Restaurant Etiquette: Proper Tipping

Bad tips, no tips, and using Bible tracts as tips

rage-nuclear“Frugal is fine, but being a cheap and inconsiderate SOB is not.” – Me

A good waiter or waitress (server, for the more politically correct) will work their ass off for you. They will smile at you, say nice things about your unruly kids and make endless runs back and forth to your table to refill your glass, restock your bread or rolls and make sure your every whim is satisfied. They will gladly deal with your primadonna attitude, and if you have to wait a little longer than you expected for your food, or if something is wrong with your order, they will deal it promptly and professionally. They will do their job with a smile – even when you insult, berate or threaten them – in spite of the fact that whatever problem you are having with the restaurant is almost never their fault.

For this, they get paid anywhere from two to three dollars an hour, plus tips – which should be right at twenty percent. More on percentages, later. If your server gave you good service, regardless of other issues you might have with the restaurant, not tipping them or tipping them poorly is not screwing the restaurant. You are screwing them, and you’re a douchebag. Oh, and if you are one of those self-righteous, uber-Christians who leaves a folded tract that looks like a ten or twenty-dollar bill instead of actual legal tender, well…

You’re A Double Douchebag…

Here’s how it works with most of the chain restaurants. They require their servers to “tip out” the rest of the staff, commonly three percent of the tab. This means that if you spend $100.00 in a decent restaurant and leave five bucks, you’ve not only left just five percent, but three of those five dollars have to go to the hosts, hostesses, bussers, etc. This leaves two bucks for the server to keep, in addition to their two-dollars an hour wage. The average stay is about an hour, so this amounts to about four bucks an hour for their blood, sweat and tears.

If you leave nothing, the server still has to tip out the rest of the staff their three percent. Your server ends up losing money, as they have to take money out of their pocket. It’s like paying to go to work. That doesn’t even address the fact that they also have to pay taxes based on a percentage of their sales. So you are not only screwing them at the table, but with the IRS, too.

I’ll get to those tracts I referred to a little further down the page, because people actually do this. But first, how to tip when your bill is discounted, and some third grade mathematics.

Coupons and Gift Cards…

Allow me to give you a lesson on how to use a coupon when dining out. It’s really simple, even you have a limited ability to comprehend simple instructions. All you have to remember is to tip your server based on the total bill before the coupon or discount is applied. If your bill comes to $100.00 and you’ve got a “half-off” coupon, you tip on the $100.00, not on the discounted amount of $50.00. If your bill is $65.00 and you have a $20.00 gift card, you tip on the $65.00. If the kitchen totally screwed up your $87.00 dinner and the manager decided to comp your entire meal, you still tip your server on the $87.00.

Did you understand? I will re-type it slower, just in case:

“Tip your server based on your bill before any discounts or coupons are applied.” 

Additionally, you owe it to the universe to investigate the restaurant of your choice before walking in their front door. Regardless of what you’ve clipped out of the newspaper, what came in the mail or whatever gift card you’ve been given, there are going to be restaurants that you cannot afford to eat in – even if the meal is free. This information is not hard to find. There is an endless supply of websites that will tell you what a meal will cost at almost every restaurant in the United States. You can also call ahead, or ask to see a menu before you are seated.

Or, alternatively, you can still choose to be the insolent, inconsiderate douchebag who knows that without your half-off coupon the meal and tip would cost $120.00 – and still walk through the door with $55.00 in your pocket. Did I hit a nerve? Good, you deserve that uncomfortable feeling when you see yourself reflected in an article about douchy behavior. You didn’t bring enough money with you, so instead of being a cheap bastard, do your server a favor and go to McDonald’s.

I Am Terrible At Maths…

There are those who just suck at math and can’t seem to figure out how much to leave your server. If this is you, don’t assume that giving ten bucks to your server is sufficient because ten bucks is a lot of money to you. It doesn’t work that way. See my previous paragraph about there being restaurants you cannot afford. The proper and accepted tip is 20%, and if you can’t figure it out, use a calculator. You’ve got one on your phone, even if it’s one of those cheap-ass feature phones.

If you don’t have a cell phone, then all you have to do is look at your bill and mentally move the decimal point over to the left one digit – then double that amount. Really, it’s not rocket science. If you can’t figure this out in your head, grab a napkin and a pen. Say your bill is $100.00. Write “$100.00” down and then and make a decimal point one numeral to the left of where it is now.

If you have OCD or get confused at the presence of multiple decimal points, then just tear out the little piece of napkin where the decimal point was. If you happen to have a bottle of white-out on you, you’ve got bigger problems than figuring out a tip. But that’s another story. Now, you see what happened there? You’re napkin now shows a figure of ten dollars. Double that figure and you’ve got your twenty percent.

It even works with odd amounts, too, so don’t get all nervous. If your bill is $57.86, then write “$57.86” on your napkin, and using the same instructions I just gave you, move the decimal point over one numeral to the left. See, it happened again! $5.76 has magically appeared on your napkin. Double that, and you’ve got your tip – roughly about $12.00. Easy peasy…

About Those Tracts…

If you are one of those special douchebags who leaves a bible tract in place of a tip, you should be doubly ashamed of yourself. The server doesn’t give a rats ass if you and Jesus are best friends forever. This goes way beyond bad form. It is reprehensible, and will cause your server to wish bad things about y0u, like when you leave the restaurant your car has two flat tires, a parking ticket and has been completely sealed in Saran Wrap. As well, getting home to find out that your dog has chewed up your favorite bible.

Here’s an example:

a-waiter-was-annoyed-after-his-20-tip-turned-out-to-be-a-bible-pamphlet

I cannot say enough about how horrible a thing it is for you to leave something like this in place of a tip. You can’t imagine how it feels to work your ass off for an hour or more, providing excellent service only to find a tract sitting on the table – surreptitiously folded up to trick you into thinking you actually got a decent tip, or a tip at all. Christians are known for being notoriously bad tippers to start with. If you doubt me, ask any server. There’s a reason they dread working the Sunday lunch shift.

I have a bit of enlightenment for you tract-tippers. This is not clever. You are screwing with the livlihoods of the servers on whom you inflict your evangelism. Oh, and that smirk on your face as you walk away from your table after leaving only makes you more of a pretentious dick.

Here’s another example of a “tip” left for a server:

voYd4h

aattp-tip-2

tract

You want to know what else is not clever? Writing “Jesus Loves You” or some other bogus slogan to the line on your bill where you are supposed to add your tip.

Oh, and while we are at it, your “let’s eat most of our meal then send it back saying it sucked so we don’t have to pay for it or leave a tip” is a bunch of crap. It’s cheating, you are a douche for doing it and the entire staff sees right through you.

Selfishness is Not a Virtue…

OK, the ranting portion of today’s article is over. Just as well, the people who it was directed toward probably stopped reading it already. I know a lot of people who live outside the United States don’t understand the concept of tipping. However, most travel agents and other media aimed at new arrivals or first time visitors cover the tradition of tipping at great length.

Personally, I find it reprehensible that it is perfectly legal for a restaurant to pay someone a couple of bucks an hour and leave the responsibility of making up the difference in an already barely livable wage to customers. It is infinitely worse when those customers have zero respect for people who wait on tables for a living, are so cheap they squeak when they walk or are just plain clueless. A server is not “beneath” anyone, regardless. They are not less worthy of fair compensation because they happen to be in a service industry, and they do not deserve to be punished for something that they are not responsible for.

Yes, I know there are some horrible servers and more than a few restaurants that offer miserable service. They usually don’t last long, though. Established restaurants, particularly higher-end ones, generally do not tolerate incompetence and have high standards for their wait staff. If a customer has a problem with their server, then by all means they should let the manager know, and I have no problem with poor service reflecting a poor tip – or no tip if the service was especially bad. An incompetent server will either end up getting fired, or they will quit due to not making any money.

But if a server gives great service but a customer has an issue with something else, like a problem with the meal, the music being too loud or a table being next to an especially loud and boisterous party, the manager will be more than happy to compensate them somehow. But for the love of all that is good and right in the world, taking it out on their server is the last thing they should do.

If you know someone who is guilty of the things I discussed here, it would behoove you to print this out and either hand it to them or leave it in a place they are sure to find it.

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  120 comments for “Restaurant Etiquette: Proper Tipping

  1. June 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Honestly we should probably just get rid of tipping and pay people a decent salary.

    • June 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

      I agree with this. Restaurant owners are cheapskates. My wife has been a server (now a manager) for 35 years so I have seen and heard it ALL! Having just spent a week in Japan where NO tipping is the rule I have seen how that works. I actually spoke to a broad spectrum of service people about it and they are paid a decent wage and considered tipping superfluous.

      Having said that, tipping IS the norm here so DO IT!

      Thanks for the articulate words, as usual, Al!

    • Daniel
      June 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Service workers demanded this in the Russian and Spanish revolutions. Orwell mentions it as one of the ways in which he saw Catalonia taken over by the workers, businesses collectived, and deferential practices halted when he went to volunteer against Franco (in Homage to Catalonia)

      • ohioobserver
        June 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

        So, Daniel, what’s your point? That paying service workers a living wage is socialist/communist? If so, (a) that’s stupid, and (b) so be it!

        There’s one good way to understand the value of tips and a living wage: do it for a living. I have, many years ago (waited tables). My livelihood as a student depended on it. Cheapskate customers endangered my ability to continue my education.

        I and my wife eat out a lot, and we consider 20% a MINIMUM tip. If the service is exceptional, I’ve gone as high as 30%, which still isn’t enough, really, when you consider the “tipping out” business. Serving work is WORK. No less than plumbing, teaching, or playing with other people’s money.

