Up | March 02, 2013
>>> is tipping. an insult to american democracy?
>> well, andrew was saying tips are a way to ensure better service.
>> line incentives across the board?
>> that's right. but i think we'd agree, in that system, in asking for better service, no one, the customer or worker, no one thought of the tip as the wage. they thought it as maybe a way to create an sincentive for better service on top of the wage. i don't think most americans think that they're actually paying the worker's wage. the vast majority of the wage is being paid by the tips.
>> in other cultures, the tips are like that? right?
>> yeah. exactly in that in seven states in the united states , including california, oregon, washington, montana, nevada, these are states that are doing really well. california has the largest restaurant industry in the country. and there's no difference between the minimum wage for tipped workers and not tipped workers. the tip is on top of that base wage.
>> to ensure proper service if that were the case, wouldn't you tip before?
>> that's great.
>> here's my question, though, when we talk about service, i mean, what i think is so fascinating with this quote to be servile. as we move towards the service economy , right. when we think of the hardship of labor in the 19th century . we think about blast furnaces. the physical toil. there are many people still in coal mines . and there are physical dangers in a kitchen as well. as everyone who has worked in a kitchen knows. everybody has their horror stories . i'm curious, victoria, if there's antakes? you know what i mean ? that is the service analog to what the physical toll of these kind of 19th century jobs?
>> well, absolutely. let's say for instance you have four tables. two people over here. four here. let's make a six-top over here for fun. they're all here to have a good time. nobody goes into a restaurant looking for a bad time. it's not like you're going to the hospital, i'm sick, i've got to deal with this. to, you go for a good time.
>> open restaurants, right?
>> you go in there, that is your job. that responsibility is there. you're the go-between between the kitchen and your customers or your guests, as we call them. so, okay, this guest has an allergy over here. you need to address that. this guest, it's their anniversary, so they want special attention, too. and these people have to make a show at 8:00. here you are. keeping all the balls up in the air, something goes wrong in the kitchen. that falls on you. they ran out of something or that allergy can't be met, we have to go out there and address that as well. so you've got a lot of balls in the air. you can to placate to everyone for a tip you may or may not get. you don't know if that's going to come out at the end of the night for it to take care of you when it's time to pay the bills or whatever you want to do.
>> did you like the human interaction?
>> i loved it. i love it. current tense.
>> can i say, in our organization, we've surveyed thousands of workers, and for the most part, people take great fried in hospitalitiy.
>> absolute. we're trying to live up the stories in the book.
>> we're here to provide a good time to provide an experience. coupled with the good food that you came in to enjoy.
>> that's right. it's a career. i think it's something we can agree with the industry association on, that we want this to be a career that people take great pride in. it's professional.
>> it's professional.
>> that's right. and provide a ways for people to live on. it's not a job -- sometimes, we hear from the industry, this is a kids' job, people move on to something better. no, people make they're careers. livelihoods out of this.
>> we raise our children, go to college. take vacations. we're regular people just like lawyers, just that we got to hustle a little bit more.
>> that's a great line. i want to talk about kitchens, too. the issue of immigration. my experience, if you deported every undocumented immigrant in new york city there wouldn't be any restaurants --
>> they'd clean out a restaurant.
>> i want to talk about that. we have a great