Trump Tip Rule Exploits Workers

It looks like Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia is tired of dining in relative peace and obscurity and he’s decided to pick a fight with the people serving his food.

Sack Star Tribune

Eric Trump has been spit upon by a waitress in Chicago. Curator of the Senate Mitch McConnell and his wife Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao were confronted at a Louisville restaurant. And former hand–wringing Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled as she tried to eat at a Mexican restaurant (which if you ask me was a risky ethnic choice in the first place).

And none of the above had done anything to interfere with the livelihoods of restaurant personnel, give or take the odd deportation.

Scalia, on the other hand, is preparing to launch a preemptive strike on wait staff employees that will limit his dining out options to the department’s in–house cafeteria — assuming he can send a lackey to pick up his lunch.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Labor Dept. is proposing a new rule that would let restaurant owners steal tips more easily and more frequently than the busboy who swipes a few of the waitress’ tip dollars as he cleans the table.

“Businesses would more easily be able to require workers to share tips under a Labor Department proposal released Monday. The rule would allow employers to require workers such as restaurant servers to pool tips with colleagues who traditionally don’t get tips, such as dishwashers and cooks.”

Notice how businesses have no objection to restaurant socialism when they aren’t forced to participate.

This isn’t a strictly intramural conflict. Restaurant customers also have a dog in this fight. I wrote recently about restaurant reviewers — who eat and tip on the company dime — demanding diners pony up regardless. The WoePost’s reviewer was quite clear, “Poor service? You still have to tip 20 percent, no matter what.” This benevolence–by–proxy insulates him from the cost of his bright idea and transfers the expense to other easily persuaded leftists.

Even if a weak–willed diner let Mr. WoePost badger them into participating in this virtue extortion scheme, the customer knew who was getting the money. Scalia’s proposed rule even takes that small bit of agency away.

One of the few positive actions the Obama administration took was attempting to ban this tip–skimming scam in 2012 and now Scalia wants to bring it back. Evidently, he hasn’t gotten the word that Trump decided Republicans don’t have to reflexively support big business whenever it wants to gouge another penny or two from the staff and customers.

Naturally professional liars have an excuse for this latest strong–exploit–the–weak innovation. “Business advocates say tip-pooling ensures workers unseen by customers are fairly compensated.”

This is an echo of the WoePost critic’s mandatory tip regime, “I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about tipping in America. Diners have been led to believe that tipping should be based on the quality of the service. But this is not the reason we tip. We tip because restaurateurs in America have shifted the burden of paying for some of their labor costs to diners. So when you don’t tip, it affects the wages of servers.”

This changes a night on the town into a GoFundMe shakedown. If business is worried about the behind–the–scenes staff not making enough money, restaurant owners should stop picking the wait staff’s pocket and give them a dang raise!

This tablecloth piracy affects customers in two ways. First it removes the server’s prime motivation for giving exemplary service. Why go out of your way to make a customer’s dinner experience outstanding when Hugo Chavez is going to sieze your tip money anyway? Second you may be giving a bonus to the guy who burned your steak.

Free market capitalists should be outraged by this new imposition on the exemplary working man. It imposes a hidden tax on servers that hits the hardest working the most and it allows restaurant owners essentially to pay their best employees the least. You make up the rest.

It appears there is something about the food industry that brings out the cannibal in management. Even woke tech companies are repurposing (stealing) your tips. The WoePost found “DoorDash …recently made headlines for using customers’ tips to offset workers’ wages.”

What that means is if a DoorDash serf is guaranteed a $10/hr. wage and you tip your delivery person $5, DoorDash overseers count that as half his wage, only pay him an additional $5 and the Internet titan in effect embezzles your tip.

I hope Tucker Carlson mentions this on his show so Trump will veto the policy. Otherwise, restaurant customers are going to get great service in the future just like Venezuelans get reliable electricity.

