There is a movement to make 20% tipping mandatory (via consumerist). Here's the background on the tipping problem. According to the site, minimum wage is $5.15, except for waiters, where it is $2.13. The restaurants automatically deduct 3 to 4.5% to share with the non-tipped staff. The IRS automatically assumes the waiter gets 12.5%, so the waiter loses out on low tips.
The good news is that the average tip has increased over the last six years from 17.75% to 18.7% now. The news story tells of two ways waiters can boost their tips:
- Waitresses get 17% bigger tips when they wear a flower in their hair.
- Squatting at the side of the table averages an 18% tip versus 15% for those that stand while taking the order.