Originally Posted by bethes
(snip) Better restaurants usually offer better service, and so what is average at TGI Friday's isn't even passable at a higher quality establishment. The scale for level of service has moved, as has the price of the meal, and using a percentage calculation reflects that. Besides that, in any other job when you move to a better company that produces higher-quality widgets, you get paid more for your work. So your wage is tied to your company's operating costs, at least loosely. So a more pricey restaurant means you should tip more. If they wanted to make burger-flipping wages they'd be flipping burgers; they took a job at a better establishment to make more money. (snip)
Your waiter's tip may also be required to be shared with bussers and hosts. (snip)
Okay, lets be realistic here. It's not really my job to pay the restaurant's employees, at a "higher quality establishment" or anywhere else. That's why this country has minimum wage and similar employment-related laws. With that in mind, how "high quality" can that establishment truly be if it's weaseling around those laws (claiming wait staff is independant contractors or whatever) in an effort to avoid paying it's own employees.
At the same time, I don't really care who that wait staff may or may not be required by the employer to share tips with. If a restaurant decides to not pay it's employees, and/or uses the employee's money to pay other staff it's also not paying, that's between the employees and the employer, not between the employees and me. Those employees need to demand a bit more (fair wages, etc) from their employers, not from me.
Finally, I don't at all appreciate demands for money to receive reasonable, courteous, service, nor threats of potentially less if I don't ante up enough. I don't put up with that crap anywhere else (any other business), nor will I do so from any restaurant and/or it's employees.
If any of that makes me a "jerk," as you say, so be it. My tip (an archaic practice I'd like to see disappear) is based on a reasonable estimate of the time spent in relation to a reasonable wage. As far as I''m concerned, that's fair enough - and certainly far more than many employers in this industry are doing.