Subsidized Diners Demand We Pay Mandatory Tips

Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

I may have discovered the real reason people living in blue states don’t contribute as much to charity as those living in red states. It’s not that they are hypocrites whose ‘compassion’ doesn’t extend to their own wallets.

It’s because all their discretionary giving is going to restaurant tips.

Getting woke is getting expensive. A recent headline in the WoePost issues an order with all the grace of the director of a Chinese organ–harvesting plant telling you to lie down and do your duty.

“Poor service? You still have to tip 20 percent, no matter what.”

Before we explore the astonishing ‘reasoning’ behind that edict from our social superiors, let’s digress into tipping history.

Up until the early ‘70s the standard tip for good service was 10 percent. Generations finished their career satisfied with 10 percent, content in the knowledge they were getting exactly the same percentage as God Almighty.

Then inflation hit the country. In 1973 inflation jumped to 8.7 percent and peaked at 13.3 percent in 1979. I remember groceries being so expensive I ate hamburger with my eggs because I couldn’t afford bacon.

Mathematically illiterate reporters decided inflation was harming wait staff. They decreed the 10 percent tip was no longer enough in inflationary times and it must be boosted to 15 percent.

Management was behind the idea because it was no skin off their nose and food service employees weren’t letting this bandwagon get away.

Unfortunately, like so many bright ideas brought to you by the media, the theory was both wrong and had no basis in fact.

Let’s say a restaurant check in 1972 totaled $10.00. By 1979 inflation boosted the check for the same dinner (maybe it included bacon) to $20.00. That’s an increase of 100 percent! By comparison, the tip in 1972, at the standard 10 percent, was $1.00. In 1979 the tip had increased to $2.00.

By Jove that’s an increase of 100 percent, too, a fact that escaped reporters and etiquette ‘experts’ because they can’t grasp that the size of the tip increases in lockstep with the size of the check.

Today we enjoy a stretch of historically low inflation rates, but that doesn’t matter to the Hospitality–Journalism Misinformation Complex. Now they’ve decided 20 percent is the minimum and they’ve tripled the responsibilities of the diner.

If this keeps up, it won’t be just Long John Silver that wants us to bus the tables.

This new edict comes from the food critic for the WoePost, an individual who not only eats on the company dime, he tips on the company dime, too. That benevolence by proxy insulates him from the cost of his bright idea and transfers the expense to readers.

That’s bad enough, but he can’t even grasp the theory behind tipping in the first place. From atop Mt. Olympus he explains, “I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about tipping in America. Diners have been led to believe that tipping should be based on the quality of the service. But this is not the reason we tip. We tip because restaurateurs in America have shifted the burden of paying for some of their labor costs to diners. So when you don’t tip, it affects the wages of servers.”

Affecting “the wages of servers” is precisely what the tip is supposed to do! A gratuity is not a participation trophy for being part of my dining experience. It is an acknowledgement of the quality of the service.

My wife works part-time as a server so she has an excuse to get out of the house and away from me. She averages $30.00 an hour in tips alone. No “burden–shifting” restaurateur is going to pay her that kind of wage and stay in business. Even lobbyists couldn’t afford to eat out at those rates.

Subsidizing career choices doesn’t end the diner’s responsibility. Besides payroll, customers are also drafted into Human Resources. With tips being prix fixe the options for responding to poor service are limited to personally explaining job duties to your server or contacting the manager and asking for a new server.

Somehow publicly asking your waiter be fired is an improvement over simply reducing the tip.

Meanwhile your dinner is getting cold.

When I go out to eat it’s not because I always wanted to manage a one–table restaurant. The idea is to take time off from responsibilities, not assume new ones.

The article concludes with this stern admonition: “Like it or not, tipping isn’t about me — or you. It’s simply a responsibility placed on all diners in this country. And you need to factor that in as the full cost of dining out.”

To which the only conceivable reply is: Can I get a side of fries with my Social Justice?