        • June 25, 2012 at 3:43 pm

          So, Daniel, what’s your point? That paying service workers a living wage is socialist/communist?

          I doubt it, at least not in that American manner of using “socialist/communist” as a buzzword for evil. At the very least I would make the same point as Daniel without implying anything bad about either the Russian or the Catalan workers’ revolt against tips. Tipping keeps people subservient and tends to be a feature of the Third World. Its ubiquity in America is because America treats much of its population as if it were the Third World. Including levelling accusations of un-American “socialism!” or “communism!” if anyone objects.

          If so, (a) that’s stupid, and (b) so be it!
          (b) : pre-fucking-cisely, because:
          (a): No it is not stupid!

          It’s socialist and it’s good.

          It is possible.

          If I were more of a conspiracy theorist I’d say that the American antipathy to the mere mention of socialism was put there by the plutocracy as a break on the people’s demands for a decent society. It’s time America dropped the habit. Socialist (at, least Social Democratic governments) in Europe reduced the tip culture and, in some cases, got rid of tipping all together. And a jolly good thing to. Why not campaign for the same in America?

          Say it once, say it loud:

          “I think the Social Democratic Parties of Europe introduced many excellent innovations that would be worth introducing into America. Given due consideration to local conditions, culture and history, of course.!”

    • Kilian Hekhuis
      June 25, 2012 at 6:50 am

      One of the problems with abolishing tipping in favour of higher wages could be a deplorable service. Here in the Netherlands, waiting is notoriously bad, *and* restaurant prices are rediculiously high, partly because of the employee expenses.

  2. jamessweet
    June 22, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I have no problem with poor service reflecting a poor tip – or no tip if the service was especially bad.

    If I get really awful service, I usually tip about 15%. If you tip less than that, the person is not really getting paid. If I fuck up at my job, I still get a paycheck. If I keep fucking up, I won’t get raises, I could even conceivably get canned, but I don’t suddenly not get a paycheck that I was expecting in order to pay my rent.

    But yeah, really I just wish that restaurants had to pay servers appropriately, and that tipping was non-existent or much smaller. It’s a racket. But as long as that racket is in place, any decent person better tip ~20%, because otherwise you are screwing the very people who are getting most screwed by the racket.

    • Anonymous
      June 22, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Then you should probably consider employment that pays more than a third of minimum wage. What you HAVE convinced me to do is avoid restaurants where I’m expected to tip, because the management is douchy to its employees by not paying them.

      • Rory
        June 22, 2012 at 3:34 pm

        If you live in America and avoid restaurants which follow this policy, then I imagine you’ll be spending a lot of time at McDonald’s.

        • wilsim
          June 23, 2012 at 2:00 am

          In oregon, the minimum wage is the minimum wage, regardless of if you work in the service industry and are expected to earn tips along with your hourly wage.

          http://www.paywizard.org/main/minimum-wage/tipped-workers

          That being said, you should always tip your server unless they personally gave you bad service. If it was a problem with your food, or the restaurant or whatever then you talk to the manager. You do not take out your rage and disappointment on the lowest totem on the pole.

    • June 22, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Also, if you get exemplary service, besides leaving a larger than usual tip, it’s nice to ralk to the manager and let them know that your server did a wonderful job and really enhanced your experience. So often the only feedback people in the restaurant industry get is negative, so it’s good to also acknowledge the positives.

      And while we’re on the subject of tipping, I’d like to bring up one of my pet peeves: People who tip delivery drivers poorly. Once upon a time a $1 tip to a deliver driver might have been adequate, but that time is long gone. Drivers work under the same horrible conditions are servers, with the added bonus that they’re having to do it in a car and buy gas for the “privilege.” You should tip them the same as you would a server – plus I always tip more if the weather is bad.

      • wilsim
        June 23, 2012 at 2:07 am

        Now this, I have a bit of a problem with.

        The one place I order delivery from (Pizza Hut) charges for the delivery. If I am being charged for the delivery and the driver doesn’t bring any cheese packets or red pepper packets (for example)? No tip. Sorry, but they were unprepared.

        I know it doesn’t offset the expense completely, but delivery drivers get compensated for their mileage used and gas expenses at least in Oregon.

        I do not feel bad giving the driver a lousy tip or none at all when I consider these things, but I probably should tip better.

        • shela
          September 11, 2012 at 8:36 pm

          Yes I do not tip delivery drivers..They make me pay a delivery fee here in ontario, canada its expensive its 3.50 + tax on top of that…i can`t afford to treat myself..the company makes good money, and really its not my problem i`m already paying 24.38 for a medium pizza and 1 dip and 1 can of pop…I already pay a delivery charge and tipping is not manditory if it were…we`d be in jail for not tipping!

          I don`t tip period i pay for the service and i don`t care…its not my fault and don`t guilt trip me for spending money in your restaurant be happy i even came in…even if us non tippers come in..we are still spending alot of money, money which i can use to pay my bills with and not give you! But i come into your store and spend some…and you know what some of it still ends up in the servers pocket – your just a server you brought me my food, you didn`t cook it..if anyone needs a tip its the cook not you!

          If you think your wage depends upon a tip…then get the laws changed..but don`t put it on the customer that just wants to relax and eat and pay then go home!

    • Brognar Slinaak
      June 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      According to Federal law, a server must be paid minimum wage. To account for tips, the law says that the restaurant can take up to a certain amount of a tip-credit. (So if minimum wage is $7.25, and the tip credit max is $5.12, the hourly wage is effectively $2.13.) However, if the employee averages less than $7.25/hr gross wages, the employer IS REQUIRED to pay the difference. Effectively, a waiter or waitress cannot, under federal minimum wage law, be paid less than federal minimum wage.

      In a tip-pooling situation, the mandatory pool contribution doesn’t count towards the server’s tip wages. If a person tips $5 on $100 bill, and the server must contribute $3 (3%) to the pool, only the $2 the server kept counts towards gross wages. A pool situation where the employee is mandated to contribute 3% of a bill even if no tip was left is illegal and a call to the labor board should be made…

      • Jessie
        June 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

        The problem with this is that restaurants often don’t do this. In many cases, servers are unwilling to speak up lest they get fired, supposedly for something else, but really for demanding their right for minimum wage.

        • N. Nescio
          June 22, 2012 at 10:26 pm

          [citation needed]

          • Muse
            June 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

            It’s anecdote – but it used to happen to me all the time. And I worked for a chain restaurant. Basically, if you do sloppy bookkeeping it’s easy to avoid. Also, they will average it over the course of your pay period, so if you get a really good tip – that might offset three hours where you only had one table.

  3. Quodlibet
    June 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Thanks for this valuable essay – most people have no idea what it’s like to be a server. I’ve never been a server, but I’ve watched with admiration as they keep track of umpteen tables and checks and everything…and they still smile when they come to help me.

    I tip just as you suggest – 10% x 2 = 20% – I don’t do math easily in my head, so this is a really simply way to find the 20%. Then I round upward to the next $5 or so, or more, if the service was exceptional. I like sending compliments to the kitchen via the server, too. When service has been good, I also make a point of finding the manager to pass on praise for the server. A few good words can make a difference to a person. I do that at the supermarket, too, when I am pleased with service at the check-out line. Customers are quick to criticize and complain, but we also need to praise when it’s deserved. Too often the people who make our lives easier are faceless and nameless – we need to look them in the eyes and say “Thank you.”

    • Tony... therefore God
      June 25, 2012 at 8:44 am

      I like sending compliments to the kitchen via the server, too.

      Thank you for that. Though the kitchen is one area of a restaurant I haven’t worked, I’ve watched the staff work their asses off to do a fantastic job. Hearing that a guest enjoyed their experience can be a wonderful compliment.

      Too often the people who make our lives easier are faceless and nameless – we need to look them in the eyes and say “Thank you.”

      ^^^This.
      Complaints come in all the time in restaurants. People do take the time to relay their bad experiences (as I did tonight when I went out to eat and lost my appetite due to a misogyny laden conversation between 2 employees I had the misfortune of overhearing). In my experience, the negative comments (which are often completely valid) overshadow (or in some cases, outweigh) the positive ones. That’s all the more reason to let the appropriate person know when you have had a good/great experience dining out.

  4. June 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Yeah, well. There is bad enough service that garners no tip and no payment for the meal. I was at Olive Garden a month or so ago, and it was bad service from start to finish. It was a few minutes before we were seated in a mostly empty restaurant, then almost 20 minutes before we were greeted by our server. When we placed our drink orders, she came back with three glasses of coke for me, I guess so she wouldn’t have to talk to me again until my food was ready, which took 40 minutes and got to my table burned. Then she disappeared for 15 minutes, took away my plate and took 15 more minutes to bring the manager around. Then the manager was rude and dismissive and got right up in my face while I was sitting instead of standing a decent distance from my to talk to me. My wife and I just got up and walked out.

    On the flip side of this, if the service is good you tip $5 even if the bill is only $10-12. Your waitress isn’t working less hard at a Denny’s or Waffle House than she would be at a fancier place with a more expensive menu, so if you get a $5.50 breakfast and four refills on your coffee, you leave her $10 and let her keep the change.

    • RW Ahrens
      June 25, 2012 at 11:50 am

      On the minimum tip: Absolutely! I, too have a minimum tip rule, and it is also $5, no matter if, eating breakfast, it is more than the meal! It has always bothered me that folks working at the diners where breakfast can easily work out to $3-5 can only expect less than a buck for a tip.

