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The rest of the world's solution is fewer, higher paid, and better trained waiters.

Restaurants in the US are run like a factory assembly line, with every person manning a portion of the line being incentivized to get the table out of the door as fast as possible in order to maximize the amount of scraps they get out of tips. In a fixed system, you might sometimes have to flag down a waiter rather than have your glass endlessly refilled even when you're done drinking, and folks might stop walking by asking (if you're lucky) to take your plates away before you're ready.

If you're a person who travels, count the amount of visible staff at an average German restaurant, and compare that to what you see in the US. It's drastic. Orders of magnitude drastic.




What are you talking about? Tipping makes servers actually care about doing a good job. Servers in Europe in my experience almost never care about you or the service they're providing you, because it doesn't matter how good a job they do. I've been flatly refused service at a restaurant because they were "too busy" - the three people working were overwhelmed with waiting on 10 tables and didn't even have a wait list because that was too much to manage. If that's what you mean by "fewer and better trained" then, well, I'd rather eat at the restaurant I choose than get turned away because they can't afford enough employees to run it.


> Tipping makes servers actually care about doing a good job.

Tipping incentivizes servers to care about getting more tips. This is why there is a stereotype of American servers rushing you out of your table to seat the next party, upselling on more drinks/food, and constantly interrupting the setting by "checking on" the party.

A good waiter gets the main plates on the table after appetizers are finished and responds when I flag them. They are a queuing manager that synchronize orders to the kitchen to optimize delivery to the table. Tipping does not inherently incentivize this, and I'd say it actually incentivizes the worse service in the form of clearing the table as fast as possible in order to acquire the next table's round of tips, or as is often the case, crowding a table up with every appetizer, side dish, entree, and drink the table wanted throughout the dinner.


If anything, I've noticed services in many of the larger European countries do a better job than in the US. Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal, but I'm not aware of any widespread stereotype of American waiters to be better than non tipped waiters.


Since tips are "expected", your average server doesn't think they have to work for them. Service quality is basically random, just like most jobs


> Tipping makes servers actually care about doing a good job.

I find tipping makes many customers treat "servers" like faceless servants, making them feel like prostitutes forcing fake smiles and gritted teeth at bad behaviour.

In a non-tipping culture you learn to treat waiting staff as more human. Arseholes get kicked out, not "smiled" at.


Crap restaurants certainly exist everywhere. But it's hard to argue that service is overall dramatically worse in Europe. There is generally less fawning & begging, which some people prefer.


There's an awful lot of "we can't do it, and if we did it'd definitely be bad" in American political discourse that can be pretty conclusively proven false by just looking at a few other OECD states.


If you're a person who travels, count the amount of visible staff at an average German restaurant

The last German restaurant I went, I was in a party of five. Four of us got our orders somewhat promptly while the fifth waited nearly half an hour… for a frankfurter. Between that and the trains I got this sense that German efficiency was overrated.




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