Everyone likes to save money. But CNBC is catching some major flak this week for a video that suggests viewers save a few dollars by tipping less when they go to restaurants.
“This simple tipping trick could save you over $400 a year” is the name of the video, posted by CNBC Monday. Hosted by correspondent Zack Guzman, the trick is simple: restaurant diners should tip based on the pre-tax amount, rather than the post-tax amount.
Guzman also suggests another trick: rather than tip 20 percent on the amount, customers should “double the tax”: Take the amount of sales tax, which is 8.8 percent in New York City, and double it, which adds up to 17.6 percent. Therefore, by tipping that way customers — assuming they go out to eat a whole lot — can save up to $400 a year, as opposed to simply tipping 20 percent on the post-tax amount.
The problem with doing so is clear, and not only because the sales tax in most American jurisdictions is much lower than that of New York. CNBC, in the segment, is suggesting that its viewers — who skew towards the wealthy — simply save more by strategically giving less money to hard-working waiters and waitresses, people who are often paid extremely low hourly wages and therefore must rely on tips for their livelihood.
CNBC video on tipping slammed as unfair to waiters https://t.co/fc2Lr3aDT0 #FoxNews I’m confused as the video appears to show a trick and or suggestion that the writer is intelligent but a lot of countries include tax in their drinks. Tip what you feel there is no norm— Manny (@mannysearaysss) April 9, 2019
The video, on Twitter, had over 1 million views in its first day, indicating that the hate-click economy continues to thrive.
The reaction to the CNBC video on Twitter was swift, and not only from people who currently or formerly worked in the restaurant industry.
Jaya Saxena had a tip of her own: “To not go on a date with anyone in this video.”
Yashar Ali called CNBC’s piece “a stupid, stupid awful video. Wanna save money? Go out less, cut from other places. Don’t screw over hard working people who deal with BS from customers all day long.”
“Your social media team has never done service work. Cool,” user Sarah Rose said.
Others got cheekier with their reactions.
“I’ve saved thousands of dollars eating out by simply robbing my waiter after their shift ends,” Twitter user @jmckee joked.
Some American cities, per Thrillist, have weighed policy changes to eliminate tipping altogether, in favor of a higher minimum wage for restaurant workers. Restauranteur Danny Meyer, the founder of Shake Shake, announced last year that he was getting rid of tips at all of the establishments in his restaurant group.