  5. June 22, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Sometimes I do tip “lousy” as a way of saying “your service was lousy”. A bad tip tells more than just not tipping. Waitstaff that are familiar with me know I tip above the normal scale and I always get great service. I’ve even been known to tip up to 50%. But give me lack luster service and I’ll leave you two dimes. It’s a huge indicator of poor service. And if I do that to someone where I usually tip well, they’ll go complain and they’ll be told they must have pissed me off because I tip 18% and more usually.

    Also, if those tracts are made to look like currency you can get them for forgery. Just note who they were, get their names if possible from their CC and turn them in to the Secret Service by name and with the tract. A teacher in California was hit with forgery even though she changed the bills to say NOT LEGAL tender and changed the faces to cartoon characters all for the purpose of teaching her students about money and economics, spending and earning. So yes, you can screw them over for screwing you over.

    • Rory
      June 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      I remember one occasion when I received service that wasn’t just bad, but downright offensive. The waiter took exception at one of my friends wearing a Yankee cap (this in NYC) and continued berating him long past the point where we asked him to chill out and do his job. We left literally some change as a tip–and you know what, we were really jerks to do that.

      If you want to ‘send a message’ about bad service, then tell the server outright, or complain to the manager. You certainly don’t have to tip someone who does a terrible job, but if the service is THAT bad, then you really ought to just say something about it so that the problem can be corrected. But saying nothing and then leaving a pathetic tip or no tip is just passive aggressive and jerky.

      • Tony... therefore God
        June 25, 2012 at 8:48 am

        Especially when the server has no clue what they did wrong. Make no mistake, there are servers out there who are not suited to the service industry and screw up. There’s no denying that. However, there are many times I’ve seen a horrified server receive $5 on a $100 tab, and they’re uncertain *why*. If someone has a bad experience, tells the manager, and leaves a poor tip, at least then the server is likely to be informed what xe did wrong and can take the appropriate steps to avoid said mistakes.

  6. Jeremy Shaffer
    June 22, 2012 at 11:19 am

    My general rule is to always show respect to someone that is handling my food and drinks, often out of my sight. Especially if I plan on being a repeat customer.

  7. thomasdohm
    June 22, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I will punish servers with lesser tips if the restaurant messes up my food and they do nothing about it.

    I have a number of times pointed out items that were raw or otherwise inedible, only for the server to take it away with no apology and to later find it still on the bill.

    I don’t feel like arguing at that point. I could say “hey, you’re charging me for that raw dumpling you tried to feed me” but at that point I’m happier removing their tip and writing something snarky in the check.

    Other than that, even with the knowledge that my meal will end up costing them money, I will not tip if they’ve actually made my evening out a poor one through bad attitudes or completely inattentive service. This is because it would only take one “sorry” and they’d get a full tip. If they can’t be bothered, neither can I.

  8. justsomeguy
    June 22, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I was always more insulted by miniscule tips (less than $1) than no tip at all. When a person flat-out doesn’t leave a tip, you pretty much know what’s up. When a person leaves a meager handful of pocket change, it just makes the whole situation condescending. To me, it seems less a statement of “this person doesn’t need/deserve any extra money” and more along the lines of “here is a pittance for the pauper.” As if 35 cents is in any way useful.

    And don’t even get me started on the morons who think “this person didn’t do anything but what they’re getting paid to do; why do they deserve anything extra?” Or the people who will *insist* on tipping exactly 15% (or 20% or whatever) and not a penny more.

    • OneHappyAtheist
      June 22, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Yes, please, bitch about the people who actually leave an appropriate tip. Seriously? Those who “insist on leaving” an appropriate tip are to be bashed? Get your priorities straight. If I for even a second thought my server had that attitude just displayed about a 15-20% tip, I’d never tip him or her a penny.

      • justsomeguy
        June 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm

        Okay, yeah, reading my initial post again, I realize it’s easy to misinterpret. Some clarification:

        My objection to the people who insist on leaving 15% is specifically about people who treat that figure like it’s part of an elaborate formula that cannot be altered, and that the tip MUST equal EXACTLY that portion of the bill, no more and no less… as if it’s not a rule of thumb, but an actual rule. It’s not that they tip appropriately, it’s that they insist there is exactly one way to tip appropriately, and anything else is too much or not enough.

        And my objection is based more on my experience as a diner as opposed to a server (yes, I have worked for tips before, and with the exception of the extreme-low-tippers I mentioned above, I was always happy to get any tip at all). I’ve been out with individuals who will manually do the full calculation of how much exactly the tip should be, then waste a bunch of time rummaging around for just the right number of pennies. For these people, if the bill is $19.75 after tax and tip and everything else, they won’t even just round that up to $20, and they don’t care one bit about how much time it’ll take to get 25 cents in change. And really, the only reason I object to this practice is because when I’m out with these people, they waste *my* time by being so anal about it.

        So yeah, it’s a pet peeve more than anything. I suppose your snark is what I get for bringing up a minor irritant of mine.

        • Corvus illustris
          June 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm

          You have not seen exact calculation of tips, division of total tab and/or bar bill, etc., until you have seen a bunch of mathematicians take the colloquium speaker out to dinner after his/her talk. In view of your reaction to anything as straightforward as exact tip calculation, I don’t recommend the experience.

  9. tubi
    June 22, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I once worked at a pizza place and one mid-week afternoon a man came in and sat at a booth for 2-3 hours. All he got was a salad bar and coffee. That doesn’t sound like much, but I had to keep bringing him clean salad plates and fresh coffee. I did a lot of running on his behalf.

    The bill was about $8.00. By the calculations shown above, I should have been tipped $1.60. As it happened, I was bussing his table as he was leaving the restaurant. He tipped <50 cents. I was annoyed but when I saw him getting into his car, a late model Mercedes, I snapped. I went out to the parking lot and flung the handful of change at his car as he was pulling away. And I called him a douche.

    Was that wrong?

    By the way, the manager let it slide, partly because he understood my frustration, and partly because I used to cover for him during Saturday night shifts while he went up on the roof to smoke a joint. Then he'd cover for me. It's hard to rat out your weed buddy.

    • Brownian
      June 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

      Oh, tubi, I feel your pain. For a short time, I worked in a café/restaurant run by my older siblings in a recreational sports complex. Because the restaurant was owned by the municipality that owned the complex, prices were somewhat fixed. Coffee, for instance, was 86¢.

      Hockey parents would come in, sit for an hour and a half while their child was at practice, snapping their fingers for coffee refills if their cup fell below 2/3 full.

      And leave me 85¢ when the bill came.

      • N. Nescio
        June 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm

        I wish people who tipped like assholes realized that servers talk to the kitchen, and “hey the guy at table 17 is a real asshole” can have a strong impact upon the quality of the meal. Want your steak to be the slightly-slimy ‘save for well done’ portion? Act like a condescending, pompous jerk when dealing with the person who has to serve you for a living.

        I work in the food business, and while I don’t dine out often, I tip significantly higher at the places I do go to regularly. I get better service, and staff consistently go above and beyond to make sure I enjoy my experience. That’s worth a little extra money.

    • ischemgeek
      June 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      I’ve sat at a restaurant table for a few hours catching up with family before… but what I do to avoid being an asshole is this: if we’re chatting over a meal (and usually we are), I multiply the tip for the meal by how much more time I took than I normally take to eat, and then add one to the multiplier just to make up for the stress of someone “camping,” as friends who worked in waiting refer to it (so if I was there for three hours for a meal that really only should’ve taken one, I’ll times what I’d normally tip by four). And I’ll apologize for taking so long on the way out.

      That way, I get to catch up over coffee, and I don’t screw the wait staff.

    • Gwynnyd
      June 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Just be sure you actually count the money before you go screaming out to the parking lot because you were shorted. I had left the amount of the bill and a 30% tip both in cash for a large-ish party I had hosted and was chased out to the parking lot by the raving waitress waving the bills and screaming that I had cheated her. The bottom bills were $50s not $20s. sheesh! She just turned around and went back in without an apology when I pointed that out to her. I felt like taking one of the $20s back at that point.

  10. Loqi
    June 22, 2012 at 11:26 am

    The whole tipping and compensation system for servers is idiotic. The customers don’t like it because it’s an unstated cost (personally, i’d rather they just roll it into the cost of the food and pay the server a real wage), and the servers don’t like it because of the reasons you’ve laid out here.

    Also, I’d like to add to the OP: please set a minimum tip that you won’t go below, no matter how small your bill is. If you’re one of those people who orders two cups of coffee and an english muffin and sits in the restaurant for two hours chatting or reading the newspaper, don’t leave a one dollar tip because it’s 20% of your bill. It was still two hours of the server’s time.

  11. Brownian
    June 22, 2012 at 11:31 am

    I’ve got a great cadre of friends I met through working at the same restaurant. They taught me to tip generously.

    For a few years, just for something different to do, we’d spend Friday nights at a karaoke bar singing and drinking just coffee. Our bill for the night came to a buck-fifty each, but as a rule we’d each leave $10 or so, since the server would be swinging by with a fresh pot every twenty minutes or so. Overtipping? Maybe, but it was cheaper than booze, and it kept us on good terms with the staff. It wasn’t usually a busy place, but there were eight or so of us, and we did take up seats that might have been used by drinking customers.

    All of that said, I’m flabbergasted by cheap assholes who do their best to piss off the staff before they’ve even been served their food. Don’t they know that restaurant justice is meted out via (un)sanitary practices?

