Tipping Controversies Challenge Tradition

July 24, 2013 – In The News
FSR Magazine

Carolyn Richmond was quoted in the FSR Magazine article "Tipping Controversies Challenge Tradition." While the full text can be found in the July 24, 2013, issue of FSR Magazine, a synopsis is noted below.

Several New York City restaurants have been named in a lawsuit alleging they participated in deceptive tipping practices by adding an automatic gratuity to customer bills. The automatic gratuity goes unnoticed to many guests, and as a result, they leave an additional tip. New York law states that it is illegal to add an automatic surcharge to a party of less than eight people.

Carolyn Richmond believes eliminating tipping is not a final solution, noting, “[No tipping] is not necessarily a bad idea. It’s great if you pay above minimum wage and the staff doesn’t need tips. But it’s difficult to get rid of the custom of tipping.”

Even restaurants who do not accept gratuities often encounter customers who still leave a tip. “Now they’re back to square one: What to do with the tip? It’s a macro problem of who shares in the tip,” Richmond said.

Richmond believes archaic laws are the root of the problem. “We have different needs than in 1938. The wage and hourly laws need to be changed. We need A to Z reform,” Richmond said.

“Not being able to tip share with the back of the house realistically needs to be looked at,” Richmond said. “If you serve a great meal on a dirty dish, it affects the ability to have a great meal.”