Hospitality Included: Tipping in the Sharing Economy

The hospitality and service industries are changing. Technology is becoming a bigger factor in the guest experience, tastes and food choices are expanding beyond our hemisphere, and the level and availability of customer service as a commodity has become a reality.

All of these changes are forcing us to reassess how our employees are valued and how they are paid. Danny Meyer has led the charge away from tipping, citing the truth that his back of the house employees are just as valuable as his front of the house employees. He’s also done this to stay competitive as the New York state minimum wage is set to increase.

In my first post on whether tipping should be included in the cost of service, I asked if you have been to a restaurant where tipping is not a necessity and what your experience was like?

I’ve had a mixed response. The guests seem to like it in theory because presumably the pressure would be off, but they’ve also reported feeling guilty when they leave. My friends and colleagues in the industry are worried about their income. Most of them have gotten used to planning their budget around the tips they expect to make. They’ve also gotten used to cash tips, i.e. not being taxed on those.

Now, with the sharing economy, a new discussion on tipping has been opened up. Who should you tip? When is it appropriate? What is appropriate?

For those of you who are as confused as I am, read Sulagna Misra‘s guide to Tipping for the Sharing Economy.

Tipping Sharing Economy

I would love to hear what your opinion on the tipping debate is. Please get your friends or coworkers involved and leave your comments below or share this article with your favorite online groups.

Follow me at Serviceable for service industry tips and news.

Feel free to contact me with any and all questions or advice.

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