  12. longstreet63
    June 22, 2012 at 11:35 am

    The gigantic enterprise in which I make my living as a cog has not long ago altered their expense policies. Besides making the process of expense reporting ridiculously complex (Didn’t claim an entitled meal? Explain why in three paragraphs.) they also changed tipping rules.
    My company requires a maximum tip of 15%–before taxes. Exceeding this by a few pennies is met by an inquisition (I sinned in this way retroactively once and was counselled on it no less than five times, as well as being required to send the company a check for twent-two cents.)

    So thanks, giant faceless corporation, for trying to make me That Guy.

    Now, when forced to travel, I pay my own tips, no doubt achieving the goal of the policy.

    • Kevin
      June 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      Bill the company exactly 15% and then put your add-ons on top.

      I have to say that I’ve not met with this kind of corporate douche-baggery. When I travel, I do have a meal limit which includes tip. But I’ve never had a complaint from the bean counters because I’ve left a 20% tip (which I routinely do).

    • Rory
      June 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      I find the idea of having to justify ‘not’ claiming meals horrifying. When I travel for work, sometimes I choose to eat out at nice places–I would rather go somewhere nice and pay out of pocket than expense a meal at Denny’s. To my way of thinking, that’s none of the company’s damn business. I sympathize with the crazy you have to deal with.

  13. Erin
    June 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I was a little taken aback by those numbers, but then, I’m in Canada and tip amounts are done a little differently here, though the concept is the same. The lowest I’ve seen for a wage here was about $6/hour but that was years ago – I think it’s around $8-9 now. So, for those of you in Canada, this is what Trip Advisor tells tourists:

    Gratuities are seldom included in Canadian restaurants. It is customary to tip approximately 15% on the total bill before tax, 20% for exceptional service. Approximately because tipping is personal and if 10% is your personal choice then tip 10%; but 15% is customary and (rightly or wrongly) expected.

    Many restaurants may charge an automatic 15% or more gratuity for larger groups. This is up to the individual establishment but is usually applicable to groups of 8 or more. Some restaurants also “auto-grat” groups from countries that don’t normally tip. A “tip” for calculating the appropriate tip at a restaurant is simply to multiply the 5% GST (Goods and Services Tax) amount shown on the bill by three–three times 5% is 15%. The GST has been replaced by the HST In British Columbia (12%), Ontario (13%) and the Atlantic provinces (13% to 15%) and, depending on the amount, it may be easy to round up to 15%.

    Fifteen percent is the standard restaurant tip in Canada and has been for years (when I was a child, it was 10%). At no time, has it ever been acceptable to leave those religious tracts as tips here, either. Quite frankly, doing so is rather tasteless.

  14. Nora
    June 22, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I’ve always maintained that former servers are the best tippers. It’s been 40 years since I was a waitress but I still get mad thinking about the jerks. I also still remember the couple who decided the menu wasn’t what they wanted. They left a dollar for just the water and my suggestion of a better place. There are a few good people out there.

    I always tip at least 20 percent, after rounding up and including the tax. I figure the extra dollar will mean more to the server then to me. And if I can’t afford to tip well, I can’t afford to go to restaurants.

    And I’ve only married good tippers.

    • ischemgeek
      June 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      My mother is the exception to that. When anyone goes out with her, even if she says she’ll treat, we bring cash so we can boost the tip behind her back.

    • Loqi
      June 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      There’s definitely a correlation between being in the business (in my case, not a server, but being close to them) and tipping well. A friend once told me I tip like a pro athlete in a strip club. It took me a second to conclude she meant that in a good way.

    • Lurker111
      June 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

      “And I’ve only married good tippers.”

      Thank you for making my morning! 🙂

  15. tmscott
    June 22, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    As a former waiter and bartender, I can relate to the frustration at receiving a, “save your sole” tip. I can also relate to the problem of campers that purchase minimal items to extend their stay.

    While I can’t improve the behavior of others, whenever I am at a restaurant or bar where I my bill is less than a full meal deal, I employ what I call the, “rule of ones”. Wherein, I simple count up every item brought to the table by my server, Water, bread, that fresh fork for the one I dropped… you get the idea. For each item, I add one dollar. I then tip 20% or the “rule of ones”, whichever is larger.

  16. Rod
    June 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Canadians sometimes get a bad rap over tipping when travelling in the US. In most provinces wait-staff are paid minimum wage, $10/hr more or less.It is a provincial jurisdiction. Ergo, 10 – 15% seems to be the norm. Most Canadians are unaware of the wage policies in US restaurants and assume, obviously incorrectly that a reasonable base wage is paid.

    • Amyc
      June 22, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Most people don’t know this, but “canadians” is also a racist term used to talk about black people. It’s a common misconception among servers that black people don’t tip.

      • Tony... therefore God
        June 25, 2012 at 9:34 am

        Yes, that is a big misperception.
        I’ve tried to do my best to counter that over the years. I remember when I started waiting tables and “discovered” that black people don’t tip. At some point, I received an exceptional tip from a table of black guests and I recall being shocked. So much so that I started paying attention to (and writing down) my tips. I discovered a few shocking things.
        [hypothetical scenario]
        It’s Friday night, and you have waited on 50 people over the course of 7 hours. 35 of those people were white. 15 were black. The smaller number of black guests waited on made it seem like they didn’t tip, because their bad tips stood out more. It only looked like black people didn’t tip well because they made up a smaller portion of the overall guest count. The 35 white guests were comprised of many that were horrible tippers as well.
        I changed my views then and there.
        Some people tip well. Some people tip ok. Some people are horrific tippers. It’s not about race.

  17. Compuholic
    June 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for this informative post. Since I’m not from the U.S. I always knew that it was expected of me to tip. But I’ve always wondered how much is considered appropiate.

    Thanks for clearing this up

  18. Volker
    June 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    As someone living outside the US, I cannot agree with you. Where I liv e, tipping is considered a gesture for good service, a bonus if you will.

    In the end, the US tipping culture is a way of suckering people to work for less than they actually deserve, i.e. owners profiting from the desperation of their employees. They are shifting blame from their profiteering to their customers.

    The real cheapskates and douchebags are not the bad tippers, but the employers of the poor bastards who have to accept anything to make a little money. So: PAY YOUR EMPLOYEES PROPERLY.

    That said, leaving something that looks like a tip but isn’t IS an asshole move.

    • Loqi
      June 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Partial owner of a family restaurant here (one that does pay a decent wage), and you are correct that a lot of restaurant owners are cheap bastards. But the people leaving crap tips are still assholes. Yes, the system is backward and stupid, but that’s not the server’s fault, and leaving a crap tip only hurts the server. We occasionally hear of people who don’t like the tip system not leaving tips in order to “protest.” But not leaving a tip doesn’t mean fuck all to the restaurant owner, so the “protest” is perfectly ineffectual. You want to protest? Eat at places that do pay a real wage. That way, the owners at least share the pain, and you don’t have to be a douche.

  19. Coragyps
    June 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Excellent post, Al. My daughter waitressed in Oklahoma long years ago, and dreaded Wednesday nights above all. A bunch of 20+ Pentecostals, with multiple small children, would come in after their prayer meetin’, want substitutions on every plate, let their kids run rampant, spill iced tea, and then leave a dollar tip for the whole table.

    I’ve always tipped 20% or more ever since those days. I’ve never asked if she ever spit in the enchiladas…..

  20. Craig
    June 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Why is there such a sense of entitlement when it comes to the service industry? And where did 20% come from? The customary rate has always been 15% anywhere I’ve ever been. And that is reserved for when service is good! If service is subpar, it goes down. And I don’t buy the argument about the low wage either. I was able to avoid this pitfall in my youth by not working in a restaurant. Considering the price of eating out lately, be glad you’re getting a gratuity at all.

    However, the whole “Bible Tract instead of actual money” thing IS worse than disgusting.

    • ohioobserver
      June 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Craig:

      Don’t be a jerk.

      Sometimes (often) food-service work is all there is. If you’re in school, a parent caring for children, or anyone else who can’t work 9-to-5, there are damn few jobs that pay anything other than food service. It takes few formal qualifications, so if you’re working on a degree, it’s usually what’s available. I’ve done factory work and food service, and I think food service is harder work.

      And 15% is only “customary” if you’re stuck in the 1970’s. When I was a kid (even before that), my parents paid 15% when we ate out. Things cost more now than they did then. And many restaurants tip out on the 20% rate, so less than that cause the server to pay for the privilege of attending to you.

      • Gregory in Seattle
        June 23, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        Forty years ago, that meal was $7 with tax, so a 15% tip was $1.05. Today, that same meal is $25 with tax, so a 15% tip is $3.75. As prices go up, the tip goes up as well. That’s how percentages work.

  21. G.Shelley
    June 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Everything I have seen says that Wait staff must earn minimum wage when tips and base rate is combined – If the tips don’t bring it up to minimum, the restaurant has to make it up.
    How do they get away with making staff “tip out” even when there was no tip?

    • Amyc
      June 22, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      The “tip-out” is not based on the tips you actually made. It’s based off of calculating what your sales were and the assumption that you made 20% of your sales.

  22. Randolfe
    June 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Al:

    (1) Restaurant managements seem to have no problem “imposing” a tip of, say, 18% on “parties of six or more.” What’s the problem with “imposing” the same percentage tip on parties of two or more? Or one or more?

    It is done in foreign countries like France.

    (2) One very significant problem is that I cannot, as a customer, “penalize” anybody but the wait staff for poorly cooked food or poorly poured drinks, or long waits between ordering and delivery.

    • Tony... therefore God
      June 25, 2012 at 9:44 am

      I take it for some reason if you have a bad experience, you’re unable to speak with a manager to express your disapproval. You can’t express your frustration to your server.
      You can’t express your irritation to the bartender.
      Or you’re unable to send an email to the Guest Relations Dept.

