Tipping culture


John Gruber explains how to tip, something I had to figure out when I was working in San Francisco for a couple of months. But then he ended with this Dickensian paragraph:

This whole thing is U.S.-centric, of course, but let me add that while I understand how strange U.S. tipping culture must seem to someone from another country, it’s not complicated [..]

Not complicated for the tipper, or for the staff who have to divvy up the scraps every night rather than just being paid a living wage?

[..] and in my experience, typical service in U.S. restaurants is far better than in other countries.

In my experience, no.

Fundamentally I think the basic idea works, insofar as it incentivizes superior service.

No, it fundamentally entrenches poor working conditions.

Japan easily has the world’s best service, and tipping there is a insult. Why? Because it signals to the restaurant owner that they don’t pay their workers enough. Funny that.

I tip when I’m in the US, because people depend on it. But don’t try to coat [the system] with a layer of frosting and tell me it’s a fucking cupcake.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite bespoke cloud infrastructure provider.

If you found this post helpful or entertaining, you can shout me a coffee or send a comment. Thanks ☺️.