Tipping Guide for Good and Bad Service from an Ex-Waitress

by Jamie Simmerman · 1,879 comments

how much to tip

When we go out to eat, my husband always asks, “How much should I tip?” It seems as though this flexible figure stymies many patrons, especially when the service is above average or far less than stellar.

As a former waitress and hostess, I can honestly say that dealing with the hungry public can be challenging and exhausting, and that servers deserve far more than the reduced minimum wage plus tips the government says they’re worth. With more and more people seeking second jobs or temp work to boost their incomes, this issue is more important now than in previous years.

How do you determine how much to tip?

Here are a few basic guidelines to help you out:


Tipping Guide for Good and Bad Service

  •  The general rule of thumb (for me) is to round the bill up to the nearest $10, and leave 20%. This is easy to calculate, and it rewards servers for good service. I know many people claim 15% is adequate, but keep in mind that your server is making just over $2 an hour without tips to run him- or herself ragged. Go ahead and splurge for the 20%. You’ll make your server feel good, and you’ll get great service when you return to the restaurant.
  •  If you receive poor service, don’t leave without providing a tip. Believe me, a $1 tip will be noticed much more than no tip, since your server may think you just forgot. Before you leave a lower tip, however, try to take into consideration the staffing and patron level in the restaurant, and remember that your server may just be having a bad day. Leaving a pleasant note of encouragement, or a decent tip, may be enough to turn their day around.
  • Include a kind word and a smile with every tip and try to clean up after yourself as much as possible. If my kids leave food on the floor or sticky messes on the table, I ask for a dustpan or a wet cloth to return the table to its condition prior to our arrival. You never know if your server will turn out to be your next door neighbor, a single mom, a volunteer firefighter, or your child’s teacher, so treating them with kindness and respect is a required part of every tip.
  • If you receive truly awful service, talk to your server. If the service doesn’t improve after communicating your needs and failed expectations, then ask to speak to a manager. Never go straight to the boss with your complaints when there’s a possibility of rectifying the situation one-on-one.
  • Don’t skimp on tips in order to save money! If you can’t afford to tip adequately, choose someplace less expensive or opt for an establishment where you’ll serve yourself.
  • If your server only brings your drinks, or the food is served buffet-style, it’s appropriate to leave a lesser tip, but 10-15% still applies.
  • If your chosen establishment includes a bartender, hostess, bus boy, or other additional serving staff, keep in mind that your server will probably have to share tips with these other members of the wait staff, as well. In this case, it’s best not to tip solely on the performance of one staff member.

While it’s important to live frugally and pinch pennies when possible, tipping is not an area in which you should be trimming your budget. If you’re going to eat out, an adequate tip is a standard part of the bill.

Do you agree? How do you determine what to tip for good or bad service? You may also want to hear other people’s opinions on tipping, as we’ve discussed this topic before both here and here.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Darren says:

    It seems to me that customers should not feel pressure over tips, but I personally have experience as a waiter too and I understand their feelings very well.

    Based on my experience, I can say that if a place really tries to please the customer, the vast majority of customers will feel comfortable and will want to leave a tip themselves.

    The only time I can avoid leaving a tip is if the waiter behaves rudely – there is no excuse for that. In other cases, I always leave a gratuity in the form of 15-20% of the check.

    Even when I sit with a large group of colleagues, we use a tip calculator to calculate the exact amount from each. Everything is convenient, the main thing is to treat tips as part of the restaurant culture and just enjoy the service.

  • Tyler Olson says:

    Sorry. I can’t agree with your tip well no matter what statements here. I will always properly tip when service was even average at best and give at least 15% but NEVER will I give a nice or high tip when the server has been mean, awful and insulting and just not doing their job. That’s not my place to cheer them up or show them that I ‘understand’ what they are going through. Figures this is written by a waitress.

    No. Now please understand what the term TIP stands for “to insure prompt service” that is the acronym for the term TIP. Not to help cheer up workers having a bad day. Not to help restaurants with expenses. It’s to insure prompt service.

    Again, I tip and I always tip when I have even just average at best service. But to think that a waiter who never showed up except to plop some food down and give me a check at the end or just looked down right annoyed to have to be there and like I’m bothering them to ask them for this that or the other thing and then to give a high tip is laughable at best here.

    Most of my dining experiences when out with family or friends has been mostly adequate and 15-20% tip worthy. But there has been more than a few times when they have been awful experiences all due to the server I and the table had to deal with. I am NOT going to reward that type of behavior. If part of their salary includes the tips, well then I guess you shouldn’t be mean to customers, act like you don’t want to be there and forget that your customer is there at all until its time to pay up. Its shocking the attitude some wait staff have and expect to get 20% every time no matter how awful they were. Using the excuse “Oh tips are shared so even if they are bad I have to remember its not just going to them.” Again. That’s the waiters issue to deal with when the rest of the staff wonder why their tips are lower than everyone else’s. Not my place to police who is good and not at your establishment.

    I’ve had those who I saw twice the whole meal and said nothing and expect a big tip for that (again I’ll give 15% but not more than that for that type of service). I’ve had times at chain restaurants where the waiter started out nice but since he wanted to go on break just became awful and insulting and started to curse at us for taking him away from his break as we were just wanting a final check to leave. After he made his feelings known and slams the check in front of us and storms off.. we should leave a nice tip? Really? Absolutely not. He got a buck and that was it. And yes we did speak to manager. Manager didn’t seem to care at all and nodded a lot and walked off too afterwards with nothing done.

    So people, feel free to tip what you feel the service you received deserves. Nothing more, nothing less. A waitress telling us to round up and tip 20% or more is the best laugh I have had. I’ll eat out when I want and tip what I feel the service deserved thank you very much.

  • flint says:

    ROFL tipping guide from a waitress? No surprise it’s gonna be “always tip a lot” .

    Are we gonna have law making guide from criminals next?

    Don’t make me laugh ?

  • Deshaun Evans says:

    One thing I would like to add is something that I’ve dealt with as a black man, and something my other minority friends have dealt with. There’s the stereotype that we give lower tips than white people, so we get treated less than your usual white person. Which leads to us tipping less, because, who’s gonna reward poor service? Fun cycle I know.

    I’ve also had experiences where I’ve had to wait 10 minutes for my waiter to even show up, made me wonder if they were begging someone else to take me because they didn’t want to waste their time on a guy who supposedly wouldn’t tip. So, when that happens I either leave because I figured they didn’t want me there, or, the few times I’ve gotten service it was terrible and near hostile so they didn’t get a tip. I’m just straight up not coming back, I don’t care how bad their day might be, no need to treat me like that.

  • Catherine says:

    Tips may be customary, but they are never required. Awful service is a complaint to the manager, basic service is no tip, good service is 5%, and excellent service is 10%. If wait staff doesn’t like that tipping is at the sole discretion of the customer, then they can either get happy with that fact or find another job.

    • MarkAnthony says:


    • BenjaminModaa says:

      I pray you get terrible service and food poisoning at every establishment you eat in for the rest of your life. Get f*****

    • Max Daddee says:

      I gave up feeling obligated to tip. For example, in a dining area of several tables, the waiter walked by our group several times and without slowing down said “you all seem to be doing well” and went over to the table of a larger group. No time to check on our needs? No tip.

      And for our mail carrier who can’t take two steps up the front porch but instead three a package so hard against the full length glass storm door that it startled me and my pets in the back of the house – thanks for leaving a Christmas card in the box, but nothing for you dude.

      For situations like this, I donate $25 to $50 to animal shelters, The Red Cross, Salvation army and others who truly appreciate it.

  • Barbara Breneiser says:

    I find it especially frustrating when we’ve ordered our meal and then the server decides to pull their mask below their chin. It’s very stressful to repeatedly ask someone to put their mask on and then to have to ask them to have it covered their nose. Those people who are endangering my life don’t deserve a tip. Also if there is bad service at the restaurant that is not the server’s fault nothing will be done to improve service if there is no consequence. It takes a team. I know this from my own business. If one of my colleagues drops the ball I suffer through no fault of my own.

  • Barbara Breneiser says:

    I work on straight commission. If I don’t perform I don’t get paid. It should be the same with servers. I have had very rude servers particularly during the pandemic who have refused to wear a mask.

  • harryh says:

    most wait staff don’t know the meaning of the term tips it means to ensure proper service I tip as good as the service I also thank my wait person& tip the busboy also & make it a point to tell the manager the manager always hears the bad things & need to hear the good things just saying

  • Angela Anny says:

    Very informative article posted by admin. Thanks

  • Taylor Wright says:

    I like how you mentioned tipping at restaurants with other members of the wait staff in mind. My brother wants to try new fancy restaurants in our city this weekend and I’m worried about how I would look tipping the waiters. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind and know who to tip for their service.

    • Aeron says:

      I’m from Australia, where, in most circumstances, tips are appreciated but not expected, and usually only given for exceptional service. Then again, the minimum wage for Australian service workers is much higher than their US counterparts, even with a low Aussie dollar. I know that America is the home of capitalism, but effectively expecting customers to pay workers’ wages rather than their employers is an absolute joke. A tip should be a bonus, not the lion’s share of someone’s pay check.

  • Finnish says:

    This article is ridiculous. Giving high tips from bad service is disservice to all of us who visit restaurants. Tips should be _earned_, no-one is entitled to them just because I decide to step inside a restaurant.

    When I am in U.S. (mostly Las Vegas) I tend to tip as it is custom. For restaurants around 15-20% in average.

    – If I receive hideous / rude service with some super serious problems. I will leave no tip at all and wish this waitress will realize to work outside of customer service. If he is doing stuff like being messing with my food with his fingers or something like that I will also report to his boss.

    – If I get slow and somewhat indifferent service I usually tip 10%+

    – If I get decent to good service, I usually tip 15%-20%.

    – If I get stellar service, I got no absolutely problem of giving like 12$ tip from 28$ food order or something like that. If someone really does shine my day, that is small prize to give. Might very well even give 50$ in total if that would really save my day.

    I always keep pocket full of $1s and $5s, but no-one is going to get them if I don’t feel they deserve it. For like drinks at bar I usually tip $1, $2 if they’re harder to make and $2 for waitresses who actually bring me the drink. But as always, if service is stellar and they manage to positively surprise me sky is the limit.

    If you are working at the customer service and have a bad day like we all sometimes have, keep it inside you. Or suffer the consequences as bad service should get a bad reward.

  • PLeo says:

    I can honestly say I have always at least left a tip. But I don’t agree with the bad service still gets 15% rule. That is one I have had arguments and discussions with for many years and there are many who agree with my take and many who disagree. I think no matter what you should tip a waiter or waitress at a restaurant. That is agreed upon. But the tip is actually a reward to their service, not a instant guarantee treat me how you want and you will get rewarded. If only life worked that way. Where I can be a nasty SOB and do a bad job and still get full reward for doing so because it’s expected. If I treat customers bad and don’t do my job, I would get written up or fired. So yes even people who work not on tips have consequences to their poor work ethics.

    And thus our argument starts. I’ve had service where they forgot we were there, brought the food really cold as if they forgot it was there or just didn’t care, had the order wrong and didn’t care and were just not nice people in general. Now I know at my job I am expected to be at my best, do everything I am expected to do and follow the rules properly. I don’t feel that waiters and waitress are above this expectation. They can have a bad day but don’t take it out on the customer. We didn’t do anything to you besides come in for a meal.

    I will leave a less than 15% tip if the service and experience was that bad. And this doesn’t happen often. Usually I tip at least 15%, much more when its a good experience. But when its bad the tip gets lowered. I feel a tip should not ONLY be used as a way to make up for their lack of salary but ALSO as a reward for service and give more when its great and above the top, regular when it was fine and less when it wasn’t. If we give more when its great, the opposite is definitely true too. You give less when it was horrible. So we reward more for it being great but we can’t deduced for it being horrible? That makes zero sense. Of course you can and should.

    I know this is one of those debates that will get everyone on both sides again. And its like politics or religion. Everyone has their opinion on it and they believe they are right no matter what you tell them to try to prove otherwise. I know they don’t make minimum wage and I know the tips are shared and I know I know I know. So what? I’m a paying customer, why should I pay you something when you did a horrible job and made my experience terrible? Did I get a discount on my bill for the bad service and attitude or wrong order? Do I get money back for being in a place over 2 hours because you wanted to be on your phone the whole time? It works both ways.

    Again, I’ve never left without giving something of valve but I will not give 15% if it was that bad. And I’m not even that strict here. All I ask is that you take my order, give me the food after doing so and check on me once or twice during the night to make sure we are ok. And I am even ok with less than that as I know it can get busy and things happen and even if just got my food and that was it with out the extras I will tip properly.

    But you have to really be a bad server to be that nasty or incompetent or uncaring that it has gotten to the point where I am considering lowering the tip. But I have and honestly I have never been confronted on the few times I gave lower than 15%. I have seen times where there were fights when another customer didn’t tip at all but I myself have never been confronted on leaving less than 15 when I lowered it due to very poor service or experience.

    I don’t think there is a totally right answer in this. I am never one to say don’t leave a tip if your were served or waited on but I think a tip based on overall experience is fine and expected. I’m not going to give full reward if everything was really bad and I had a horrible experience due to it. Its like the bad kid in the class, unfortunately the whole class has to be punished by getting a lower tip for a bad server ruining an experience. That is just part of the deal with a restaurant doing business the way they do unfortunately.

    But like I said I rarely have to ever go much lower than 15%. Its not often you get someone that bad where I live. I do support those who don’t blindly give 15 though and agree with their reasons here. Has to work both ways in this. But always leave something, the tips are shared folks. When they notice a certain server is getting less tips, hopefully that will be a clue to where the problem lies and it can be corrected.

  • bob says:

    Years ago 6 of us went out for dinner to a restaurant that was 2/3 empty. The waitress took forever to acknowledge us at the table, then took forever to come back to take the orders, dinner was late in coming, cold, & the waitress was neither courteous, pleasant or friendly…until she brought the bill. With drinks, appetizers & the meal, she would have had a decent tip if she had done her job. I left only 10% & she chased after me as I left the restaurant making a scene complaining how I had made a mistake about her small tip, waving it in front of my face. I looked at the money, then at her and said, “You’re absolutely right, I’m so sorry.” Snatched the bills from her hand and walked out to my car.

  • saltysal says:

    On Valentine’s Day, we went to a nice, local restaurant. The server was terrible. About halfway through, we talked to the manager. She apologized and gave us free desserts. She talked to the server who apologized to us as well and the service got better for the remainder of dinner. We left an 18% tip. EVERYONE was happier and the evening ended much more pleasantly than if we suffered with poor service and left a bad/no tip.

  • Server says:

    I disagree with obligation to tip. Your obligation as a waiter is to be a good waiter. You should not accept payment. You agreed to accept minimum wage.

    There was a time in my life when I was homeless and had no money nor car. I did not beg for money on the streets — which I disgruntled waiter could do — earning over $100 a day, tax free.

    I worked my butt off. Some people were gracious and loved my good service — and left me $50. Some people left me noting. I thought maybe they couldn’t afford to leave one or maybe they were poor tippers. Regardless, I treated all with equal courtesy, equally good service, with no attitude.

    You are not entitled to a tip. No one is obligated to give you one, hence it is not incorporated into the bill. Do you refund the money of people who pay more than 15 percent? I thought not. No one should have to choose to go to a less expensive restaurant because they don’t feel like leaving a tip. Maybe you can choose to work somewhere more upscale to get a better tip or up your skills to get a higher paying job.

    The tip-entitled are a scourge on the business….they harass patrons by leaving smiley faces on bills, becoming overly familiar, flirting, all trying to obligate the patron to leave more money. Do your job properly, shut up, and you get what you get. You’re relying on hand outs because you chose to. Some people will give. others won’t. Some will give you far more than is warranted. I bet you’re not even grateful for that.

    I am now doing well — earning a nice living. I still don’t tip. When I have tipped hair stylists or waiters, they don’t act grateful. Sometimes I would leave a few dollars which they greedily and bitterly stuffed into their pockets. Not even a “thank you. I really appreciate your patronage.”

    Once I went to Home Depot to get a key made — a service performed for free. I Was so grateful, I gave this minimum wage employee a $5 tip. He didn’t say thank you or refuse to accept it. Rather, he stuffed the money into his pocket, gave me attitude, and stormed off in a bit of a huff.

    Gratitude goes a long way. You’re not entitled to anything in life. Sometimes life is not fair. No one is responsible for $2/hour but you. You are waging that your tips will meet or exceed a living wage. Sometimes patrons will give you a $1000 check. Sometimes they will leave nothing. It’s the luck of the draw.

    What you should’t do is try to tell patrons, WHOM YOU SERVE, how to spend their money. Be grateful for the tips, not entitled to them.

    That is all.

    • shawn says:

      I’m sorry, but In what world is leaving no tip ok? This isn’t Australia or Canada where servers make upwards of $15/hr, where tips aren’t needed to make ends meet… IF I was a barber and you came to me multiple times without tipping, I would give you one hell of a shi%ty haircut, as to hope you never returned.

      • Lauren says:

        I know it’s not true of most states, but California requires restaurants to pay state minimum wage ($12/hour), so I don’t think 20% is required of everyone. I usually do 18-20%, and if service is just ok, I’ll go down to 15%. Assuming a $50 bill at every table, if a server here has 2-3 tables an hour, they’ve made $32-42/hour if everyone tips 20%. Or $27-34.50 if everyone leaves only 15%.

      • X says:

        Thats a good way to get sued since you have a fiduciary duty to your customers.

      • X says:

        Also, I’d make sure you lost your job for being incompetent and greedy. Your enployer should pay you the wage you want and build it into the pricing and if you do a good job ask for a raise.

  • G Chase says:

    I have worked as a server for a little over a year. Unlike many others this job is not essential for me. I come from a moderately wealthy family as in I drive a new car, go on several overseas vacations a year, have my college tuition paid for, etc. So I understand the point of views of those who have good jobs and make money and those who serve alike.

    At the end of the day, you have to consider that for many serving is not as much of a choice as it is the best way for that individual to make a living. Of course, if any server you encounter provides rude or bad service you should not be guilted in tipping the same as a server who provides friendly and excellent service. But on the same token, consider that there are elements beyond the control of just your server. These include kitchen issues, hosting issues, or managerial problems.

    I know first hand the struggles full-time servers encounter not from only working non-stop, but what it means when they have a night where they only make $20. You not tipping fairly could mean they can’t feed their own children, or fill up their car to get to work. Please be more considerate of your server’s personal situations.

    And for those of you who bash the food service industry and its operations, I implore you to work just one shift in it, and I can guarantee your perspective will shift completely. I started serving to gain experience and to keep mysef busy during the summer, but it has taught me so much about comminication skills, accountability, and fiscal responsibility.

    • Sarah says:

      I have worked in the industry, as a server for 2 years and I agree that tipping is a courtesy and should not be expected, as nothing in life is guaranteed. Acting entitled will not bring any satisfaction or ambition to become better and move on to a career that will actually be fulfilling. It is a minimum wage job for a reason, and it should stay that way. No one should be made to feel bad for tipping or not. It is a personal choice and it doesn’t necessarily reflect on one’s ability to be a good great or satisfactory server.

  • Sara says:

    I tip on my own feeling. I never really leave under 5 dollars. And that is if service is horrible. Other than that I usually leave a 10 to 20 dollar tip. You people are some sorry ass people. You have no idea how it works. It may have nothing to do with your server. It mak be the kitchen staff. A back up on orders or a cook having a bad day but hey. Let’s take it out on the server. Stupid! They do have to split their tips with numerous other people at the end of the night. If you aren’t willing to be decent in your tip stay the hell home! They may have this job and 3 others trying to make ends meat and feed their children. It could be a single mom or day struggling. You dont know. People are so entitled today. Its disgusting how they are
    But her, keep up with your being an asshole because everyone appreciates a good asshole. Jesus! To all the servers out there working your asses off more power to you. I’m not a server but I see how hard it is. Keep your head up. Dont let the ducks of these sockey get you down. Good luck and God bless!

