What Do You Think of a Teen Tax?

Because teens don't tip.

In the US, a New Jersey restaurant has made the news because of a new surcharge. It’s been called a ‘teen tax’; a surcharge put on the bills of teenagers.

The Wayne Hills Diner and Restaurant’s attorney told the local CBS station that kids come in large groups, spend an hour and seldom tip. The restaurant reserves the right to add an 18% gratuity.

But, should they be adding the surcharge to just the teens’ bills? 

If this seems unfair, remember that servers in the US are treated much worse than here in Ontario, Canada. In Ontario, liquor servers, or servers at licensed restaurants, who are most often tipped, earn a minimum wage of $9.90/hr. That’s not quite $2/hr less than minimum wage.

In New Jersey, the minimum wage for a tipped employee, a server, is just $2.13. If people don’t tip enough to allow servers to bring home the minimum wage of $8.44/hr, the restaurant must make up the difference. So, you can see why a restaurant would want to make sure every patron leaves a tip.


Title image by Visitor7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons