Mosquito Cafe employee Kristine Moore brings their meals to Jackie Henning and fellow diners at the restaurant in Galveston on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. Moore, like most servers, makes most of her wages from tips.

A push to abolish the custom of tipping would hurt the very people it's trying to help.

Improving wages is a worthy aim, but doing away with tipping wouldn’t achieve that and likely would hurt restaurants and eliminate jobs. And most restaurant chains that have experimented with dropping the system have retreated at the behest of people who make a living on tips.

 Laura Elder: 409-683-5248; laura.elder@galvnews.com

Recommended for you

(32) comments

Emile Pope

Which candidates? And what exactly is their proposal?

Carlos Ponce

Put banning tipping in the same category as "open borders", Emile. No Democrat candidate will admit to either but their policy positions would lead to those results. You ask, "Which candidates?" It would be easier to list those who don't fit in that category - Bloomberg and Yang. You also ask, "And what exactly is their proposal?" Hint: the column is about raising the minimum wage. For a list of Democrat Presidential candidates and their policy positions see:


lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

Hi Emile, here's what we reported in a Nov. 24 article: Some Democratic Party candidates, including U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, have signed onto the Raise the Wage Act.

The bill would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, and eventually ban paying wages through a tipping system.

South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden both also support the bill. Biden’s campaign website notes the Obama Administration also supported ending the tipped minimum wage.

Ray Taft

Take note America. Emile is a typical Democrat. She wants proof when her precious Democrats are accused of dastardly deeds, but always believes President Trump is guilty of every accusation thrown at him even if there is absolutely no proof.

And the news media is always happy to accommodate their Democrat cronies with a timely response to explain their facts concerning Democrats, but not so much for Republicans and President Trump.

President Trump has our back, despite any obstacles Democrats throw at him. Thank God for that. And vote Trump2020 to Keep America Great!

Emile Pope

She? She? Your comment starts off being incorrect. No, I will not be providing proof...

Bailey Jones

She? She? - I feel your pain.

Ray Taft

Whoops! Am I bad. I always took Emile for a lady! Sorry about that Mr. Pope.

Emile Pope

First, many jobs today pay less than 15 dollars an hour with no tips. Are you saying that they are worse than jobs that have tipping? Second, I am always wary when people say that increasing the wages of workers somehow hurts them. Especially when those people who say it are almost always very wealthy. Finally, the Act does not ban tipping. It just doesn't allow employers to pay employees far less by using estimated tips as actual wages. People would still be allowed to tip but the people receiving them would be receiving a living wage regardless of whether they receive them or not.

Michael Byrd

Just another idiotic proposal by the out of touch libs. Good thing they have 5 more years to think things over.

Charles Douglas

[thumbup][thumbup] That 5 more years quote was a damaging, wicket shot to the thorax!!!!

Bailey Jones

This issue is too often presented as a false dichotomy - either keep tipping and a low wage, or eliminate tipping and raise the wage. Just keep tipping, and raise the minimum wage. If, as according to the article, servers at upscale restaurants make $35-$45 an hour - raising the minimum wage will have zero effect on them. But if the average tip is $4.77 to $7.06, depending on skin color (so much for the post racial society), which means the actual wages are $7.25 - $9.19 ($7.25 or $2.13 + tips whichever is greater), raising the wage will benefit workers.

Which raises the question - if average wages are $7.25 - $9.19, who exactly is complaining about a higher minimum wage?

Carlos Ponce

The Federal Government has no business telling private non-government entities what to pay their workers. A too low wage would result in no applicants. Let market forces prevail.

Miceal O'Laochdha

I sometimes grow weary of the default parsing of every undesirable event in our society by racism and sexism. Since tipping is based on quality of services, tempered by the inherent generosity or cheapness of the tipper, how can one simply count the numbers of female or black servers who are tipped less? Without factoring in the quality of the specific servers' work and the tipping standards of their specific customers, I think that drawing a legitimate conclusion is inherently flawed. And, if that is too difficult to accomplish, perhaps the whole exercise is meaningless.

I would suggest that the staff at Clary's restaurant, for one local example, never suffered from low tipping for their outstanding service based on racism or sexism.

Don Schlessinger


Emile Pope

Actually the default position is to deny racism or sexism is even involved unless the accused person signs a complete confession which they then notarize and read on video in front of a judge...Unless it's on a Wednesday.

