Leaving a 20 percent tip before tax is considered the gold standard at sit-down restaurants. But with restaurants just trying to survive the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic, tipping has once again emerged as a hot topic of debate. Are diners tipping more or less during the health crisis? Should restaurants begin eliminating the voluntary tipping model in favor of a 20-percent gratuity on checks?
Tipped employees, such as servers and bartenders, make a minimum of $2.13 an hour. Some Atlanta restaurants, like 8ARM, have begun to add a 20-percent service charge to checks. Diners are still encouraged to leave an additional tip on top of the service charge. A tip line is typically listed below the service charge on checks.
“We believe the tipping structure the restaurant industry is built on was founded on racism, and leaves service workers in a position to face discrimination, harassment, and a devaluation of their skilled labor,” 8ARM management said in July. “The only way we can provide a competitive wage for our employees, if we did not add a service charge, would be to raise the prices of our menu items.”
The move comes as service industry workers begin pushing employers, hospitality unions, and local and state officials for fair and equitable wages and a higher minimum wage, contenting that tipping continues to perpetuate the growing pay gap between front- and back-of-house employees.
Eater Atlanta wants to hear from readers regarding how much they are tipping, and if the pandemic and the economic downturn have changed their views on tipping. Take the brief survey below to help us gauge the state of tipping in Atlanta right now.