    • Sarah says:

      I find it hilarious that you are commenting about the customer being entitled while you are actually the one acting that way. It’s almost pathetic.

  • Tudor says:

    I believe that tipping should be a reward, not an expectation. I shouldn’t feel pressured into tipping 20% if the service wasn’t excellent. And I shouldn’t feel guilty or shamed for tipping 5% if the service was poor. The problem with how tipping is done today is there’s no correlation between tipping percentage and quality of service. A waiter who delivers terrible service should not get the same tip percentage as a waiter who delivers excellent service. I think the tipping industry would greatly benefit from the following:

    1. A way for the tipper to rate the service and leave feedback for the service pro (i.e. waiter).
    2. A system that suggests a fair tip amount based on the rating of the service but still allows the tipper to choose a different tip amount.
    3. A way for the tipper to do 1. and 2. outside of the place of business where they aren’t pressured and can take their time.

    This way, when the waiter gets a 5% or a 20% tip, they’ll know exactly why based on the rating and feedback. Hopefully this will encourage them to improve their service or showcase just how great their service is.

  • Francine says:

    This is one of the more ridiculous articles I have read in a long time.
    No one is making servers stay in the service industry. There are other jobs they can do, but they choose this industry. Many times the server hardly notices that you are there and doesn’t come back to check on you. Most have a chip on their shoulder and demand 20 percent no matter what.
    Once again they feel entitled to receive a large tip.
    My biggest complaint is they lack personality and hardly say a word to you. I had this experience recently at a restaurant I frequently dine at. The waiter is consistently horrible and spoke to my husband about not receiving a generous tip. Imagine berating a patron for not tipping to his liking. This is totally unacceptable and now I will not frequent this establishment again. What happened to being thankful and appreciative.
    In my opinion wait staff have gotten haughty and demanding and tipping should be abolished entirely.

  • Emi says:

    I went to a restaurant last night and my friend and I were literally the only 2 people there. Once the food was brought the server never came back, not even to ask if everything was ok. He was at another table about 20 feet away on his phone or doing something, but definitely not paying attention to us. We had to get up and ask him to bring us more water. So yea I tipped him barely 15%. I don’t think I should have to start that awkward conversation as to why he’s not being a good server, it’s his job as a server to know those things…that’s why he got hired in the first place.

  • Claire says:

    1. Why does the customer have to rally an unhappy waitress.
    2. A bad day , we all have them, my tip at work from my boss for doing inadequate job would be ‘do your job or get another one’
    3. No one has made you do the job.
    4. I can’t get the good myself
    5. Only in the USA are you expected to pay a tip for any service.
    6. I was a hairdresser ( tipping job) in the U.K. If I don’t do my job properly I wouldn’t dream of expecting a tip, or to be given a pep talk from a client.
    7. Get in the real world

  • Sarah says:

    This article is ridiculous. I’m sorry- it’s their JOB to give good service. If they ignore me or mess up the order or are just rude, no, I don’t express my concerns with the waiter?? Are you insane? They know they suck. When I go out to eat, I expect to pay 20% tip, because I assume I will get great service. When it is below par, I am not understanding, I simply get my message across by tipping them 5-10% and I write a note for their manager to see about why the service was awful. I’m not the one that applied to be a waiter or waitress- they applied for that job and why is it my job as a restaurant patron to make up for their poor wages. Maybe if they give better service, and do their job, they will get better tips. And the part about the dustpan- you are a nutjob. Who does that?! No, I don’t make a mess, but my god, if I’m with kids and they make a mess, I’m not going to get on my hands and knees and start sweeping the floor!! You live in a world of delusion.

    • K says:

      You’re an idiot. It is a hard job and the YOU are all of the work, it’s basically like you’re hiring a SERVANT for an hour and they will politely fill any of your demands. I’m 22 and I have chronic pain in my left wrist from serving. If you can’t be grateful that people put up with such a psychologically and physocally straining profession for YOUR benefit then I hope your servers all treat you like crap, you deserve it.

      • Steve says:

        You already work there…how are they hiring a servant? Also, no one asked you about your chronic pain. If it hurts that much, get a different job.

      • J says:

        I worked in a restaurant years ago, as a teenager-early 20s. If you are still working in this type of job as an adult (mentally, not legally) to ‘support your family, blah blah blah’ that’s your failure in life, not mine. I cannot believe imbeciles like this try to guilt you into 20%. I am barely 40 and we ALWAYS grew up with 15%, 10% if poor service, 20% if it’s a high-end establishment. I’m not tipping 20% at a low-end restaurant. Period.

        As far as tipping for buffet-style. Why? They didn’t do anything. If they refill my drinks, I leave $2. You think refilling my drink once or twice is worth more than $2? Why? Because they “work hard.” Everyone works hard. Grow up. As far as ‘having a bad day,’ why is this generation emphasizing this garbage? I don’t care about your day, any more than I expect you to care about my day. Serve me adequately and you get tipped adequately. You don’t–I don’t. And I am not a demanding patron. I expect a smile and a greeting, drinks to be brought, food to be delivered, a ‘is everything ok’ once or twice, and then the bill. I don’t ask for special food or anything particular. Work for me for 20 minutes and then I leave. Leave behind your problems, just as I do mine.

        Why is this difficult for people to grasp? And who decided 20% is standard now? I didn’t agree to it, nor will I accept it. I’m here to be fair to people, not to ‘make their day.’

      • Francine says:

        If you don’t like your job, get a new line of work. The public is not here to address your issues and this entitlement you have is disgraceful. What ever happened to being thankful for what you receive in life.

    • Retta says:

      Couldn’t agree more! (To the first post).

    • Alicia Williams says:

      Sarah, you took the words right out of my mouth. I am the most understanding person you may ever meet, which is what led me to this article because I wanted a better understanding of tipping. I what they call a “big tipper”, because I want ppl to know when I am please. I also read a hurtful article about ppl thinking black ”women” (specifically, not the men) don’t tip. I can’t speak for anyone but ME, and I knew this was wrong about me. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that just maybe servers had this same assumption when servicing me. I became trapped in that insecurity , and found myself tipping the most sucky waiters and waitresses ever. I mean we’ve all had unbelievably sucky service before right? Terrible, but I still tipped because I thought that maybe they didn’t treat me well because they felt they weren’t going to get a tip regardless. So, I tipped/tip to try an change this perspective. I don’t want to make this about race, just my world of tipping. I came to this article because Im fed up and am tired of spending so much money on tipping…. I just wanted to see what others were doing about bad service? I am no longer rewarding bad service, I had to tell myself there will always be sucky ppl with sucky beliefs and perspectives. I was taught to let a higher power (Jehovah) deal with bad ppl. I worked in food service during high school, and I remembered giving everybody the best service and care because it was my own personal reward not theirs. We all have bad days but when you let it affect your job you can expect that the outcome won’t always be good end of story. Put on a fake smile and do your job or call in…. or quit. Also if I dine out it’s to escape the mess of cooking at home. If my kids make a mess I will get it up the best I can (like clean the spill on table, or pick a dropped sandwich up) but I’m not going to ask for a dust pan. I went there to be waited on. I get it though, this advice is to be expected, look at who it’s coming from. I understand, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to do any of this, maybe the one dollar idea.

    • KPM says:

      People like you just need to d** off, the world will be a far better place!

  • Robotnik says:

    Tipping is stupid. On a tourism visit to the US I gave a barman $10 for a $9 drink and he gave me $1 change and then gave me attitude when I put the $1 in my pocket. MAYBE I should have tipped but I don’t understand this system where I give the barman money, I get it back and I’m expected to give it back to the barman.

    Japan and probably other asian cultures have the right idea. You don’t tip and they don’t expect (or even accept) a tip, they just get paid to a job and they do it with pride.

    • J says:

      I agree, but Americans grow up with a sense of entitlement. Teachers don’t get tips. Police officers don’t get tips. Why the hell is someone working in a casual restaurant getting tipped?

      “Because they are only paid 2.13 an hour.”

      Then don’t work there!

  • Travis says:

    First and foremost, tip your server or bartender, anything you deem worthy still adds up at the end of the night. But just as equally, more often than not your server is required to tip other staff out up to 3% legally for their services. Keep in mind that a 15% tip becomes 12% automatically at that point, then factor in the normal tax rate of about 30% for Medicare, federal and state taxes, now that $15 on a $100 turns into roughly $8, but dont forget most businesses also charge a 2% fee for credit card purchases. In total your 15% tip is deducted 5% automatically from the time you deem it appropriate, good; great or terrible service is still taxed the same! Personally, I’ve managed fine dining restaurants and franchised corporate restaurants, there are different skill sets in both. What I’ve heard as the biggest complaint is attitudes from customers. YOUR SERVER IS A HUMAN BEING! Be kind to your waitstaff, they will be more obliged to give you that great service you expect no matter how busy they are if you simply say “Hello, how are you; how is your day?”. More often than not, I’ll hear servers say they were so nice or I love waiting on them even if they tip below the antiquated 18-20 percent scale just from kindness. FYI federal minimum wage is $2.13 an hour for all tipped professions, states may choose to pay these professions more, but lets face it; Most couldn’t care less how much their servers make. So the next time you look at a server, delivery driver, takeout associate, or a fellow human being. Kindness is a must, and 20% should be a possibility, but an absolute must should be legislation for a higher minimum wage. You don’t want to be paid $2 for what you do, so why should they!

  • Matt says:

    This article is bullshit. She has an agenda.

    • Samuke says:

      Clearly, they lie from the get-go, claiming they only make $2 an hour. Federal law states that tips received plus wage must equal at least the Federal minimum. If they don’t, the employer must pay the difference, meaning no matter what they get at least $7.25 an hour (currently), and state differences in law only supercede if it benefits the server more (as in, higher minimum).


      • M says:

        You clearly have never worked in a restaurant. While this is a federal law most restaurants don’t follow it. If you make a deal of it they will pay you but you will face consequences from management like less shifts, crappier shifts or bad sections to force you to quit. You should spend 6 months living off a waiters salary and gain some perspective.

        • J says:

          I have. Then I went to school and got a real job. Why can’t you?

          • Alicia Williams says:

            J lmao, you are awesome.
            For the record nobody’s bashing servers, but please don’t make it a customers responsibility to sponsor your lifestyles. Some of us are on the verge of breaking the bank, just like you. Do your job with a smile, if tips aren’t adding up, go find better pay.

          • BenjaminModaa says:

            That’s a great idea! Let’s have all high schoolers serving, you let me know how that service is for you. Oh, and good luck getting those alcoholic beverages you order from a waiter who’s under 21. 😉

  • Ricky says:

    This is complete bullshit. This waitress just wants everybody to pay the max. F that. You earn what you get paid. No more .

  • teena says:

    I don’t tip for service I do not find satisfying. I do not tip waitresses with an attitude, bartenders who act like I’m disturbing them, etc. I do tip a bartender or waitress who is very busy but are obviously doing their best. Spare me the poor working class sob story. If I treated my clients like crap at my full-time job, I would not have a full-time job.

  • Sally says:

    Don’t assume that all wait staff are working for less than minimum wage. In my state, waiters, by law, make minimum wage which is currently $9.47 per hour. Many restaurants pay even better to attract the best servers. With tips on top of that, they are making pretty decent money.
    Knowing this, I don’t tip when I receive bad service. I am unapologetic about this. Your job is in demand. If you stink at at, there are plenty of better servers in line to take your place.
    I also do not tip over 15%. Servers here are making somewhere in the range of $30.00 per hour. A 15% tip is plenty under these circumstances.
    Know that laws in your state. If your server is being paid minimum wage or more, I think it is fine to tip accordingly.

    • Samuke says:

      Federal law guarantees between tips and wage they make full minimum wage. If they don’t get enough tips, their employer has to pay the difference.

  • Viktor says:

    I do comply with the 18% tip rule in the restaurant, but every time it irritates me. No because I try to save money, because waiters feel entitled to receive it.
    I can’t understand why waiters payed $3 per hour and why customer has to think how to put waiter’s kid through the school or pay waiter’s electric bill. I do not think about tipping a salesman when I buy TV or a car. Or they do not have kids or electric bills?
    Do not call it gratuity if it is “required” and waiters feel entitled to receive it. Include it in the food price if not receiving “gratuity” makes waiters angry. They should work extra to make customers happy for “gratuity”.
    Advice for waiters: do not accept $3 per hour job. There are plenty jobs which pay $20 and higher (at least in CA). If there is nobody to hire, restaurants will start paying more, it is called market.
    Also tipping from the bill amount is ridiculous. Waiter receiving $2 for serving $10 meal does not have less kids or electric bills then waiter receiving $60 for serving $300 meal.
    But it is just my opinion.

    • K says:

      it usually takes a lot more work to take care of a $300 table than a $10 table… you’re paying for the amount of time and energy a server spent on you. We are humans reducing ourselves to servants for your satisfaction.

      • Allie says:

        K. I’m shocked! I didn’t know that satisfaction was the only tip you receive to be a servant. Fortunately, servers get paid minimum wage plus tips.

  • Sarah says:

    I alway top 20% unless service is truly awful. In ways that are literally the fault of the server. Like tonight it took 25 minutes after being seated to even be greeted and this only after we went to the hostess. Another 15 minutes for half the table to get water. Another 10 for most of the others to get drinks. My mother never even getting a water. The orange in my cocktail having the sticker on it still and not even a shocked I sorry about that.
    Not being given utensils until we asked after the food came. All of this and all we got were excuses as how it was everyone else’s fault.
    I have worked in the food industry. Greeting the table and getting waters at the bare minimum should be done in the first 5 minutes. It doesn’t take that long to grab 6 glasses of water. Also a heartfelt I am sorry for the delay would have gone a long way.
    I tipped because I just can’t not tip but I only left about 10%. Also I am never returning there again.

    • saltysal says:

      If the service is bad, you should talk to a manager. Most servers don’t actually connect bad tips to bad service, they just blame you for being a bad tipper.

  • Andrea says:

    To be honest, I find tipping ridiculous to begin with. Why haven’t we switched to a better method yet? I would rather pay more for my food and know the tip is included, than to do so afterward. Being a waiter/waitress should never be a job you sustain for life under the current circumstances. Most people I know do it because their young or older adults trying to sustain a job until a more appeal job becomes available. I pay 15% if the service was adequate. 20% if the service was good. I’m actually pretty easy to please, so I give 20% more often than not. No one teaches how to tip properly. How much to I tip manicurist? How about doormen? Valet? To be honest, there’s to many of them. Without even knowing it I’ve probably offended multiple people because tipping is confusing.

  • Ellen says:

    I tip when I go eat a sit-down restaurant. Usually, I get good service so I do tip. One of things that I am noticing more and more is tip jars are on the counter at take-out establishments. It could be pizza places, yogurt shops, coffee shops, etc. I was eating lunch at a restaurant. When I went up to counter to pay my bill, I noticed a sign that said, we add 10% gratuity for takeout orders because our cooks should be tipped. Really? I found that interesting because when entering, I saw a sign that said Help Wanted – Cook $12.00/hour. This was less expensive chain establishment, so it’s not like it was a really nice restaurant. To me, let’s say the cook job is entry-level and is paid $12.00/hour, to me that is a fairly decent wage. I used to work in fast food for minimum wage and we, of course, never got tips. Anyway, I included the tip on my bill, but I have since made a note to note to never order takeout at that place because of the automatic tip being included. My question is “Is it appropriate to be expected to pay a tip for take out at an establishment, even if you are ordering it at the counter and then leaving? At pizza places, I understand that pizza delivery drivers are tipped because of gas. I don’t know what drivers are paid. But I don’t think that it is right to be expected to tip when you are picking up your own pizza. I just want to understand the thinking and logic behind giving a tip for counter service or takeout orders.

    • Anonymous says:

      At a restaurant I worked at, I was responsible for fulfilling takeout orders. I was paid minimum wage ($7.25 where I live) and tips. Minimum wage might seem like a fair amount to some people for packaging food but when you take into consideration that I have to know and do the same thing servers do, and they’re making at least $7/hr more from tips (sometimes even when providing subpar service) than the takeout person, it might put things into perspective. The person who fulfills the takeout order is usually responsible for getting all sauces and utensils ready and may be responsible for preparing parts of the food itself. Where I worked, I was a cross between hostess/server/kitchen staff. The lowest level kitchen staff was making about $12/hr. These practices and prices vary by establishment, of course. The average that I made in tips in a 5-6 hr shift was about $15 for a total average of a little over $10/hr and most of my tips came from regulars who understand how important it is to keep the person who is in charge of their food getting to them happy.

      Point being, tip at least a dollar or two unless you are constantly finding things/sauces/etc. left out of your order from the same person or if that person just isn’t very friendly (at this point you should probably just look elsewhere for food). If that person is super friendly or attentive, tip more. If you constantly never tip someone who knows they deserve to be tipped for their work, you might find that you get home missing things from your order such as sauces…so don’t be cheap.

      FYI, you tip pizza delivery people for not only bringing your order but getting it together, same as a takeout person.

  • Joe says:

    I understand the importance of tipping, I really do. What I don’t understand, is the concept of the % system…like paying 20% of a bill…I tip based on service…$2 for bad service, $4 for good, and $5-8 for excellent..why you ask? Here is an example:

    Table #1: Table of two high class, wealthy couple: Orders a salad for $12, a filet mignonette for $25, prime rib for $30, and pie for $7, with drinks for $12. Total is: $86. They get o.k. service. Not that much work but a huge bill.

    Table #2: Table of 4, two struggling parents and two screaming kids: Orders four $3 appetizers, four waters, value dinners for $7 each, and a cookie for each at $1 each. Service was excellent but it took a little extra effort to get the extra food and drinks for more people, not to mention a big mess to clean after and putting on a smile while the kids scream in her ear. Bill is less than $50.

    SO, table #1 is supposed to tip MORE for LESS work JUST because the bill was higher!? Where is the logic in that!? Just because a patron orders more expensive food, the server who served that table should get more than the second server who busted her ass and provided excellent service to a less than ideal serving situation because of the price on the menu? That aspect blows my mind. I understand servers are supposed to also be sales people, but the total bill should not be indicative of the value of the tip.

    I know the argument is, the higher the bill, the more food and drink that was served, which equals more work for the server..however, in my example, its clear why the bill was higher..and it wasn’t because of quantity, but price.

    I am with the servers…you should tip always…never based on the bill total, but on quality of service. The % system is ridiculous.

    • saltysal says:

      If you can afford to spend more on the food then you can afford to spend more on the tip. That’s why it is % system.

  • Denard says:

    Keep in mind, ALL of this is done not to reward good service, but to hopefully discourage servers–who are unhygienic animals to begin with–from pooping, cumming, or peeing in your food and drinks. Literally the only reason to tip is that servers all over the internet threaten that if you don’t tip and tip well, they will defecate, ejaculate, or urinate all over your food and drinks next time they see you in the establishment.

    The claim is laughable. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these pukes do all their bodily functions all over the food regardless of how they were or were not tipped any given day. This is why they are working in restaurants and sleeping with management instead of working real jobs with benefits and regular hours.

    That said, it is very amusing that the same under-educated (oh congrats, you got your liberal arts degree!), classless, tatted-up group of slackers wants us all to believe they have photographic memories and that if you stiff them in February, they will be watching for YOU specifically in August and prepared to blow their loads, empty their bladders, and pop a squat all over your food. Hahaha. Nice try. It’s very likely you do all 3 on people’s food every day, but not because you remember their face from last New Year’s. You’re simply not that smart.