      You can’t do either of those, so you resort to punishing your server (who may or may not have had anything to do with your unpleasant experience) by tipping shitty. Lovely.
      That’s the kind of attitude that service industry employees detest.

  23. Volker
    June 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    If your employer pays you less than you deserve, quit and find a new job.

    • Amyc
      June 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      It’s not always that easy. Students tend to work at restaurants because the schedules are usually extremely flexible, so you can work around your school schedule. Plus, after working as a server for a while, you get used to the idea of “hey, I need some money fast…I’ll go pick up a shift.” Working for tips is very different from working for hourly wages, and it makes it easier to come up with money fast when you need it. When I worked hourly, and needed money fast, I had to pick up extra hours and then get an advancement on my check (not always allowed). As a server, I can just go pick up an extra shift the next day, make sure I get plenty of tables and then I have the money I need right then, not a week from when I worked.

      There are advantages to being a server, and your callous attitudes toward those who are in the service industry is probably picked up on by those who serve you. I’ve served plenty of tables where I could tell, right from the start, that they had no respect for me or the fact that I was working hard for them.

    • Rory
      June 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      That’s really good advice. I bet it never occurred to people working crappy jobs for low pay that they could peddle their services elsewhere. Once you share your wisdom with them (perhaps you could write it on a napkin and leave it in lieu of a tip!) I imagine they’ll storm off the job and go become concert pianists, or open heart surgeons.

  24. June 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I tip around 18 through 25% depending on the service. Of course, if your check is around $15, you can’t rely on percentages. It’s best to leave at least $4-$5.
    The servers in India, where I’m from, don’t rely on tips as much. So, I learned tipping etiquette when I came here. It took me all of a week to appreciate that servers in the U.S. depend on tips to survive, so I don’t buy the I-am-a-foreigner excuse to poor tipping.
    Once, a friend had treated us to dinner, and the check came to $93. The waiter had done a good job, and my friend just put down five twenties! A $7 tip for at least an hour’s work, and we were a group, so I’m guessing we were pretty loud. I slipped a $10 under the check before I left. It’s because of customers like her that restaurants levy a mandatory gratuity.
    But I see bad tippers everywhere. Waiters say that middle-class and lower-middle-class people often tip well because they know what waiters go through. It’s the rich who often screw their wait-staff.
    Those people who leave Bible tracts that look like money are committing fraud—no question of that. They’re made to look like money so the cheapskate customer can leave the restaurant without the wait-staff glaring at them. This is deception.

    Just one complaint of restaurants—I know this is not the servers’ fault, but I thought I’d mention it—Too many restaurants pad the check with a 20% gratuity and then leave room for a tip. Almost like they’re hoping you won’t notice the gratuity added, and you’ll tip just the same. That’s deceptive on their part, IMO.

    Nice write-up.

    • Cafeeine
      June 22, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      On the last point, I would wager that it may be for people who want to pay more than a 20% tip.
      In the US system, where the tip is essentially part of your expected wages, there is also a place for additional tips for exceptional service.

    • Tony... therefore God
      June 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Just one complaint of restaurants—I know this is not the servers’ fault, but I thought I’d mention it—Too many restaurants pad the check with a 20% gratuity and then leave room for a tip. Almost like they’re hoping you won’t notice the gratuity added, and you’ll tip just the same. That’s deceptive on their part, IMO.

      Let it not be said that I’m going to automatically side with the service side of this discussion.
      What you’re describing here is–in my experience–rarely the restaurant adding the gratuity. At most of the chain restaurants, as well as mom and pop ones the servers are the ones who request the %18-%20 gratuity added. The restaurant doesn’t have to, nor is any employee forced to.
      In addition, I’ve worked with many servers who would obscure the gratuity so that it wasn’t readily apparent to the guest. All for the purpose to getting a double tip. It’s shameful (and I know someone who was fired over this).

      • RW Ahrens
        June 25, 2012 at 12:15 pm

        Note as well that most restaurants use computers now, and their programs automatically (especially when payment is made via card) print the tip line.

        I always leave cash in lieu of that tip line, write either $0 in it or line it out, so it doesn’t get written in by a dishonest waiter (that actually happened to me once, even though I’d left cash). That way, the server doesn’t have to wait to get the tip, and I know they get it. I do that because I’ve written in a tip on that line, added it to the total, only to get my CC bill at the end of the month to see that it hadn’t been added at all! (I tracked down the waitress the next time I went in and made sure she got not only the tip she missed, but doubled it for the trouble)

  25. Evan D
    June 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    It seems that whenever the tone of one of these articles is indignant, 20% is the standard for adequate service, and you’re a douche if you go below that. Yet, Google and my mama agree that 15% is the standard. And that’s what I hate about tipping: it’s not spending money, it’s the uncertainty. 5% at the restaurants I can afford is splitting hairs. I always have to worry that what I think is acceptable is going to insult the server, or that I won’t notice their extra effort, and then they’ll hate me.

    I also live in a state without a waiter wage, so the servers are getting the highest minimum wage in the country. That may influence my opinion somewhat.

  26. dogeared, spotted and foxed
    June 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Restaurant Opportunities Center united – http://rocunited.org/

    A non-profit working to help restaurant workers get fair wages and legal treatment. They have a very helpful guide (unfortunately limited right now) of chains and local restaurants that pay their employees a living wage, offer health care, sick leave and room for advancement.

    It’s a good place to start if you don’t want your dining experience to support unfair and often illegal practices.

    Volker, It’s not that easy to just quit and get a new job. A huge majority of restaurants exploit their workers. It’s not likely that they will tell the prospective employee during the interview. Leaving a job one already has, dealing with the stress of unemployment in order to gain another job with similar or even worse conditions isn’t really worth it.

  27. Rachel
    June 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Great article! And I definitely agree with much of what you said.

    There have been times that I have left Christian tracts, and times that I have not – but almost always will tip 20% – 30% (or more – especially more at places like Denny’s and Cracker Barrel where there are a lot of moms working and the tips from most are generally smaller). (The exception to my 20 – 30% general rule is if the service COMPLETELY stinks for no reason – then it’s 15%).

    But regardless of what some of the so-called Christians do or don’t do, I think Jesus would’ve been an awesome tipper.

    “It is more blessed to give than to receive” – Jesus

    • interrobang
      June 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Don’t ever leave a tract as a tip, with or without the cash to go with it. If a person really wants to become a Christian, there is no shortage of opportunities available — that they can seek out for themselves. Pushing your religion on anybody — even by ending your blog comments with a smarmy Bible quote, is really assholish behavour, and demonstrates that you basically have no respect for other people at a deep-down level. (If you did, you’d respect them to make their own decisions.)

      • Rachel
        June 22, 2012 at 5:17 pm

        I am so sorry that that came across wrong.

        My purpose in leaving a quote from Jesus was not in any way to try and convert anyone, but to show that those Christians who are being stingy are not following the words of the one that they claim to follow.

    • Allison
      November 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      The tract thing is a little funny to me because my dad is a pastor and he has always made it a point to NOT leave a tract unless we leave a really good tip. Because as he would say NOT leaving a good tip would be a bad representation of who God is, so if we left a tract and a small tip or even no tip at all (which no one in my family has ever left no tip especially since everyone in my family has worked in the service industry at one point or another) it would be an insult to God.

  28. Jen
    June 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I do not miss being in the food service industry one bit, and the need for posts like these, along with related comments, remind me why.
    “Punishing” servers?
    “Sense of entitlement”?
    What poppycock…

  29. JoeQ
    June 22, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Let’s see:

    Server earns a base of $3 per hour.

    Average bill is $30, and server works a whole 5 tables.

    At 20%, tip per table is $6.

    Server takes in $3 + $30 in tips = $33/hour.

    Granted, that’s gross, but it’s more than I make an hour.

    I’m not saying that “not tipping” is OK, or that tipping with a tract is OK . . . but neither is it “douchey” not to tip a full 20% at all times.

    That said, I usually do 20% at dinner and 15% lunch, which is standard, unless there’s a problem with the service.

    • Muse
      June 28, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      Do you think that your server works only for one hour? And that they always get five tables an hour? Do you have any idea how much work bouncing five tables is?

  30. Arkady
    June 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Another non-USian here, thanks for the info if I ever do visit the USA. Tips are usually 10% in the UK, varying with service standard (and always round up, never down).

    A few years ago some restaurants in the UK were found using tips paid on card to top up wages to minimum wage, it wasn’t illegal then but for once the govt. paid attention and changed the law, so it is now against the rules (there have still been some scandals with with management witholding tips paid electronically, mainly in bigger chains). As a general rule I always pay tip in cash though, even if the cost of the meal is paid on card. Also can’t claim tips on expenses when at conferences, and have to request individual receipts just to make life harder on the wait staff (we have such a lovely finance dept… http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1424 )

  31. Josh, Official SpokesGay
    June 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    If you believe:

    1. You have to quibble over the percentage of the bill (pre-tax or post-tax) that’s tippable

    2. It’s appropriate to financially punish the waitstaff for the management or kitchen’s fuck-up

    3. It’s outrageous to ask for 20 percent when your grandma told you 15 percent was OK (of course you’d never haggle over the price of a dish you ordered, but somehow the waitresses’ salary is a big fucking controversy)

    4. You’re striking a blow for the working class everywhere by protesting the tipping system by depriving a single parent of enough money at the end of the night to take the bus home and buy diapers

    Congratulations. You’re first-class douchebag. You just got your jollies financially shitting on one of the lowest rungs of the socioeconomic ladder just because you can get away with it and there’s no consequence for you.

