Did You Know: Tipping Servers Started Right After Slavery Ended

posted by Vic January 12, 2017

Bet you didn’t see this story coming…

If you are looking at this saying, “Who is Unstripped Voice? This is FAKE NEWS”, please note that we got this story from a Business Insider article — we are just passing the message along.

In this article, the owner of New York’s Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, explains why he banned tipping at his restaurants & makes up the cost by raising menu prices — which allows him to pay his kitchen workers better. Apparently this method has proved successful, because other restaurants have followed suit.

Danny Meyer’s reason for banning tipping goes back to why it started in the first place, as he explained:

“Tipping started in our country right after the Civil War,” Meyer said. “The restaurant industry as well as the Pullman train car industry successfully petitioned the United States government to make a dispensation for our industries that we would not pay our servers, but it wasn’t considered slavery because we would ask our customers to pay tips. And therefore no one could say they that were being enslaved.

And, no surprise, but most of the people who were working in service professional jobs and restaurants and in Pullman train cars were African-American,” Meyer continued. “That’s the history of how it started in this country. You don’t see it Asia. You don’t see it primarily in most European countries. But that’s what it was, and it created a completely false economy.”

Obviously, the plan was worked, as the federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13/hr (before tips) while the minimum for non-tipped workers is $7.25/hr.

The jury is still out to if this is will eventually work in the future. As a former restaurant worker myself, there were days tipping put a lot of $$ in my pockets. There were also days that I considered working 12 hours at a restaurant making just $20 in tips a giant waste of my time. There are also people who actually prefer tips, as they would rather get the “cash upfront” instead of waiting 2 weeks for a paycheck.

In all, to each his/her own — but at least you now know how tipping became a thing. Maybe you may feel “some type of way” the next time you eat out…

 

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