Zadie Smith has a charming little essay in the New Yorker -- is that the most insufferable phrase I've ever typed? -- about ordering delivery in London vs. New York. Of course, the focus is on tipping, a topic that just may never get old. As far as I am concerned Zadie Smith can write charming little essays about whatever she wants and I will read them.
In the Times, Pete Wells (who you may recall for his viral review on Guy Fieri's restaurant) adds to the tipping debate in a column about why he believes tipping is no longer effective. Wells talks to several chefs and restaurant owners in his column, but it would have been much better to get a wider range of perspectives from actual servers as well as the workers who bus tables and wash dishes.
Taylor Jenkins Reid ["THE WIFE"] and Alex Reid ["THE HUSBAND"] are married. To each other.
Joseph Weisenthal had dinner at 715 in Kansas this weekend, and ">noticed that one of the items on the menu included buying the kitchen a six-pack for $12. This kind of thing isn't unique to 715—restaurants everywhere do it, and some people wonder if it's a nice thing or annoying thing to have on the menu.
Our pal Willy Staley has a really lovely story in the New York Times Magazine giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at Balthazar, a popular French brasserie in New York. Three hundred reservations in one night is considered "mellow!" One of the butchers preps 150 steaks in 30 minutes! The thing that's unclear to me in the above is whether the tip money is what each of the workers earn, and not what will be divided among them (with 300 dinner reservations, it must be what they each earn).
Here is the start of a multi-part series published this week from Jay Porter, the founder of a restaurant in San Diego called The Linkery, which describes itself as a "tipless restaurant."
Tipping in America! We love to talk about it. Elizabeth Gunnison Dunn's piece in Esquire is the latest to argue that we should just get rid of tipping altogether.
Today in "WWYD," one of our favorite topics: tipping. And learning to be assertive.
Famous people and you (no, famous people and ME).
According to the Wall Street Journal, the IRS is reclassifying automatic service charges—i.e. that 18 percent service charge you sometimes see when dining out in groups of six or more—so that they're treated as regular wages and subject to payroll taxes, rather than tips, which are up to employees to report to the IRS come tax time. Restaurants like those from Darden, which includes the Olive Garden and Red Lobster, are considering getting rid of the automatic gratuity charges for large groups and testing out suggested tipping to see if they can work around the new tax rules.
Brendan's post about getting fired from the food truck he worked at for tip-shaming a customer who placed a $170 order generated lots of discussion, one of them being (of course!), should you even tip when ordering from a food truck in the first place?
I couldn't sleep last night, so around two in the morning I took half a Sominex tablet and put on the most recent podcast episode of Freakonomics (public radio voices are soothing). I ended up listening to the entire 40-minute episode because there was so much to think about and unpack.
How do know what the tipping rules are when you're in another country?
The most economically impacted by the storm are the people who barely scrape a living on a day-to-day basis: Hourly workers.