    Shorter me: you’re a fucking scumbag.

  32. Onamission5
    June 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    THANK YOU for making the point very, very, clearly that if someone does not tip their server, the server still has to pay money out of their pocket to both the back of house and the government. Way too many people either don’t understand this, or don’t care. I have myself probably explained it to a hundred people in my 20+ years of restaurant work, and most of them were shocked or didn’t believe me. Paying to be at work after you have run your ass off for hours is not fun. Consoling a single mom who relies on her tips and only made $10 on a six hour shift, also not fun, nor should it ever be necessary.

    If the chef is a dillhole, please everyone, remember it’s not your server’s fault. Not only is that server possibly putting up with crap from you, they are also putting up with crap from the chef when they deliver your messages and requests to the kitchen. Chances are good the person taking your order just got yelled at 15 seconds before they arrived at your table. Please, for the love of Maude, keep that in mind when eating out.

    Sincerely, someone who works in the BoH ’cause I’m not tough or resilient enough to be a server.

  33. James
    June 22, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I serve tables, and i think that some of the best customers are the ones from foreign countries. I was serving a family the other day from Australia or New Zealand, forget which, but they seemed to know quite a lot about how little i get paid. Boy were they a great table to serve, they were kind, funny, and they stayed most of the night, from about 8 until closing, which was around 11 that night.
    Towards the end of the night, when almost everyone had left, and most of the tables were packed up, they actually called me over and invited me to sit at the table. The manager heard this, and saw no problem with it, it was my only table left, all the others had left.
    And so i sat down with this family, and they kept asking me questions about myself, what i did, where im from, etc. so i said i was in college, studying medicine, and that it was expensive paying rent and all that. they asked how much i earn, and i said im only paid about $3 an hour, the rest i make off tips. They seemed appalled. They said the minimum wage where they are from is around $20 an hour for anyone over 18…
    They asked for the bill, which i went and grabbed, it was about $130. The father then proceeded to take his wallet out, placed $130 on the table and then walked over to me, shook my hand, thanked me for the amazing service, and placed what would have been about $250 in my hands, saying ‘I hope this helps you with your college, now go and become one damn good doctor’. He then walked over to the manager, and i could hear him say something along the lines of ‘That man is studying to become a doctor, dont you think he deserves more than $3 an hour?’
    i doubt i will ever forget that day

  34. Mike
    June 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Question #1: Where does the 20% is the only acceptable number come from? Everyone I knew growing up said 15% is “the” number. If I come back tomorrow and demand that everyone know that 30% is the acceptable number what is the guideline by which that statement is verified?
    I personally find it very difficult to navigate who gets tips of what amount in what situations (particularly since my family is not from this country). Everyone seems to think they know “the” answer, but as someone who’d gone around asking it’s hardly consistent from group to group or person to person.

    Question #2: What can we do to eliminate tipping and replace it with higher wages and having the cost of those reasonable wages being built into the bill. I don’t know anyone (except of course restaurants) who doesn’t think this makes more sense. I’d like to think there is a practical way to make it happen.

  35. RobNYNY1957
    June 23, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Germany has an intersting system: A service charge is added to the restuarant bill, and the diner expresses his pleasure or displeasure with the service by either leaving or not leaving a few coins as tip.

    I have also learned that when I speak German with friends in New York restuarants, a service charge is often added to the check. The servers explain that German tourists frequently “forget” that the tipping system in different in the USA.

    • RW Ahrens
      June 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Interesting. My wife is German, and was trained in the Hotel/restaurant business (a vocational college level of training – four years of intensive training on the job), and she always got good tips. I remember one night, after a usual length shift, she came home after a customer had tipped her with 100 mark bill! (around $50 at the time.) She never mentioned a “service fee” being added, except to foreign groups known to tip poorly (mostly in that town, Americans). In Germany, it is customary to tip about 15%.

  36. ohioobserver
    June 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Volker,

    Anybody who says “just get another job” in this economy isn’t paying attention.

    Sorry I keep popping up so often in this thread but I have a lot of sympathy for food service workers and see how they get treated like crap. My kids both did food service work, I did it, and many, many of my students(high-school and college)do it because it’s about the only work they can get hired for to earn money for their education, current or future.

    The food-service industry is the largest private-sector employer in the US, and deserves scrutiny for labor practices for that fact alone. To say nothing of the entry-level nature of serving, and the way servers learn how business operates. Do you want honest trade, decent value for your dollar, responsiveness to you as a customer? Then expect it and train people in fair labor practices.

    • Tony... therefore God
      June 25, 2012 at 9:08 am

      I agree with you, the economy is not in the shape to just quit your job because you got a bad tip (advice I’ve tried to give to people before, especially when they’re ready to just quit). Additionally, for so many, a job in their field isn’t always available when the graduate college, so waiting tables is often seen as their only option. Women who are single mothers (fathers for that matter too) can’t just quit their jobs and take a week or two to find another (assuming it would even happen that fast). They have children to worry about feeding, as well as bills to pay.

      [“Get another job” reeks of Ron Paul and libertarianism. It also reeks of privileged status.]

  37. patricklyddy
    June 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I will say that I agree with this entire article. Having previously worked as a server, however, I base a tip on certain criteria that I myself have had to deal with. The tip usually starts at 10% and goes up from there. If the service, food, etc. were amazing, I will not hesitate to go up to 20% or higher! If the service is lousy, well I could so far as to not leave a tip. I’ve done it twice that I can remember and I will never go back to those particular restaurants.

    I will also say that the gratuity practices in the US suck and that earning $2.93/hr for 8+ hours is complete crap. Minimum wage should be UNIVERSALLY applied no matter what your station. Tips should be the bonus on TOP of that.

  38. Gregory in Seattle
    June 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Since when is a proper tip 20%? For decades, the standard has been 15%.

    • cactuswren
      June 24, 2012 at 1:57 am

      Correction: for decades, the standard was 15%. For decades, it has been 20%. It’s not my, or your server’s, fault your guidebook was published in 1967.

    • Tony... therefore God
      June 25, 2012 at 9:02 am

      When I first started waiting tables-around ’97-the norm was still %15. Within a few years %20 became the norm (and this was in Alabama). I’m sure other regions of the US adopted a new % prior, but 20% wasn’t a universal amount for decades (for me, it’s been about 15 years).

  39. June 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Don’t ever give someone a Christian tract at their workplace. It is too intimate. It is not professional. It is an intrusion.

    I used to get all kinds of scripture tracts as a cashier. They always expected some kind of thanks. Look, buddy. I have a line all the way back to sporting goods. It’s Black Friday. I don’t have time to read about Jesus. I know who Jesus is. Everyone in the United States, Canada and Mexico, everyone in North America knows who frigging Jesus is. Don’t wait for me to act surprised on your behalf. The only cashier who will appreciate your schlock fan-art or Jack Chick hate literature will be another born-again Christian. I guarantee he or she has already been saved. So go put your little hate comic in the pages of all the hymnals in church or something. Then you can tell people you went ahead and “distributed” them.

  40. Jessa
    June 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Gregory in Seattle:

    Since when is a proper tip 20%?

    When I got my first job 20 years ago, federal minimum wage was $3.65 for non-tipped workers and $2.09 for tipped workers. Today, federal minimum wage is $7.25 for non-tipped workers and $2.13 for tipped workers. That’s right: in 20 years, the minimum wage for non-tipped workers has nearly doubled, but the wage for tipped workers has gone up only four cents. The tip percentage has increased because the customer is expected to cover a much higher percentage of a server’s wage than they did way back when.

    The blame for this abysmal situation should be directed at the proper target: The National Restaurant Association. They have deep pockets and powerful lobbyists, and they have been quite successful in keeping server wages low and covering for their greed by promoting the 20% tip rule.

  41. Brisvegan
    June 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I’m an Aussie, so I find the US wages for service staff to be reprehensible. On a trip to the US, I was very careful to always tip 20%.

    However, I was also surprised at how inexpensive restauant meals were in California. My husband and I went to a silver service restaurant that all the locals described as very expensive. We had a three course meal for $40 each! That’s unheard of here, where we would be looking at $60-$70 a head. Even more average restaurants were abot 1/3 less than equivalent Australian restuarants. Even with a 20% tip meals were cheap for us.

    How would Americans respond to higher restaurant prices? You’re pretty lucky about prices, even with tips. We find the higher Australian prices normal. We’re happy to pay more, because that’s standard and we know our servers have a fair wage.

    Oh and the religious tracts? Yeah, that’s just cheap and offensive. If anyone truly wanted to share a religious message, cutting someone’s income so spitefully must be the worst persuasion method ever. (Also, shoving your religion in my face is offensive.)

  42. C Rowan
    June 24, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Those tracts are generally handed out to people who could truly use the money while touting the value of Christianity as better than money. It basically tells poor/struggling people they’re greedy for wanting the cash and they SHOULD be wanting Jesus. “Here! Saving your soul is so much better than feeding your family. You’re welcome!”… “It’s your greed & immorality that makes you resentful, not my deceit or the fact that I didn’t pay you for your services.” … It’s more douchey than cheapskates who tip poorly.. and that is pretty douchey.

    • Allison
      November 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      The tract thing is a little funny to me because my dad is a pastor and he has always made it a point to NOT leave a tract unless we leave a really good tip. Because as he would say NOT leaving a good tip would be a bad representation of who God is, so if we left a tract and a small tip or even no tip at all (which no one in my family has ever left no tip especially since everyone in my family has worked in the service industry at one point or another) it would be an insult to God.

