im amazed how what originally started as a form of bribery (TIPS = to insure prompt service beforehand) has now become a stealthy method of restaurants to get more money from the customer...
are the restaurants taking the tips and reallocating them? (busboys, etc). not sure, but is tipping to the degree that americans do common in other countries?
(mr grouchy continues)
The tips go directly to the server. Although this is a way for the establishment to pay the server less the minimum wage, so I suppose you could look at it as a way for restaurants to get more money from the customer. It is also motivational. The servers main job is to "take care of" the customer. Since a manager cant monitor every single table at the same time, its somewhat a way to motivate the server to be prompt and friendly themselves. Their paycheck essentially depends on it. Although, I do not always think tipping reflects the service. Often servers know they are doing a great job and being extremely friendly and prompt and still get a poor tip.
Tips are reallocated to the busboys (waitaids)/bartenders in most restaurants. In ours they are required to tip out 1% to the bartender and 1% to the waitaid. As a bartender, we are both required to wait our own tables and make the drinks for the entire restaurant. This results in us having two bartenders. One waits the bar tables, the other soley makes the drinks for the rest of the restaurant. Then all tips are split between the two. So essentially one is working for tips, while the other just works for less then minimum wages. Thats why the servers are required to tip out.