Wednesday, August 16

Tipping Wars

I can see that the issue of tipping really hits a nerve with some people. Listen, I’ve been a server at many different bars/restaurants in many different cities/states. I think that as with everything, sometimes it is hard to understand a point of view if you haven’t been on both sides.

I’m saddened to even read the remark that servers shouldn’t worry about tips and just take pride an enjoy their job. I took a lot of pride in being a server, and I put my whole self into what I was doing. Not only did I, but the bus woman/man, bartender, host and bar back I worked with also took pride in taking care of a guest. Whether it is our career or a ends to a means, tips comprise most of our salary.

The remark that the service should be included in the tab. I agree!...We should add gratuity and then we wouldn’t have to deal with this! That is what they do in Europe and then you just sign. How messed up is it that that is your argument though? You rant that it should be included etc... Are you too lazy to fill in an extra line? I don’t understand this.

Bottom line is that I NEVER had a table that was respectful and pleasant to serve that did not tip. The only tables that did not tip were obnoxious, rude and downright degrading. Makes you wonder. How you treat a waitress says a lot about who you are. The debate over tipping could go on forever, but that statement stands still.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree! Having worked as a server to put myself through college I've encountered every type of customer you can imagine. What the "obnoxious, rude and downright degrading" patrons don't seem to understand is that it is not the server's job to put up with abuse!

8/16/2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger loudblonde said...

servers have come to expect what most do not deserve. I am always well behaved and polite in public. I resent having to add 20% of my total bill pay someone for doing their job. I'm sorry you don't get paid minimum wage. Don't take that out on the diners, take that out on the boss that is too cheap to pay you a proper wage. I've struggled at many jobs putting myself through college and even now after college. I put up with major crap and extremly rude people when I worked as a portrait photographer in walmart for a measly $200 bucks a week no one ever said "I'm sorry I came a minute before closing and stayed two hours because I hated every picture then didn't order any packages here's a twenty" and after college when i was a substitute teacher and only worked on days when others were sick no one ever said "Thanks for putting up with my bratty kids all day, I know it wasn't easy because I forgot to give them their ADD medicine here's ten bucks" bottom line there are millions of people who have difficult jobs that come with a huge load of bullshit and most people don't make tips. Quit complaining about bad tips take what you can get.

8/16/2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger Al said...

The tip is really part of the cost of dining. Think of it that way. If you can't afford an extra 15 or 20%, you shouldn't be going out for dinner. Servers are paid below minimum wage because the tip is part of their salary. If they don't get it, you are personally deducting money from their pay, so the service better be really bad. BTW, I am not and never have worked in the industry :).

8/16/2006 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have to respond. I've had crappy jobs too, too crappy to even mention. Take what you can get? Loudblonde is crazy! From the days when the first bars came into existence, people tipped on a drink. That comes along with the job, everyone knows that. Why didn't you get a job as a waitress instead of walmart and you would have made more? No one told you to work there. People become servers for tips!!! I know for me, I feel good that the amount of money I make is up to me and how hard I work!!(I'm a great bartender!)...

Do something for me loudblonde, get a clue!!! Right, I'll go ask my boss to pay me more than $2.13 an hour. That will work. He doesn't have to because that is what everyone else pays as well. This is how it is in America! I feel sorry for anyone that has to serve you!

8/16/2006 5:56 PM  
Blogger loudblonde said...

I never said I didn't tip. I'm a great tipper. But let me ask you this "great bartender" do you work harder for someone who is buying an expensive single malt scotch than for someone who is buying a happy hour special draft beer? probably not. So why should they pay you differently? I'm not crazy I'm practical. okay we disagree, just because your boss pays you what everybody else pays does not make it right. what happens you only have a couple customers one night are those customers supposed to tip you extra so you can make your salary. certainly not, your boss should pay you a living wage

8/16/2006 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both sides of the arguement have merit. Yes, good service deserves the tip and bad service does not. Besides - it is called a "tip" for a reason. It is not called a complimentary salary.

