Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Economy: Will Dining Out Get Turned On Its Head?

(Drivebycuriosity) - "Dining out is about to get turned on its head" claims the magazine Eater (eater). Really? They report that Danny Meyer, who owns some popular restaurants in Manhattan, will eliminate tipping and charge higher prices instead. Other restaurants in New York and Los Angeles have also  started a "no tipping' policy" (dailymail). Will the days of the American tipping culture - usually 20% - come to an end?

In Germany - where I grew up - there is no tipping culture. Waiters are paid by the restaurants.  I used to give tips - in cash because the credit card bills don´t have a space for the tip - but just some percentages. Service in German restaurant is usally ok and often fast. But I am impressed how friendly and nice American waiters behave. There is a tangible difference. Often you are treated like a good friend even when the staff doesn´t know you.

The positive attitude of American waiters is not surprising. When your income depends on how your services are evaluated you will  be more motivated.  The US tipping culture is an additional motivation to be extra friendly. How will American waiters respond if they will lose the tips? I guess they will stay friendly but will behave a bit less inspired.

The magazine writes further that Meyer wants to hike pries further maybe 30% or 35%. It looks like that the change in the tipping culture is just an excuse for a planned price hike. How will the customers respond when they have to pay more for a less motivated service?

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