Rather than boost the hourly wages of their servers, restauranteurs are looking to pass the burden of increasing their workers’ pay to their customers.
New York restaurants, permitted to pay their staff as little as $2.15 per hour, are now suggesting diners leave tips to the tune of 30 percent.
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.
“People are aggravated to no end by it. In Manhattan, when I talk to waiters they tell me, ‘No, we want 25 percent now,’” said Dublanica.
In a study of over 9,000 credit card receipts, Michael Lynn, professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University, found that 37 percent of people left tips greater than 20 percent.
Brian Moore, 48, a former waiter at an Upper East Side diner, is disgusted by the entitlement waitstaff feel now, without the obligation to earn their tips by providing exceptional service.
“It’s just expected no matter what,” said Moore. “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.”
While many attribute the increase to the improved economic climate, others fear the increase will deter potential restaurant-goers from going out.