Now I like to get over to the US of A at least once a year. Mostly to the southern or mid-west states. One thing I have always disliked about American culture is their insistence on tipping. In the UK and Europe, we only tend to tip Taxi-drivers, hairdressers and in the finer dining establishments – but not if the service has been bad. However, the introduction of minimum wage in the UK in recent years, has meant that serving staff are now paid a reasonable wage net of tips and this can very often result in front of house receiving a very good return once the tips are shared out.
However, in the US, everyone EXPECTS a tip – usually between 15-20%. Europeans often do not embrace this culture and are often shunned by waiting staff in the US, believing (often rightly) that the tips will not be generous.
However, it seems that someone in the US has actually woken up and smelt the coffee and realised that tipping is not liked by all. Noodles & Co’s Chairman Kevin Reddy, has introduced a no-tip policy across all of his restaurants. OK – so it is a “chain” and not posh nosh, but it is a start. And next time I visit the US, this one will be on my list. Oddly enough, we have often search out noodle and Chinese food when travelling, mainly due to a desire to eat fresh vegetables. Something quite often missing in US food.