President Obama wants to push the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. However, according to a recent NBC News article on the subject, “There’s a surprise side order of sourpuss getting served up in the national argument over raising the minimum wage: Some say they’ll stop tipping when they go out to eat.”
I don’t make much money to begin with, so tipping someone to serve me my food has become harder and harder lately. That being said, having worked in the food industry during college, I realize just how difficult the work can be. Still, that was during college, and the work at that time was a stepping stone to bigger and better things…not my career.
After graduating, I took a position in restaurant management and eventually moved into hotel management before becoming self-employed. So while I respect what people in the food industry do and how hard they work, if the minimum wage goes up to $10.10 an hour, my tips aren’t likely to remain the same as they have in the past.
The standard 20 percent tip
Unless the service is truly terrible, 20 percent tip has been my standard since I know how tough work within the industry can be. Even then, I’ve always thought 20 percent a bit high in most situations. When I see the server texting while we wait for our food or chatting with other servers while we wait for refills on our drinks, it makes it difficult to convince myself that this type of service deserves a sizeable gratuity. It’s during times like these that I have to remind myself of the work I did in the food service and hospitality industry, some of the abuse I took from guests, and just how physically and mentally taxing the work could be at times.
Still, if the minimum wage goes up, I will be reevaluating my tip rate.
My pay won’t be going up by 40 percent
As a self-employed person, I really don’t have anyone other than myself looking out for my level of income. There is no minimum wage for me. The president isn’t fighting for my income to grow. And my pay as a self-employed person won’t be going up by nearly 40 percent as the minimum wage might.
According to a Forbes.com article, “According to research by Economic Modeling Specialists International, the number of people who primarily work on their own has swelled by 1.3 million since 2001 to 10.6 million, a 14% increase.”
With this many people not being helped – and even potentially being hurt by increased product prices (since the money for a minimum wage increase must come from somewhere) – by a minimum wage increase, there could be unintended consequences of such a plan going through.
My new tipping plan if the minimum wage goes up
If the minimum wage goes up, I’m expecting food prices at restaurants to go up with it. We already eat out less than many people because we find it somewhat silly to pay 100s of percent markup on food products, many of which we can make ourselves at home. However, occasionally we find it nice to relax and let someone serve us.
However, if food service personnel are making $10.10 an hour – about a 40 percent increase over current minimum wage standards – I think it fair to reduce my tips by at least 40 percent. This would mean that rather than tipping 20 percent, I’d be tipping closer to the 12 percent range, which is still a nice tip, just not as much as I have been tipping.
While food service employees might not like it; I don’t like my restaurant bills going up either, which is likely to happen should the minimum wage increase occur and occur in the amounts currently desired.
More From This Contributor:
Building a Revenue Producing Blog
I Won’t Be Waiting to Take Social Security
Preparing to Publish My First E-book
The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.