To Tip or Not To Tip?
The New York Times Magazine offered up a food-centric issue this past weekend and it’s chock full of good food nerd stuff, from food politics to a catfish controversy. But it was this profile of a small restaurant in San Diego that has officially done away with tipping that really caught our eye. A tidbit:
Eighty percent of Americans say they prefer tipping to paying a service fee, according to a Zagat Survey. They do so, Leo Crespiâ€™s surveys first demonstrated, primarily because they believe tipping provides an incentive for good service. But there is little correlation, in factâ€” less than 2 percent, according to Michael Lynn, a Cornell professor of consumer behavior and marketing.
Economists have struggled to explain tipping. Why tip at all, since the bill is presented at the end of a meal and canâ€™t retroactively improve service? And certainly thereâ€™s no reason to tip at a restaurant you will never revisit. â€œUsing a rational and selfish agent to explain tipping, one reaches the conclusion that the agent should never tip if he does not intend to visit the establishment again,â€ Ofer Azar, the economist, writes. â€œYet this prediction is sharply violated in practice: most people tip even when they do not intend to ever come back.â€
How do you feel about tipping? Would you rather just pay a service charge? Do you think you get better service? Do you tip to make yourself feel better?