Well, here's the way I see
it, keeping in mind I did work as a waiter
for about two years. I think it makes sense
and I think it's a better system
than having them just be paid more with no tips. I look at it this way, when I go out to dinner
, I want a pleasant experience
. Now, when you go to McDonalds
, you rarely get this because the people
who work there have no incentive
to give you good service. Really, they'll hire anyone
at McDonalds and no matter how much they tell me they love to see me smile
, we all know they don't give a flying fuck
Now, when I go to a restaurant, on top of good food I want good service. If I didn't, I could just go to McDonald's. Tipping has the benefit of encouraging you waitperson to give you good service, and it also gives me the opportunity to decide how much to pay for my meal. Now, some people may argue that tipping is stupid and that wait staff should just be paid more. I disagree. If you did that, the cost of your meal would be greater, and then you would, in effect, be paying more money to your waitstaff with no choice. With the way most US restaurant's are, you essentially have the option of deciding the cost of your meal (to a certain degree) based on your overall experience.
To me, this makes a lot more sense and I'd rather have it this way. You don't like your service? Great, you don't have to pay as much for your meal. You really like your service and want to say thanks? Pay a little extra. I can't understand how anyone would rather pay the same amount regardless of their service than having the freedom to decide how much your dining experience was worth.