    • K says:

      We all talk, remember the rude people, point out the rude people to whoever is their server and warn them, my IQ is 132 and you sir are spewing the words of an ignorant man. Maybe your fries will always be cold, your refills will take 20 minutes, and no one will ever being you that ramch you asked for next time you come in.

      • J says:

        Then you’ll be reported and I’ll do everything in my power to get you fired and hopefully hurt you and your family in life. And 132 is not that high, so I wouldn’t brag too much…

  • Victor says:

    I was a waiter for 2 months in the summer when I was in college, easiest job ever. You have to be mentally retarded or physically challenged to find it difficult. You go up to a table, greet them with a smile, ask if they’d like a drink as they looked at the menu, come back to take their order or ask if they’d like some recommendations if they take too long. You get their food to them, check once every 15 minutes or so if they need something, and you collect money. In your free time, just eat the free stuff in the kitchen (drastically reduced food bills), roll some silverware into napkins LOL. Literally became fully functional in like an hour of training, and was just SHOCKED that these people were giving me this much money for this little work. I was with a table for literally 5 minutes combined for thier entire stay, and got tipped $18 on an $82 check (my first table) mainly for walking food to them from a kitchen that’s 20 feet away. A light drizzle developed and everyone asked to be seated inside except a couple who wanted to sit in the rain. They ordered 2 drinks and 2 appetizers totaling $50. I walked out to serve them and barely got rain on my shirt and they praised me for doing so, tipping me another $50. What the heck?? Does money grow on trees? Then there’s this huge Chinese table with an order into the hundreds that tipped me $8 (no tipping culture in China). I don’t care; $8 is still pretty good considering all I did was run a few plates out to them and they sat right next to the kitchen. Black dude with his date tipped me $3 on a $35 order. I sincerely thanked them all and wouldn’t hesitate to do my best again if they came back. Oh, I didn’t even have to bus any tables or clean anything; that was the runners’/busers’ jobs and I tipped out a percentage to them. Anyway, I closed out $108 in tips for barely 4 hours of work on my first night (and I left with a belly full of food as well). Can not believe how easy and profitable waiting tables is. The other waiters complained about me because they said I was turning tables out faster than them, thus taking more clients LOL Maybe if they didn’t stumble around like idiots all the time, we wouldn’t have that problem! Ultimately, I quit when the summer was over and had to go back to school and never did it again because I didn’t like serving people and calling them “sir” when I can clearly see that person is a degenerate.

    Waiters and waitresses commenting here sure are mean compared to the ones who served me. Had it been the other way around, I’d be saving a lot of money! If I knew that they were this pitiful behind the scenes, I wouldn’t tip at all. The cardinal rule of being a waiter is to treat a no-tip and a heavy tip exactly the same, a rule that I have never deviated from, or felt the desire to deviate from. If you don’t have that level of professionalism, go find another job. Although it has never happened to me, if a waiter were to ever forget that a tip is and verbally ask me for a bigger tip or suggest that I hadn’t tipped enough, I would take it up with management as far as it would go and definitely cancel every cent of what I intended to give him. And I don’t care if it’s because I made a mathematical mistake (unlikely) or went to a different country with a different tipping norm. Waiters who ask for tips deserve no tip regardless of the service.

    Today, I tip about 20% (or double tax) and usually get good service; I wouldn’t hesitate to stiff a waiter for poor service but I can count the number of times that that has happened in my whole life on one hand… of a T-rex LOL. For outstanding service, I can tip 30%. For example, when a waiter at a Brazilian steak house (where all the guys serving meat run around and visit your table randomly) tracked down the fella with the prime rib I wanted through multiple floors and brought cuts from that to my table, I tipped him and I stuffed cash in his pocket so he wouldn’t have to tip out. I don’t think they really deserve such big tips for such an easy job, but hey, neither did I, so I’m givin’ it back.

  • Lifeisntfair says:

    I see a lot of people here commented about how hard it is to be a server. No one asked you to. Life isn’t fair and everyone starts differently. I used to complain about my job too, everyone does. And I made my decision, I want to be happy so I moved to another job. I was a banking call rep, I get yelled at 8 hours straight 5 days a week. If I don’t like my job, I will find one that I like. It’s about your life, not those customers. So if you hate you server job, move the f*** on!

  • Courtney says:

    I had to stop…

    I had to stop reading through these comments not even midway through. The odasity of some of these people who talk as if they’re scholars in the art of the service industry is mind numbing to me.

    I am 22.
    I have been a server since I was 16 years old.
    I started off CHOOSING this job choice not because I wanted to make it a career, but because of the worldly experience a server (of any kind) can obtain this way. I cannot tell you how much a server actually learns about people in our society and about honest hard work through this skill set..
    To settle the score on all of these salary negotiations(?) I earn in Texas:
    $2.13 AN HOUR. Tipping me through the service I provide you literally keeps me alive.

    1 hour into work I am ok.
    2 hours in my mind is juggling 15 requests from customers at once.
    3 hours I am panting trying to look calm in front of customers (a server will never literally run around the establishment no matter how desperately they need to so that you don’t feel uncomfortable).
    4 hours in I’m drained from the 5 miles I’ve gone in circles. (Yes- 5! I wore a tracking device.)
    5 hours in I can hardly feel my feet and my body is shaking from constantly lifting 40 lb trays up and down and all around the restaurant.

    I have server nightmares of people skipping out on the tip. Other nights I’ll wake up in a panic because in my dream I had 20 people requesting to modify they’re meal 10x each and then forgetting someone’s extra ranch dressing

    BUT, despite how physically and mentally draining this position is I still do it because I need to put myself through school and a server’s schedule is flexible. Why? Because other servers are kind enough to pick up shifts and help you out. Wonder why another fellow server would be so kind to work for you? Because of better people they have become through the service industry.

    I am kind. I am caring. I am smart and I work just as hard as you do. I am damn good at what I do because of all of those aspects and I have learned so much about people and life from what some claim as an “inadequate and easy” job.

    Tipping a server should never be a question at this day in age in my society. It doesn’t matter if:
    A) my company didn’t pay me enough and “that shouldn’t be your problem”
    B) I’m not the greatest or you don’t think I’m working hard enough (I promise you I am trying my best to make you feel good)
    Or C) if you don’t have enough money to leave me.

    I just want people to understand that maybe if you don’t “believe” in tipping for any of the reasons above remember the golden rule you first learned as a child: TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED.

    We are all HUMAN and regardless of any differentiating characteristics of who I am or what I do- I deserve the same kindness and respect.

    • Betty says:

      Stop f whining. Nobody cares what you make . With tips you make half than I make and I am in pharmaceuticals studied my a$$ for years . They mostly say if you want a tip , learn to have a good f attitude . Personally when a waitress has an attitude she gets 0 from me . If you need the money learn to do your job and that includes manners and some diplomacy too . Any job needs it when affiliated with people . Wake up , that’s life .

    • Betty says:

      Now that I read all the butthurt comments from servers here , I just say that you are all lucky you don’t work in Europe in countries like Greece, or Italy or Spain . Working as a kickass server that actually knows how to hold a tray like a pro , f fast and not moving like a sloth in zootopia and working crazy hours and getting paid 50 euros per day. Americans are literally the laziest people I have seen . Expecting easy money and then whining about it too. Ciao sweets and if you don’t like your job go do something else . You weren’t forced in it .

    • J says:

      How cute. But you have a lot of growing up to do.

  • Patty Smith says:

    The general rule is to round up THEN add 20 percent? It is crazy expectations like this that have lead people to want to abolish tipping altogether. I am all for tipping but this is extreme. Good points in this infographic:


  • Logic says:

    Alright guys. I tip 20%. Just about every time. Because it’s nice to do that.


    How entitled could you be?

    So now I am responsible for your financial security because your job pays unfairly? What about all the other even shittier low paying jobs out there? Hmm? Should I be responsible for the financial security of the retail worker who helped me try on my clothes? Should I be responsible for the financial security of my garbage man? Why don’t I take on the financial responsibility of supporting someone at the local homeless shelter.

    I will tip 20% because I’m young and this is the norm I grew up with. And it feels nice to let the waiter know they did a good job. But your attitude of “I deserve a tip from you because my job sucks” really really rubs the wrong way. You’ll get a tip for being nice to me, and I’ll give a tip to be nice to you, but once you develop an attitude where you expect a tip from me because you feel your job doesn’t pay you enough… you’ve lost me. Don’t be mad at me lady, be mad at the system. And maybe you’ll get a better job if you learn to work the system instead of begging for handouts because your job sucks.

    Good luck.

  • Rhonda says:

    My biggest problem with server minimum wage is the fact that franchises take advantage of cheap labor… 20 years ago servers were treated differently, we were expected to serve our customer good food with a friendly smile. Now that the national restaurant association has the government in their back pocket, owners are making money hand over fist at the expense of good customer service, using the sweat off every server back. Aware of the fact that servers “are a dime a dozen” expectations for servers are ridiculous. Realizing that cutting job codes such as an expediter, hostess, busser and cashier are blessings for the bottom line. especially if u can pay someone $2.13 an hour to cover all the jobs previously covered by these other job codes. they make sure they utilize all their labor. I’ve seen dishwashers gardening and salary shift mangers dishwashing, and no one is around for the customers. Servers being the lowest paid staff member, when labor cost is high the cuts begin with the highest paid employee meaning everyone goes but the server. So dont be fooled, understaffed restaurants are intentional. I’ve worked a skeleton (1 server, 1 cook, 1 manager) crew and still been over labor. In the last 20 years the work expectation of a server has tripled, leaving less time for customer interaction. They don’t hold customer satisfaction of any importance anymore..they know unhappy customers will come back. Maybe the customer won’t tip next time or blame the server but they don’t care you will paid ur bill, and that is revenue for them.

    • Ellen says:

      Interesting points. I don’t know if it’s okay to name places, but I went to a Steak and Shake and they were understaffed. I as well as another couple waited about five minutes to be seated. It was busy, and it was obvious that the staff was doing the work of three employees. My server was good. I will eventually go back there, but if I notice the same kind of thing where they are working three tasks, I probably won’t be patronizing that place again.

  • Jambon says:

    All u waiters moaning makes me wonder why any of u actually bother for the pathetic wages u get , maybe ur not tellin us that u can make in excess of $200 dollars a day , if im in a good mood il leave 5% if not maybe 2%

    • Jambon says:

      Why dont restaurants put signs in the window or statin on the menu that 20% is mandatory , pretty much because some fud jus thot i aint got enuf cash this week , can someone tell me wat date the “standard 15%”” jumped to the “”standard 20%” , if im in a restaurant and get served a meal and a drink for $20 then $4 tip ,if i go back next day and get the filet mignon and a drink for $40 then $8 tip , how can i be expected to pay double tip for same service ,its crazy , basically its to rip off the customer ,u must think we come up this mississippi on a banana boat ,

  • Jambon says:

    I wudnt get out my bed for $2.13 an hour and why do i need to pay the ‘”standard”‘ 20% instead of 15% , think u shud look a bit closer to washinton,

  • Dsuarez says:

    I’m happy for any gratuity people leave me because they are not forced to, but when I get stiffed or 10% under its really disheartening especially because I always give the best service I possibly can even when the customers are rude, and I feel like I did something wrong. The weird thing is, the people that take the time to thank me for my “excellent service” usually leave me a small like $2 tip.. Like the thanks is in lieu of the tip. And when you’re the most busy and stressed out, you usually get tipped the least because you can’t give the service that you want to give. Generally though, I average 15%-20% at the end of the night though, because the generous tippers will make up for the bad tippers. It’s a give and take. It can be irritating around here because the Mexican community from TJ are usually the most demanding and the worst tippers, but you also get the locals and former/fellow servers that generously compensate you. Being a server is a hard job and stressful but I feel like I’m compensated well for it even after tipping out the bussers 15%-20%. I work at a family-owned casual dining establishment. I have to say that I do live in California and I get $9 minimum wage, but if I didn’t have my tips there is no way I would do this job for just the minimum wage. I’d rather work an easier less stressful job if I was just getting minimum wage. Yesterday I bought a pitcher of beer and tipped the standard 20% ($3) on a slow night for the bartender to fill a pitcher and hand us 2 empty cups to pour ourselves. I realized that I served a table food and all their needs on a busy night, filled a pitcher, poured it in their chilled glasses and boxed and bagged all their food, and gave your kids free icecream and received the same $3 tip as I gave that bartender to fill 1 pitcher. I am not required to pour your beer for you, or box your food for you, or give you free dessert. Only to give you the glasses and boxes. When your server does extra things like this for you, is when you should tip well. But usually the tables I do the most to please end up tipping me the least for some reason. I’d like to become a bartender. More customers, less steps and the accepted tip amount is $1 per beer or 20% of tab. Seems like a better deal.

  • Longhorn says:

    I find this to reek of entitlement. I will gladly give you the 20% that makes your earnings livable. But if you can’t do what is required of you, why should you get paid?

  • Daniel Lee Vandenberg says:

    I once was at a very upscale restaurant with my fiance and we never had worse service in our life. First of all, the server was extremely rude; he rolled his eyes at almost everything we said, and was very slow about refills and other things of that nature. Now if they had been really busy, I could get by the slowness, but they weren’t. Multiple time we asked him for refills and five minutes later we see him trying to chat up some girls up at the bar (remember, he is on the clock). Long story short, we racked up a bill of about $135 and left $125 cash on the table and walked out. He was a terrible server, and a dick. I have tipped really good servers up to even 40% before (REALLY good), and I usually try to do close to twenty, but if you’re going to treat me like I am wasting your time and you have much better things to do (like go chat up girls ON THE CLOCK), Im just going to assume they’re paying you so well here, hell, maybe you can give me a treat! If you want a good tip, be a good server; it’s your job.

    • saltysal says:

      Wow, I’m surprised you admitted to not paying your bill. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard the saying “two wrongs don’t make a right” but it definitely fits in this scenario.

      If you get poor service, ask to speak to a manager and explain to him/her why the service was poor. Almost always they will either adjust the bill or offer you a free meal on your next visit. It is the manager’s job to correct the server’s poor performance. The manager can’t do that unless he/she knows poor service is being given.

  • Linda says:

    I know some people will probably think I’m a horrible person for saying this, but I’m going to say it anyway. I don’t believe that poor service should be rewarded. If a server is rude to me, copping an attitude or rushing me through my meal so they can get me out of there, why should said server receive a tip? He or she may be having a bad day, but that is no excuse for being rude. Not if you want to keep your job. Not if you want customers to return to the establishment in question.

    I’m a caregiver. If I behaved rudely while interacting with my clients, or their friends or family members, I’d be out of a job. It wouldn’t matter how badly my day was going. I am expected to treat clients and their loved ones with respect. Period.

    It’s the same thing with every other job.

    • Daniel Lee Vandenberg says:

      I agree; at any other job if your boss gives you something to do, you do it, and you try to do a good job. If you consistently fail to do those things, you will be fired (and no long get a paycheck). Being a server, the customers aren’t your boss, but they are the one’s paying you. If you consistently fail them, they do not want to pay you for your failure.

  • Shady says:

    The problem here is that the problem will never get solved. People go up against each other and judge people on their lack of education, this and that blah blah. Its a never ending cycle until the post gets removed along with all the comments in it. Realistic truth is that if waiters/waitresses have a problem with their earnings they should take it up with their employer and you have that right as the employee!. Complaining about customers not tipping the way you think they should is like hating somebody because you asked them to help with money and they said no just because that money they using is what they saved to use for their own good time etc. Its not fair. 1 thing most people don’t understand is that all these situations and rules if you want to word it like that, were created by humans themselves, most of the problems in this world were formed by humans themselves. Its really simple here if you think about it. Not happy with your income? Find a better job. Can’t find a better job? Then why don’t you try to stop being normal for a bit and try and be something unique. Stop kissing ass in life, you were never meant to. Education teaches how you how to live, not to survive. All the things you learned is all the things that “humans” have made important as an educationary standard. By all means if you struggling then sure do what you have to, but that means, sort out the people who continue to bring you down and under mine your worth. When it comes to a company, you need to remember, the company is only as good as its workers,and without workers, the company does not work, in most cases. I struggle to survive everyday, but I know who to have problems with, and I don’t let a problem survive longer than a day. I do apologise if I have offended anybody during this post. Just remember the best way to learn is through experience.

  • Chaos says:

    I’m ……odd I suppose, I generally tip about 25-50% depending more on how much I have on me. My eviler side wants to leave cash tips tho, so I can see their excitement. I’m twisted.

  • Amber says:

    I am a server and when someone tips me 10 percent and under I take it really personally and get kind of upset. Not because of the money, but because I think I did something to make them angry or they did not like me. When I go out to a restaurant I find tipping as a way that tells them I think they are doing a good job.
    Also at our job we tip out 5 percent of our SALES. So if we are not tipped we owe money to the restaurant. For example, if someone’s bill is at 250 dollars and they leave nothing, we then owe 12.5 dollars to the restaurant. So we are basically paying to serve you. I am not saying that is your problem as the guest. I would never tell someone I was serving that. I just think everyone should know the facts before we make decisions in life. If you truly believe that you shouldn’t tip then fine that’s your prerogative. But I like to make other people happy and spread joy. I am someone who believes in the whole “pay it forward” mindset. But if tipping is something you cant do and you don’t have the money for it then I wouldn’t want to take money from you. Seems like you need the money more than I do, so keep it. Just be nice, at least. Nobody likes to be treated like crap.

    I am aware that I probably should not be in this job because I take it so hard to heart. I have had many nights where I have ran to the bathroom crying because of the stresses that serving can put you under. The pressure to constantly on your shoulders to make everyone happy. I am currently taking courses to become a preschool teacher and serving is helping me pay for my schooling and living expenses. So yes I am changing careers, but it would be nice to be working in a happy environment in the mean time.

  • Hawkeye says:

    For another view, read:


    Since it takes a lot of words to develop the point, the end follows:

    Whether you start leaving 0% tips is up to you. I can’t make you do it, and I may or may not do it myself. But that’s the point — an employee’s take-home pay shouldn’t be up to you, or me, or anyone other than his/her employer. When we tip, we intend to do right by the people handling our food, but we’re actually just entrenching a system that takes advantage of them. We’re screwing everything up.

    P.S. I am NOT saying I fully agree, just that it’s worth considering.

  • Dean says:

    After reading Courtneys reply, and a few others on here.. I understand a little more about the tipping process over there in the US.

    Tipping is obviously needed due to the low hourly wage and the hard process of getting the employer to meet the minimum wage if enough tips were not earnt.

    I’m coming over to take my little one to Florida next year (after a lot of saving up) and thought I’d come on here to get the latest on tipping.

    As I’m from the UK, so for me it’s usually a tip of ” have a drink on me” so about £2/£3 on a £20/£30 meal and it’s usually depends on a few things.

    Now it seems compared to the UK, your wages are higher (with tips included) than over here for table servers… I currently work in a conference centre, and those here that serve, (unless they are a supervisor) are on 0 hour contract and on about £7 per hour… With maybe only £20 tips per year. So I know which I’d prefer.

    maybe the expectations of some, to tip poor service, with the fact that there is even an expected % to tip, makes it strange to me…. But I suppose they say “when in Rome”

    I guess if you guys were taken out of you comfort zone and what’s normal for the U.S. and going to a country with say, a 35% tip expectation, with servers earning more than you, you might start to question the tipping process.

    But hay ho… I hope you servers will give me a wink and a smile for the 20% 😉

  • Courtney says:


    From reading your earlier post, you seem like a very reasonable person. I can tell that you are probably not someone I would be put in a position to defend my profession to. Unfortunately when articles like this are published, reasonable people such as yourself seem to be the minority.

