Do you know the history of tipping as payment in the United States? Well, many argue it was basically an extension of slavery after the civil war!
Danny Meyer, who founded Shake Shack, is an anti-tipping advocate. He recently appeared on the “The Sporkful” podcast and ezplained how tipping started after the civil war. Eateries and Pullman railroad companies petitioned the government to allow staff to be paid in tips rather a wage. By doing this Meyer says that “Therefore, no one could say they were being enslaved,”, “And no surprise, most of the people who were working in service professional jobs and restaurants and Pullman train cars were African-American.”
So, tipping has a racist past too! Who’da’thought?
Meyer has been moving his burger and ice cream business away from tip based wages (which are still fixed as just $2.13/hour since 1991) to a fixed hourly wage to try and give ALL his employees, including those back of house, a fair wage and not allow earnings to be based on charisma and looks.
Listen to the podcast episode in full below and subscribe to the podcast here.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.