  It goes out the window.

Welcome to higher prices and lower-quality service, New York City!

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of, the conservative news site.

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