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Letters: Tipping -- it's complicated

Empty tables in a restaurant

Empty tables in a restaurant Credit: iStock

The issue in "No tips: Not so fast" [Business, Oct. 16] seems to have hit some nerves.

If a server does a good job, he or she ought to be rewarded. Similarly, poor service should result in a lower tip. A server relying on tips is going to do the best job possible. A server who is paid by the hour is less likely to provide excellent service.

Increasing prices by 15 percent to 20 percent isn't a small amount, and it will be the death knell for many restaurants. So, who wins in the scenario in which prices are raised and tips eliminated? The likes of the man behind this plan: restaurateur Danny Meyer.

With the government looking to increase the wages of the unskilled to $15 per hour, Meyer thinks he has found a way to pass the cost along to someone else. In this case, the trained and professional servers will be forced to make up the pay raises for their less-skilled co-workers.

John Savin, Massapequa

I applaud any move toward abolishing tipping. Many countries have minimal or no-tip economies.

I'm in favor of workers earning a decent living and am more than willing to pay for their services. The problem is, when you go to a wedding, you tip the car valet, the person who takes your coat, the bartender and the person who hands you a towel in the bathroom. So many times I've had to ask my wife who gets tipped and how much.

I just want to pay the bill for whatever I receive and that's it. Raise the price and pay decent wages.

Kenneth Lang, Glen Head

The insult to injury of the proposal to increase restaurant menu prices in lieu of tipping is the increased sales tax. Perhaps a diner in Manhattan pays $75 plus tax and tip for dinner. With a 20 percent gratuity of $15 -- as opposed to a $90 dinner and no tip -- the difference is the sales tax on the tip or $1.33 in New York City (8.875 percent of $15) or $1.29 in Nassau and Suffolk counties (8.625 percent of $15).

Do the math. It's millions of dollars a year in extra sales tax revenue.

I can appreciate a restaurant owner's desire to more equitably share pay among the entire staff. There must be a better way. Perhaps a change in the law regarding tip sharing is required.

Robert Bialer, Glen Cove


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