In 2014, look for the ongoing dialogue on North American tipping culture to reach a tipping point, as both restaurateurs and patrons consider putting the practice on the chopping block.
It’s one of several predictions out of a trendspotting report from consultants at Andrew Freeman & Co., which forecasts that the restaurant industry hasn’t heard the last of the subject which got big-name US chefs like Tom Colicchio and David Chang to weigh in on the divisive issue this year.
As one of the big restaurant stories of 2013, the subject reached the proverbial tipping point with the publication of a frank Slate.com article that called the practice of adding 20 per cent gratuity to restaurant bills an “abomination.”
“Tipping is a repugnant custom,” wrote Brian Palmer, Slate’s “chief explainer.”
“It’s bad for consumers and terrible for workers. It perpetuates racism.”
Some restaurants have abolished the tipping practice, opting instead to compensate staff with salaries, or add a service charge to every bill, points out the Freeman report. Look out for dialogue to continue in 2014 and for the North American gratuity model to undergo scrutiny.
In other restaurant trends, 2014 is set to be the “year of the brasserie” as diners “clamor” for casual sophistication and steak frites.
And finally, under the header “Gilded Chopsticks,” Freeman consultants predict that more and more chefs and restaurateurs will bring Asian cuisine into the fine dining world and into upscale dining rooms.
One of the best examples provided is the Hakkasan franchise, a Michelin-ranked restaurant that offers high-end Chinese cuisine and is rapidly expanding around the world.
In New York, Jungsik also turns Korean cuisine into haute dining.
LOOK — Tipping around the world
A tip of 15-20% is customary for good to great service, 10-15% is common for poor service and 20% and up for excellent service. What about your barista? Well <a href="http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/07/waiter_rant_follow-up_will_tel.html" target="_hplink">that's complicated</a>. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinesarasota" target="_hplink">Flickr: larryjh1234</a>)
While a few restaurants will add a tip to the bill, tipping in Mexico is basically the same as in the US. For good service, a tip of 15-20% is customary. (Photo from AP)
As in the US, a tip of 15% is expected. Customers can tip up to 20% for exceptional service. (Photo from AP)
Italians tip very little, usually under 10%, or up to 5 euros unless it's a very expensive meal. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sooey/" target="_hplink">Flickr: junojp</a>)
A 15% tip is included in the bill by law, but a small extra tip can be left as a sort of "thank you." The extra tip can range from a few coins on a small cafe meal to about 5 euros on a more extensive meal. (Photo from AP)
Trip Advisor recommends that <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187275-s606/Germany:Tipping.And.Etiquette.html" target="_hplink">diners leave a small tip on top of what is included by the restaurant</a>. This amount should be small, between 5-10%, and should be paid by handing the waiter physical cash for the exchange. It's customary to round up to the nearest round amount (leaving 20 euros on an 18 euro check). <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/bookmanjb?action=comments" target="_hplink">Commenter/American expatriate living in Germany bookmanjb concurs, writing</a>: <blockquote>12% is included in the check for service. For so-so or bad service, you leave nothing. For good service, you simply round up a little. For example, if your check comes to 28 euros, leaving 30 euros indicates that you are VERY satisfied with your server; if you add those 2 euros to the 12%, it's about 20%. </blockquote> (Photo from Flickr: sanfamedia.com)
Many British restaurants will include a mysterious "service charge" that usually goes to the restaurant owner. Diners can ask for this to be removed or lowered and add their own tip to go directly to the waiter. A customary tip is between 10-15%. Most Brits don't tip in pubs. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/adam_t4/" target="_hplink">Flickr: Adam_T4</a>)
A 10% service charge is included in the check, but it's customary to round up to the nearest 10 (50 for a meal costing 47) for particularly good service. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/stone-soup/" target="_hplink">Flickr: jules:stonesoup</a>)
Most restaurants will include a service charge in the check, and it's fine but not customary to surpass that amount. (Photo from Flickr: balyho0o)
A tip of 10% is considered standard. If service is excellent, a tip of 15% is generous. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/" target="_hplink">Flickr: Mr. T in DC</a>)
At inexpensive restaurants, a few coins can be left as tip. At higher end places, the restaurant might add a 10% service charge to the check. (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/rubber_slippers_in_italy/photosof/" target="_hplink">Flickr: Rubber Slippers In Italy</a>)
Most restaurants will include a tip of 10%-12%, and it's customary to add an extra 5% on top of that. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/snowpea/" target="_hplink">Flickr: snowpea</a>)
More and more Indian restaurants, across price points, <a href="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food/food-reviews/The-tipping-point/articleshow/5988533.cms" target="_hplink">are adding service charges</a>. Before, in most restaurants a tip of 10-15% was considered standard and should still be added to bills where the service isn't included. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/brood_wich/" target="_hplink">Flickr: Brood_wich</a>)
Tipping is not customary, though some hotels and restaurants will add a 10% fee to checks. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/hulagway/" target="_hplink">Flickr: whologwhy</a>)
Tipping is very uncommon, and sometimes even considered rude, at restaurants. (Photo from Flickr: InterContinental Hong Kong)
Unlike in the rest of China, a tip of around 10% is average at most middle of the road spots and upscale restaurants will usually include a 10% tip. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dongkwan/" target="_hplink">Flickr: VirtualErn</a>)
Tipping is not expected and rarely ever happens. It can even be considered rude, depending on the place. The waiter will get their cut in the form of a 10% service charge added by the restaurant. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/scelera/" target="_hplink">Flickr: samantha celera</a>)
Given the high prices of almost everything in Iceland, tourists and locals alike are not expected add a tip to the check. Waiters will accept small tips but it's not customary to leave anything. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/acme/" target="_hplink">Flickr: acme</a>)
Tipping has only recently become the norm at Australian restaurants, where it's now customary to leave a 10% tip for good service. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/" target="_hplink">Flickr: Sarah_Ackerman</a>)
Some Chilean restaurants include a 12% service charge, but diners can ask for it to be removed. If no tip is included, a tip of 10% is considered generous. (Photo from Flickr: www.theedinburghblog.co.uk)
Typically a 10% tip is included in the bill, and it's not expected that a diner will leave an extra tip. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/snowpea/" target="_hplink">Flickr: snowpea</a>)
While tipping isn't mandatory, many people tip for good service. Locals usually tip around 10% while tourists typically shell out a bit more. (Photo from AP)
No tipping is customary, but a 10% service charge is usually included. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vkreay/" target="_hplink">Flickr: Victoria Reay</a>)
A 10% tip is customary, but 15% is generous to reward great service.
A tip of 10% is customary, although some places will add 10% to the tip. (Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lablasco/" target="_hplink">Flickr: La.blasco</a>)
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