WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

Alan Greenblatt

You can tell a lot about a culture by its food, particularly if food is all that remains.

District Six was a mixed-race section of Cape Town, South Africa, that was home to Europeans, Asians, Africans, Christians, Muslims and Jews.

A half-century ago, District Six, which was just outside of downtown, was declared a whites-only area. By the early 1980s, 60,000 people had been forcibly removed from their homes.

It may not be possible to imagine a more terrible crime.

Courtney Pieters, a 3-year-old girl from a suburb of Cape Town, went missing on May 4. Her body was found nine days later, buried in a shallow grave about two-thirds of a mile from her home. She had been raped twice.

"This is one of the saddest incidents I've come across," South African President Jacob Zuma said May 18.

Imagine there's no tipping. By getting rid of gratuities, a few restaurants believe they'll make life easier for customers, while providing a more stable income to servers.

"It eliminates the pressure on the guest to worry about paying our staff," says Brian Oliveira, chef at Girard, a French-style restaurant opening in Philadelphia in a few weeks that intends to offer its staff up to $13 an hour in salary, plus health benefits, but with no tips.