    I normally never feel the need to mention that I work hard to earn a living. After all it’s my chosen profession, I enjoy it, and I’ve always felt that I’m fairly compensated for it. When I see people saying things such as “I don’t tip because it’s not my responsibility to pay your wages” or “It’s not my fault you’re too uneducated or lazy to go out and get a decent job”, I tend to get riled up as do a lot of my fellow service workers. I’m sure you, as a tradesman, have encountered these people as well. People who make you feel as if you’re unworthy because, for instance, you chose to enter the work force instead of continuing your education.

    I do not feel that I am entitled to tips. I do however feel as though I earn them through hard work. I don’t feel as if I, or anyone else for that matter, should ever be forced to defend the way that they earn their living. The key word there of course being EARN. With every good or service purchased we pay someone’s wages. The only difference with the service industry is that you’re paying me directly instead of my employer. Lots of educated, hard-working people hold “menial” jobs, so I encourage people to stop thinking they’re better than the person who pours their coffee or changes their oil. Obviously, @hawkeye, this last portion isn’t directed at you or anyone else who understands these simple concepts.

    • Courtney says:

      I also want to point out that I think @jack made a stellar observation. A lot of people do not have a good system in place for discerning between good and poor service. Here’s a great example that is fairly common…
      Your water has been empty for 5 minutes. You look around for your sever and discover they are:
      Scenario 1) Sitting at the bar on their cell phone.
      Scenario 2) Running around like a maniac, or what we in the industry like to call “in the weeds”
      Scenario 1 is a blatant example of poor service. Under no circumstance should you tip this person and in fact you should speak to their manager.
      Scenario 2 is not as simple. Is this still poor service? Technically yes, but not at the fault of your server. Obviously it isn’t your (the customers) fault either.
      What commonly occurs at this point is the server gets a poor tip. Now, I certainly would not expect a 20% tip at this point, but by leaving say a 5% tip or no tip, you are punishing someone who is no more at fault for this indiscretion than you are. Imagine if your wages were docked because your boss failed to do their job. Does this happen? I’m sure it does, but you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who considers that fair. And unlike you, who may be able to go to upper management and rectify the situation, I am just stuck with it.
      Granted at this point I could just quit my job because my employer obviously, well, sucks. I personally would probably do just that. But let’s not kid ourselves…employment isn’t exactly growing on trees these days, and for many this simply isn’t an option.

    • Hawkeye says:


      I enjoy exchanging views with courteous, reasonable people like yourself.

      Sometimes, incorrect assumptions are made.

      While I worked as a bricklayer’s helper in my 20’s, I retired from a position as a Programming Manager of a decent sized financial institution.

  • Hawkeye says:

    There is considerable discussion from the viewpoint of serving.

    What I don’t see a lot of is discussing cost of living and comparative salaries.

    The cost of living in a small town is almost always much less than in a city.
    So, someone waiting in the finest restaurant in a more rural area may be better off financially than someone working in a similar restaurant in a city. And, in the city, the customers are also experiencing the higher cost of living.
    No point to my comment other than the perspective of both waiters and customers is going to vary.

    The average annual salary nationwide for a bricklayer’s helper is $17,000/year.
    I picked that because I did that job when I was young.
    Hauling bricks and mortar in a wheelbarrow is VERY physically demanding.
    And, the work is mostly outdoors.
    So, even if a waiter is working very hard, expounding on their “hard work”
    is received by me as whining when they are taking home more than a bricklayer’s helper. Both are unskilled labor with the quality of the work dependent on the individual’s drive, not whether they hold a degree.

    • Jack says:

      @Hawkeye – First off I’m really glad you indicated that there was no point to your first comment. Thanks for making that clear and I wholeheartedly agree with you.

      Secondly, I’m not sure where you came up with the bricklayer’s assistant (not even the bricklayer himself?!) as an apples to apples comparison. Yes, both jobs are very physically demanding – brick laying I would admit more so but it doesn’t take away from restaurant work requiring you to constantly be lifting heavy things such as trays full of food and drinks. But that’s really where it ends. As a server you have to be knowledgeable, polite, engaging and personable – qualities I wouldn’t associate with unskilled labor. Not to mention that I personally would much rather be outdoors working 100% percent of the time.

      This comment is really asinine if you think about it.

      • Hawkeye says:


        My first comment was to illustrate differences in perspective.
        That is lost on people wearing blinders.

        I’m pretty sure you haven’t worked as a bricklayer’s helper.
        If you had, you’d know that while letting a bricklayer run out of supplies isn’t going to cost you a tip, it WILL result in a thorough tongue-lashing that EVERYONE on the job will hear. I.E., poor service will result not in a reduced tip, but public SHAME! (And, no, that didn’t happen to me but I saw it happen to others.)

        You choose to elevate your position without credentials. Almost every job requires learning. My point is neither waiting nor bricklayer’s helper require a formal education. And “knowledgeable, polite, engaging and personable” WILL come in handy when inevitably near the end of the day a load of mortar or brick is spilled.

        Sure you’d ” … rather be outdoors … ” – when it’s 60 – 70 degrees and not raining. Try it when the temp’s are over 90 or under 50 … when work MUST continue. A bit more challenging than working in a climate controlled environment.

        This is my last reply to you.
        “Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

        • Jack says:

          @Hawkeye – You can reply to this or not.

          I have worked labor jobs before – landscaping (where I did do bricklaying) and construction (Where I did demo, flooring, painting, etc.) – rain or shine. I also have worked as a server at various restaurants (bars, pubs, fine French cuisine, fine seafood) so I think it’s a safe bet that I have a more comprehensive, unique and representative view of where things are today in these respective industries.

          If you work menial labor, as you are comparing serving to, there is little to no learning curve, you basically do grunt work and that is why you get paid very little. There are, suffice to say, some server jobs that aren’t much more than order takers, but I would compare that to working in a fast food restaurant, or a sandwich shop and not a sit down restaurant where there are likely things you need to learn in order to be effective as well as certain nuances to the job that require having a particular disposition. I’m not arguing that you need a formal education to be a server (although most states do require certifications and training for alcohol and food safety) but I am saying that it’s not something you can just pick up right away, and not everyone’s going to be good at it. If you are a hard worker you can succeed in bricklaying and other labor positions.

          You’re not making an apples to apples comparison, and you make assumptions about the service industry that you really can’t make unless you’ve worked at a restaurant. Which you admit you have not. Not sure how you can claim other people are wearing blinders as you compare two jobs that are not close to being similar.

          • Greg says:

            Jack, that may be the very best reply I’ve ever seen given to Hawkeye here.

            However, Hawkeye already knows everything about all jobs he’s never had. In particular, he knows exactly how hard it is to wait tables (which he has never done).

            If you ever want to know how hard any job is in the whole wide world, just ask Hawkeye. He’s the expert!

          • Hawkeye says:


            And certainly Greg knows of which he speaks!

            After all, he’s getting implants so his tips will be bigger.

          • Greg says:


            That’s offensive and inappropriate for this family web page. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • Brian says:

        The comment was indeed “asinine” Jack … At best! With regard to your comments relating to “unskilled labor”, even arrogant sounds reasonable. Observation of a bricklayer’s laborer (assistant), in action, maintaining supply of bricks and mortar to multiple bricklayers, may surprise, even when compared to a Server bearing “heavy items” such as trays, laden with food and drink.

  • Courtney says:

    You know, I’m not sure why someone would tip for bad service. I think possibly out of fear of what others will think of them, especially when dining in a group or on a date for instance.

    The wages question is actually a great one because I think a lot of people who haven’t worked for tips don’t understand how the system works. Yes, legally the employer is required to meet the minimum wage if their employee doesn’t make this in tips. The figure is calculated based on a work week so this is what that equation looks like…
    Say I work part time, 20 hours per week.
    20 x 7.25=145 This is a weekly minimum wage income
    20 x 2.13=42.60 This is weekly minimum wage for a tipped woworker

    As a server, if I do not make at least $102.40 in tips over the course of my twenty hour week, my employer is required to cover that. This almost never happens. You have to be a really terrible waitress to not make $105 in a twenty hour week. It only requires making an extra $5.12 an hour in tips.
    I’ve never had this happen but I’ve met a couple of people it has happened to and it’s not as if your boss says “Oh hey, Sally, I noticed you didn’t hit minimum so I made up the difference”. Your boss has no idea how much you make in (cash) tips so it will be your responsibility to bring this to their attention. At that point it is also your responsibility to prove that you didn’t meet minimum. This results in a rather cloudy version of he said/she said between the employer and the employee. Often employees end up having to file a complaint with their local Department of Labor (which yes, they often win) but if you’ve ever filed paperwork with any government agency you know it’s never a speedy process.

    And there you have the wonderful workings of the system. Like I stated, I wouldn’t serve for minimum wage. I would wager I made roughly $30,000 last year and I work at a diner. I feel I earn a fair wage. People working full time at a high end restaurant can probably make twice that. Think it’s too much? Well I think pro sports players, private nannies, investment bankers and CEOs get paid too much…but I bet they’d beg to differ.

  • Dean says:


    You mention the 2.13 per hour wage.. But people have mentioned that the employer meets the minimum wage if you don’t earn enough in tips!

    Can I also ask.. What your average hourly wage is WITH tips?

    I just can’t get my head around the notion of still tipping poor service… Why would any one give away cash that they worked hard for themselves away for free? For good service I always tip, and most of the time for average service… But tipping poor service is crazy.

  • Courtney says:

    If you receive poor service, leave a poor tip. You should not feel required to leave a 15 or 20% tip on bad service. Honestly, if they’re bad at their job, I don’t want them as my coworker any more than you want them serving you. Bad servers drive away business. The less business there is, the less money in my pocket. That being said, that is the only time it is acceptable to tip poorly. Spouting rubbish like “You chose this job” or “It’s not my responsibility to page your wages” isn’t going to cut it.

    There’s really only two ways to abolish tipping…
    Option 1: You will have a service fee added to your bill. This service fee will most likely be in the neighborhood of 18% of your total bill. You will no longer have the option of deciding how much to tip, and you certainly won’t have the option not to.
    Option 2: Raise minimum wage for tipped workers to equal federal minimum wage. So instead of $2.13 per hour, it would be $7.65 per hour. This will inevitably raise the cost of your meal because restaurant owners will have to pay their staff (in some cases) over $5 more per hour. Keep in mind with this option, having a pleasant dining experience will be a rarity. Any server worth their salt will not work for $7.65 an hour. I’d rather clean toilets, collect trash, or participate in clinical trials than do my job for minimum wage.

    • ohiomark says:

      I realize abolishing tipping the restaurant industry here in the USA will never disappear completely; it’s too ingrained. What would be nice is if restaurants paid their staff a fair amount, and customers could, at their discretion, leave a smaller tip to show genuine appreciation for great service (not average or poor). That way, great servers would still be rewarded for great service, the labor costs would be more equally shared between management and customers, and poor servers hopefully would find other employment. And yes, I realize menu prices would rise, but we would get used to it, as other countries who do not tip at all have. Right now, menu prices are artificially low, because they do not have all the cost components of serving meal reflected in the price, like most anything else we purchase.

    • Rob4543 says:

      It really would not raise the cost of a meal by much. Raise the servers wage by five bucks and if they are serving four tables that’s like an extra $1.25 per table. If there are three people at your table then that’s like a 41 cent extra charge on the average 15 to 20 dollar meal. I really is not that much. Even if you double that 41 cents to take into account slow nights and prep time, an extra buck on a 20 dollar meal is not going to drive away business.

      S0 yes, a restaurant can afford to pay their employees.

  • ohiomark says:

    It is amazing how restaurant managers and owners have conditioned its staff to take out their frustrations on not being paid enough from the managers and owners to the customers. And yes, bosses and owners do want the customers to tip well, because they sure aren’t paying their staff anything, and they side right along their waitstaff to grumble about customers who do not care to pay exorbitant tips for mediocre or bad service. The whole tipping system is a farce. Other countries have restaurants with great service without any tips, or tips running a lot less than the American counterparts, and with great service. Cry me a river.

    • Jack says:

      @Ohiomark – I’m not sure you understand how it works in other countries. Tips are literally included in the cost of your food and most European servers are paid fairly well because of that. That’s why restaurants in other countries can afford to pay their waiters more, because you are paying more. You’re not making an apples to apples comparison here. And, while I agree the system is broken, the alternative would be to shift the burden of increasing server pay on the customer anyways so you’d be forced to pay the servers’ extra wages like it’s done in Europe.

      Your argument about everyone being in some sort of conspiracy against providing good service to the customer also holds no water. I’ve never ever in my life seen an owner or a manager side with anyone beside the customer, and to do the opposite is tantamount to customer service suicide especially with sites like Yelp now a go to resource for figuring out which restaurants go the extra mile and which ones don’t. Don’t try to make yourself feel better for tipping poorly with your twisted logic.

      • ohiomark says:

        @Jack – Yes, I do understand how it works in other countries. I also understand that if waiters are paid a fair wage that meal prices will rise, relative to what we pay now on the menu. I never meant to state there was a conspiracy…I just was inferring that owners love the fact the they do not have to pay their staff much, and owners are right there with the staff trying and wanting to get customers to tip more to keep their waitstaff happy. I would love it also if others would pay my expenses.

        We both agree that the current system is broken; I was just commenting on the broken, that’s all. And, I am not sure how you were able to twist around my comments to infer that I tipped poorly. I never mentioned in my comment what my tipping habits are, but because I complain about this broken system (your words, above), you assume I am a lousy tipper. I do tip within accepted industry norms for excellent, average, and poor service. Determining a tip amount for great or average service is easy to do; however determining a tip amount for poor service is not fun, as I will reduce the tip amount for poor service. When my wife and I eat out, and service has been mediocre or poor, we discuss just how much of a tip to leave. I guess a key question that should be asked by a customer when they decide on a tip % or amount is….”Did the service enhance my dining experience, did it have no impact on the dining experience, or did the service detract from the dining experience?” Once that question is answered internally, a tip % (amount) is easier to determine.

        Customers who do leave large tips for bad service just encourage poor servers to continue working poorly, and that reflects badly on the restaurant they work for in the long run.

        • Jack says:

          @Ohiomark – I guess it was “the whole tipping system is a farce” comment that got me. For me tipping is very objective, if the service did not take away from the experience significantly I give 20%.

          Why? Very simple, because it’s way too easy to be subjective and say that the service didn’t knock your socks off and therefore was either just average or, as it seems many people here mistakenly think, mediocre. The one area I would say that it’s acceptable to hold service to a “higher standard” is in fine dining – where the waitstaff is expected to provide a superior product because you are paying a lot of money for it and those servers probably make close to six figures. If you are going to go to Pete’s Bar and Grill then you should expect friendly and attentive service but nothing extraordinary, it’s just a fact of life.

          I fear that you are the exception not the rule here Greg, and any small bit of inconvenience the customer experiences is chalked up to poor service by the waiter. I, having worked in the industry for a number of years while in college, tend to give the waiter the benefit of the doubt.

          • ohiomark says:

            @Jack… Not sure what you mean by me being the exception not the rule here. I am not one to go looking for small bits of inconvenience. When I do go out to eat, it tends to be at better restaurants, and not a ‘bar and grill’, but I have had some great meals at bars and grills when I do go there. Also, I am not sure why you are called me ‘Greg’ in your comment.
            I also worked to earn money to put myself through college and graduate school, but very limited work in the food business. Over the past 40-odd years, I have gone out to eat at countless restaurants in the USA and elsewhere to know exceptional, average, and poor service when I get it.

          • Jack says:

            @Ohiomark – sorry I got mixed up with who I was responding to. By exception, I mean that it sounds like you actually take a cognitive approach to tipping rather than most of the folks in this discussion. What my point was is that many people either don’t have a system for discerning good or bad service or they don’t care. Either way it’s pretty shitty. I was putting you in the former group of people who do not look for ways to undertip. I would also note though that if you have not worked in the food service industry it’s hard to appreciate how physically and mentally demanding it actually is.

  • Courtney says:

    As a server I approach this subject with what I see as a very realistic point of view. It, for me, boils down to “you get what you pay for”.

    I don’t expect that everyone is going to give me a 15-20% tip because, as mentioned by several people, you are not required to tip me. However, if you are a poor tipper or a stiff (non-tipper) I will remember that. If you return to the establishment and I am your server you will be receiving the bare minimum of service. I will ensure you get what you order in a reasonable amount of time. I will refill your drink (when completely empty). I will not be friendly about it, nor will I go out of my way to ensure your happiness. As I see it, you give me no incentive to do so. I have met my basic job requirements.

    If I’m not your server upon your return, I will ensure that your server knows you’re a poor tipper, and you probably won’t get stellar service. If you decide to complain to my manager it is unlikely I will be reprimanded because as I said, I’ve met my basic job requirements. In addition, as soon as I mention “(S)He doesn’t tip”, my boss will probably understand. After all, they want customers who tip well. The more “good tippers” they have, the less likely workers are to complain about low wages.

    • Rob4543 says:

      Average turn over in the restaurant industry is like 3 months. I eat out maybe once or twice a month, and usually won’t go back to the same place until I go to 8 or 9 other places. Odds are you probably won’t be there when I come back…

      That being said, I do think that good service deserves a tip. HOWEVER bad service does not deserve a tip. Stop acting all entitled to a tip.

    • Mute says:

      If you do that I simply would refuse to spend any money in your restaurant. Maybe I’m on a fixed income and can’t tip or come from a country where it isn’t the norm. Maybe I was short and was going to make it up to you the next time but after that subpar service I wouldn’t bother.
      You’re mad because I won’t supplement your pay?! That’s you boss’s job!

  • Katherine says:

    I make it a habit to tip 10% at least but just like the other day I was at pizza hut with my whole family I ordered the pasta and while I watched my family eat I waited. Finally when her 10 minutes were up I got up and complained. Turns out she forgot my brother and I. And what I hate more than anything are excuses. I don’t care if you had a bad day but she told me 4 times how awful it was. I’m sorry but you pull your Shi* together and do a good job. And don’t tell your customers about it. So instead of a cash tip I left a written tip! My money was earned by working had and I will only give it to someone who works just as hard. (Ex waitresses by the way). I always gave my best when I walked through the door.

    • Brian says:

      Instead of leaving no monetary tip, I would have spoken to the manager. I agree poor service should not be rewarded, that it is not ‘your problem’ if your server is having a bad day.

      But, having waited tables, while going thru school, I have more empathy, I guess.

      Only two types of jobs are designed so that if you work poorly, you risk not getting paid at all. Wait staff, and commision sales.

      My empathy comes in, because, look at any other job. You come into work, you have a crappy day, you still get paid. Your full wages. Your boss might talk to you. You are at risk of being fired, but as a waiter, you literally do not get paid that day.

      In the situation you describe, the manager will probably discount off the bill some of the food. I would then tip 10-15% of what the bill would have been.

  • Dean says:

    I have worked in the past as a bar server/waiter and also a double glazing sales person in the UK… So I’d like to think I understand about low paid jobs.

    Ii see tips as a commission you need to earn, it should never be expected and should be the reward for hard work.

    And after reading an example on one of these comments of a waiter working 5 hours with an average five tables per hour at an average of a $40 per bill and at 20% tip, giving a wage of $200 per shift, has left me speechless. I would kill for the chance to earn that for 5 hours work, and some people on here think staff with bad customer service skills should still be paid for it.

    I tip on good service, a friendly smile, a drink refill and “is every thing ok” every so often and I’m happy… But people still expecting tips for poor service and blaming low wages to push it onto the customer is beyond belief… this job like it should be with every thing, we should reward good service and punish the bad.

    I think I might come over there and work my butt off giving great service without expecting tips of every one… I bet I would earn much more than my fixed wage pays now.

  • Tina says:

    As a waitress, I have to say that, a good tip is always pleasant. However, its your job, as a server, to ensure a good service, so do that. If there is a problem, fix it. The customer came to get served food, they didn’t have to come. On the other hand, if the server was very good, then why give a good tip? Its a polite way to say, I enjoyed this.
    But at the end of the day, the customer is always right.

