In general, Sonic Customers should not feel obligated to tip Sonic servers
For many years, customers in Western European cultures have felt inclined to tip their servers. We've reached a point in society where tips are expected; if not expected, then outright demanded. Some restaurants include an automatic gratuity fee. Some servers react harshly to not receiving what they believe is "owed." I'm sure I could provide countless examples of unjust behavior which many of you would be able to relate to.
Nonetheless, I'm here today to discuss the fast food restaurant officially known as "Sonic Drive-in."  Because I firmly believe that tipping servers at this restaurant is unjust and unwise, I strongly affirm the position that Sonic customers who eat at Sonic should not feel obligated to tip Sonic servers.
By accepting this debate, the Contender agrees to abide by the following rules:
#1. The First Round is strictly for 'acceptance only.' The debate will officially commence in Round 2.
#2. Any disagreements regarding definitions are to be resolved in the comment section before Round 2 commences.
#3. I reserve the right to add additional rules before round 2 commences, should I detect any issue that inhibits the purpose of this debate and/or the act of debating on this website.
An interesting debate topic. I think this will be a good one.
Greetings to my opponent and many thanks for accepting this debate.
Members of Debate Dot Org (DDO), today’s debate boils down to three things: Work, Benefits and Greed.
First, I submit to you, members of DDO, that servers at sonics simply don’t do enough work to warrant a “tip.”. Pay special attention to the youtube video I provided. . This, members of DDO, is a Sonic server . . . or rather, a Sonic “carhopper.” Their job is to bring the food/drinks customers order out to their vehicles. However, that’s just it. This is the entirety of their job. To travel small distances with a tray of food/drinks in their hands. The problem here is that mostly anyone is capable of this task.
My opponent might point to the fact that many Sonic car hoppers (such as the one in the video I provided) have to use skates to deliver customer orders, but this too does not a warrant customer tips. In addition to the fact that skating over small distances is a task a great deal of people are capable of performing, one ought to question how “skating” benefits the customers. Skating neither enhances the quality of the food or the service to the customer. It is simply a gimmick and nothing more.
In essence, car hoppers simply carry the customer’s order out from the restaurant to the customer’s vehicle or table. Unlike servers at higher class restaurants (i.e. Olive Garden), a car hoppers work is pretty one dimensional. They aren’t expected to refill drinks or meet every whim of a large group of people.
Second, I submit to you, members of DDO, that Sonic servers are already provided a wide range of benefits regardless of whether they are given a tip.  Most notably is the benefit of employers adjusting their salaries to fill in for any gap between the amount of money they’ve been tipped and the amount of money required by minimum wage laws. In essence, if severs already receive a wide range of benefits and are still protected by minimum wage laws, we as customers should not feel obligated to tip them.
Unethical Behavior: |
Lastly, there is the issue of unethical behavior. As a poster in comment section hinted/jabbed at, there is a well known issue of individuals of the African American community and their hesitance towards tipping. This cultural stigma has resulted in deplorable behavior against African Americans . The tipping culture simply contributes to this.
-- Arguments --
I. Social Norm
It is a social norm in Western society that if a server brings you your food, to your table, to your door or to your car via drive in, then you tip them. Sonic workers fall into this category of workers who bring you your food and if utilized properly Sonic workers will wait on you as if you were at your typical sit down restaurant. Therefore, they meet the requirements for the types of workers who normally receive some kind of tip in Western society and therefore should receive one without discrimination.
II. Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers
Sonic workers work under waitress wages, meaning they are paid less than minimum wage because they are counting on tips to supplement. In Florida, my home state, tipped workers only get $4/hr.  By not tipping these people you are robbing them of part of their wage they are counting on. Sonic nationally pays their workers 9% below market value.  By not tipping you are hurting average workers who are counting on tips to supplement their wages.
-- Counter Arguments --
My opponent claims that Sonic carhops don't work enough to deserve a tip. As I pointed out, their full wage depends on a tip so by not tipping you are saying they're only doing work that deserves roughly $4/hr. My opponent thinks that all carhops do is ferry food back and forth but that is simply not the case. Sonic workers take the orders from inside, help make the food such as slushies, shakes, fries etc, bring you your food, keep the outdoor areas clean all while skating around. 
Do Sonic carhops work less than an Applebees server? No. They do similar work and thus deserve similar tips. A case could be made that they don't deserve the full 15-20% that you would give at Olive Garden but they do deserve some kind of tip. They are still servers.
The benefits offered by Pro's source show standard benefits. He also makes it sound like there is a guaranteed salary filler but the only thing the benefits page says is:
"Additional SONIC employment benefits exist to supplement associate base pay rates."
There's no description, no guarantee, it doesn't even say if you get it, it only says the benefit exists. My opponent is trying to make it sound like something more than it really is.
