Institute’s director criticizes attempt to ax tipped wage system

To the Editor:

Survey data shows that restaurant servers and customers love the tipping system. Why do most of the Democratic Presidential candidates want to scrap it?

The current approach works well: Servers are legally guaranteed to earn at least the minimum wage with tips included; Census Bureau data shows they report earning twice that or more, thanks to generous tips that follow great service.

Tipped workers have fought against changes to this system, and with good reason. In states that have abandoned the tipped wage system, servers often find themselves replaced with automated alternatives, such as tabletop ordering devices. A new report from economists at Miami and Trinity Universities finds that restaurants staff fewer tipped workers in these high-cost environments.

Here’s a tip for the politicians supporting a change to this system: The employees don’t want it.

Michael Saltsman

managing director

Employment Policies Institute

Washington, D.C.

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