  43. Jamie
    June 25, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Another Australian here who agrees with Brisvegan at #41. Tipping in Australia is a lot less ubiquitous, but most restaurant staff earn about $18 an hour as their base hourly wage – my girlfriend works Friday to Sunday night and averages $22 an hour before tips.

    I travelled through California last year and made sure we tipped around or just over the 20% mark, but, as an outsider, I wondered what was being done to rectify the situation – the restaurant owner is making out like a bandit (paying a min. $2.13/hour to hard-working staff), while the servers are getting screwed and the customer is essentially paying twice for the same meal (once for the food, and once for the service). To me, the situation is seriously fucked up.

  44. StevoR
    June 25, 2012 at 6:12 am

    The US idea of tipping in lieu (spelling?) of actually paying workers a proper wage is, I think, an appalling, disgusting system that harms both sides of the server /customer equation.

    As an Aussie – a nation where the whole tipping practice is unknown – I don’t understand it or agree with it and hope it changes ASAP.

    However, if I ever get to go over to the States (again, I had one breif week long stay over a decade ago.) I’ll certainly tip and try to get the amount right.

  45. ischemgeek
    June 25, 2012 at 8:14 am

    I’m disgusted to say that in Canada, a lot of provinces are considering a two-tiered minimum wage like the US sees. I loathe the idea that staff might soon be dependent on tips to earn the same wage as someone working at the Golden Arches.

    In my province, we haven’t reached that point yet. It’s customary to tip ~15% here, +/- 5-10% for exeptionally good or exceptionally poor service. 15% is my default. I usually won’t subtract unless the server does something major. I’ll add a lot easier than I’ll subtract – if the server is attentive, if xie corrects errors quickly, if xie picks up on errors we don’t feel like telling hir about, if I take longer than I should, I’ll add to compensate for the lost tip from the next customer, etc.

    If we go to a two-tiered wage, I’ll up everything by 5% because two-tiers = complete BS, IMO, and these people need a living.

  46. Tony... therefore God
    June 25, 2012 at 8:33 am

    AL:
    Thank you for this post. I’ve been in the restaurant industry for over half my life. At 36, I’ve been a bartender for 12 years now, and everything you talk about *still* happens. Not everyday, but too often. Living in the southeast U.S. I’ve seen those damn tracts too many times.

    P.S. I’ve found the ‘verbal tip’ to be all too common in restaurants.
    “Oh honey you did such a great job.”
    “You were the best server we’ve had here.”
    or the best one,
    “You were awesome. We’re going to ask for you from now on when we come here.”
    Far too often, those are the kiss of death [for a tip]. It’s like the verbal tip takes the place of actual $$

  47. Tony... therefore God
    June 25, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Brownian:
    For a few years, just for something different to do, we’d spend Friday nights at a karaoke bar singing and drinking just coffee. Our bill for the night came to a buck-fifty each, but as a rule we’d each leave $10 or so, since the server would be swinging by with a fresh pot every twenty minutes or so. Overtipping?

    This is definitely something servers and bartenders remember. Just as many of us recall the ‘so and so’ who didn’t tip well or was obnoxious the entire time, so too do we often recall when someone has been extremely pleasant, or a very good tipper (or both, which is fantastic).
    ~~
    One thing I’ve seen a few people do (and I’ve done once or twice) is tip a certain amount ahead of time, as an indication to the server “please take good care of me”. I’ve seen someone hand a waitress $20 at the beginning of their meal to help insure a good experience, and another $20-$25 afterward. Obviously that doesn’t work for everyone, but it does work for some.

  48. Tony... therefore God
    June 25, 2012 at 9:26 am

    JoeQ @29:

    Let’s see:

    Server earns a base of $3 per hour.

    Average bill is $30, and server works a whole 5 tables.

    At 20%, tip per table is $6.

    Server takes in $3 + $30 in tips = $33/hour.

    Granted, that’s gross, but it’s more than I make an hour.

    I’m not saying that “not tipping” is OK, or that tipping with a tract is OK . . . but neither is it “douchey” not to tip a full 20% at all times.

    That said, I usually do 20% at dinner and 15% lunch, which is standard, unless there’s a problem with the service.

    I think you have a few misconceptions. $3 isn’t universal. In some places (such as the south), it’s often $2.13/hr.
    Second, the average bill amount isn’t determined until after the shift is over. Prior to being a fulltime bartender, the last restaurant I waited tables at gave us a 3 table section. Primarily working nights, my shift would start at 5 and end at 10. Some tables would be 2 tops. Some would be 6 tops. Some bills would be $55. Others would be $235.
    Third, not every guest tips appropriately (as can be seen in a few of the comments in this thread). That $235 table might only leave $23, while the $55 table might leave $17.
    You’re making too many assumptions, that lead up to your $33/hr figure. Not that the $$ doesn’t break down that way sometimes, but it is far from all the time.
    (and of course, the issue of tipping out to the bar, service assistant/busser, and greeter/host/hostess)

    Something else that some people might not know:
    For many of us in the industry (and many that have left it), we find ourselves double checking our boy/girl-friend, parents, best friends, teammates, etc when we go out to eat. Especially in the case of family, some people will tip the server extra because they’re mortified that their parents paid for dinner and left a %10 tip on $115. Often that person won’t say anything to their family members, but I most definitely would.

  49. Tony... therefore God
    June 25, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Rachel @27:

    There have been times that I have left Christian tracts, and times that I have not – but almost always will tip 20% – 30% (or more – especially more at places like Denny’s and Cracker Barrel where there are a lot of moms working and the tips from most are generally smaller). (The exception to my 20 – 30% general rule is if the service COMPLETELY stinks for no reason – then it’s 15%).

    But regardless of what some of the so-called Christians do or don’t do, I think Jesus would’ve been an awesome tipper.

    “It is more blessed to give than to receive” – Jesus

    Here’s a secret:
    I have *never*, in the 20 years I’ve been in the service industry, spoken with an employee of a restaurant who did NOT have disdain for those tracts. Given the pervasiness of Christianity in the United States, it’s almost naive to think people haven’t heard of Christ. What are you hoping to accomplish spreading those cherry picked tracts? Are you hoping to spread the message of love and hope that isn’t at all the dominant theme in the bible?
    Why on Earth would you think Jesus Christ-a man whom you’ve never met-would be a good tipper? He existed (supposedly) in a time when there wasn’t a restaurant industry (not in the sense we have today). On top of that, your interpretation of how ‘nice’ Jesus was is so misinformed:

    Revelation 2
    :20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
    2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
    2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
    2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/rev/2.html#23

    Such a nice guy that Jesus. He ‘casts’ Jezebel into a bed and allowed married men to rape her. Then to top it off, he reminds us why he’s a horrific moral example to follow: he pledges to kill her children as a show of strength.
    He was also poor. It’s rather hard to tip if you don’t have money (trust me, I’ve seen people who are broke do just that: not tip).

  50. embertine
    June 25, 2012 at 10:58 am

    As a Brit, the idea that someone might get, as their basic wage, £1.28 per hour is absolutely astounding to me.

  51. Alex SL
    June 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Wow, those tracts disguised as notes are reprehensible. Who has that gall?

    This should be the real issue, however:

    Personally, I find it reprehensible that it is perfectly legal for a restaurant to pay someone a couple of bucks an hour and leave the responsibility of making up the difference in an already barely livable wage to customers.

    It is not like that in many other countries.

  52. June 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    My favorite husband and I will often eat out at the same places. I always tip 20% and add on several dollars. We always have great service and very friendly interactions with the servers and other staff. It’s completely worth spending a little more for that. We occasionally get some treat from the kitchen or bar as thanks. Hey, cheapskates: consider it an investment that pays a very positive return. 🙂

  53. Markita Lynda
    June 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    On my last trip to the U.S., I was shocked to see a Labor Dept. notice that minimum wage was $7.62, or only $4.62 if you work in a tipped industry. I had no idea.

  54. Markita Lynda
    June 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    IIRC, forty years ago, a loaf of bread cost 40 cents. Today, it costs $2.79. Tripling or even quadrupling the tip does not keep up.

  55. June 29, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Christians leave Bible tracts in lieu of tips disguised as cash?! I know that’s far from the most horrific evil Christians have ever done, but DAMN, that’s just so POINTLESSLY sleazy from any angle — especially the make-yourself-look-good-so-people-will-respect-your-message angle — that I’m just at a loss for words. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? How much money did some idiot church spend on such tracts just so people could stiff other people and pretend they were doing good?

    This is the epitome of religious dimwits giving people fake salvation in place of real help.

  56. left0ver1under
    June 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I know I’m coming to the table late (pun intended), but as seen elsewhere:

    “What to do with those christian “tips” that get left behind in lieu of the usual 15%:”
    http://imgur.com/r/atheism/YIjb9

  57. July 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I don’t know where you get 20% minimum from. Fifteen percent for adequate service, 20% for excellent service has been the standard etiquette in US restaurants as far back as I can remember. I just Googled it to make sure it hasn’t changed recently, and it hasn’t.

    This means that if you spend $100.00 in a decent restaurant and leave five bucks, you’ve not only left just five percent, but three of those five dollars have to go to the hosts, hostesses, bussers, etc. This leaves two bucks for the server to keep, in addition to their two-dollars an hour wage. The average stay is about an hour, so this amounts to about four bucks an hour for their blood, sweat and tears.

    You’re right. You suck at math. Waiters server more than one table at a time. At a restaurant where the average bill is $100, the average customer stay is probably going to be about an hour and a half. If the waiter serves four tables at a time, and every party leaves 15%, then the waiter makes $60 per hour and a half, that is, $40 per hour—at least when the restaurant is busy. Good waiters in good restaurants actually do ok.

