We all know that living in the Treasure Valley isn’t easy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely worth it but I’m sure we can all agree that it’s expensive. While gas prices have come down a little bit, there is still the matter of rising housing costs, groceries becoming more expensive, and so many other financial factors I’m likely forgetting.

This is why I feel like something should be done to assist our service industry people. I know, I get it: “We don’t need another law” or “I don’t want to be told what to do.” But is it wrong to ensure that service industry workers who work at all of our favorite places are compensated accordingly?

Why Does It Matter?

Now, I know that there are some who will say “bad service shouldn’t get a tip.” While that might be true, is hurting their wallet the best course of action? If tipping were mandatory, you can still notify that employee’s manager of their poor service and at that point, the discussion of a refund (or even reimbursing the “tip”) can begin.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the minimum cash wage in Idaho is $3.35/hour. That would mean if someone decided to “stiff” the server/bartender of a tip, that person is relying on their minimum cash wage. Here’s the kicker – most people can easily spend an hour of the server or bartender’s time being serviced.

However, this is solely my opinion and I’m curious as to what you think. Should there be a mandatory tip included in bar tabs or restaurant bills? Some people like to say “if you can’t afford to tip, don’t go out to eat” but is that right? Or should we keep it the way it is and allow service industry employees to rely on that $3.35/hour wage?

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