By now, it's practically a norm for you to tip your server, especially in the U.S. In some areas, many servers depend on their tips when it comes to their pay. It's a simple transaction: a server will be tipped either based on their own hospitality or the gratitude of their customers. It's a best come, best-served type of culture. A fair reward for treating customers like honored guests.
In some establishments, however, there is another aspect of tipping culture which is restaurant tip pools. This practice sees that any and all tips received by employees are put into a pool of money that is then redistributed evenly amongst workers. Such a practice comes with divisive opinions on the matter. The main question being: is this effective?
Of course, the answer will be different depending on who you ask. In terms of fairness, there will be some who believe that this isn't fair because it's taking the hard-earned tips from one employee and making it so they have to share.
For others, restaurant tip pools are perfectly fair as in a culture and economy where servers HAVE to depend on tips in order to make a decent wage, it's only right that all of the staff members get a fair piece of the pie.
When it comes to the question of is this effective, there are a lot of factors to consider when trying to come up with an answer. In theory, it could be seen as a great thing for all staff members to receive fair pay for their work through the use of restaurant tip pools. However, there's a lot of negative factors that come into play.
One article argues that tip pools can encourage a general real sense of teamwork and workplace bonding. There's more incentive for everyone to do their best to better feel like they've contributed to the tips. Servers will be more inclined to help each other rather than fight over who has which table. The positives are seen when a restaurant appears on the up and up. Instead of every man for themselves, running and maintaining the restaurant becomes a community effort.
On the flip side, there are arguments against tip pools, even coming from the same articles of discussion. A major note is that while tip CAN create a less hostile and more friendly environment, it can also have the adverse effect, creating a work environment that's hostile and competitive with some servers feeling slighted about their tip going to everyone, making them feel underpaid for their work and often times pocketing the money for themselves. There's also the case of this encouraging slacking during work hours, as some employees might feel that effort doesn't matter.
It's a divisive subject in general and whether or not tip pools are effective lies in the eyes of the beholders. The best bet making it be trial and error. Figuring out where the holes reside and plugging them up efficiently.