If you chose to work in a service with terrible base pay that is on you. Don't expect society to make up the short fall on your finances. Expecting an extra big tip because a $50 dollar bottle of wine was on the tab is a little ridiculous.

The worker in the retail store works for little and doesn't make extra (unless there is a commission). You don't tip him or her after a purchase. A full service gas station attendant doesn't expect a tip for fueling your vehicle, checking the oil and washing the windows - it isn't standard practice.

Servers in the food & drink industry shouldn't feel entitled to the world with gobs of tips being left on the table - the customer is not their employer. But if they did provide above average service they deserve a tip that recognizes it.

Anyone who is ignorant to a server just because they are in the "service" industry deserver hot soup in their lap. That is just plain ignorance.

Not sure it works in other parts of the world but in Canada a server is expected to declare their tips as income and be taxed as such; however the banks won't recognize tips as "income", hence making it very difficult for servers to qualify for car loans, mortgages, line of credit etc. which is a huge flaw that is unjustified.

8/16/2006 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, as with everything, we can't live without servers. I just believe in karma.

8/16/2006 10:31 PM  
Blogger John said...

I've also waited tables, and I've worked the other side, I've been in the kitchen. Both jobs are hard, cooks are usually paid well, servers are not, my experience has been the pay is below min. wage, the owners expect you to make up the difference in the tip. I respect servers for what they do, and I always treat them with the repect they deserve, ans I tip accordingly.


8/16/2006 11:28 PM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

while i haven't seen how horrible it can get in food service firsthand, i do know that when people are sick in a hospital emergency room, that's when they show their true colors.

if everyone were required to work a stint in the service industry, the experience alone might make lousy tippers think twice.

8/17/2006 3:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lot of people who've never worked in service (we call it hospitality over here) have no idea how their bad attitudes affect the staff. Has anyone seen Fight Club?

Here in Australasia it isn't customary to tip, and they even tell you 'Mericans not to tip as you come in the airport.

Probably explains why the best tip I ever got, in Fremantle, Western Australia, was from a little boy straight off the USS Abraham Lincoln, as they were on their way to Iraq back in 2001 (or was it '02?). And the fact that I gave him great service. And gave him and his buddies detailed instructions on how to get to the local brothel.

8/17/2006 5:41 AM  
Blogger Mariolino said...

I live in Croatia and here you get tip if you deserve it. Why should I pay if i have a bad server. He should change job if he doesnt now how to serve. I have worked as server and I was living just out of tips even I had a salary.

8/17/2006 6:26 AM  
Blogger Oberon said...

.....a're welcome.

8/17/2006 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the bottom line is, the restaurant business is a service industry. In the US, our custom is to tip those who work in the service industry, as we provide you a service. If you are confused about this, there are specific guidelines on how to do so. These are our customs. If you are a decent person with respect for others and other cultures, then please learn and respect our customs. If you do not believe in or agree with tipping, and tipping properly if good service is provided, then DO NOT GO OUT TO EAT. If you receive bad service, then you tip less. Tipping nothing at all, in the US, is unacceptable and rude. Except in exptreme circumstances.

8/17/2006 10:47 PM  
Blogger Baby Gurl said...

