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My argument here is and will always be the
unequal pay that exists between the FOH and BOH.
Servers and cooks are a necessary combination for any restaurant anywhere.
Why should a cook who may or may not have spent countless years in culinary school, plus many years experience get paid less than server who came in off the street and was trained by following another server for 2-3 weeks before being left on their own?

Yes we can bring up that unfair pay issue over and over again.
I have always been against tipping. I have a difficult time understanding the logic behind all of it.
Why am I being forced as the customer to offset a server's pay because the restaurant is too unwilling to pay a descent wage?
This is my beef. It makes no sense.

To continue to do something simply because that's the way it's always been.... Silly?
Quoted for truth! Tipping is an asinine practice that needs to go away. I have seen virtually no correlation between tipping and service, none. In virtually every other field you're expected to do your job competently for an agreed upon wage or salary. Will an airline pilot crash the plane because he's not getting a tip? Would you expect to have to slip your surgeon a few bucks before he does a knee replacement? It sounds ludicrous when applied to most jobs but for some reason it's expected for servers. What does a server do to deserve the money compared to the cooks? In many restaurants a captain or expo actually delivers the food and the busser may actually provide more service to the table than the server does. And as Chefross points out, why do we single out that one single link in the chain for a tip? Why not the cook that spent $85,000 on culinary school? Why not the busser or captain that is working her way through medical school? Why not the hostess that greets you and takes you to your table? It's all completely arbitrary.

I really don't buy that the possibility of a tip causes a server to provide better service. Having worked in the industry for 25+ years (probably more like 30) with some of that working as a server I am of the mind that most people have decided what they'll tip before they get in the front door. To be sure, shitty service will knock it down a bit but not too much. Great service will perhaps help but a nice ass or pretty smile helps more.

The biggest issue I have is that customers are expected to provide the staff with a living wage. Why should the burden fall upon the diner instead of the business owner? Why the dishwasher "deserve" minimum wage but the server doesn't? And in reality what does it matter if the menu cost is 20% higher if you no longer have to tip 20%? It's the same cost to the patron. Of course, some like to lord over the server and the tip gives them some power. That's another shitty thing- why must being a server so resemble being a prostitute? Good service will be rewarded in the same manner that a good cook is rewarded, with regular reviews and career advancement. Bad servers should be fired, not given poor tips.

And fuck 'em if they don't like being taxed on it. They should be paying taxes on their tips anyway. That's the law everywhere in the US at least, that I'm aware of. There is some cheating but the IRS knows pretty damn well how much tips a server makes. If they aren't paying it they should be in jail.
 

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Servers do work very hard. I did a brief stint as a server in my early 20's that cemented my understanding that I am made to be BOH.  I think both deserve fair wages.  You need good waitstaff- they're the face of your restaurant.  You need good cooks too since good service means little without good food.  A lot of the BOH vs FOH warfare would go away if tipping went away.  It's a big cause of resentment, especially among the younger line cooks, to come in and work 12 hours in a hot, dangerous kitchen to take home less money than a server earns in three hours.  The weaker/newer servers will also resent being saddled with the lower earning lunch shifts, too.  A certain amount of sidework (eg rolling silverware, cleaning) is expected to be done at the lower server wage, often as low as $2.13/hour.
 
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