  • Paul says:

    If you get poor service, ask to speak to a manager and explain to him/her why the service was poor. Almost always they will either adjust the bill or offer you a free meal on your next visit. It is the manager’s job to correct the server’s poor performance. The manager can’t do that unless he/she knows poor service is being given. If the poor service continues, don’t go there any more. In the past 15 years I have had to write off 4 restaurants; in spite of my complaints to management, the poor service continued.

  • Paul says:

    The comment about the large breasts carries some validity, but service also counts for me. I start with 20%. Screw-ups lose 5% each. Unexpectedly good service increases the tip to 30% or more. Screw-up examples: bringing the soup spoon after the soup has arrived, forgetting to ask if I’d like a drink refill, serving a “hot” meal after it has been under the warming light for 5 minutes–it’s cold by then. Examples of unexpectedly good service: pouring the beer into my mug, spooning the rice onto my plate, automatically removing the charge for an uneaten item. At a fine dining restaurant my expectations change. Those of you who eat there know what I mean.

  • Greg says:

    “If you are interested in seeing bigger tips in your wallet the go to http://www.triplemytips.com to discover how.”

    According to scientific studies, by far the most effective way to get the biggest tips is simply to be a woman with large breasts. Even if you give awful service.

    And according to the same studies, the least effective way to get bigger tips is to give better service. The correlation between tip size and service quality is very low.

  • Tim Trainor says:

    I love how so many waiters and servers receive a small tip (or no tip) and the first thing that comes into their mind is “this customer is a cheapskate!”

    Turning up does not mean you deserve a tip. Getting the plate to the table does not deserve a tip. Writing down a food order is not tip worthy either.

    What will get you tips is offering VALUE to your customer. In a self centred, narcissistic take-a-selfie-every-5-seconds-and-post-it-to-facebook world many service staff have forgotten that you get paid when you offer a customer value.

    You probably know that you have 4 seconds to make a first impression. Its all in you body language. You then have another couple of seconds to make your words count.

    There are simple strategies that waiters can use to increase their tips without working extra hours.

    If you are interested in seeing bigger tips in your wallet the go to http://www.triplemytips.com to discover how.

  • ohiomark says:

    Most servers seem to blame the customer when they feel they do not make enough. I never hear of ANY complaints about the owners not paying them more. The customer should not be the one paying the lion’s share of a server’s income. Tips were originally meant to show appreciation for a job well done, and be a token amount, not 90-95% of the server’s income. Yeah, I know, restaurants claim they can not afford to pay more. The interesting thing is that in many countries, servers are paid a living wage, and the restaurants are doing well. I do try to tip reasonably, based on the level of service actually received, and other factors, but I do not care for the tipping system being the lion’s share of a servers income, and the fact they have to share their tips with others, all to save the restaurant from paying living wages to overhead people there.

  • Nicholas MOSES says:

    I think a lot of the commentators are missing the point. With a $2 to $3 minimum wage (excepting notably such states as California and Minnesota), it is fair to say that the labor (and you don’t know how much labor it is until you have worked in a restaurant, trust me) for “tipped” employees is not adequately counted in the prices quoted on, for example, restaurant menus. This is why you should leave 15%* of the principal: you did get service, and it was not counted in the price. (That said, if service is so bad that you complain to the manager and he waives the charge for your meal, you are leaving 15% of $0.) But if the service was acceptable or better (in my experience service is either good or bad, no in between), then 20%, if for no other reason than to make up for the stiffers.

    Withnail (6 December 2014) does have a valid point about responsibilities, though I would argue that even if the restaurant owners’ mass shifting of the pay burden to customers is unfair, it is a burden that we know has been placed on us, we do not have to eat out so often (and probably should not) and the fact that someone else is not doing his part does not excuse us from not taking up the mantle when the occasion presents and we are able and we can effect positive change without too much harm to ourselves. If you can afford to pay $20 for a single meal, you can most certainly afford to pay $25 for that same meal. If you really only have $20, you are deluding yourself if you think you can afford to be splurging on a restaurant in the first place.

    I don’t know whether “Tiffany” (8 December 2014) was being sarcastic, but the kind of attitude caricaturized therein is an excellent example of why minimum wage laws are put in place. You can believe in the free market all you like (I certainly do), but if too many people don’t do their part to make the world – and people’s lives – better, then either someone will force them to (not a good situation, I am the first to argue), or the whole thing will go to hell (even worse). That’s not because regulation is good or bad; it’s because that’s how things tend to work. The sayings “What goes around comes around” and “Do as you would be done by” are quite apt.

    * I know that at one time, the standard was 10%, but the cost of food has tended to be lower in recent decades than it was in the 1950s and 1960s (when restaurants offered fewer frills and when eating out was a much rarer occasion for all but singles, businessmen and very well-to-do families, and there were far fewer singles), so the purchasing power of servers would have plummetted had the old standard remained in place.

    • Hawkeye says:

      I respect ALL people … until they disrespect me.

      That usually occurs with pompous, arrogant CEO’s and the like.

      But, servers who expound upon the difficulties and unfairness
      in their CHOSEN job are taking gainful employment and
      adding begging to the mix.

      Just yesterday (12/29/2014) I had soup and salad at an Olive Garden.
      The waitress was professional, cheerful, upbeat and entertaining
      each time she visited. Not there too often, just often enough to ensure
      our needs were being met.

      I start at 15%, but she EARNED a 20 + percent tip from me.
      Since I am on social security plus a very small pension,
      20 percent from me does not come easily.

      A tip exceeding 15% is surely NOT given if I have to listen
      to trials and tribulations.

      We ALL have them – serving has not cornered the market.

      Servers should consider their social security payment amount will be based on the THIRTY-FIVE highest earning years of their working lives.
      If they aren’t paying in very much, they aren’t going to get much back …
      When they will likely need it the most.
      If working in a high end restaurant, they should be saving a portion.
      If not earning much, they should be looking for better paying employment
      and / or obtaining higher education.

    • ohiomark says:

      @nicolasMOSES: You stated “I know that at one time, the standard was 10%, but the cost of food has tended to be lower in recent decades than it was in the 1950s and 1960s”. I am not sure what planet you are from, but grocery prices now are many times higher now than back then. Menu prices as well as groceries. One of the reasons a larger tip amount is cried for is that in more recent history, restaurant managers have become more creative abd shrewd in having the waitstaff share their tips with more and more overhead restaurant personnel, who in the past, was probably paid an hourly wage with no tips. Go to: http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/60sfood.html and see what grocery prices were back then, and compare to what you pay now.

    • saltysal says:

      The tipped minimum wage has remained stagnant since 1991 despite increases in the cost of living and in the standard minimum wage over that same time. The minimum wage for tipped employees represented 50% of the standard minimum wage in 1968. By 2010, it was 29% of the non-tipped minimum wage (which is where it has stayed). That is why the standard raised to 20%. Also, because of tip pooling not all the tip goes to the server.

  • Tiffany says:

    I don’t ever leave a tip for any waitor or waitress, no matter how attentive they are to my needs. They chose their job. In doing so, they accepted their rate of pay willingly. It is required of no one to become involved in food service. If that’s the only job they could secure, I am extremely sorry for their misfortune, but that does not obligate me to surrender my hard-earned money. By the way, I also don’t give money to homeless people with signs outside Walmart.

    • Hanna says:

      *Raises hand and clears throat* I have certifications in hospital administration and medical billing and coding. I work 9-6 Monday through Friday in hospital administration doing medical insurance verification, and medical insurance pre-certification, with full benefits and earning 13$ hour. I also have a business on the side as an event decorator. I’m also black, and have no children…and I work at Applebee’s part-time. Why? I like serving people, making people smile and providing entertainment, and to pay my pool boy. Don’t judge a waiter or Waitress because they are a waiter or a waitress. I don’t understand any of the mentalities I’m reading about something as simple as tipping. Tip. It’s literally that simple. It’s not a salary based thing, don’t worry about how much I’m making an hour. Its not a economic thing either and it’s not a history class session. It’s purely courteous. Tipping your waiter/waitress is like saying thank you for doing a good job. That’s it. It’s really as simple as that. Go to McDonalds where you don’t have to tip and you get lousy service half the time. Please. You don’t have to tip them. I’m almost certain you big black and fat and have been seen on my 600lb life. I feel sorry for your misfortune for eating so much, I really really do.

      • Mute says:

        That’s your job!!! Why do you deserve a prize?and you shouldn’t judge people based on race or weight. You don’t deserve a tip with that mentality.

  • Withnail says:

    There is no new normal.

    Customers tip customarily: par is 15%, bogey is 10%, double-bogey is 5%, birdie is 20%, eagle is 25%. More or less.

    The livelihood of the server is not the customer’s trip. Good day / bad day — not the customer’s trip. Front of the house / back of the house shenanigans — not the customer’s trip.

    It’s the owners responsibility to pay a living wage, to hire sufficient staff to maintain a prompt and comfortable flow, high standards in food preparation and cleanliness, and to train servers so that they can give good service and get tipped accordingly.

    It’s the employee’s responsibility to look for the next opportunity if the owner is too lame to make it happen.

    Nothing, nothing at all is the customer’s problem. Anyone who thinks that it is or sometimes is or can be in this or that situation should not be in a business that requires customers for cashflow.

    • saltysal says:

      It’s also the owners job to make a profit, which includes being competitive with menu prices. If Restaurant A pays employees living wages and their menu is more expensive than Restaurant B who only pays employees the minimum tipped wage than most customers will go to Restaurant B.
      The restaurant industry makes up ten percent of the workforce – millions of people. Even if you’ve never worked at a restaurant I’m sure you know someone who has.
      I’m sure at your job if you come into work and you have a crappy day you still get paid your full wages. If one of your customers doesn’t like your attitude then it doesn’t actually affect your paycheck.
      In the US right now, it IS the customer’s job to tip the server. The server does not get paid the minimum wage because it is expected that customers will tip them.

  • Eve says:

    Ok I didn’t have time to read all the comments so please excuse me if i cover any points already made. I am from the UK and up until now, i have tipped on service that is average to excellent when i travel to California. However, as of July California now has a higher and fairer minimum wage. I’ll be back in Clifornia in a few weeks time and now i will tipping in the same way i tip here. Only if the service is excellent. With a decent minimum wage there is now no reason to tip a server if they give poor or standard service in my opinion.

  • Ray says:

    What a bunch of ignorant tightwads. I hope you have fun with the 2 or 3 bucks you saved by not tipping adequately.

    • Hawkeye says:

      @Ray – It IS the customers money until they decide whether or not to share it with the Server. I will not allow ANYONE to shame or guilt me into spending it other than by MY choice.

  • Greg says:


    “encountered the worst arrogance waiter” … “this guys turned all smile and thanking me for the business so much”

    A few waiters use intimidation as a tool to get good tips. Sadly, it usually works for them. My advice: don’t play their game. The more bad tips they get for their bad service, the less they’ll play that game.

  • Jen says:

    Ok. I never waited tables but I’m usually a generous tipper not because i feel bad for their income level or feel obligated but because i think their good service deserve such amount. Usually my minimum is 20% and often leave far more to show my gratitude. However today i went to a family restaurant with my kids and en encountered the worst arrogance waiter who didn’t bother to refill drinks. He must be having a bad day but his attitude of rushing my well behaved kids to rush them at order was unacceptable. For a week day 1:30 they weren’t even busy! I decided i was not there to lecture a waiter but considered leaving a quarter for tip. In the end i left $2 for $50 bill. I thought of leaving a note along but since this guys turned all smile and thanking me for the business so much so I just decided leave to save my time and energy. If you want a good tip you will have to earn it. Don’t think your customers are obligated to consider your work condition or other hardship you are going through. You want to say I’ll get a bad reputation for cheap tipping ? Oh well still i won’t be bullied to tip if service is bad.

    • saltysal says:

      If you get poor service, ask to speak to a manager and explain to him/her why the service was poor. Almost always they will either adjust the bill or offer you a free meal on your next visit. It is the manager’s job to correct the server’s poor performance. The manager can’t do that unless he/she knows poor service is being given.
      Most servers will blame YOU for being a poor tipper.

      • Ridwan says:

        I agree that the server can blame a guest for being a poor tipper, even after poor service. But what is the problem if you do not have the intention to go to that restaurant again?

  • Cliff says:

    It’s clear you’re working very hard & management shouldn’t be cutting costs by making wait staff wash dishes. That’s one example of management abusing the loophole in minimum wage laws. I hope you can find a better employer & that your customers are generous in their tips. But its not right for management to expect customers to tip extra so you can save management money by doing the dishwashing at 2.13 per hour.

  • Alexis says:

    As a waitress for a Wafflehouse I’ll go ahead and give you the list of things we have to do for just one table.
    as soon as you walk in we say “welcome to waffle house”
    we grab the silver ware ( note we don’t have the bundles of silver in napkins )
    spoon fork knife
    we lay it on the table under a little napkin
    get your orders
    call them
    get your drinks
    deliver hot food
    make sure your all set to eat
    we leave for a little bit price up the bill do dishes ect because we don’t have dish people check our other tables the usual.
    give you the bill on our follow up check for refills make sure everythings good take your empty plates/bowls
    most people want us to take the money and the ticket while they are sitting even though they want us to take you at the register when your ready to leave so we do that to make you happy
    once you pay you may sit for an hour you may leave then it all depends on who your with what your doing.

    it may not seem like much to a lot of you but if your in the middle of a rush and you have 5 tables to yourself and only 2-3 waitresses ( depends on the day sat and sun are our busy days and how competent the girls/men are ) it is a lot of work and you sometimes never get a chance to do dishes so it piles up.
    I can gaurentee someone reading this right now wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of that coupled with only 2.13 an hour. I make about 30 dollars and work 3 days a week its really hardly enough to get by. 90 dollars and 30-40 dollar checks every week.

  • Greg says:


    “Coming from someone who just spent the first 6 grammatically incorrect, poorly written and completely erroneous paragraphs of your above post bitching about how everyone but you was born with a silver spoon in their mouth and have it easy, I’m SURE you never bitched about any of the jobs you chose, or anything in life for that matter.”

    Hahahahaha!!! Touche! 😀

  • Hawkeye says:

    Justified … Blah, Blah, Blah … Hard Work … Blah, Blah, Blah
    Shared tips … Blah, Blah, Blah … Dealing with rude people … ETC!

    No education is required to Wait
    Lots of people work as hard or harder in other jobs for LESS

    You chose the job. If you don’t like it, obtain the credentials for a job you do like

    WITHOUT blaming the customer, welfare wannabees

    And DO NOT go crying to your family or friends when your social security payments are low because you didn’t pay in as much as others.

    No, I never waited.
    But I did work in a truck stop, had to go outdoors regardless of weather,
    and Never received a tip.
    And I worked as a bricklayers helper outdoors, hauling heavy bricks and mortar to the bricklayers. And Never received a tip.

    And NEVER, EVER bitched about the jobs I chose or the job requirements

    I didn’t particularly enjoy the above jobs, so I earned the required credentials
    to program mainframe computers.

    • Jack says:


      Coming from someone who just spent the first 6 grammatically incorrect, poorly written and completely erroneous paragraphs of your above post bitching about how everyone but you was born with a silver spoon in their mouth and have it easy, I’m SURE you never bitched about any of the jobs you chose, or anything in life for that matter.

      First off, if you’ve never waited tables you can STFU right off the bat about how difficult it is. I’ve worked many menial labor jobs as well, including bricklaying and I won’t claim it’s as physically demanding, but during a busy shift you basically run around for 6 hours, without much of a break, all the while just basically eating shit and smiling the whole time – it is not an easy job.

      On top of that, many people who wait tables do so because, as many people have referenced in the comments section, they have other responsibilities such as kids, school, second jobs that require flexible schedules. I GUARANTEE you that the overwhelming majority of waitstaff do not plan on doing it as a career, and like you were so eager to point out in your own story, are trying to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and do something beyond that.

      So I would challenge you as someone who is a self-proclaimed rags to riches story to think about that the next time you decide to stiff your waiter because they didn’t put your dressing on the side like you requested. Also, go fuck yourself… crotchety old bastard.

      • Hawkeye says:


        Thanks for your thoughtful insight.

        Pretty sure you voted for Obama Nov 4, 2014
        because “hand it to me” liberals like you defy education.
        (BTW, sorry you had to write in both the office and the name.)

        Hard work does NOT entitle anyone to generous compensation.

        Personal situations do NOT entitle anyone to generous compensation.
        (Revelation: Everyone has personal situations, not just Waiters.)

        Whiners do what they do best – WHINE.

        Successful people find a way to succeed.

        What I tip is my business alone, and I can count on one hand
        the number of times I’ve left a meager tip to send a message.

        My beefs are the sense of ENTITLEMENT and entitlement JUSTIFICATION.

        • Jack says:


          Thanks for your thinly veiled sarcasm.

          Pretty sure I voted for Romney because he was the best choice, but thanks again for putting your ignorance on full display. I was unaware that tipping was a right vs. left issue, I always thought it was a cheap bastards like you vs. reasonable people like me issue… and I find it hard to believe you’re that successful if you are trying this hard to justify not tipping properly, maybe you are just a troll.

          “Hard work does NOT entitle anyone to generous compensation.”

          Hmmm… coming from the guy who just about shouted from a megaphone that they are a super right wing, tea-party, NIMB, welfare hating, red-blooded “Amurican” I would think that you’d be of the exact opposite opinion.

          If hard work doesn’t entitle generous compensation then you probably should go to a different country like, say North Korea or China where your ideologies will probably be much better received. This is not to say that every hard worker does get compensated accordingly, but they most certainly should. And with your bricklayer, truck stop servicing, “worked all kinds of super tough jobs and never complained” background I would think you’d be on board with that concept.

          “Personal situations do NOT entitle anyone to generous compensation.
          (Revelation: Everyone has personal situations, not just Waiters.)”

          You were the one who brought up your (ignorant) view that people have a choice to wait tables – sometimes it’s not a choice it’s simply what fits with their PERSONAL SITUATION. I never said they are entitled to generous compensation, just proper compensation. If they do their job properly you are required to tip, if not feel free to stiff them or maybe understand that they might be having a bad day or the kitchen is understaffed or a 100 other things that may be affecting your experience and that it’s not all their fault. There is no gray area though as to what tips are, it is not an entitlement it’s how they make their living and the large majority work hard to earn them.

          “My beefs are the sense of ENTITLEMENT and entitlement JUSTIFICATION.”

          No one here but you seems to have a sense of entitlement, entitlement to be an A-hole.

          – Jack “not a liberal just a guy who’s been there”

          • Jack says:

            I also just realized that you thought the mid-terms were the Presidential elections, haha. Woosah, you sir, are a moron.

  • ohiomark says:

    I agree, James. This next generation coming up, for many reasons beyond what you have said, has the general expectations that they are to receive riches and glory just for showing up, and when that does not occur, they get upset, and rant about it. That is how they have been conditioned by their parents, the school system, their friends, and all forms of the media (TV, internet, etc). I am taking a college class this semester as part of the senior citizen program at a local state university, and I am seeing more and more examples firsthand of the entitlement-thinking this next generation has. They do not take the class seriously, miss many of the sessions, do not complete the homework assigned, even when they know the instructor will be calling on them to answer specific questions on the assignments, and they are just not prepared, and…it does not even seem to affect them. Now, put them into a work environment, well…you get the picture.

  • James says:

    OMG I have just figured out why waiters have become so demanding about receiving above average tips for mediocre to poor service! This is the the new expectation of the generation raised by helicopter parents. They always have been given praise and trophies for participation. Big tips are the new trophy for participation!!! Customers are supposed to be the new coddling and encouraging coaches!
    It all makes sense not. These bubble wrapped kids have now entered a workplace that is not catering to their needs! I believe many of the new waitstaff generation are just waiting for that magical $ 1,000 tip to be theirs.