Also, if we compare these benefits to the benefits of the Olive Garden employee that Pro used as a previous comparison, we see that they are very similar.  Should Olive Garden servers be excluded from tip due to their benefits? I would think not.
3. Unethical Behavior
This argument is used against ALL tipping. Is my opponent claiming that this discrimination in the restaurant business should eliminate all tipping? I don't think so since he advocated for tipping people at "high quality" restaurants. An old stereotype in this business cannot be simply applied to Sonic and expect it to stick. Sonic has nothing to do with this claim as it is something that pervades ALL tipping establishments. Why discriminate against Sonic? This argument holds no real value except to say that servers need to let go of old racial tropes.
I. Social Norm
CON says that because it’s the social norm in western society for customers to tip servers that bring them food, severs at Sonic should be tipped. However, there have been a lot of “social norms” throughout history. For example, a mere 60 years ago, segregated schools was the social norm. Just because something is the “social norm”, that does not make it good.
CON is incorrect to claim that Sonic workers “wait on you” as if you are at a typical restaurant. One need look no further than the R1 video to observe what Sonic servers do. That social norms suggest workers at Sonic should be tipped for their “work” is something you should oppose.
II. Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers
CON further says that “By not tipping these people you are robbing them . . .” This is absurd. CON’s argument makes the assumption that they are entitled to the money. Clearly they are not or else those who refrained from tipping would be prosecuted for theft. If anyone is robbing the Sonic employees, it is their employers.
CON says that in addition to carrying food around (not all Sonic severs skate), servers also help prepare food, drinks, shakes and help keep the outdoor areas clean. However, both CON’s claims and his source are misleading. First, one should note that there are multiple positions at Sonic. These positions include Cooks and Crew Members. Second, it is the Crew Members' job to prepare the food, drinks, shakes, etc. It is also the Crew Members' job to engage in cleaning  Whether the Cars ever assist with these tasks are irrelevant as others do the work they are tipped for. Third, Mcdonalds cashiers are expected to “perform a wide variety of duties” besides working a cash register.  Yet social norms don’t demand that they be given “tips.”
CON also tries to compare Sonic servers to Applebees servers by claiming that they do “similar work.” This is false. The minimum work expected from a server at Applebees far exceeds the work expected of a Sonic server.  Read carefully through the list I provided (see source ) and then take another look at the video I provided in R1. Put aside the flashy skating and ask yourself which is more complicated.
CON says that because Olive Garden and Sonic employees receive similar work-benefits, Sonic servers should not be excluded from receiving tips. However, Olive Garden servers do a greater amount of work. Thus, although the benefits Sonic servers receive are sufficient for Sonic servers, the benefits alone are insufficient for Olive Garden servers.
See minimum wage rebuttal for "salary issue."
3. Unethical Behavior
 http://www.dol.gov... ;
 See #3
 See #5.
-- My Case --
I. Social Norm
The old adage, "bad things were normal x years ago so normal things now are bad" is trite and overused. It says nothing about the current social norm. It is seen as polite in Western society to tip, tipping is not inherently bad, it shows good manners and appreciation for good service. If there is a SINGULAR case where bad service is given, sure don't tip but if there was adequate service provided you should tip. That's the norm, it's born out of manners.
I would like to point out that one video is not necessarily an accurate depiction of all Sonic workers. Also, I said if utilized properly you can be waited on. You can request refills, request your trash to be taken from your car etc. It's not a sit down restaurant, no but you can still get the functions of a wait staff.
II. Minimum Wage
I stand corrected about the law. I did not misinterpret it on purpose. However, Sonic servers are still considered to be tipped workers. While they are not ENTITLED to additional pay, they fall under the category where they are expecting a tip. While no one is FORCED to tip at all, it is socially acceptable to do so and their base pay is designed to expect it. Also, I would like to point out that my wording "robbing" was used as descriptive language, clearly no one is committing a crime by not tipping.
III. Some Tips > No Tips
I want to clarify again that I am not advocating for bulky 20% tips. I am saying that some tip, due to the slightly enhanced workload and type of dining compared to fast food and the social norms, is better than not tipping at all. Is it so hard to give the server a buck or two? Is it worth not tipping a tipped salary worker and violating the social norm for a dollar?
-- Pro's Case --
I fear PRO has straw manned my argument. If you look at my source from the previous round it clearly reads:
"A Sonic carhop is also expected to perform additional duties including preparing drinks and ice cream and taking guests orders when necessary. Making accurate change and clearing trays from customers' cars and the patios are other duties." 
It clearly states that they prepare drinks, ice cream and they do clean trash from people's cars and the outdoor area just as I stated. My argument stands, just because there are multiple roles at Sonic does not mean that my representation of the position was incorrect, in fact it was completely correct.
