The NZ tipping debate, should we or shouldn't we?

Breakfast 23/05/2017

Deputy PM Paula Bennett is asking Kiwis to tip hospitality staff more often, in an effort to increase the quality of service in New Zealand.

And it's cauing an uproar.

George Breakfast discussed the pros and cons…

Like the fact that nobody carries cash anymore, and if you tip on them pesky eftpos tip prompting machines, the money will probably just go straight to the business that already charged you $120 for three bevvys, a large pizza and a chocolate pudding, and not the worker who was a real GC to you that night, and remembered your drink of choice, and had good chat, and recommended you the best gooey chocolate pudding you’ve ever eaten in your entire life.

But while that bar or restaurant owner just keeps getting richer and richer…  That worker with the great chat is probably getting paid a big fuck all, working god awful hours and having to tolerate the NZ binge drinking culture in action. In fact, you watched one drunk asswipe of a customer stand behind her and gyrate while she cleared your neighbour’s plates. The least you could do is throw her a cheeky 10er. 

In recent years, there’s been a mass exodus of Kiwi hospo workers moving to Melbourne, because the industry is reportedly treated as a genuine profession not a: “So… are you studying? Have you taken up a second job to save for something? Why would you choose to do this?”   

And depite popular belief, American hospitality workers can live up large, despite the fact that their living wage is minimum, the tipping rules CAN allow them to live like kings.

Although, that sentiment leans towards International research that found tipping can reward white, young, and attractive front-of-house staff at the expense of others.

But hey now, Kara’s not white, she use to work in a casino in Australia, and she slayed on the tipping front.

“Being on the receiving end of tips was amazing. You could make $5-600 tips a night, tax free, just put it in your bag and take it home.”

One George listener text in saying: “Service here is shit, that’s why there is no tipping”

But Clint points out it’s a bit of a catch-22: “I guess people do try harder if they think
they’re going to get tips.”

Jill Ovens from the E Tu union, which represents many food service workers, argued against tipping, sayign they allow restaurants to underpay staff.

"It just passes on the low wages to the consumer....staff should be paid decent wages out of the profits of the business."

Kara pointed out: "If you’re bad at maths, you’re screwed.”

“(In America) You’ve got to work out what your meal cost, and they don’t include GST and sales and purchase tax, and then you’ve got to work out how much you want to pay them. Are you going to be a cheap scape and give them the minimum 15% or are you gonna be a good guy and give them 20% or more?  It’s a head fuck.”

 To be clear, Paula isn’t suggesting tipping should be mandatory like the States. Just don’t be a stinge when you get good service.

"I don't want us to turn into that mandatory tipping for people just to survive, but I do think if we reward good service it's going to make everyone smile a bit more."

What do you reckon? To tip or not to tip?