Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tipping--in restaurants

The NY Times reports on the history of how that aristocratic European institution became an American custom: Why Tip?
It was once widely regarded as a repugnant transaction:
"Ultimately, even those who in principle opposed the practice found themselves unable to stiff their servers. Samuel Gompers, who was president of the American Federation of Labor and a leading figure of the anti-tipping movement, admitted that he “followed the usual custom of giving tips.” "
Ben Franklin worried about it: "“To overtip is to appear an ass: to undertip is to appear an even greater ass,” Benjamin Franklin reportedly noted during his stint in Paris, and his quandary continues to vex American diners."

But eventually the custom caught on in America even as it waned it Europe.

No comments: