This is a simple thought, but it has profound implications. This simple theory was originally developed while I was living in Germany. They approach tipping in a different manner than in the US. The waiters in a restaurant or bar get paid a higher wage and therefore do not expect tips. Also, when someone would tip it would generally be much lower than in the US. As far as the wait staff is concerned they are getting paid pretty much the same, but for the costumer this system has deep implications. By limiting or removing the feedback process of tipping you eliminate a natural forcing towards better service. Much like natural evolution this causes a system which does not support the ‘most fit’ and thereby you get your beer much slower. I am going to refer to this as the theory of Barwanism.
This theory also applies to our home front as well. There is a trend which threatens to destroy the very foundations of our fast service. This is the guaranteed 15% tipping. By doing this everything works out the same as if the waiters or waitresses are getting no tip at all – if it is expected it does not promote better service. So what can we do as normal bar goers to see that we lead a happy, well served life? There are a few things.
One, don’t be afraid to vary your tipping based on the level of service. Going from 5-20% can be a good thing. Don’t use this as an excuse to be cheap, these people work hard and typically deserve their tips. We just need to use our funds appropriately. Secondly, giving positive feedback during the meal or drinks can help reinforce good behavior. Though, remember to be civil in your actions. I would not recommend giving much negative feedback to a poor server; we don’t need a bunch of self-righteous assholes running around. That is a terrible buzz kill. Third, for those of us guys who appreciate attractive waitresses, tip the more attractive ones higher. We are already gawking at them, now we need to understand that applying the same natural selection to hot waitresses is beneficial to us, especially in the long run. As long as hot women know that they can make good tips they will become waitresses. But keep in mind that a healthy balance must be achieved. Poor service still must be accounted for; otherwise the entire system will collapse. And four, please don’t over tip. This is creepy. She is not going to hook up with you because you tip well. Also, by over tipping the hot waitresses you could be inadvertently creating terrible waitresses. Ideally we want attractive fast servers.
So there you have it, vary your tips based on the ideals which you hold. It is the fundamental law of Barwanism (actually, it is just capitalism, but barwanism is more fun) and by understanding this we can make a real impact. Now go forth and change the world, one percentage at a time.