Pecado Bueno – are customers supposed to leave a tip?

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    My family enjoys the food at Pecado Bueno in the Alaska Junction. I pay with a credit card, and the charge slip has a line where the customer can write in a tip and total then sign. Am I supposed to tip at a restaurant like Pecado Bueno? You (the customer) order at a counter. You fill your own drinks (unless alcohol.) You get your own fork and spoon. After the meal you bus your table and place the dirty dishes in a tub. So I suppose the tip goes to all the hard-working folks in the kitchen, taking orders, and cleaning. But it gives me some pause because I thought tips were traditionally for the server who takes your order, refills your drink, and cleans your table after the meal.
    I really, really, really wish every restaurant would simply adjust the price of food so the employees were paid adequately and the customer wouldn’t be left in an uncomfortable situation of trying to figure out whether tips were required to get the employees to be paid the correct amount of wages. At a minimum, I wish tipping was reserved for full-service restaurants where, theoretically at least, tips are a reward for prompt service. Though I wish that would go away too.
    I guess what I’m saying is I don’t like the idea of tips at all because as a customer I don’t know whether staff is paid adequately or not. But I get especially confused when there is a line for a tip at a restaurant in which the customer orders at a counter and there is not a server.
    I don’t want to stop eating at Pecado Bueno because I like the restaurant and the food. Just wondering if customers are expected to leave a tip there or not.



    I agree with all of that. I’ve always thought Pecado Bueno was a bit overpriced for a place that doesn’t provide full service, especially considering the other Mexican and Mexican-inspired options nearby. I usually do tip at places like that, but less than I would at a full-service place. I also find it presumptuous for places to be “asking” for tips before the meal has been served, as is the case with counter service. Again, a smaller amount for that.



    The tips is just the owner deferring wage costs directly to the customer rather than through the cost of items. Employers are allowed to pay under the Seattle minimum wage as long as the difference is made up in tips. In instances like this I assume that the owner is splitting the tips so that all workers make the minimum wage (which would have to be paid regardless of tipping).



    Thanks EdSane. I never thought about it this way. I figured tips were somehow split between the workers and they’d get that money in addition to their hourly pay.

    The more I think about it the more strange it is. Why are customers asked for a tip before their food is served?

    I hope that millennials will make tipping go away. Most businesses (Starbucks, Target, Safeway, etc) seem to run just fine without asking for tips. And tipping just servers at a restaurant seems grossly unfair to all the other restaurant workers (dishwashers, cooks, etc.)



    I have a friend from Australia who objected to tipping. It’s just not done in their country. It is viewed as a holdover from grand Lords who tipped the servants. They have a strong streak of equality and restaurant staff are paid a living wage.



    I hope you continue to go to PB tip or no tip I’m sure they appreciate your business. I agree with the person who said they tip less there than at a full service restaurant.



    Everyplace I go now asks for a tip, regardless of if there is a server involved. Since you specifically wrote about Pecado Bueno, I’ll give my thoughts on that business. We are extremely loyal customers who eat at PB on a weekly basis. Because we frequent their so often, we do like to tip them because a. They are always super friendly and kind to our kids. b. the food is always outstanding and c. we feel like we’ve built a relationship with the staff there. Though we do order our food at the counter, and clear our table, they do bring our food out to us, and also we usually order some type of beverage from the bar, which we would tip for anyways. I agree that we have gotten a bit crazy in our tipping culture here, and now I feel because a tip is always asked for, there is a guilt I feel if I choose to leave that “tip” line blank.
    As for their prices, well, they use sustainable, organic, local and hormone free products which is why their prices are a bit higher than any of the other Mexican joints in town. Worth the money if you ask me.
    Long answer to your initial question, but “no”, I don’t believe a tip is expected or necessary for a place like PB, but of course always appreciated.

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