Um... Because we're talking about pay for wait staff? As you say, the chef gets paid more already.
You stated that we factor in tips based on what we think we should pay for food.
EDIT: Since this aspect of your confusion pops up later, let me clarify here that we're talking about the cost of the meal
, not the food. If all I was buying was the food, I'd go to the supermarket and buy it there.
Yes. Why would you think otherwise? I know this is hard for you to grasp, but the consumer of a product doesn't care if the product costs $1 with $99 of taxes/tips/licensing_fees/whatever, or if the product costs $100 with no other costs involved. From the consumers point if view, he spends $100 to buy the product. More importantly, from an economic point of view that product costs the consumer $100 to buy. So if the meal I eat costs $20 plus $2 tax plus $3 tip, it costs me $25 dollars. Why? Because it actually cost me $25
. When considering whether to purchase that meal, I'm going to compare the value of that meal to me to what other things I could spend $25 on in the economy. That's why the tip cost matters (and sales taxes as well).
I countered to say that the money we decide to pay for a meal is completely irrelevant to the tip that we give a waiter.
I know you said this. But you are wrong. We decide to pay the full price the meal actually costs us. I'm honestly puzzled why you keep trying to argue otherwise.
A supporting statement is that the work that we acknowledge waiters for doing has absolutely nothing to do with the value of the food, so why are you calculating the tip before hand in your spending money if it's based on the value?
Huh? You're paying for the meal, not just the food. That includes the service, the decor, and everything else. Why the hell do you think people pay much more money to go out to eat than to buy the exact same food as take out? You're playing semantic games now. I'm talking about the consumers purchasing decision. If you decide to go out to eat, you are making a decision to pay the full cost of that action. That includes the tip you're going to pay.
Do you even have a reason for making this absurd distinction? Yes, the service and the food are two different things, but they both add to the price of the meal. And guess what? Customers will make decisions about whether to eat at a given restaurant based on the total cost of the meal
. So anything that increases that total cost will influence that decision. Thus, paying the waitstaff a higher wage (regardless of how that is derived) will impact total sales. Again, this is why waiters at top end restaurants can earn more than those working at Denny's. And guess what? It's not just the service. You can be the best darn server in the universe working at Denny's, but you wont earn as much as a mediocre server at a $100/plate restaurant.
The point is that the better servers gravitate to the better restaurants because the owners of those restaurants know that they need the best servers if they are to justify the high prices they are charging for the meal. No one will pay $100 for a meal at Denny's no matter how good the service. Get it? This also means that the server's salary will tend to increase based on the servers skill at his or her job. Also, the employer will be forced to pay the server more in these situations because if he doesn't, his competition will, and people will stop attending his restaurant. As I've said repeatedly in this thread, all three factors (desire for employer to make the most money possible, desire for employee to make the most money possible, and desire for the consumer to pay the least amount possible) all conspire to makes sure that people get paid what their labor is actually worth.
It doesn't matter if the chef gets paid more. If that's the best steak that you've tasted, you should tip the Chef, because s/he is the one who cooked it, not the waiter. You tip the waiter for servicing you. If you're going to tip the waiter because your food was good, why not tip the person who greeted you at the door and gave you a seat?
I'm not sure how that's relevant at all to the discussion we're having, but sure. If you really want to go wander back to the kitchen and hand the chef some money, go for it. Kinda doesn't have anything to do with the question about whether it's fair to have waitstaff pay based on a lower minimum wage.
The question is whether it's unfair to pay less than minimum wage for waitstaff who earn tips. My opinion is that it's not inherently unfair at all.
No, that is not the question. The question is why are people allowed to be paid under the National min. wage?
Um... Because they are waitstaff who earn tips which makes up for the lower minimum wage. See how I've already moved past the really dumb question and on to the one we're actually discussing? Was this really a question to anyone? I thought it was a given in the topic itself?
My concern is simply based on the fact that employers shouldn't be able to pay less than the National min. wage because then it isn't National Min. wage.
Seriously? That's.... ridiculous. I'm sorry, but it is. That's like saying that poor people should pay higher taxes because the national tax rate is 35% and no one should be allowed to pay less than the national tax rate.
Oh wait! That doesn't make sense because there are multiple "national tax rates"
. Just like there are multiple national minimum wages. In this case, there is a separate minimum wage for wait staff. Silly me for assuming that you actually had an opinion on the existence or level of said minimum wage. But since your only concern is people getting paid less than the legally defined minimum wage, and that isn't happening in this case, then I guess you have been arguing for a page and a half over absolutely nothing.
Wow. You really don't have an opinion of your own? Edited, Dec 7th 2012 7:26pm by gbaji Edited, Dec 7th 2012 7:31pm by gbaji