Starting in January of 2018, restaurant workers who rely on tips – e.g. servers, bartenders, hosts, and bussers – will be able to pay for day-to-day expenses using the compliments they receive for their service in lieu of actual money.
The heavily debated Currency and Hope for Equal Affordability Program, or CHEAP, was passed into law Monday morning with an overwhelming 9-1 vote after being stuck in a gridlocked discussion at the city’s economic council for nearly four months.
“I have always thought tipping is a barbaric and silly ritual,” said Councilwoman Margot Danowitz. “Why should I be expected to use my hard-earned money to give a simple thank you for a job they’re already being paid for? CHEAP lets everyone win.”
The bill, which was first proposed last May after Councilman Louis Vanderford was accidentally exposed to the general public, permits employees who rely on tips to attach a list of the compliments they’ve earned to their nightly closing sheet and receive a monetary amount in accordance with the praise.
For example, a simple “thank you” equates to an additional $5, while a “you were fantastic” provides a $15 bonus. Compliments and phrases not specifically mentioned on the approved list are subject to the interpretation of the manager on duty.
In the moments after the bill’s passing, many restaurant workers celebrated the legislation outside city hall by pledging “God bless you” checks – a $20 value according to the CHEAP list of approved compliments – to those who voted in favor of the bill.
“If I give bad service, then a 10% tip totally makes sense. But now, with CHEAP, I don’t have to worry about the people who are just plain stingy as long as they tell me I did a good job,” said Ben Quadranaros, a server at The Tipsy Gypsy. “20% is always what I aim for, but who can really put a price on an outstanding guest experience?”
However, not everyone was jumping for joy in the moments after the final vote, and Councilman Howard Tannen, the bill’s sole opponent, plans to appeal the decision at next week’s meeting.
“If you choose not to tip or to tip poorly, that should reflect on you as a customer and as a person,” Tannen said. “Nobody else goes to work and expects to be paid in kind words, so why should restaurant folk be any different? Compensate them for their job just like you are for yours. With money.”
*This article was written for humor*