I never said I wasn't cheap. I just believe in paying people a decent wage, and providing them with the opportunities to get themselves out of the bottom rung jobs. Most people working in restaurants here are young 17-22 ish. They work, and go to school oftentimes. College here is heavily subsidized. So these youngsters get a chance to climb out of the shit and into something better. Yeah there's always the drug dealers who use jobs like that as a front. The people with a genuine desire to be chefs. The immigrants who need any job and have four. And the people with social and or mental issues who genuinely want to work but can't do much more than sweep floors.
Let's be real: the actual societal dregs here just sign onto the dole, get their free money every week, and sip cans while playing a stolen PlayStation all day. It is for lack of a better way of putting it: a working system. No one is forced to rely on the crutch of tips, no one is in a situation where tips are required to pay their rent. Because tipping isn't expected, and workers collect a real wage, waitresses aren't seen crying in the toilet because a table of teenagers left without tipping. Teenagers stiff you? Big whoop their parents only gave me just enough cash to get their food. And they weren't raised with this idea that you have to provide a magic 15-20% extra because of some unwritten social contract.
It makes you all the more happy when you do get a tip. And it makes you self reliant as opposed to relying on someone being kind to you. Some places here tried to run that automated gratuity for large parties. So people would just pay the price without the gratuity and leave. Everyone's got a calculator in their pocket these days. Don't be slimy and force people into unwritten rules.