Tipping should be mandatory throughout the workforce

Published 5:16 pm Friday, November 15, 2019


Community columnist

There have been several new restaurants open up in Danville that have increased our dining out opportunities. While I was pleased to see new businesses come to town, I realized that two of the three restaurants offer Mexican cuisine. 

Email newsletter signup

As much as I enjoy a good Mexican dinner, I believe that Danville has officially exceeded its limit on Mexican restaurants. I can think of five right off the top of my head within the city limits.  

I rarely go out to eat anyway because the food my wife creates at home is better than anything I could ever hope to get in any restaurant. However, recently, we decided not to cook and to go out to eat. As I sat in the restaurant, I watched the busy servers walk back and forth and I then began to think about tips and how hard these servers were working for their money. 

I admit that I could never understand why we were expected to tip servers in a restaurant. The restaurant owner is allowed to get by with paying the servers a measly wage of a little over $2 an hour, and somehow I am expected to finish paying his staff’s wages, all while paying full price for my meal. Would they like me to pay their electric bill while I’m at it?  

The restaurant owners argue that tips keep the staff motivated on providing excellent customer service as their pay is in direct relation to their ability to do their job well. I always thought that tipping was a way to get your server to get your drinks and food as quickly as possible. 

If we do this same action to the police then we go to jail. Why wouldn’t we be able to slip the officer a $10 bill if he writes the ticket quickly so I can get on my way? Seems like the same concept. 

I also wonder why the tip is based on a certain percentage of the check. Is the service better because my meal is overpriced? Doesn’t seem quite fair to servers who work in the cheaper priced restaurants. I expect good customer service regardless of my bill total.   

I thought about this and realized that tipping is a great idea and in fact, it would be great if many other jobs were paid with tips based on their job performance as well. What if we tipped the doctor based on the accuracy of their diagnosis and how long we had to wait to be seen? If we had to wait in a restaurant that long to be seen and receive our food as we do at the doctor, I assure you that we would not be leaving a tip. 

Why is the doctor any different? 

What if the salary of the cashier depended on tips based on how fast our items were scanned and how friendly they were? I have a feeling that the lines would become a lot shorter quickly. What if our cable bill was based on the customer service that we received when there was a problem? I would say that my cable bill would be decreasing drastically. 

I believe that tipping is a necessary part of the dining out experience and a server who makes our meal more enjoyable with pleasant conversation and quick service deserves to be compensated for it as does anyone in any job that they do well and with pride. Now if we could only do something about the DMV.


Jack Godbey is a resident of Danville and is a published author.