As I can understand some peoples views on tipping or not tipping, as I myself was once a cheap tipper. The thing is, that if they ruled tipping out completely to servers/waitress'/waiters, then they pay would probably be upped. But I work in a casino, trying to contribute some income to my family as my husband works full time days, and we cannot afford babysitters for our two babies, and daycares won't take them because they are too small. I am a waitress in a Casino restaurant, and we get paid minimum. I've had all types of customers, the friendly ones, and the horrible ones. I do agree however, the service sets it all. You give wonderful service, you deserve a tip, if your customer has to ask for things and wait for their orders, then you don't deserve a tip. I've had tables of 8 people ordering, and gave them excellent service, not pushy, not intruding, on top of things like refills etc, without interupting their family or friend get together and gotten stiffed.
Someone mentioned on a post that they don't want to have to put 20% down as a tip, and that's aboslutely fine. Here in canada it's lower than 20% but what's wrong with throwing 2 bucks on the table, or if your meal is as an example 14.00 leaving the 1 dollar change?
Some people have no choice but to stay with the job they are in. Yes there are a lot of job opportunities out there. But most people enter a large corporation in hopes of moving on the something greater, but have to start at the bottom making minimum. If you only make minimum at one company, chances are if you left that company to find a different one, you'd start at the same pay. Unless you work in the labour industry, which you may make a few extra bucks.

8/18/2006 12:25 AM  
Blogger Baby Gurl said...

Sorry, I just want to add one more thing.
Our Casino recently started a complimentary coffee/tea station. Yes I am aware that the casinos in the USA have complimentary everything. Different staff members are shoved onto the coffee station in order to make sure there's fresh coffee/tea and the cups and all that other jazz are constantly stocked up. They pay about 10 bucks an hour when on the station, and they pay 3 dollars in gratuities for every urn we make and bring out. Believe me, they keep close surveillance to make sure you don't add extra ones in there.
Anyway my point is, that not only was this the only job I could find that would be flexible enough to fit my famillies needs, and I am currently searching for another job for the times when I can work without having too much babysitters to pay, because we simply cannot afford it. But the amount of ungrateful people who come for the coffee and then bitch at US for their cups of coffee costing them 100 dollars or 200 dollars, or 20 dollars. NO ONE ASKED THEM TO STEP FOOT IN THE CASINO AND SPEND THAT MONEY. And the fact that we offer something for FREE they cannot say "this is nice". I've had people come and say "how long has this been here? I sure hope they keep it!" meanwhile that very person takes 4 cups, two of which are to keep the styrofoam cups which don't give off much heat from getting too hot to carry, and then fill them with coffee, realize they wanted decafe, so throw all 4 cups in the garbage, fill 2 more with decafe, but have to have 2 extra cups to keep those 2 cups from getting too hot, use 3 stirsticks to stir the milk they put in in, grab for the lids, realize there's more then one stuck on the lid, so throw the remainders IN THE GARBAGE, and use 4 new cups every time they come back. And yes, I watch them throw their old cup in the garbage right before heading over for a refill. Now........With all the jabbering I just did can anyone understand my point? People are simply ungrateful for what they are given. They want this coffee station thing to continue, yet one person alone wastes enough for 8 people, AT LEAST. Now I understand that styrofoam cups are relatively cheap, and yada yada, but why waste it? Why bitch at us because they spent their money?
The majority of the clientel in a casino is and probably will remain, the elderly. And they tip well, but they don't spend on a meal what a lot of the "younger" people do when they come in. If someone comes in and dishes out 100 bucks for a group of 5 or 7 people, I don't expect 20 dollars as a tip. But the fact that people come in and spend 100 dollars and won't leave 2 dollars as a tip is pretty damn cheap. I'm sorry. I don't rely on the tips. I knew what I was getting into when I entered the industry. And believe me, I don't enjoy the job, and am currently looking elsewhere. I have a job for 3 years working in a retail store, and I absolutely loved it. I only made bare minimum and I never complained. But the people who come into the casino restaurant, don't want to put they're last nickels onto the table as a tip, because that might be a few more rings and dings on the machines.

8/18/2006 12:49 AM  
Blogger Eric the Bewildered Weasel said...

A most interesting and entertaining debate. I live in the UK and here we have a variety of tipping customs (as someone put it). Usually it's included in your bill, but even so it is a pretty irrational practice.

Why should you pay for everything and then 10% on top? Any supplier of any product should be calculating price on the basis of what it costs to provide it - raw materials+proportion of staff time taken+utilities etc. To simply add 10% (or more) to all of that is a tax.

