It’s well-known that New York’s tipping culture is off the charts, and we can chock that up to a the Draconian wage requirements keeping service professionals struggling to make rent each month. Well, according to Capital, things got the eensiest bit better today when the state’s Labor Commission approved Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers from $5 to $7.50. “Whoopee,” you might be saying as a frequent diner, “now I can ease up on gratuity.” Er, please don’t do that.
While your waiters might be happy, the New York Restaurant Association issued a statement slamming the increase, calling it an “unprecedented” new challenge for small-business owners. Uh, what the what? Forgive us for getting anti-establishment here, but the restaurant industry in this state isn’t just small potatoes. Plenty of bigger corporate establishments take advantage of these wage minimums, too. Because why pay more when you don’t have to? And occasionally the more independent, under-the-table restaurants get away with much worse: y’all definitely know someone who’s making peanuts off the books in exchange high-tipping clientele, and suffering the consequences of that lifestyle on a slower business day.
So until we adopt the European model where everyone can actually make a living off server wages, do the folks putting out your plates a favor and stick to your 20%.