Randy Chapman

What is wrong with a simple minimum wage for waitstaff, and tipping allowed as well? When I am charged three bucks for a soft drink, I think it's well within doable for restaurants.

Emile Pope


Wayne D Holt

Stop for one moment and ask yourself: Do you think those who fought and died to sever ties with Great Britain so that we could stand as an independent and free people would have considered for a nanosecond whether a sovereign American had the right to offer--or withhold--a gratuity? Because if the government can outlaw tipping, it just as easily can mandate tipping.

With a federal government that is inefficient on its best days and completely useless and/or corrupt on its worst when it comes to what the Constitution mandated as its responsibilities, how can someone even as out to lunch as the extreme Left wing of the Democrat party seriously suggest this?

Michael Byrd


Don Schlessinger


Emile Pope

Except that you are incorrect. The Democrats never proposed banning tipping. They just don’t want employers to allow tipping to be used to pay their employees less. Simple as that...

Carlos Ponce

You apparently skipped my first post in this forum:

Put banning tipping in the same category as "open borders", Emile. No Democrat candidate will admit to either but their policy positions would lead to those results.

Gary Scoggin

Carlos said it so it must be true. Even when it’s not.

Carlos Ponce

Gary, that's the thing about Democrats, they rarely talk about the consequences of their progressive ideas. All one has to do is look at cities that have raised the minimum wage to see what happens.

Richard Illyes

Raising the minimum wage to $15 will block inexperienced people from working at all since the supervision they need combined with the cost of their wages makes it impossible for employers to make a profit. It will also force more automation, further reducing opportunities for inexperienced people.

Maybe that is part of the appeal to the Progressives. If they create more financially desperate people they will be able to use that as an excuse to take more and more control of everything.

Charles Douglas

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] You KNOCKED IT out of the stadium!!! I say it go over the LEFT field bleachers!!!!!

Emile Pope

And your conclusion is based upon what?

David Schuler

Wage increases, inconsistent quality and technology drove the adoption of factory automation. Menial jobs disappeared. Wage increases, inconsistent quality and technology will likewise automate fast food service. With the same results. Restaurants like Gaido's will always have well-paid servers. The rest will continue to automate services and jettison staff. It's inevitable, and studies show that millennial customers prefer it that way. In a few years we won't have to worry about this problem.

Bailey Jones

The research that I've seen, and I haven't looked at it in a while, is that when Seattle raised its minimum wage, total hours worked were reduced. (If an employer has a certain monthly payroll built into their pricing, and the cost of labor goes down, they will simply hire more at the lower rate. If the cost of labor goes up, they will hire less at the higher rate.) What this tells me is that in Seattle, labor was undervalued - employers were paying for more hours than they needed because the rate was low. The new minimum wage was closer to the actual value of labor and employers adjusted the number of hours downward to what the jobs actually required.

There's a myth that "the market" will set labor rates at an equitable value based on supply and demand. That works for skilled labor - doctors, engineers, lawyers, etc., but not for low skilled workers. "The market" does not respond to the needs of low income people, it responds to the needs of high income people. The proof of this is Galveston's housing market - there's plenty of demand for affordable housing, but little of it, because you can make more money catering to the needs of people with higher incomes.

The minimum wage is there to protect low skilled workers. But if it's set too low - as I believe it is - it simply allows employers to pay less than what labor is worth. I would like to see an minimum wage that varies by city or county based on the local cost of living.

Carlos Ponce

Bailey posts, " 'The market' does not respond to the needs of low income people", and you know why? Because there has been an artificially created minimum wage installed, taking them OUT of the market. Also the influx of illegal immigrants who are willing to work at $7.25 an hour or even lower. What some see as substandard wages they see as a gold mine.

But there is light in free market inclusion. Note that with the decrease in available workers due to a robust low unemployment economy wages are going up across the board even on the low end.

Bill Cochrane

Ugh Oh! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-1r5mehh3E

Bailey Jones

Automation is inevitable. It's already here - much of what restaurants serve comes ready made - mixed, sliced, seasoned, whatever - created in giant food factories and ready to be dumped into a vat of hot oil. I think that as soon as the novelty wears off we'll see a socioeconomic split in the service industries. The poor will eat at cheap fast food places operated with robots, the rich will pay a premium to get food prepared and served by humans. And I think we'll see that everywhere - robot created low cost products vs hand made custom products. Ironically, the rise of the robots may also bring about the return of the craftsman - people will pay extra for that "human touch".

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.