    • Lacey says:

      I’m a server not crying for more money I’m crying for human decency and courtesy working on the industry has really opened my eyes people are so rude and disrespectful !!

  • Big Don says:

    Leave a decent tip. I agree with the writer, if you can’t afford to tip, eat somewhere else. I wasn’t a very good tipper until my son started working as a waiter in college. It’s a good job for a student because the hours are flexible and the best money making hours are Friday and Saturday nights. So a young person working weekend nights is sacrificing for the job. Leave 15 to 20% and throw in an extra dollar to make an average tip a “good” tip. I don’t really like tipping but that’s the way it is in the USA.

  • Joey Volcano says:

    Now, it is NOT important to live frugally at all, but to live and do what makes you happy. That out of the way, in the USA, the standard hourly pay for servers is still $2.13 per hour. Has been for ever it seems. They work hard for their tips. Most are good at what they do and deserve more $. I know quite a few that put in 12 hour shifts sometimes just to make ends meet. That’s 12 hours on their feet, running food and drinks back and forth.

    As for tipping, I almost always tip 20%, sometimes more. Why? The people in these comments that wrote pure gibberish, don’t understand that you as a customer, already know that this is customary in the U.S., that going to a restaurant that has wait staff, will require you to tip for good service. If you haven’t done your homework or research before trying a new restaurant, then its your problem. Its the experience you’re paying for, along with great food and its not a new concept :p In other countries they frown on tipping, but that’s because they make a pretty good living with their salaries, so tipping isn’t required. Not the case here. If you cant afford to tip or are super cheap, then go to McDonalds or cook at home! Pretty simple.

    • ohiomark says:

      Not sure why it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure the wait staff are paid a decent wage. Seems like everyone climbs all over the customer for not leaving “enough’. The U.S. has the highest ‘expectations’ of a tip percentage in the entire world. If other countries can afford to pay their wait staff a living wage, it should be possible here in the USA as well. Restaurant owners ‘claim’ they can not afford to pay their help, but if all restaurants paid a living wage to its employees, the good restaurants would stay in business; the bad ones would have to either improve, or go out of business. I think that servers and restaurant owners think it is easier to pressure customers to tip more than to change the system. Fast food workers have been trying to pressure increases to minimum wages these past years; maybe it is time for restaurant workers to do the same; pressure its employers to pay them more, so they can rely less on tips. Yes, I know…prices would increase, but tips would be able to decrease as well, since servers would be paid more.

      And…what does these phrase “the experience’ really mean? Customers are looking for great food and a good overall atmosphere (building and décor), which is covered in the menu prices. The only part the tip covers is the level of service the customer has perceived he has received, and his valuation of that service. To some, they will tip high whether the service is great, or average, or not so great; that is their choice. Others tip rather poorly, and that is fine also, if that is all they can afford to pay, or they do not put the same value on the service. If tips are to truly be required, the restaurant should put up a sign stating that a certain percent will be added to the bill to cover a service charge; then that would be the ‘required’ tip. Tipping in its current state is not required by law.

      • Lacey says:

        No, its not required by law.. But if you’re interested in being a decent and understanding human being its probably the right thing to do considering most servers make .47 on their checks after taxes (the IRS assumes the server makes 8-9% of their sales for the day in tips and taxes them accordingly)

        • Laura says:

          “Tipping in it’s current state is not required by law”.

          People who think everything is by force… and are so difficult… I am sure they are miserable people.

          Good tippers are full of grace and mercy and love. They go to Heaven.
          Bad tippers are legalists who have to be forced to do or not to do something. We know where they go.

          Well, of course, this isn’t even the core of the matter of how to go to Heaven, of course.

          It’s just, by their fruits you will know them. These fruits… don’t indicate… a person headed to Heaven.

          Jesus says to those on His right, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was in prison and you visited me…”

          We’re supposed to infer, “I was a waiter/waitress and you tipped me well!” 🙂

          Don’t you just love religious people who speak of the Last Supper? And don’t realize, what they’ve done for the least of these… they’ve done (or not done) for Jesus?

          What kind of person doesn’t tip Jesus well? (Probly those on His left on Judgment Day.)


          God bless!

          • Shady says:

            That’s the biggest load bullshit Ive ever heard. Listen woman,
            If you don’t know how religion really works then don’t try
            And win your disguised opinions with this type of religion you believe in. If you tip well you go to heaven, if you tip bad you go to hell is basically what you saying. What a blady joke.

  • bartender says:

    T.i.p.s- to insure prompt service.

    This is the bases for which compensation for service began.

    Also, 10% in a restaurant is for unacceptable service. 15% is for acceptable service. 20% or more is for outstanding service.

    If I’m averaging between 10 and 15 percent on my daily tip total, then I don’t believe I have done a good job.

    Also, consider this:

    Most restaurant stablishments Institute a tip out system, anywhere between 2 and 3 percent. That means, for every $100 dollars in sales, it costs you $3. So, let’s say you make $50 off $500 in sales. After tip out, you actually leave with $35 or $40 dollars. Considering that serving is “part-time” that means that servers, generally, work less than 32 hours a week. Now, 32 hours a week usually equals 5 or less shifts a week.

    So I don’t come across as biased, let’s use 5 shifts to find the general pay wage if 10 percent was applicable.


    $175 dollars a week.

    For those of you who claim that inflation doesn’t apply:

    175÷32= $5.47

    If this we acceptable, then restaurants would then have to accommodate their employees with “back-pay”. This now forces the restaurant to have to either, increase prices or decrease labor.

    What happens if that happens?

    Usually, it ends up effecting service or effecting your wallets.

    Now, with everything said, do you think it is fair to leave a waiter 10 percent or more?
    Does inflation play a part in the tip scale?

    • ohiomark says:

      Not sure where all these ‘percentage rules’ come from. To me, if service is truly unacceptable, any tip amount left is reasonable. whether it is $1, or whether it is 10%. If a server gives bad service to a customer, he is running the risk of not getting much of a tip, and that also affects his work associates who may share in that tip. Once service reaches an acceptable level (and that level of service probably varies from customer to customer), a tip of around 15% and higher should be left, based on that customer’s perceived value of the service he received.

      • Greg says:


        “Not sure where all these ‘percentage rules’ come from.”

        Here’s a brief history of American tipping. I may be a little off on some details:

        Era 1, through the late 1860s:
        Little or no tipping. Tipping was for those awful royalist Europeans. To an American, tipping was insulting and degrading for both the recipient and the tipper.

        Era 2, approximately the late 1860s to the early 1950s:
        Wealthy Americans started traveling to Europe more and picking up European social customs. Including tipping, with much enthusiasm. Tip was about 10%, at expensive restaurants for the wealthy. Nobody had to worry about tipping bad waiters because bad waiters were quickly fired. A few old-timers protested that tipping was un-American, degrading, etc., but they were ignored. Still little or no tipping at cheap eateries for regular folks, except maybe in a token, “keep the change, kid” sense.

        Era 3, approximately the early 1950s to the early 2000s:
        Fine dining goes mainstream, and tipping along with it. But the fine dining restaurants for the masses had to charge much less than the expensive, exclusive restaurants for the wealthy. That meant just as much work for the wait staff but for much less money. Solution: higher tips. 15% became standard. Also, it became established that 15% was for GOOD service. 10% or even less for substandard service was accepted, and 20% or even more for outstanding service was encouraged though not required.

        Era 4, approximately the early 2000s to today:
        Many servers start loudly demanding 20% as a standard tip for average service. Not one has yet provided a logically defensible reason for it. They are not working any harder than servers in earlier decades (less if today’s computers make their job a bit easier), and their income has kept pace with inflation as menu prices have risen. Their hourly wage has not kept pace with inflation, but a tip increase to just 16% would more than cover that. Exception: cheap, slow dives where the hourly wage is a significant proportion of a server’s income; going to 20% for them seems fair, for those who do provide good service.

        • ohiomark says:

          Thanks for the information! My comment/question on ‘rules’ was a little tongue-in-cheek. To me, I look at them as ‘guidelines, or suggested amounts. I still believe that tips should be a minor part of a server’s income, and not the overwhelming majority of it. I also question the new push to 20% that servers are now ‘demanding’ (doesn’t that word go against the true meaning of what a tip was supposed to be?). If they want to demand more, they should be demanding it from their employers, who really haven’t increased their pay in many years!

        • saltysal says:

          Tipping really became mainstream during Prohibition. Restaurant owners claimed they couldn’t afford to pay their workers minimum wage because they lost so much sales. Once Prohibition was over, restaurant owners liked paying their staff less than minimum wage. In fact, the tipped minimum wage was half the minimum wage until the nineties when the restaurant lobbied hard to keep it at $2.13 where it’s stayed there for almost thirty years while the federal minimum wage has gone up 70%. That is why the standard has been increased to 20%.

  • Eric says:

    I have three children that are servers. I know how hard they work and the stress of there jobs. I have witnessed some pretty rude people that they had to put up with. One group of people came in and let one of my kids know up front that they where very hard to please. The complaints went on and on throughout the meal about one thing or another. they where given free desserts and a portion of there meal was paid for, as it is the policy not to have a unhappy customer. Then they left without a tip laugh to one another about how they got there meal for next to nothing.
    There are hard working people that take on this thankless job to put themselves thru college. I know that a server isn’t always to blame for bad serves. It can be the result of a slow kitchen, over crowding and other factors. By inlarge I think most servers try hard to please. My kids get a real kick out of getting a better than expected tip and even more when they are given a good report to the management. Yea things happen, but put yourself in there place for a minute, they want to feel like they have done a good job and got rewarded for it. They will never get rich from your 15 or 20% tip.

    • Big Don says:

      Yeah Eric knows what he is talking about. Those waiters could be your kids someday. Take care of them. Show the world you’re a man and not a rip off artist.

      • ohiomark says:

        If servers do a good job, I am sure they will, on average, get tips commensurate with the level of service they gave.

  • Greg says:


    “the base wage for servers hasn’t changed since you were waiting tables so I’m sure that alone makes the inflation thing moot.”

    The wage was not then and is not now a significant part of most servers’ earnings. For most servers, most of the income is tips.

    “I would wager a significant bet that adjusted for inflation servers make much less than you did “decades ago”.”

    You would lose that bet. Average tip percentage is significantly higher, on menu prices that have kept up with inflation and more.

    “computers have made things more complicated”

    Not according to servers I know who did it then without computers and do it now with computers. Though computers certainly have their issues, overall they make the work much easier and save a lot of time. I have not met the server who would want to go back to doing it manually; that would be strange.

    Also, special requests are not a new thing. Though there are probably somewhat more special requests today, they are also easier to deal with; pressing a button is easier and faster than writing it out. And, entering it in a terminal near your station is faster than running it to the kitchen in a large restaurant.

    Your idea that computers make the job harder is strange and not based on reality. Of course there are servers who never had to do it manually who get frustrated at computer glitches and limitations, but that does not mean they would really prefer doing it manually if they actually had to.

    Of course I had to split checks. Splitting checks is worlds easier with today’s computers. Some early ones had no mechanism for splitting checks, which required deleting the orders and reordering them while communicating with the kitchen that those new orders were not to be made. My last wait job had a computer like that — in fact it was beta; the restaurant owners never paid for the final release version(!), so we lived with lots of bugs. Those days are gone (along with that restaurant); today’s computers are much better.

    What do you mean “simply” writing it on a piece of paper?!? You did that for both the kitchen and the customer, and then for the customers again if they changed their minds about splitting checks. It was a LOT of writing, and you got to do the math too. Pressing buttons and navigating screens is much easier; even the buggy early beta one I used was still a big improvement. Plus the fact that the screen is often near your tables, reducing long trips to the kitchen.

    “generally just deal with pickier and more difficult people”

    Ha! You’re kidding right? Clearly you did not wait on people back then. The average customer today is much, much, much more reasonable and easier to work for. The most difficult customers today = the AVERAGE customers back then. Ask any old server who’s been doing it for several decades.

    “And on top of all that servers have to deal with cheap jerks like yourself who don’t think they should be obligated to pay what is widely accepted as the standard going rate tip, because that’s not what it was back in the day”

    Again, exactly what are they doing to earn that 33% raise?

    “I think you need to get a newer edition of the “etiquette book” bud.”

    I recently checked them all out from the library. I’m lucky to have one of the largest library systems where I live, and they had them all, in their latest editions. I know what I’m talking about.

    • Jack says:


      If you are using inflation as your basis, inflation raises cost of living for everyone including servers.

      The question is how has the wage actually increased, and reports overwhelmingly (http://www.epi.org/publication/waiting-for-change-tipped-minimum-wage/) say that for waiters the wage has not increased significantly enough to keep up with economic conditions.

      That’s why 20% is now the norm and you can argue it all you want with your baseless statements about inflation but inflation doesn’t fully account for cost of living. When you say 33% raise, you say it like it happened overnight, it only changed when it became necessary to make up for inadequate pay.

      The national average wage was about 24k in 1994, now it’s 44k, what did the average person do to earn almost 100% more? Nothing, it’s an adjustment based on the market, the service industry is the same, but as you said service industry and tipped workers make all of their wages from tips.

      Lastly, I was half joking about computers making it more complicated, but I do think your take on this aspect is complete bullshit. Sure it’s easier to do the math now and I guess you have to write less if that’s really a big deal for you, but since when was math the difficult part of waiting tables? Oh and I’m sorry you had restaurant owners at your last job that bought a computer with software to make your “life easier” and all you can do is complain about it because it was in beta, HAHAHA. Seriously man, it’s really too easy, either you waited tables in the worst restaurants on earth or you just think everything was harder cuz you had to deal with it (leaning towards the latter).

      The biggest reason why servers earn that extra 5% is having to deal with difficult customers, like yourself, who seem to think that everything is easier these days than when they were doing it and just want to justify not giving a proper tip. No, I did not wait on people back then, and you do not wait on people now but I know that you’d be a really difficult customer to wait on just based on your blanket statements and bullshit.

      Your geriatric ass seems to have forgotten that those etiquette books you checked out are about 20 years overdue, GREG.

      • Greg says:

        Jack, it’s a good thing you have computers to do your math for you.

        The hourly wage was never a significant part of most servers’ income, at least not for most servers young enough to be still living. But going from 15% to 20% tip is a huge raise. Even if the wage were eliminated entirely, it would still be a small loss compared to the windfall of going from 15% to 20% tip. Do you understand the difference between big and small? What would you say to someone who asked for a $50 bill to replace a lost dollar?

        Your argument may make sense for the very lowest-earning servers; I’m thinking a cheap, slow dive of a diner, where customers are few and don’t spend much. At a place like that naturally the hourly wage is more important than at most restaurants, and a larger tip percentage could compensate for the stagnant wage. But I’m pretty sure the customers at dives like that aren’t hearing you, and would probably only scoff at your suggestion of 20% if they did.

        “The biggest reason why servers earn that extra 5% is having to deal with difficult customers”

        There have ALWAYS been difficult customers, and on average customers today are more reasonable than in past generations.

        “those etiquette books you checked out are about 20 years overdue”

        One of them was updated just a few years ago, in 2011. The bellyaching about wanting 20% had been going on for several years by then.

        “all you can do is complain about it”

        I have no idea how you got that idea. Actually, I made it better for all of us that worked there. I worked out a way to program the system to accept ad hoc, spelled-out special instructions, which the computer vendor had told us was impossible.

        • ohiomark says:

          Not sure about this, but I believe part of the reason that servers keep wanting more is that restaurant owners, over all these past 20 or more years, have not had to increase the portion of wages they pay to the wait staff. Also, they put more and more of the workers at the restaurant in the tip pools, so servers might be forced to sharing more of their tips with other restaurant workers than they had to in the past. If that is true, you can blame restaurant owners for keeping their wages down, yet no one ever mentions restaurant owners…the wait staff (and restaurant owners) just keep slamming on customers for not giving them enough, and it gets tiresome. The servers just keep drinking the kool-aid that owners have been serving for decades that they can not afford to pay the servers.

  • Greg says:


    ” These days 20% is the norm”

    Says who? When I was waiting tables decades ago, 15% was the norm. Then and now, that’s what the etiquette books decreed.

    In the decades since then, restaurant prices have kept up with inflation, so a server getting a 15% tip on today’s menu prices is effectively making the same as I did back then, adjusted for inflation. So … what are today’s servers doing today that I wasn’t doing decades ago, to deserve a 33% raise on their tips (15% -> 20% is a 33% increase).

    Are they spending a lot of time and effort manually writing up bills because computers no longer do that for them? No, I had to do that then, but today in most restaurants it’s worlds easier with specialized restaurant computers. What do they do with all the time that frees up? I know what I’d have wanted to do with all that time; I’d have asked to serve an additional table and so make more tips throughout the day.

    So, what exactly are today’s servers doing to earn that 33% raise that we weren’t doing decades ago?

    • Jack says:


      And I’m sure you walked up hill both ways to school. You made my point for me when you said “decades ago”, inflation is a nice buzzword but has nothing to do with what is acceptable today when it comes to tipping, heck the base wage for servers hasn’t changed (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-25/waitresses-stuck-at-2-13-hourly-minimum-for-22-years.html) since you were waiting tables so I’m sure that alone makes the inflation thing moot.

      Furthermore, I’m no economist, but I would wager a significant bet that adjusted for inflation servers make much less than you did “decades ago”.

      Your point about “free time” is pretty hilarious, specialized computers you say? Well what’s the point of having servers at all! Just have the computers do all the work. No matter how you chalk it up, it’s a difficult job with difficult customers who want more and more modifications, gluten and fill-in-the blank allergy free food things. If anything computers have made things more complicated because instead of simply writing it on a piece of paper you have to scroll through numerous screens, split checks for customers (something I doubt you had to do since credit cards certainly didn’t exist back then) and generally just deal with pickier and more difficult people.

      And on top of all that servers have to deal with cheap jerks like yourself who don’t think they should be obligated to pay what is widely accepted as the standard going rate tip, because that’s not what it was “back in the day”. I think you need to get a newer edition of the “etiquette book” bud. Thanks for making my point for me.

  • Jack says:

    I worked as a waiter through college to pay bills, I suspect many of the people who try to justify their not tipping or tipping inadequately never did, otherwise they’d know it is a difficult and many times thankless job. But the thing that a lot of you were correct on is hourly pay.

    You’re right, you shouldn’t be concerned with hourly pay, just what you owe as a patron who received a service, and that includes tipping appropriately. These days 20% is the norm, if you can’t afford to tip the extra $5 on a $100 meal (like, you’re seriously going to go out and buy a 20 oz New York Strip like a “bigshot” and then cry poor when the check comes?), then stay home and make DiGiorno’s, or go somewhere you can actually afford.

    It’s also just as easy to calculate 20% as it is 10% or 15%, whip out your phone and punch it in, or do some remedial math, or look at the receipt where many restaurants now do the calculation for you.

    The way that I’ve always thought about it is I could give a 15% tip for what I perceive as “below exemplary” service, or I could tip 20% (an extra measly $2 on a $40 check) and give them the benefit of the doubt.

    If everyone thought this way, on a 5 hour shift where a waiter averages about 5 tables per hour and $40 a table its the difference between $150 and $200 in tips. Average that over the course of a month and you’re looking at a big difference in take home pay (full time close to $1000 and part time at least a few hundred). That’s what is meant when people say that waiters rely on tips to live. Hopefully at least one or two people read this and it changes their perspective.

    • ohiomark says:

      Get owners to pay their fare share of the wages, and the problem also goes away.