    Jay

  58. July 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Always wondered this, but too embaressed to ask, do you tip on the meal portion and not the drinks, doesnt seem right if you buy a 50.00 bottle of wine to have to tip on that versus getting a 20.00 bottle.

  59. Sarah
    August 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Here in Ontario, Canada waiters make at least minimum wage which is $10.25. Many waiters make more than that. I don’t eat out much, but when I do, I don’t tip. I’m already paying for overpriced food, why should I have to leave a tip? Consider this. Do you tip the cashier who works at Walmart? They may be a single parent, who make minimum wage and they frequently deal with annoying customers. Do you tip the newspaper boy who makes $0.07 per house. Probably not. Eating out is already expensive as it is, tipping just makes it worse. I’m not a rude customer, I just dont believe in tipping. Many times waiters make $50+ hour after tips, while people who are in other professions make much less than that.

    • No tipper
      October 5, 2012 at 12:50 am

      Ha-ha-ha! Never tip!

  60. October 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    If waiters could unionize (like every other industry), they would get minimum wage and then they wouldn’t have to guilt people into leaving money they didn’t have to.

    It’s about time right thinking people took a stand against tipping: http://www.bhagwad.com/blog/2009/philosophy/5-reasons-why-i-wont-tip-you-if-youre-a-waiter.html/

  61. sc_06585c9def8f2141e7d4e5e2c3af1209
    October 6, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I have lived in Brazil for ten years and tipping waitstaff, taxi drivers or anyone is unknown here. The downside of that is service is often mediocre at best. Sometimes, even getting your check to pay is slow. Nonetheless, a good server will be there when you want them and this is still better than leaving these people at the “mercy” of a cheap tightwad of a customer.

    As far as socialism, Americans have been told since at least the 1950s that socialism and communism are the same things. In reality, they are quite different even though both terms have often been used by totalitarian dictators to cover up their real intentions.

    The truth is, the most socialist countries in the world right now are places like Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and perhaps Canada. All have democratically-elected governments, a happier population, better-educated citizens, a better standard of living, and better health care than the USA. For that matter, most of what you like about the USA was damned as “socialist” when liberals first proposed it.

    Tell us, which of these are you willing to give up because they’re “socialist”? Free paved roads, free public schools, police and fire protection, free public parks, clean and safe water food, and medicines, regulated workplace safety, mandated overtime pay, social security, medicare, child labor laws, and anything else where everyone contributes to for the benefit of all? An example would be sports stadiums. They are often partially paid for by tax money even though only about 15% of any nearby population will ever enter them even though 100% help pay for them. Socialist!

    Again, which of these will you gladly give up?

  62. October 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    All I can say to this is AMEN!

  63. Charles C. Van Chylactricus
    October 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Can you see the power of slyness here? Arnold SchwarzennegerOrSchwarzenegger is basically my hero by the way but not James Holmes; ok! Now I wouldnot even consider tiping. When I’m with somepeople that do I wait slightly grabbing their tipp. Also I imagine I’ve butterfingered ± $ 1,000.00 from other empty pending tables too. Since 1986 or so iwould actually say iwill have collected by my calculation / memory $01,500.00! Got it Hey I also hit tip jars totaling more like over$2,000 let’s say. So we could all acknowledgebridgingly that I love restaurants feeding and “serving ” me. Yes indeed. Good @ what I do, scouting potential camera situations, by say 2020 I hop to have accomplished ±±$010,00.00. Thank you so very kindly and you gave me a marvelous idea regarding doing tracts as well. This is so beautifull cause withing less than a week like this I can get for free the new LedZeppelins materials Celebration Day. CCVC

    • Charles C. Van Chylactricus
      October 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Wow

  64. Wolf
    November 6, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Unless you tip every person who you do business with, you can’t possibly expect/demand to be tipped as a waiter/waitress.

    Bottom line is that no other job demands to be given UNEARNED money the way waiting does. If I was given the option to write down my own order and go to the counter to pick up my own food I would do it. I don’t need someone to do that for me. It’s not a difficult thing to do.

    If you feel you’re being taken advantage of then unionize. If you wont unionize then stop expecting/demanding UNEARNED money from customers to compensate for poor pay and your own poor choice in a job.

  65. Riogrande
    November 18, 2012 at 11:28 am

    ALL YOU TIPPERS get a life…and stop saying people who don’t tip insult waiters etc…People who want and demand a tip bloody well insult us who don’t want to tip.

    I LOVE AMERICA, BUT I AND ALL OF MY FELLOW BRITS ARE SICK AND TIRED OF YOUR AMERICAN TIPPING CULTURE. WE ALL RESENT IT, WE ABHOR IT AND THINK IT IS DOWNRIGHT RUDE, PATRONISING AND UNWARRANTED TO US DINERS. IS IT ANY WONDER MORE AMERICAN RESTAURANTS CLOSE EVERY DAY THEN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD. OPEN YOUR MIND AND YOUR EYES AND GET A GRIP.

    Firstly not Tipping does not make make me or anyone else a scrooge and I don’t give a flying fuck if by not tipping I am screwing them. And waiters/ waitresses can join a union, they have that right, so stop making bloody excuses and sort it out. You insult us by wanting a tip.
    Here’s why;

    All you dick-heads on here who are complaining about people NOT tipping all have one thing in common…
    Either you’re a Dum asshole or you’re actually a waiter or waitress that wants a tip, so obviously you will defend yourselves. Tipping is scum and evil and that is that. I am not a freeloader or a scrooge for not tipping and I resent anyone who says that and will defend it vigorously. I pay my way, I treat my friends and my family frequently with vigour and give to charity, but why the hell should I bloody tip someone who already gets a bloody wage????????
    Let me explain this to all you narrow-minded, brain dead, air head, arrogant dick-heads out there who just spout a Neanderthal face and tip all the time without thinking.

    1. The waiter or waitress is on a minimum wage or less…But it is their choice and not my bloody problem.
    2. They have the ability to talk and walk, and have free speech…So why don’t they bloody well ask their boss for a rise or go walk and get another higher paid job or join a union. Again it is their choice and not my bloody problem.
    3. Why is their boss not paying them more? Because you tipping idiots constantly tip their staff and they happily rely on this, so they’re the free-loaders not us you idiots.
    4. Before you clueless morons who defend tipping speak up, just be aware that working on cruise ships, restaurants or any profession that has the cheek to ask for a tip are not the only low paid jobs. There are hundreds of low paid jobs out there that do not warrant a tip. So why the hell do hospitality trades warrant a tip and no one else does…The answer – because they’re money grabbing scum…not us.
    5. I have a lowly paid job but I do not call a customer after I resolved their problem or did them a great service and ask for a tip. Why? Because they will either put the phone down on me or tell me to F**k off…So why the hell is the hospitality trade different? Why do the same people that will not even entertain other low paid trades with a tip instantly give one to everyone in hospitality trades? There are also some cruise lines that charge you anything from 5 pounds or dollars a day to 20 pounds or dollars a day onto your on-board account for tips. This is ILLEGAL, unjustified and downright bloody rude, not to mention stealing from your pocket. It is not against the law NOT to tip, so by them enforcing this rule they are actually STEALING money from you unlawfully. But what do all you morons out there who defend tipping do…Absolutely nothing and AGREE with it…You ass-holes. If someone stole your wallet which contained 140 pounds/ dollars in it – your money for the week, which is say 20 pounds/ dollars for each day – Then you would be the first to go to the police…But, put this scenario on a cruise ship and instantly the ILLEGAL, law breaking thieving is justified. But no it is not justified by the Cruise line, it’s justified by you… you morons…THINK ABOUT IT…IF YOU CAN DO THAT BEFORE YOUR HEAD HURTS!
    6. Before you say anything, I know people in some low paid hospitality jobs or any other low paid jobs do not have a choice as they need money to support their family…But again without sounding harsh, this is not my bloody problem and nobody thinks of other trades with low pay…Why pity the bloody hospitality trade…I’ve already paid an extortionate price for my meal and drinks that include the food and alcohol costs, the restaurant running costs, all the staffs pay and a healthy profit for the owner. No matter what an owner tells you they do make money on food and drink, loads and loads of it…If you doubt it, look at what they drive and where they live…as in far better than you or I. So don’t bloody blame me or all the others who do not tip you morons. Use your arrogant, empty brain cells and turn your arrogant, ill judged anger towards the restaurant owners or multi-million dollar cruise-ship companies and not me or the millions of others who refuse to tip. You insult all of us who do not tip, and you have the arrogance to say WE insult you.

    I find it hard enough as it is to live on my low wage with no tips and yet you expect us all to tip just one trade. I’ve never had a tip, I don’t want one cos I get paid a wage like millions of others and I don’t expect people to tip me on top of my wage, and it’s bloody pure arrogance of people who tip to say one profession deserves a tip and not others.

    Get a life you tippers and bloody grow up and smell the coffee….or go and tip someone for bringing it to you…whatever.

    By the way I bet the majority of people on here WILL agree with me…As I said before, the people that don’t agree and TIP have no brains, no life and more money than sense or work in the hospitality trade and will never learn despite my argument…So go home and rest your head.

    And one other thing TIPPING is wrong and don’t bloody argue how much percentage you should tip…It’s bloody NIL – get over it you TIPPERS.

    And next time I do a good service on my LOW paid job – which is by the way everyday, as I get paid to do a good service – shall I call the customer and ask for a percentage of their order as a TIP…

    NO! I hear you Tippers say now?????

    I REST MY CASE…

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