Who owns the tips?


Dear Hillary,

There seems to be so much wrong with tipping that I don’t want to tip any more. I heard the other day where the boss kept the tips that the waitress earned and she didn’t get anything. Surely that’s wrong. How can the diner get over the cheating bosses?



Dear Eric,

Here’s how it goes – tips are actually earned by everyone in the restaurant. If the food is no good, there will be no tip. If the service is poor, there will be no tip. If the restaurant is dirty, there will be no tip. So if the diner wants to leave a tip, it should be shared by all the staff. However, if the diner thinks that the waitress has done a particularly good job and wants to reward her, then he should quietly give the tip directly to her, separate from anything left after paying the bill. Hope that makes it easy. In the case you mentioned, the staff should walk out.