Why No Tipping?
Why do you want to tip?
Optimism believes businesses should be responsible for their workers’ wages, not the whim of the customer. Employees deserve a living wage they can count on, so wages start at $20/hour, and we pay 100% of our employees’ health care, among other benefits like three weeks of vacation and one month of paid parental leave. But we have other reasons for being anti-tipping/gratuities/service charges:
- Tipping often means that the people who serve products end up making more than the ones who create them, and we think that disparity is wrong.
- Tipping has a classist, racist history. Tipping was an aristocratic custom that did not take hold in the United States until slavery was abolished. Employers didn’t like having to pay wages to newly-freed African-Americans, so tipping became their only source of income.
- Tipping is super sexist: 70% of all tipped workers are women, who are forced to live on tips and compelled to tolerate inappropriate behavior to make a living; 37% of all sexual harassment claims come from restaurants.
- Customers don’t like having to tip. Tipping feels awkward and compulsory. Doing math when the bill arrives is a pain. We don’t like having to tip, so why would we make our customers do it?
- Tips do not fix poor service. If someone has a bad experience at Optimism, that is the company’s fault, not the server's. A tip is a very inefficient way of communicating a problem to the people who can actually do something about it. Tell us, don’t punish someone’s salary.
- Tipping fosters competition between co-workers for the best shifts and sections, instead of cooperation and teamwork.
- Studies have shown, tips do not ensure good service. Do you tip your doctor or banker? People in other professions perform their jobs well without being tipped by customers. Why is this industry any different? We know people are not motivated by money to do their job well, they simply take pride in their work. Believing a tip ensures better service is dehumanizing: it makes the server a lower class person. It is icky.
If you really want to show your appreciation for our beer and service, bring your glass back up to the counter when you are done, tell your friends what a good time you had, leave us a review on yelp, follow @OptimismBrewing on Twitter or Facebook, or — and I know this sounds flippant — just tell us what you liked. It really does make us feel good in a way a tip never will.