Also, there is a difference between McDonald's and Sonic. McDonald's is a fast food restaurant when Sonic is considered a drive-in meaning they are expected to perform different duties. Servers at drive-ins fall under the tipping category because they do bring you your food and remove your trash etc. I never said that Sonic workers do the SAME work as Applebees, I said similar and greater than that of McDonald's.
My point with the benefits is that just because Sonic workers receive benefits does not mean they shouldn't be tipped. Nearly every job in America includes benefits but that does not include or exclude facets of their work. Again, I am not saying Sonic workers are EQUAL to Olive Garden staff but that they still deserve tips. Where is the cut off for tips then? Should Olive Garden workers receive tips because they have benefits?
3. Unethical Behavior
Your argument is still invalid. If Sonic workers are expecting tips (due to their salary status) and you don't tip, how is that solving the problem? It doesn't. What you're advocating for is that Sonic workers should not expect tips, which is a different debate. They do expect tips in advance so tipping or not tipping has no bearing on this type of behavior. They'll just judge you as a poor tipper as well. You see, this behavior is hingent on their expectations and you can't change those by not tipping.
I. Social NormCON’s argument is a non sequitur via an appeal to tradition. Just because something is the social norm, that does not make it good. If the service is adequate, we should not be expected to give extra money. Adequate service IS what we’re paying for in the first place. Tips should be given when the server goes beyond what we're already paying for.
CON says that IF Sonic services are utilized properly, customers can be waited on. However, in this debate, we’re discussing general Sonic services. CON is effectivally conceding that Sonic servers generally don’t do enough work to warrant a tip.
II. Minimum Wage
CON insist that because they are expecting a tip, they should be given a tip. So what? People undeservingly expect a lot of things in life. The fact remains that Sonic servers generally do not enhance the quality of the service given.
III. Some Tips > No Tips
CON says that Sonic servers should at least receive something. They do receive something: A paycheck from their employers.
CON’s argument does not stand. Sonic also employs Crew Members. Crew members do everything CON’s source mentioned. My source trumps CONS since the description is provided by the Sonic Corporation itself. At best, there are merely times when Car Hoppers might assist Crew Members.
CON says that there are differences between McDonald’s and Sonic. That may be so, but the fact remains that McDonalds servers essentially hand you your food while performing simultaneous duties.
As for the comparison between Sonic and Applebees, the link I provided last round () shows that the responsibilities of an applebees server do not compare to what you see in the video I provided in R1.
CON asks to know where the cut off for tips are, but this has been pointed out throughout the debate. Customers should tip when the servers enhance the quality of the food or services. As shown by my R2 source, real waiters/waitresses engage in many tasks that enhances the quality of the food/services.
3. Unethical Behavior
See above points!
The arguments have been mostly argued and fleshed out so I'm going to make this round short and just lay out some final points and counterpoints in a simple fashion.
1. While an appeal to tradition and authority is not full grounds for making something right it does play a role in our social interactions with people. I am not using social norm as my entire case but rather one factor that adds to the case as a whole and strengthens it. I reaffirm that Sonic workers type of work does indeed warrant a tip.
2. I never said that since they're expecting a tip they deserve a tip. I said that due to the social norm and their pay status as tipped workers not giving them a tip would be considered rude. They may or may not expect a tip but the combined factors of their work and their pay status and the social norm of politely tipping says that they should probably receive one.
3. I know Sonic employees are paid a paycheck but I think that tipping slightly is better than not tipping at all. PRO gives no real argument for why a simple dollar or two should not be bestowed upon a Sonic car hop.
4. PRO's "trump" source from the Sonic Corporation gives NO JOB DESCRIPTIONS! It just gives a list of positions. My source does indeed highlight actual job DUTIES and DESCRIPTIONS. PRO's does not. Therefore his claim about car hop's work is unfounded since his source does not support it.
5. I still affirm that Sonic workers work is above the cut of an average fast food place and below the cut of a sit down restaurant. Sonic workers deserve a small tip for their work as they do indeed bring your food to you and clear it away at the end, they interact with you on a more personal level than fast food places normally do and thus, due to the aforementioned points deserve a small tip for their work.
6. The atmosphere of a drive-in is more personal and friendly than normal fast food places, the environment is your own car, you have someone come straight to your window, greet you, ask you if you need anything while they deliver your food. This personable atmosphere is the type of atmosphere that deserves a tip. It is similar in fashion (yet not the same as a sit down).
7. Sonic workers are labeled as tipped workers for a reason.
8. PRO dropped the Unethical Behavior points all together and I will interpret that as a concession.
Sonic workers should indeed deserve a small tip for their work.
Thanks for a great debate! It was fun and interesting to be sure.
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