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March 18, 2010

Campaign slogan: will work for tips

tabNot content to stiff wine lovers who'd like to order vino legally from out-of-state vineyards, Maryland lawmakers are considering ways to stiff waiters.

A bill before the General Assembly would outlaw the automatic tip that some restaurants tack onto the tab, at least for parties smaller than 10, the Baltimore Business Journal reports today.

Del. Cheryl Glenn, a Baltimore City Democrat, "decided to sponsor the bill after several meals in which the service wasn’t up to par and the restaurant tacked on a tip, anyway," the BBJ reports.

“I think it’s a consumer protection issue,” she told the paper.

I can't say I'd miss the automatic tip if it went away. But I'm wondering if our elected leaders would be willing to work for tips. If their service is good, they'd have nothing to worry about.

Sun photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 12:06 PM | | Comments (18)
        

Comments

Work it Alan!

My smile IS genuine, I love my peeps! If you have to auto-grat you have not done your job as a server and you have no guts!

I often am out with a medium sized group (usually 6-8) and we find that auto-tipping usually ends up hurting the server. We generally leave a higher percentage than what would automatically be added, but if it is already on the ticket, then it gets left at that amount. The automatic tip just seems like a rude assumption.

You EARN your tip. The concept of earning is something society has forgotten about nowadays. Sad, but true. You are not entitled to anything. This goes for more than tips, but this isn't a political blog.

...but this isn't a political blog.

I thought jl had finally put that shibboleth to rest with his "Put a cork in it" post.

If politicians can't keep their hands off dining, then dining blogs can lay hands on politicians.
Hell, let's illegalize tipping altogether. That way we can pay whatever a restaurateur reckons the market will bear to keep the best servers she can hire. My guess, more than 18 percent. That'll do away with any need to provide exemplary service. And on slow days they can just close their damn doors.
This is food we're talking about. It's the second most important substance known to man! You ain't gettin' your damn tires changed.
This is the restaurant biz we're talkin' about. You don't like auto-18, let's get us a National 8-or-more Eat At Home Month. See how long it takes to change the system. Or go out in a big old group but sit at tables for two and shout at each other. Message deee-livered.
This ain't about politics! It's economics! And freedom! And ... um ... whatever! Yeah! Whatever!

BaltBabs - well you just made it political.

As Americans we are entitled to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"
Some would say without decent health care liberty wouldn't mean much because "life" and "happiness" wouldn't exist.

But back to food... Every Baltimore guy and gal is entitled to a good crab cake, and a Natty Boh!

I earn all of my tips, including auto grated ones. LMA your excuse is a lame one, if the tip is eighteen percent and you normally leave 20, leave 2% more. Is that so hard. Better yet, don't tip me, I can go on assistance and stop eating farm raised salmon and start eating wild caught. Yummy

Harrumph. Nobody tips the librarian.

Bryan, you are absolutely correct. The auto tip amount doesn't cause someone to leave less, assuming they wanted to make a larger tip to start with. LMA just doesn't like leaving even an 18% tip, so complains in this manner to make him/her not look like such a cheap-skate.

@ Bryan and Richard. The amount we would usually leave is closer to 25% or 30% when it is not already included. It has nothing to do with cheapness on the the customers part. Gratuity, by definition is something voluntary. The customer has a choice of how much they want to leave. By making it automatic, the restaurant is removing that choice.

LMA, if the restaurant is removing that choice,how am I able to leave more money everytime I am in this situation? BTW, when healthcare passes you will probably begin to see restaurants charge an additional fee to help pay for employee coverage, like they do now in San Francisco. LMA, you can take any extra money from the server to pay for that.

LMA, if the restaurant is removing that choice,how am I able to leave more money everytime I am in this situation? BTW, when healthcare passes you will probably begin to see restaurants charge an additional fee to help pay for employee coverage, like they do now in San Francisco. LMA, you can take any extra money from the server to pay for that.

@LMA So you stiff the server 7 to 12% just because you don't like management's decision to imposte a gratuity for large parties? That just doesn't sound right to me.

If the restaurant is adding on 18-20%, I don't see how that constitutes "stiffing the server." There ought to be an element of choice involved, according to the way many people think.

Once again, this makes me wish we had the European system of paying servers decent wages by building in the cost of the tips into the cost of food and drink.

RoCK, for once we agree on an economic issue!

I'm with RoCK and Dahlink (among others on this blog) in favoring decent wages for servers. If fast food places can get by without tipping, other restaurants ought to be able to do likewise, while paying better wages than the fast food joints.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.
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