      • Noone says:

        I concur. Not being american, I might be wrong in this point but I do not think employers are forced by law to actually only pay those minimum wages. They are only forced not to pay less. It feels sick to me that anyone seems to accept that there is seemingly no incentive for employers to get “better staff” by paying above minimum wages. Especially as next to good quality in food and beverages, the decoration and the interior, I would say the appearance and “quality” of waiters is one of the primary factors on whether a customer perceives a place as worthy to pay it a visit a second time. So it seems there are too many good waiters applying for the jobs and as such competition cannot happen. This could actually be remedied by NOT tipping as a form of protest against that exploitation attitude of the employers. Suddenly they would have to offer something to the waiters to make them consider to even work in that job and voila – a better world.

      • Mute says:

        I understand the sentiment because employers should pay their workers, not the public. That said, tipping is expected and I always do, though I refuse to pay a 20% tip for anything under $10.That’s just nuts.
        And yes, I’ve been a waitress before.

        I’d prefer that employers pay their staff properly and pay a higher bill with no pressure to tip.

  • D says:

    I am empathetic to the below minimum wage salary. However, it is not a secret before accepting the position and that alone should motivate servers / wait staff to perform above mediocre since the incentive pay (TIPS) is reflexive of service rendered.
    We all make conscious decisions of our career path and if its that terrible try working for minimum wage, without daily cash flow for two weeks, and see if you fare any better.
    I respectfully disagree with the contributing author, DC & Northern Virginia have a 10% tax on food, so I only tip according to the food & Beverage cost NOT the exorbitant tax. A better suggestion is to have a baseline tip of 15%, increase it for outstanding service and decrease by 5% for subpar service.
    Why suggest inviting additional discourse to the server or yourself by dialoguing about poor service. A prudent wait staff will get the hint that they performed below the expectation of the patron by the minimal tip. To suggest that people don’t eat out or ingest substandard food because of a tip is comical. Change career paths and see what repeated sub par performance gets you. HINT, it starts with an F and ends with D, no its does not have U as a vowel!! F I R E D
    Just my unsolicited view. Hope it helps someone.

  • Greg says:


    “waitress/waiter is about the same as working at Burger King”

    How so, and why do you think so?

    I’ve worked fast food, and I worked for years as a waiter. Waiting tables is orders of magnitude harder, more stressful, and more demanding.

    Once when I was waiting tables, they hired a guy who was the son of a friend of the restaurant owner. He thought the job was going to be soooo easy, and made sure the rest of us waiters and waitresses there knew how easy he thought the job was. Long story short, he lasted less than a week. He was one of the worst, most incompetent waiters I ever saw. One of our regulars wrong a long, scathing letter about him. Last I heard he was studying for his MBA.

  • Bob says:

    Let me add, since waitress/waiter is about the same as working at Burger King and let’s say we upgrade them to oh say $10.00 and hour. Really shouldn’t we be paying them for our time in the restaurant?
    So my future tipping will be… If I’m in the restaurant an hour and I’m their only customer wouldn’t it make sense to pay them by the hour? Since they get $2. Something an hour, wouldn’t I tip about $8.00 bucks for a hour at the table?
    If they have 2 customers I should tip $4.00 for my hour at the table.

    I’m glad I read this, I think I’m stumbled on the proper way to tip…

    • A server says:

      Lets say after you leave I don’t have one single table for the next hour, so now if you had tipped the way you should have, then during the hour I didn’t have a table, and when I later had more tables, it would have balanced out. You think I should make the same as the dumb guy who only takes your order, collects your money, then some other dumb guy reads it and forgets your fries or maybe is too lazy to make fresh fries and gives you cold ones. My tables don’t get ANYTHING I am there to tray up unless it is something that I would eat, and if it isn’t, I make the cook redo it again and I go and face the music with my table about what happened. If I got paid the same no matter how your food came out of our kitchen, then I too wouldn’t care if you got your stupid fries or even if they were fresh, because either way who cares how much you complain to my manager, I still get paid the same. You come and sit in my section, I pay close attention to everything you say, then if I go back to the kitchen and the rolls I bring out with your drinks don’t look good, I make the cooks make fresh ones, why, because you are my guest, no different than if you were my guest at my house, so if I am serving you something, I want to make sure whatever I serve you is something I would be proud to serve, and if another waiter takes out your order and I get to you table and I notice it isn’t what it should be, I run back to the kitchen and get the cooks to make it better. Does the Burger King guy care that much about YOUR stupid order? Hell no, because it doesn’t affect his pay either way. I bet the reason you think like that is because you are probably one of those burger king employees, well if you are, I don’t just take order from customers, I make sure they are made according to what they want, and if they aren’t, I have arguments with cooks until they are, so you can say I am also a supervisor, I have to be able to multitask and remember what all my tables want all at once and get it all all at once, how many times have you sat in the drive thru and just waited, then after you waited you got your order, you got home and it was wrong? Well If I place an order wrong and my boss has to make the cooks fix my mistake, guess who pays for it? Me. Does you stupid burger king guy pay for his mistakes? NO and he makes more mistakes than I do. Why? Because my mistakes cost me money, his don’t, so yes I deserve more than he does. He just takes your order and bags it, I take it, supervise it, then after you get it, get you anything you may ask for to make it better, and if it isn’t on the menu, well guess what, I don’t just say tough cookies, I make it work so that you can enjoy your meal even if the cooks hate me. If I work harder and well I make more, if I don’t then I pay the price, that is the incentive servers have, take the tips out of the equation and you might as well be eating at Burger King, so if that’s the case, then you get your lazy ass up during your date and get your own drinks like you do at Burger King, Don’t want to, then show your gratitude for my time and attention to giving you the best possible dining experience I can.

  • Bob says:

    1st believe what a waiter/waitress says about tipping. She forgot you don’t tip on the tax…

  • Cliff says:

    It is a fact that waitstaff are not paid minimum wage by their employers, because they receive tips. There is a loophole in the minimum wage laws that allows this. California may be different, I haven’t waited tables there. But in Texas waitstaff are paid $2.13 per hour.

    When I waited tables I also learned that the IRS presumes you are being tipped at least 8% of your sales. So 8% of your sales was automatically assumed to be income for you and you are taxed accordingly. Based on that it would take something more egregious than I have yet encountered to make me tip less than 8%. For really bad service I will still tip 10% but usually leave a note of explanation, I have also sought out management. 15% is for bad to adequate service. I usually tip 20%. I don’t ask for a dustpan. If my kids make a mess (they generally dont, my kids aren’t brats, nor would I let them be.) I pick up the big pieces and expect that my business has provided ample compensation for standard cleanup of whatever is left.

    I know from experience that waitstaff is expected to share their tips in some way with bartenders and busboys whether or not they sold any drinks or bussed all their own tables because the busboys were too busy. I think this is ridiculous. Busboys are not servers. They’re housekeeping. Paying them is the responsibility of management and shouldn’t be foisted upon other employees. With customers and waitstaff themselves subsidizing the payroll it’s a wonder so many restaurants fail.

  • Muze Angler says:

    Really Brian?
    With a name like “Monica” you assume she is black?
    The meaning of the name “Brian” is “high”. It is of Irish origin from the Brittany region.
    Should I assume you are a racist pot head irishman from Brittany who can’t spell the word prejudice?
    It never ceases to amaze me how a fool can turn any subject on the planet earth into a racial matter! You’re truly nuts!
    We’re talking about tips man!!!!!!

    The minimum wage here in California is $9 an hour! That goes for EVERYBODY and anybody can google it! What the minimum wage has to do with tipping is beyond me but these are the facts.

    A servers job is to make the dining experience pleasant for each and every diner, each and every time a diner sits down. That’s your job. Period.

    Want a tip? Do your job!

    Please do not consider yourself educated.

    • david says:

      i believe the minimum wage does not apply for a tipped form of employment.

      • jeff says:

        Minimum wage, whether for tipped employment or not is determined by the state. There are several states that have a minimum wage foe everyone including tipped employees, California and Minnesota among those. As for the author of this article, I tip because I received good service, not to get good service. Also, cleaning up after myself? That’s half the reason I go out to eat, so I don’t have to worry about that. Think about it, you want me to clean up after myself and tip?

        • Suzanna says:

          just to clear this apparent misunderstanding up federal wage is 7.25 a hour federal tipped wage is 2.13 a hour. Now its true many states have different wages Georgia were I live still has a minimum wage of 5.20 a hour but federal trumps state wages. 95%-98% of states pay the 7.25 or 2.13 for minimum wages.This is how it works for tipped employees you get taxed on your paycheck according to the amount of sales you made that week weather you were tipped on those sales or not. so if you don’t get tipped you end up paying taxes for that meal out of your own pocket. you don’t get paid to clean dishes clean tables clean the bathrooms refill condiments sweep floors or any other prep work that wait staffs preform that also is paid for by your tips. so when it comes down to it when you don’t tip your waitress or waiter your saying you deserve free service on their dime.

  • Monica says:

    1) If “more and more people (are) seeking second jobs or temp work (as wait staff) to boost their incomes”, that is a reason to reduce compensation, not increase it. The law of supply and demand applies;

    2) The general rule of thumb (for me) is to leave 10%. This is easy to calculate, and it rewards servers for good service.

    3) Don’t rely on tips in order to make money! If you can’t afford to work for your salary, choose a different line of work or opt for an establishment that pays a living wage.

    “keep in mind that your server is making just over $2 an hour without tips”: nonsense, that is simply untrue in any civilized country.

    • brian says:

      it is completely true 2.13 and hr in most states. I would imagine however that you make barely a livable wage yourself. If you have ever been a server then you would know that it is a stressful job an important job. With a name like monica i assume your black. and i admit i do treat blacks with a pregidous while serving your table after the first time i get tipped by you. I read a study recently that most blacks dont know how to tip because its a cultural thing. now that you have read this article you monica have been educated. Pass this forward maybe if you tip better you will get better service.

      • Alex says:

        You think a NAME, and one that is derived from Egyptians, makes someone black? Did you get that out of a study as well? If you’d ever actually worked as waitstaff before, you would know that Indian people actually have the lowest tip percentage, from a cultural standpoint, and that moreover there really haven’t been any valid studies on this, since seemingly cultural differences can easily be socioeconomic ones depending on the segregation in a given area, or actual cultural trends for the area itself, venue, or cultural trends of a dominant minority sector.

        PS – the word ‘I’ is capitalized no matter where you use it. So are names. I could go on, but I’d probably just blow your little mind. Educate your own self for fucks sake.

    • david says:

      i want you to know the rate in Massachusetts is $2.63 for waitresses. I think you need to get in touch with yourself.

    • Jack says:

      You are so dumb on so many levels.

      If someone is working hard at their job, they should expect to be compensated fairly for it, no matter if it’s part-time, full-time their fourth job or their only job. We live in America, not Pakistan. The law of supply and demand also has nothing to do with minimum wage, which is a basic right in America.

      I like that you used the phrase “rule of thumb” (look it up) very appropriate here in an ironic way. 10% would be seen as an indicator that your were given bad service and/or are extremely cheap. It’s also just as easy to calculate 20% as 10% (multiply the tip you would have given by 2) or even 15% (multiply the tip by 1.5). And everyone has a smartphone or a phone with a calculator these days so this is all moot anyway.

      “Don’t rely on tips in order to make money” and “If you can’t afford to work for your salary…” I’m not even sure where to start with this idiotic dribble. I’m pretty sure that most servers do “work” in order to earn a wage, it would stand to reason that since their wages come entirely from tips in order to earn those tips they actually have to sell something to the customer. Furthermore, how else is a server supposed to make money if they aren’t getting tipped and they are making $2.13/hr (which is what the majority of states still pay)? I’ve never heard of a salaried waiter so please enlighten me on that one.

      • Chris says:

        Jack, I used to work at a high end country club where the gratuity was automatically added to the check, club policy. That is about as salaried as a tipped employee can be.

        • Hanna says:

          *Raises hand and clears throat* I have certifications in hospital administration and medical billing and coding. I work 9-6 Monday through Friday in hospital administration doing medical insurance verification, and medical insurance pre-certification, with full benefits and earning 13$ hour. I also have a business on the side as an event decorator. I’m also black, and have no children…and I work at Applebee’s part-time. Why? I like serving people, making people smile and providing entertainment, and to pay my pool boy. Don’t judge a waiter or Waitress because they are a waiter or a waitress. I don’t understand any of the mentalities I’m reading about something as simple as tipping. Tip. It’s literally that simple. It’s not a salary based thing, don’t worry about how much I’m making an hour. Its not a economic thing either and it’s not a history class session. It’s purely courteous. Tipping your waiter/waitress is like saying thank you for doing a good job. That’s it. It’s really as simple as that. Go to McDonalds where you don’t have to tip and you get lousy service half the time. Please. You don’t have to tip them.

      • Tejas says:

        Waiters might work hard, but the reason they do is they lack skillset or had too much fun in college, to get a skillset. Get a real job, leave this process related jobs to machines.. Trust me when I say future of waiters is bleak.. At-least do not let your kids into this business, unless it’s a temp summer job.

        • wowwww says:

          Plenty of servers have degrees and work both a 9-5 and a restaurant job.

          ALSO, I’d like to add that working in customer service, for example serving, provides you with multi-tasking and communication skills, fiscal responsibility and the social capabilities to be patient with inept individuals such as you.

          I have had two jobs for a year now because my parents do not send me money from Islamabad. One, a 9-5, a “real” job and the other, serving. I am also working towards a masters. Both my jobs are “real” jobs.

          • Tejas says:

            Okay.. You don’t need to be at a waiting job to get those skills.. Don’t rationalize your decision to wait.

            Being a student at Masters level, be a TA or a GA or be an RA. There ate plenty of opportunities if you are worth your salt. If you are not, be a waiter and get a namesake masters degree.

            I have a masters degree in business and a masters degree in technology, both earned working in an environment where I taught under grads or worked on different business related engagements for my university. Look for something on those lines that help your resume or career. Just do not pick waitressing as your career choice, it is not worth it. It is dead end and has no intellectual stimulation to offer.

          • Grace Claudia Autumn Rosie Jemima Esmerelda Holly Cecilia Gordon-Lennox says:

            Wow 2 master’s degree Tejas so amazing (sarcasm). Did your dysfunctional family help you pay for it?

            From what community or state colleges so your tuition would probably be a fraction of all of my Ivy Leagues (About 6 masters, LLB, 2 BA’s and 2 PhD’s).
            Again since you want to say that waiters/waitresses lack skillset or had too much fun in college, to get a skillset.

            First of all, you only have 3 Master’s. Easy to do a Master’s in technology, technology is a soft subject.

            You can insult me after;

            You’ve achieved 10 degrees and are looking for another
            You’ve been a surgeon
            A doctor
            A scientist
            A accountant
            A human rights lawyer
            A teacher
            A multiple business owner

            You have got a 2340 in your SATS and 36 in your ACTS
            And are supporting your 5 kids and your niece (whose parents died) through college.

            No wonder people become servers. Some people cannot afford college because the United States is a joke, I have a nephew who lives in the UK and attends Cambridge (one of the best universities in the World which is in the UK) and btw he graduated 3 years early. His uni tuition will cost 13,647.15 dollars per year (£9,000) for THE FORTH OR THIRD BEST UNI and is considered also SECOND BEST this year (he got 15 A*’s at GCSE) , in the UK all universities are the same price and if you do not get into a uni it is because of GRADES NOT FINANCES.

            In the UK if you cannot afford uni, you pay after you finish university if you have a job earning 21,000 pounds per year (31,000 dollars per year). It is a loan from the Government NO INTEREST.

            See how they handle it, a much better way, this is why the US are one of the worst countries for academics and higher education

            Singapore is the smartest country in the world, followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, Netherlands and Canada rounding out the top 10.

            This is based on the Maths and Science. UK is 20th which is okay but the US a appalling 28th tie so laughable a developed country that cares little about education but more about War and the military and a country that created ISIS.


    • Ryan says:

      First of all, your points make absolutely no sense.

      Second, here’s a website from the US Department of Labor that shows the server minimum wage for each state.


      It’s ignorant people like you that make working in a restaurant completely awful.

    • Lacey says:

      Actually its completely true I make 2.13 an hour and my checks average void-1.73 after taxes. I bust my ass for my customers keeping their needs in mind being quick and curteous smiling at people who brush me aside its not am easy thimg to do… I tip out a percentage of what I make to the hostesses/bussers etc so your 10% isn’t even enough to cover my ass I am essentially paying out of pocket for you! RULE OF THUMB be considerate and respectful to all people no matter what their job or status you never know the battle they fight every day

    • A server says:

      Ten percent, really lady? Do you know that in order to stay compliant with the irs, we sometimes have to lie about how much we make? So if your bill is $100 and you leave your stupid $10, ten percent tip, then guess what the government takes? In order to keep the irs off me and my boss from questioning my job skills, even though I gave you good service and I deserved no less than 15%, you tipped me 10%, or ten dollars, so now I have to lie to the government and say you weren’t a bad tipper and you left me $15 instead of $10, and now the government is going to tax me 20% on $15 when your selfish inconsiderate ass only left me $10, so after they take $3 which is 20% of $15 that I didn’t really get, now I only get to keep $7. I am sure you are probably one of those demanding people too. Guess what, you better hope you don’t get me the next time you come in, because I might conveniently forget things that you ask me for, and make you wait longer than you should while I take care of my better tipping tables, and what are you going to say, “after all the generosity I show you, this is how you repay me?” After all the trouble I go through to give you the most perfect dining experience this is how YOU repay me, by making me pay for you to enjoy a night out in my section at my expense after I pay taxes on money you don’t really give me? Wait, because this is what you are really paying for, when you learn to be more appreciative, then so will I. Oh, by the way, the reason your rolls seems moist isn’t because of the moisture in the warmer, I dropped it and it landed on top of the nasty drain in the kitchen, but what the hell do I care if you got dirty water on your roll, do you care that because you sat in my section, I missed out on possibly making more money from another table who does have the class to tip? No, I didn’t thinks so, so watching you eat that roll where we push the dirty floor water is making me feel a lot better about the sorry ass 10% tip I know your cheap ungrateful person is going to give me, actually, it is even worth the extra tax, lol. God, I hope the cook drops your steak on the same floor he has been walking on with the same shoes that before he got to work, he was telling us he stepped on a big pile of poop. Karma is real, and you deserve it.

      • BABS says:

        WHy are you lying. No one makes you lie to the government. Also the only tax the government ax is from you credit card receipts. TAx for gross sales for the year is 8%. And once it is totaled for the year your reported credit card tips usually is more than enough. If it is not then your employer must make up the difference. NOT YOU. You keep your cash and don’t reported. Which is Illegal by the way. Tipping a % of your % to other staff is not a big deal. You make 70 bucks in 4 hrs CASH tips..you tip 7 bucks total. And please how many servers really say how much cash they make. Most I worked with would say the real amount so they short changed the other staff. Pot calling kettle black. How do I knw this. Years in the industry from busser to serve to cook etc. And cashing tips out at the end of the night…you know your ones and 5’s for 20’s showed how much you made. But Only the cashier knows. Yes I had crappy customers…some rude…some you could never please…some that never tipped…some that even skipped out on the bill..but on average it is good money for short hours. Flexible hours…I was held to an 8 hour day and could work around classes.

  • Waldaddy says:

    The article is ridiculous, maybe the waitress had a bad day and isn’t up to doing a good job so we should be considerate and clean up after ourselves. Are you kidding me, if i do that at my job i would be fired. Waitresses are mostly over paid for what they do. I worked in restaurants in my college days as a cook and a dishwasher and i know that i worked a lot harder then waitresses are ever expected to work for less than waitresses make with tips and we have to be accountable to everyone. Also waitresses don’t pay taxes on what they earn above minimum wage. Also the article say’s it inst the waitresses fault it they give me bad service because of staffing issues so we should still tip well. That is wrong, i go out to eat and to be served well and it is the restaurants job to provide that or l will not be back and everybody loses when that happens.

    • oktipper says:

      You are joking right?
      Your hourly pay is not the customers concern.
      Staffing and patron levels should be managed. This should not be a consideration by the customer.
      It is not the customers job to clean up after themselves.
      Also not the customers responsibility to talk with servers about bad service. You should be trained.

