A random East Bay newspaper gadfly is getting readers all riled up over the idea that servers in hoity-toity San Francisco are now supporting a 25-percent tip as a "standard." But we see no evidence of what he's talking about or where he's getting this idea, and we'd like to nip this in the bud right now! Ed Arnow of the Contra Costa Times pens a column today, which has already been picked up by NBC and Eater, citing some unnamed "media sources" who claim that "San Francisco restaurant workers are behind [increasing the standard tip to 25 percent] with support from some high-class restaurants." But we are a media source, we read other local media sources every day, we eat out all the time, and this is the first we're hearing of this. Arnow then goes on to get quotes from a slew of "East County locals," who are pretty much unanimously aghast at such big-city greed, and sure won't be patronizing such establishments if they can help it.
"Tips should be earned, not expected. I usually tip 10 percent or 15 percent, which I think is fair," says one. Then he decides to ask about a dozen other people, who all say almost exactly the same thing, though most are okay with the idea that 20 percent is just fine for excellent service.
In any event, we'd love if Arnow would name his media sources, or tell us which "high-class restaurants" are planning to institute this new standard. But until then, we call bullshit, and wish he would stop encouraging East Bay diners to be less generous with their gratuities.