A Few Nice Big Tips—Even if the Tipped Minimum Wage Needs a Fix

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Tipping generously is essential in a galaxy where pay structures, working conditions, and health care access aren’t equitable or sustainable, but as Recharge boosted back in May, many customers are stepping up: the $1,300 tip for an 18-year-old Texas server; the Arkansas worker landing a customer’s entire $1,200 stimulus check; the bakery workers scoring a $1,000 tip in Florida. The tectonics of tipping haven’t shifted since the pandemic’s onset (notwithstanding this week’s news that Danny Meyer’s restaurants are ending their no-tip policy), but big tipping continues. On today’s menu, $105,000 in crowdfunded tips for the barista harassed by a maskless customer blathering about her right not to wear a mask in Starbucks; $93,000 for the server who stood up to defend customers on the receiving end of drunkenly spewed racist comments from another customer; the $3,000 tip on a $124 tab for a New Orleans bartender. There’s the $1,600 tip on a $99 tab in Ottawa; $1,000 on a $43 tab at a New Jersey restaurant; and $330 from one server to another for a single pub dinner. A pizza delivery worker welcomed $100 on a less-than-$30 tab. 

If you’ve got tips about tips, or ideas for improving the underlying labor conditions and pay structure more sustainably, send solutions to recharge@motherjones.com.

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