This business of it being a 'custom' to pay a service charge makes even less sense - if servers aren't being paid to serve what are they paid for at all? The privilege of waiting tables in a restaurant?

It's sad that America doesn't have minimum wage, but then it's a country that has always run on slave labour, they're just not kept on site anymore.

I also disagree that the tip is part of the wage - if it' s not included in your income tax then you can't have the money that I am taxed for earning.

Sorry guys, I've worked in that industry too, it is low paid but frankly it's low skilled too. You get paid more for a job that's more demanding physically and mentally.. serving just doesn't do that.

8/18/2006 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waitressing is low skill and not physically and mentally challenging? Mr. Eric from the UK!

I'm in medical school now and I've worked many differnt jobs. Serving is one of the hardest jobs I've ever had. It is a skill to deal with all different kinds of people!

8/18/2006 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't want to tip, don't. You can certainly hit the drive through somewhere, or maybe try cooking at home, you cheap bastards.

It goes both ways. If you are against the way the restaurant industry is run, and it does seem a bit crooked, don't give your money to it. Not tipping just makes you a shit. Abet most of you tip strippers, don't you?

8/19/2006 8:00 PM  
Blogger vincy12 said...

tipping should only be done when you have excellent service. we are not begging for a service. The service is being offered to us the customers so why should you have to tip? you are spending your own money. what about when your food is late for both delivery and eatin in? why would your waiter need a tip for? In the caribbean you better don't expect to be tipped for sloppy service. I was amazed that some american restaurants actually enforced a tip whether or not you get good service. totally rediculous! yeah we know waiters work hard but working hard and doing a good job are two different things.

8/21/2006 1:47 PM  
Blogger Mariolino said...

Do you all angry servers tip people that are cleaning streets and taking off garbage in front off your house for their good job. Maybe that also can be included in a bill that you get at the end of the month. The bottom line is that you cant get anything for free. So why should I pay for money for nothing (like bad service). We can also throw money out of the window because I am shore someone will need it.

8/23/2006 4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two things: 1)Mr. Eric, tips are taxable in America
2)mariolino, waste management generally pays more than service people make

8/25/2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger samuel said...

Profit margins in the restaurant/hospitality industry are very thin. It costs a lot of money to staff a restaurant, to purchase foodstuffs, to create the ambience. Does it suck for servers to make so little money that they rely on tips? Yes it does. But if you don't want this system, you should be prepared to start paying double.

Look at the difference between a Big Mac and your local bar and grill's burger, then look at the price difference versus quality difference. For about five dollars at McDonalds you can get a bag full of crap. For about seven dollars at Shenanigans you get twice the food that is several times the quality. Do you want a fifteen dollar hamburger, or a seven dollar plus two dollar tip hamburger?

The worst tippers are the worst customers, and I'm saying this as a kitchen person. We have our own problems with servers, but they still deserve to be compensated for the work they do, mostly dealing with people who are buttholes, that run the server to hell and back for nothing.

8/26/2006 2:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen Samuel! 10 servers on the floor x 6 hours x $4.00 extra per server per hour = $240.00 per shift extra cost to restaurant owner. At $480.00 per day x 7 days = $3360.00. Who do you think is going to pay for that? The owner? Or you the consumer? And you all know how business works. They are not going to raise prices just to cover that amount. They're going to try to make a profit off that too. Trust me get out a calculator and figure out how much more it will cost you to go out to eat at a table service restaurant if we do away with tipping. Way more than the 15-20% tip would cost! Also rmember that the reason you get good service is because we are working for our tips. What kind of service do you get at minimum wage jobs such as McDonald's? That is exactly the kind of service you would get if we did away with tipping. So if you want to pay more for worse service keep complaining until the hospitality industry has to pay us minimum wage. But don't complain when you can't afford to go out to eat anymore.

8/29/2006 9:51 AM  

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