A groundswell is brewing in the American food service industry that many hospitality industry analysts have long predicted: the end of tipping. With an increasing number of restaurants moving away from the practice in favor of a basic service charge, and a growing resentment against tipping among consumers, the moment to rid ourselves of the need to calculate 18%-20% is fast approaching. The basic service charge (basically incorporating higher wages into the purchase price) could be the trend of 2014.
Everyone, progressives most distinctly, should be overjoyed. The dirty reality is that tipping is ... dirty.
Indeed, to many in the field, the emerging trend is fantastic news. "Tipping is a repugnant custom," vented Slate columnist Brian Palmer last year. "It's bad for consumers and terrible for workers. Tipping does not incentivize hard work. Tipping isn't even good for restaurants, because the legal morass surrounding gratuities results in scores of expensive lawsuits."