Negative tipping?

What’s up, doc? As you may be aware of, a growing number of establishments are beginning to flat out ban the practice of tipping. But what if, instead of abolishing tipping, patrons had the option ex ante of giving a “negative tip.” In other words, why is the practice of tipping an asymmetrical one? By way of example, let’s say the standard tip (or “service charge”) for good service at Restaurant A is 20%. Then, in the alternative, why can’t customers deduct up to 20% of their bill for bad service? (It turns out, by the way, that we are not the first to propose this. See this and this.)

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About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
This entry was posted in Bayesian Reasoning, Economics, Game Theory. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Negative tipping?

  1. Craig says:

    This proposal is along the same lines as renters withholding part or all of their rent because of actions or inactions by their landlords. Renters have no standing to withhold rent and diners have no standing to withhold part of the cost of their meals. These kind of acts are recourses by the disgruntled, not expressions of justice.

    • Those a good points, but the rent analogy may actually go towards supporting my modest “negative tipping” proposal. According to the website FindLaw, for example: “In many states, ‘repair and deduct’ is a tactic tenants can use to force a landlord to make necessary repairs. When there is some repair to a rental unit that must be made, and the landlord does not make it herself, the tenant may hire someone to repair the unit and deduct the cost of the repairs from the rent. However, a tenant must be very careful before using this strategy because withholding rent is a serious action which could result in an eviction.”

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