I was reading an article the other day, about how, many fine dining establishments, are doing away with the long-honored tradition of tipping your waitress or waiter. Owners and management say, in an effort to address long-standing inequalities, including wage disparities between kitchen staff and servers, they are now paying wages that reflect an employee’s skills and seniority, while eliminating tipping. One upscale restaurant in Portland, Oregon, called “Le Pigeon,” which specializes in French food has completely done away with any type of tipping. The providing of gratuities has been replaced with a 20% surcharge added to your bill.
Do you really think that the service provided under this arrangement will meet your expectations? What if your server shows up at your table with a half-eaten tray of food, is loudly belching from furiously consuming a large portion of your pate de foie gras, her breath smells like frog legs, she has a huge smelly cigar sticking out of the corner of her mouth, you’ve been waiting twenty minutes for a coffee refill, and she sneezes on your food, after wiping her runny nose with her sleeve? I guess that big surcharge is going to go down about as easy as the food dumped on your table.
Oh, I almost forgot. If you happen to be in Portland, love French food, and visit the famed “Le Pigeon” restaurant, I have one caveat. If you raise or race pigeons, are an avid birdwatcher, or enjoy frequent trips to your local park to feed bread crumbs to our fine avian friends – don’t eat what looks like a very tiny, and scrawny chicken.