The LA Weekly's Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, Jonathan Gold, has come out with a list of 10 rules for tipping -- basically 10 reasons diners need to stop pretending they're rewarding waiters for the quality of their service and just tip a flat percentage. For instance:
2. Yes, I know your parents still talk about when the recommended amount used to be 15 percent, and that the practice is considered barbaric in Japan. But it's not 1973, and you're probably not in Osaka at the moment. 20 percent.
3. Yes, this includes the cost of the wine.
The rules spiral up or down from there, depending on what you think.
I'm with Gold. If I ruled the universe, tipping and tax would be included in the price of every item. Does that $1 difference between 17 and 20 percent really make you feel in control of your restaurant experience? If you hated the service, don't go back! In the office, though, we've been arguing over this essay since it appeared. What do you think?