We've heard of all kinds of tipping stories lately:
The football player who stiffs a waiter, the Fishtown restaurant that makes tipping optional, the restaurants (mainly in California) that ask for additional gratuities to help fund health insurance for workers.
Last week, L.A. trattoria Alimento added a line to its checks to encourage patrons to throw money also to the back-of-the-house staff - the cooks, dishwashers and prep workers who also happen to have a potent impact on your dining experience.
One of the truisms of the restaurant business is that many waiters come out with more money in their pockets than the cooks.
Los Angeles Magazine writes that chef-owner Zach Pollack came up with the idea after losing two of his best line cooks to higher-paying gigs. "They couldn't make it work on their end, and I couldn't make it work on mine - this is a small restaurant," he says. "But at the same time, the servers are walking away with a lot of money. That's great, but it put an issue in the spotlight that I've been aware of for a while."