No More Tips?

I would love to see this shift in tipping policies here in the states:

Let’s face it: It won’t be long before Portland votes in a $15 an hour minimum wage. They have it in Seattle. They have it in Los Angeles. Progressive Portlanders are already upset that those two places beat us to the punch…


The National Restaurant Association can do all of the lobbying they want, but they will not win that battle here in this local market. They may be able to slow or stop this inevitable shift in other places, but not in ‘weird’ Portland.

I remember when McDonalds tried to open a place on SE Hawthorne and 35th. Ha. Aren’t we much happier to have what we have now instead? Condo/apartments above, with retail spaces below? And now that has spread to Division and to Belmont. I love the way Portland is controlling the Urban growth boundary by building up in the city instead of turning it in to sprawl…


The federal government will never do anything about the minimum wage, so other municipalities are. And Kurt Huffman is doing it in anticipation of what will surely come…And the only way to do it, is NO TIPS.

How else can restaurants be expected to survive? By not accepting tips, they are telling their customers that they don’t have to pay 15-20+% more on top of the already expensive food and drink.


This system has worked just fine in Europe and in other places. You pay a livable wage to ALL employees, provide health care (yes, I know, the governments are doing that), and the result is professionalism. No more working for tips. No more rushing customers out to get another seating (Yes, again, I know, the U.S. will never stop this practice).

I have a friend who got back from Italy not too long ago. He was telling me stories of how patrons of restaurants treat servers respectfully. As if their job is a profession.

Here in the states, customers tend to not treat servers with respect. Americans don’t consider being a server a profession, and therefore don’t give them the respect they deserve. I would like to see some of these ‘rude’ customers try waiting tables just once. That would surely change their tune.


I have always thought that instead of having a draft, that it would be nice if everyone was required to give one year of service. It can be in the military, it can be in the Peace Corps, or it could just be a service job. If everyone had to put in time providing service to others, the world would be a friendlier place.

I was a waiter for years, and I am still in favor of this shift. I understand there will be some bumps during a transition in this direction. Servers who are used to walking out the door with a couple of hundred bucks in their pocket will not be too thrilled. Those who worked for years to get their hourly wage up to $15 an hour will not be too happy when everyone around them is now making that same wage, but…

Get use to it

So, don’t be too shocked if you start to see this trend in more places. Over the past few months, more and more friends of mine have been sending me articles like this from various newspapers about restaurants all around the country. Restaurants in New York, D.C., L.A. Eventually this will spread out of the city and in to other places in this great land of ours.








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