Originally Posted by Fish
Why is it that this attitude is reserved for wait staff? I've never really understood that. Do you go into a book store, and feel obligated to be extra nice to the lady behind the counter because she might be a debt-riddled college student? How about a gas station attendant? Do you ever feel obligated to give them a tip because they might be financially insecure? You could make a difference in that gas station attendant's life too. How about those grocery clerks that might be trying to feed their kids? Bank tellers? Construction workers?
Those jobs are all filled by single mothers and college students too. Why don't we make any effort to make a financial difference in their lives?
Restaurants could easily find a better way to ensure that their employees receive consistent income. But instead, we're given a sob story about how poorly waitstaff has it, and why we should tip better.
Aside from what has been mentioned above, the places you mention require smaller staffs to operate allowing them to pay minimum wage or better. A restaurant, in order to serve 300 people on a good day, requires a staff of about some where around 40 people. Waitstaff, usually the largest make up around 60% of that or so, with bartenders, cooks, bussboys, dishwashers and management. If you paid everyone minimum wage or more, factor in food costs, supplies, utilities, your profits would be minimal at best. Now they could bump everyone up, but then the restaurant will make it up by charging the patron. So you now instead of a 20$ bill at Applebees for lunch plus 4$ tip, you are paying 40$. That's the restaurant business. Don't like to tip? Go eat at places that don't employ waitstaff. Or you could just go to Applebees/Chili's /TGIF, pay 20$ +4$tip, have a decent meal, and also have the satisfaction of knowing that you may have helped someone.