      • Alex says:

        I don’t get what you’re saying. Shouldn’t anyone’s pay be irrelevant to the customer? I think in a tipped environment, either everyone shares tips (making that food, busing the table, and cleaning the dishes is arguably all much harder than running it from table to table and cycling through your tables to ensure drinks are filled & dishes served). BUT…that doesn’t happen, and so in a lot of placed waitresses are the only ones tipped, despite the cooks/cheifs having the most skilled job, and dish people having an arguably harder one.

        As for staffing, sorry, but if the waitress has to have twice as many people as a normal person can handle, she should be getting twice the tips. If service is half as good though, then her tips should be half as much, which balances out if she’s doing twice the tables but can’t devote enough time to give any of them GOOD service. That’s just simple math.

        As for talking to the servers, you should, unless you have a social anxiety condition that prevents you from addressing problems with the people you’re having them with. There is always a way to confront people with a given problem, in a manner that is kind and disarming.

        Anyway, I tip 10-15%. That was enough in the 90s, and since it’s a percent, it should scale adequately with inflation, since food is subject to that as well. If it doesn’t, something needs to be reformed, or the hourly wage for tipped staff needs to be brought up, but that’s not my problem either. If everything percent based kept going up, we would eventually have to pay more than 100% of our money to various areas of our budget. When you hit about 90% it becomes unsustainable.

        • Mac says:

          “It was enough in the 90’s.” Really? Did you know that a server’s minimum wage hasn’t increased since 1991? Did you know that the non-tipped minimum wage in 1991 was $3.80? The price of your service isn’t included in your meal. If it was, you’d be paying more than $9.95 for your steak and mashed potatoes. 10% is an insulting tip. It’s NOT a reward. It’s NOT 1991 anymore.

          • Greg says:

            “10% is an insulting tip. It’s NOT 1991 anymore.”

            10% hasn’t been standard since before the early 1950s. Here’s a brief history of American tipping. I may be a little off on some details:

            Era 1, through the late 1860s:
            Little or no tipping. Tipping was for those awful royalist Europeans. To an American, tipping was insulting and degrading for both the recipient and the tipper.

            Era 2, approximately the late 1860s to the early 1950s:
            Wealthy Americans started traveling to Europe more and picking up European social customs. Including tipping, with much enthusiasm. Tip was about 10%, at expensive restaurants for the wealthy. Nobody had to worry about tipping bad waiters because bad waiters were quickly fired. A few old-timers protested that tipping was un-American, degrading, etc., but they were ignored. Still little or no tipping at cheap eateries for regular folks.

            Era 3, approximately the early 1950s to the early 2000s:
            Fine dining goes mainstream, and tipping along with it. But the fine dining restaurants for the masses had to charge much less than the expensive, exclusive restaurants for the wealthy. That meant just as much work for the wait staff but for much less money. Solution: higher tips. 15% became standard, as well documented in etiquette books from then through today. Also, it became established that 15% was for GOOD service. 10% or even less for substandard service was accepted, and 20% or even more for outstanding service was encouraged though not required.

            Era 4, approximately the early 2000s to today:
            Many servers start loudly demanding 20% as a standard tip for average service. Not one has yet provided a logically defensible reason for it. They are not working any harder than servers in earlier decades (less if today’s computers make their job a bit easier), and their income has kept pace with inflation as menu prices have risen. Their hourly wage has not kept pace with inflation, but a tip increase to just 16% would more than cover that. Exception: cheap, slow dives where the hourly wage is a significant proportion of a server’s income; going to 20% for them seems fair, for those who do provide good service.

        • A says:

          Waiters are skilled. They have to be excellent with time management and multitasking. They also work just as hard if not harder then the dish staff. You sounds ignorant…..like maybe you have no personal experience on which you are basing your ridiculous assumptions!!!

      • Marie says:

        Little or no tipping. Tipping was for those awful royalist Europeans. To an American, tipping was insulting and degrading for both the recipient and the tipper.

        Greg, mind how you talk about my ancestors! Sorry for being ‘awful’ and ‘royalist’ but I tip waitresses at least 25% unlike some cheap people…

    • Scott says:

      Even if you tip zero the employer has to make the hourly wage equal the state federal minimum-wage. I never tip the waitress. I am not paying you extra money for doing your job.

      • Brian says:

        You never tip the waitress? Do you live in the United States? In the US, if you go to a restaurant that has sit down service, the price of the service is not included in the food menu prices. We have a social compact that says we will tip, on average 15% more, to cover the price of the service. If you do not tip, you are stealing. You wont get arrested, but you have no integrity.

        On the rare occasion, there are restaurants that did not accept tipping, the service is built into the menu prices, and this will be clearly noted.

        If, in the US, tradition changes, and the majority of restaurants switch to a service included model, then you will not have to tip.

        Just because the restaurant must make up wages to equal minimum wage, means they will average it for the work week, not for a particular hour’s wages.

        If you can not afford the tip, you should eat at a counter service restaurant.

      • Laura says:

        The waitresses know who you are. You go to the same restaurants. They complain to the cooks. Everyone knows you as the guy who never tips. Someone spits in your food… or something. I’m quite sure of it.

        • Victor says:

          If you don’t tip your surgeon well (before surgery), you get raped while under anesthesia and they whore your body out to a couple people so they can take that money to make up your tip. I’m quite sure of it.

    • Ashley says:

      You have obviously never worked as an ACTUAL waitress.. keep in mind we earn less the minimum wage. I make $9 per hour in Canada, and thats considered very fair to other countries in the world even though minimum wage is $10.25 and we are never guaranteed full hours. Yes, I will admit, in the high season we make good money for what we do, but it’s never a predictable pay-check. As soon as winter comes and business slows down, you could be cut, even just after arriving to your shift. By law in Canada they have to pay you for at least 2 hours… so we’re making $18 per shift on slow days. And trust me when it’s slow it’s SLOW. So put together the $18 in wages (minus the tax, which we do actually pay) and the $30 in tips we make on an good 2 hour shift in the winter, that equals a whole: $45 (like i said, give or take), not counting tip out, to take home for the day…
      The reason why a lot of restaurants are understaffed is because they have to stay under a labour percentage, usually around 9% of sales to make it “profitable” for the company (even though most of the companies are franchises, and make millions of dollars a year in profit per store) The restaurant business is so un-predictable, and that’s what makes it hard to schedule staff. One Wednesday it could be dead, but the next you could have a full restaurant.. In the business language its better to keep a low staff attendance, because there’s a good chance it’s going to be like any other day, but on the off chance they get screwed, it was probably the one day you went in and decided to bitch about it. Why would you blame the server? It had nothing to do with her/ him. Figure it out yourself…

      Also, yes kitchen staff are also extremely underpaid for what they do, the entire industry needs a wake up call.


      • Ashley says:

        Sorry, this was towards “Waldaddys” response, not Brian’s. Brian knows what’s up

        • Brian says:

          Thanks. I waited tables while in school. I tip a minimum of 20%. If I have problems, with the meal, I take it up with the waiter. If I have problems with service, then I take it up with the manager, but still tip.

      • Tejas says:

        To the waitress,
        I come to restaurants to eat, not to distribute my earnings amongst your kind for no reason at all.
        I pay for my food, fill owner’s coffers, tip you generously and drag the bartender, busboy and the likes’ weight all by myself?
        I do AGREE that you get paid less, and that is why I tip 10% , this is the industry’s fault and why do not you find a better(real) job, or form a bargaining group for your own good, and group against restaurant owners?
        It is not my fault, I am at a job that pays more than yours and I earn it for my skillset. It does not mean I use my skillset as charity to feed everyone at your restaurant starting from your boss to your garbage disposal man.
        To get where I am in my career and to gather this skillset of mine, I had to move away from my country and had to gamble a lot with financial stability and disrupt my family’s equilibrium, and deal with uncertainty in life. Do not expect I can feed your entire restaurant workers legion with my hard earned money.
        And I can undo, my 10% and make it 15%, but can your fellow waiter who served beef to a friend of mine who never touched meat in his whole life, undo the fact that my friend had a bite and chewed on it before he realized it was meat.
        Waiters I find are lousy and they end up in jobs as such due to a variety of reasons, but I only pity those who had no control over those reasons.
        This is just logic of my thinking, and I am not addressing anyone personally, but waiters and waitresses altogether.

        • wowwww says:

          Have you ever considered the fact that your waiter or waitress is also working towards a career? Or that he/she may actually already have one and is working two jobs? I seriously laughed out loud when I read this because I can picture you sitting in a restaurant with you room temperature water and extra spicy tofu snapping and demanding things because of how wonderful your “skill set” (probably answering phones in a cubicle) is.

          • Tejas says:

            So, there it is, a person who hides behind a “Wowwww” thinks a person named Tejas’s skill set must be answering phones in a cubicle. Sorry to disappoint you my friend.

        • Grace Claudia Autumn Rosie Jemima Esmerelda Holly Cecilia Gordon-Lennox says:


          If you want to degrade waitresses and waiters, then I shall degrade you :).

          You probably went to some community college in the middle of nowhere with a stupid bachelors or a masters degree.
          Unlike you I am in a position to degrade people.

          Please go and work as a waiter or waitress.
          Or like me you Tejas (is that really your name?), could go earn multiple Master’s (4-6) get a couple of PhD’s and become a surgeon and save people’s lives being a heart surgeon. Oooh I forgot to mention all the degrees are all Ivy League’s :D. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown etc (just the usual). So if you want to be condescending or patronizing please look at your life and stupid 6 figure salary whilst I type this with my 7 figure salary.

          To quote you……
          It is not my fault, I am at a job that pays more than yours and I earn it for my skillset.

          Pathetic one degree does not mean anything go out and get more (if you can afford it).

          Another quote from you

          “gamble a lot with financial stability and disrupt my family’s equilibrium”.

          Don’t blame waitresses for your screwed up light and not being able to afford college (really you cannot afford 60,000 dollars a year?).

          This was not to boast about how good my skill set is it was to do to you what you do to others.

          This was to insult you like you did with waiters and waitresses.

          Sorry to disappoint you my friend my skill set is; saving lives, working 100 hour weeks, having my own businesses, taking home a good million and a bit each year and paying for 6 kids colleges (all Ivy’s so each about 50,000 at least per year).

          • Grace Claudia Autumn Rosie Jemima Esmerelda Holly Cecilia Gordon-Lennox says:

            Life not light my IPhone 6s+ autocorrect did this.

        • Dap says:

          Right on point, I’m not distributing my hard earned money on a waiter. Im.paying for my food and nothing else, I hate tipping, hatteee it.

          • Squre says:

            I bet you get bad service on return trips to restaurants. As a driver for extra money. If you don’t tip you will not have it delivered to your house.

        • Josh says:

          And here we see the cultural reasons behind bad topping explained…

      • Victor says:

        I was a waiter for 2 months in the summer when I was in college, easiest job ever. You have to be mentally retarded or physically challenged to find it difficult. You go up to a table, greet them with a smile, ask if they’d like a drink as they looked at the menu, come back to take thier order or ask if they’d like some recommendations if they take too long. You get thier food to them, check once every 15 minutes or so if they need something, and you collect money. In your free time, just eat the free stuff in the kitchen (drastically reduced food bills), roll some silverware into napkins LOL. Literally became fully functional in like an hour of training, and was just SHOCKED that these people were giving me this much money for this little work. I was with a table for literally 5 minutes combined for thier entire stay, and got tipped $18 on an $82 check (my first table) mainly for walking food to them from a kitchen that’s 20 feet away. A light drizzle developed and everyone asked to be seated inside except a couple who wanted to sit in the rain. They ordered 2 drinks and 2 appetizers totalling $50. I walked out to serve them and barely got rain on my shirt and they praised me for doing so, tipping me another $50. What the heck?? Does money grow on trees? Then there’s this huge Chinese table with an order into the hundreds that tipped me $8 (no tipping culture in China). I don’t care; $8 is still pretty good considering all I did was run a few plates out to them and they sat right next to the kitchen. Black dude with his date tipped me $3 on a $35 order. I sincerely thanked them all and wouldn’t hesitate to do my best again if they came back. Oh, I didn’t even have to bus any tables or clean anything; that was the runners’/busers’ jobs and I tipped out a percentage to them. Anyway, I closed out $108 in tips for barely 4 hours of work on my first night (and I left with a belly full of food as well). Can not believe how easy and profitable waitering is. The other waiters complained about me because they said I was turning tables out faster than them, thus taking more clients LOL Maybe if they didn’t stumble around like idiots all the time, we wouldn’t have that problem! Ultimately, I quit when the summer was over and had to go back to school and never did it again because I didn’t like serving people and calling them “sir” when I can clearly see that person is a degenerate.

    • james says:

      Typical waitress lack of thought. I’m sorry but do you tip at McDonalds they put up with a lot more than any restaurant staff does. If as a waitress if you feel the pay is unfair then leave. To expect or demand a tip I think is disgusting. I leave zero and thats all I will ever leave.

    • A server says:

      All of you who sit here and say that you shouldn’t tip or I was a dishwasher and I worked a lot harder than the servers and they make more money than me. Shut up! You cooks work harder? Let me see. I place an order for a Med Rare sirloin, and you cook it med to med well, who do you think that customer is going to get mad at? Certainly not you. I placed my order exactly the way they wanted it, your lazy ass was back there messing around with the other cooks and not paying attention, now my table is mad, they are yelling at me, and guess what, it doesn’t matter how nice I was or if I kept their drinks full and their table clean and everything I had control over was perfect, all they care about is that you messed up their order and they leave me nothing, so if that was my only table in that hour and they left me nothing, I only made $2.13 hour and you, who really made the mistake you still make your minimum wage of $7.25. THAT is why we deserve more than you, because if you don’t have the talent to talk to the public and be friendly and bend over backward for the mistakes others make, that is why you are a cook or a bus boy. Not everyone can be a server, it takes charm, charisma, good selling skills, loving to be friendly and help people. Do you know how much the cooks where I work hate me? If I happen to be in the kitchen when my onion ring appetizer comes out and it looks like shit, I won’t serve it. I will make them redo it and go over the table and explain that their order was ready but it wasn’t to my standards so I had it remade. If I order cheese fries and I can barely see much cheese and I wouldn’t eat it, then guess what, it isn’t good enough for my guests. I am a friendly people person who cares. I take pride in my tables always being as clean as possible, I wash my hands after I touch anything. If a guest has less than half of his drink, that is not good enough for me. If a cook takes too long on their order, I pay attention to when I put it in and how long it should take, and if the cooks screw up, I talk to my manager to see what we can do to make my guest’s dining experience better. I don’t own the restaurant but I wait on my guests as though the restaurant’s reputation is mine too. I take pride in my job. For those of you who don’t think servers should be paid $2.13 plus tips, then think about this, does the jerk at the McDonalds drive in who makes minimum wage care as much as I do about how good your food is. Of course not, you want to know why? Because he doesn’t care if you get your fries or even if your fries are fresh, he gets the same amount of pay either way. So what if he gave you cold fries, all you are going to do is call and speak to a manager and the manager will replace your order for free and it will never come out of his pocket or affect him, because when have you ever heard the guy at the drive thru say, “Hello, my name is Josh, how can I serve you today? NEVER!! So Josh could royally fuck up your order, and you would have no clue who to blame and do you think Josh will pay for your replacement. HELL NO! If you sit at my table and I am in a hurry and you say you want your ribeye medium rare and I hear medium well and you return it for a new one, guess who pays for it? Me that’s who. If you walk out on you check right after I pick up your dishes and leave you your check and I just go to the back to scrape you plates and come back asap and you aren’t there to pay me, guess who has to pay? Me, why, because my boss isn’t paying attention to every single table, so he doesn’t know that I only just left your table to give you time to get your payment and not make you feel rushed, which is rude, and while I do, I take your dishes to the back. All he says is how do I know you just didn’t forget them? I can’t prove anything, so guess what, if your check was $50 and it was a slow day and I worked a double and I had only made $75, after paying your bill, I only go home with $25 dollars. My skills as a server and my attention to detail is how I make my money, If I screw up, I pay for it. You cooks and dishwashers who sit and cry and say, oh no I don’t think server deserve to make more than me, just shut up, If you screw up, you still get your same pay, we take more risks. And our money depends on how really well we do our jobs. If we decide to gossip in the back and neglect our tables,then guess what, we don’t get paid. If you decide to wash dishes at your pace and not care, you still get paid. I am not just a server, I am a host, an order taker, and I am a supervisor, yes supervisor, because I have to supervise that you cooks get my orders right and they are something I would be proud to serve, and if they aren’t, I have to get you to make it again, go back to my table and explain, maybe even entertain them with my charm and hope that my charm is enough for them to be more understanding and not take it out on my tip. You don’t want to tip me, then when the cooks drop your food, guess what I will say, fuck it just scrape the dirt off it, and put it on the plate, they won’t know. Oh the fries are cold, fuck it, I don’t get paid more if they are hot so maybe they won’t notice. Oh they need another refill, well maybe if that whale hadn’t inhaled it before I even finished taking his order, now he wouldn’t be thirsty. I have orders to place, and a table to cash out, he can wait, hopefully I won’t forget, but if I do, maybe the next time that jerk will pay attention and see he is not the only one I am waiting on and take it easy. Oh and what about when I have time and I see your glass is halfway empty and I bring several pitchers to refill everybody and you tell me, oh I am ok, then I get another table and your ass drinks it down, and now you expect me to drop everything and get you more, when if just one minute ago you had let me fill your glass then you wouldn’t have to wait until I greeted my new table, put their order in and made their salads and hope I have enough room for their salads and a pitcher for you dumbass. You people who don’t tip are the ones who runs us back and forth more than those who do tip well and then you leave us crap, then want to complain? I gave you great service the first time I took care of you and you slapped me in the face with you pathetic $2 tip, and now I give you what you pay for and you want to complain that I didn’t give you the same service that my regulars who never leave me less than 20% get. Why should you get the same or better service than them when you don’t appreciate it. Learn to show your gratitude when you first come to a restaurant and the waiter doesn’t know you and gives your sorry ass good service, don’t and guess what, it won’t be the same the next time you come in, and no it isn’t because we are bad servers, it is just that we would rather dedicate more of our time to those that care about what we do. For those who work for an hourly wage, if you got offered a job by a different company for more pay for the exact same job, wouldn’t you leave and go where you get paid more, well that is the same for us, if you don’t take good care of us, we won’t take good care of you, instead we will go where we know the money will be, and guess what, go ahead and complain to my boss, he may sympathize with you to make you feel better, but don’t think he hasn’t heard what a douche bag you are to everyone, so no I won’t get in trouble or lose my job. Stop being cheap, if you can’t afford a tip, or don’t want to tip, then go to a restaurant with a drive thru or get your food to go, don’t waste our time, and jeopardize our money for your selfishness. I like to save money to, but not at the expense of others. Be more considerate, because remember, you can’t always see what people that you treat like crap can do to your food without you looking, but remember servers are human too, and if you were in their place and you someone was that inconsiderate and selfish with you, think about what you might be tempted to do the next time you wait on them. Why don’t you watch the movie “Waiting” its is a bit extreme, but I myself have spit phlem into a real jerks ice tea, because no matter how hard I would try to satisfy him, he would bitch just so he could get something free, and twice he accused me of ordering the wrong thing and I had to pay for it. The manager caught on, and he banned him eventually, buy I still had to pay for two of his meals that he lied and said I ordered wrong.

    • Ver says:

      YOU are ridiculous. Waitresses are overpaid? In which world? They make, on average, $2.15 an hour as the national minimum for tipped employees. They rely on their tips for their wages. And yes, they should be reporting their earnings if they like buying things, like cars and houses and such.

      You just sound like a lazy, ignorant twat.

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