Do Waiters Always Deserve the Tip?

by · 289 comments

Our waitress wasn’t very courteous to us today. We asked for an empty plate and she never acknowledged the request. When she came by 15 minutes later, she just slid the plate on the table without stopping. This got me wondering — do waiters/waitresses always deserve a tip? It’s a widely accepted American standard to at least pay a 15% tip for dine-in meals. Yet, we probably wouldn’t be happy if we went to buy a book and they asked us for a tip. What’s the difference? Someone (or machine) assembles the book, someone might have helped you pick it out, and if none of the above applies, the cashier rang up the register for you. Why don’t these hard working individuals deserve a tip too?

I’m all for paying a tip to a waiter who is polite and treats us well, but why are we forced to pay a tip? I have come across many good waiter and waitresses here in my neck of the woods, but I just feel that if people aren’t forced to pay 15% for the bad ones, the same people can afford to pay more than 15% when they receive good service. Who started this practice and how did we settle on 15%? I know they pay 10% in Canada, and there isn’t a standard in Asia. Why not 12% or 18%?

13 Years Later

I love going back to these earlier posts to see how things changed. You can also learn a ton from the comments (of which there are quite a few passionate ones on this topic). It’s been more than a decade since I wrote this. What’s changed?

  • 15% is now 18% in some areas and 20% in others. In case there was any doubt, the restaurant industry is not moving away from essentially mandatory tipping as a general practice anytime soon. Some stores have a sign that says tipping is voluntary, but those are few and far in between. If anything, the trend is tipping an even bigger percentage of the bill. Many metropolitan areas are now making 18% the new 15%. Some fine dining restaurant charge 20%.
  • The commonly accepted way of calculating 15% changed. Many years ago, most people will tell you to calculate 15% based on the pre-tax bill. Nowadays, more people believe you should pay 15% of the cost of the food and drinks plus taxes.
  • Tips being automatically added is much more common around the world now. More and more places are automatically adding gratuity for parties of eight or more in the States. Whereas tips weren’t really common in Asia when I first wrote this piece, many places add on a 10% service charge, the equivalent of tips, automatically to your bill now.
  • More places are asking for tips. Tips are no longer just asked at restaurants. Coffee shops, even bakeries asks for money. I’ve even seen a kid’s tennis coach ask for tips through his payment app.
  • Some restaurants cleverly help you calculate how much to tip. Some receipts have a suggestion based on 15%, 18%, and 20% of the bill. Some receipts even have a few checkboxes for you to choose from so you don’t have to calculate or even write down the totals.

Does the Pandemic Change Anything for You?

It has for me. I’m not sure if it’s more because I seldom step into a restaurant these days, or if I just feel bad for the restaurant industry, and especially the workers during this trying time. Whenever I’m confronted by a request to tip, I have much more of an urge to add a bit more than I did before the crisis.

And it doesn’t matter what it’s for either. I used to never tip for takeout, but I found myself clicking on the tip button recently when the question showed up in front of me on a screen.

My View of Tips Changed Somewhat Through the Years Too

When I was much younger, I used to think it’s crazy to pay more in tips when it’s voluntary, but I have a slightly different feeling towards the whole concept now. These days, I routinely pay at least the minimum accepted, if not more.

I feel bad for the waiters because it’s true, they need the tips to compensate for their efforts. It’s unfortunate that the restaurant industry underpays them and then shoves the responsibility to the customers without just adding the cost on the menu prices, but it is what it is.

I notice people who’ve served tables always tip very well, no doubt because they understand that serving customers in a restaurant is hard work, and these hard working people deserve to make a good wage.

If there’s any time in history to tip more than usual, it’s now. We get to decide how much to tip, and we can make a real difference to someone’s lives by being a good tipper versus a bad one.

Do you eat out, or buy takeout these days? Would you try tipping a bit more?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Helen says:

    There’s only one place which I don’t tip, it is the restaurant that I use to work at for my first job. The reason I don’t tip is I know what happens to tips there: Waiters/waitresses don’t keep any of their tips, the owner does. He states that all tips are “to the house”, and we don’t need a cut of it because we were paid enough. Anything over 50 dollars is to be kept by him, and if we need to purchase products like cleaning supplies or extra food products for the restaurant, then we need to use our tip money to buy it at the grocery market. And why am I gonna leave a 10 dollar tip for the good service if the server can’t keep any of it? Well anyway the whole staff except for the cooks quit after that, the only “Server” is the owner. Unfortunately I didn’t tip him because I figured since he was the owner he didn’t need it, besides, when I asked for some food and smiled at him he scowled and threw my plate at me, and I was given a broken cup that I didn’t tell him about (I was a bit afraid to say it because of how he threw my plate so I just drank with a napkin around it). I was even afraid to look him in the eye, he’s very intimidating. Any way now I’m banned from the restaurant because I didn’t tip and I guess that’s okay (He didn’t need to chase me down in the parking lot though). But I always leave tips for businesses, and I try to leave it in cash because my waiter-friends always say that they really don’t receive the credit tips. Servers always work as hard as they can for their tips, so it’s always unfair when they don’t receive any of tips they’ve earned. And food service jobs are especially hard; it’s hard to deal with customers…it’s even harder to deal with customers who are hungry.

  • chads says:

    At the place I work at, the servers at the end of the night, they have to tip out 1% to front of house, 1% to the EXPO and another 1% to bartender. They are also expected to claim 12% for tax purposes. However, this does not come from their tips it is taken from their total sales of the night which can be really high if they had a lot of tables. But because they have to tip out from their total sales, if they are not tipped or not tipped well which happens quite a lot because of sure enough sterotypes and assholes that already decided not tip even if they were given the best service ever, the server still has to tip out from their total sales. So if they don’t get tipped they still have to give out the percentages meaning they end up having to pay out of pocket because they tip out according to total sales for the evening.

  • EMoney says:

    Well, servers in the US also only make $2.65 an hour as their minimum wage so they really are surviving off of your tips.

  • Ash says:

    I would not wait tables if there were a set wage. I make $10/hr on average, it’s not a fine dining restaurant, more like a diner. It’s better than minimum wage at the mall.

    I do a good job, but it doesn’t bother me too much when I have a table that doesnt tip, because I always get tables that tip over 20%. I don’t give anyone any extra attention because I think they will tip more, because I might be wrong, and then I have wasted my time.

    I don’t care if you don’t tip because I will probably never have you in my section again, even if you eat at the restaurant all of the time. I don’t care if you are rude, because other customers often hear the negativity in your voice and tip me more for it.

    The worst part about working in a restaurant is not the customers, it is working with the other servers. Some do not run their or others food, or refill ice/glasses/teas/sodas and get by without managers getting on to them, because there are 20 other servers who need coupons processed, food comped etc that have the attention of the managers at the time. If I only had to listen to customers, and not other employees complaining or chatting about things I don’t care about my job would be much easier.

  • Katie says:

    I have worked in the restaurant buiessness now for 3 years. I started out as a hostess so i have seen the things that go on in the front and back. What i don’t understand the most is how people automatically come in with a bad mood and take it out on you. SORRY YOU DIDNT LIKE YOUR TABLE. Give me a break. I have even seen people leave a crappy tip because they didn’t like the location of where they were sitting. Now why the hell would you tip bad for that. It has nothing to do with your waitress. Don’t go to a restaurant expecting to be treated like a princess. People don’t understand how much a waiter is actually doing. They are running food constantly, doing their side work, getting refills, helping other waiters, and trying to figure out how to keep you happy. Yes, I do understand that there are just some terrible waiters out there. Believe me I’ve had plenty(Chili’s). But there are also times that you need to think about how much there doing. Yes you are their main focus, but you are not their only focus. If its a friday night and you go out to eat expect it to be busy, and see your waiter running around with their head chopped off. Just don’t be to hard. We get paid around $2.13 and hour plus tips. But when you don’t tip your waiter then we’re screwed. Where i work we have to tip out to the hosts and bartenders. For a lot of people out there serving is their way of income. If you come to a restaurant knowing your not going to tip AT LEAST 15%, then take your cheap ass to Mcdonalds, we all know theres one close by. Also don’t just assume you know whats going on. If your food comes out wrong there is a pretty good chance that yeah we plugged it in wrong BUT there is a TONNNN of times that it has been that the cooks made it wrong. And when you tell you waiter its wrong, please, don’t be an ass. Ask politely. Is it really that hard? No. If i go to a restaurant I try to be as kind as possibly because i understand that just having that one table that is super nice can change your whole night around. Because believe me you can get the rudest people that just make your whole night go to shit and all you want to do is go to the bathroom and cry. And believe me that does happen to a lot of waiters. Its a stressful job dealing with people all day. Just relax and tip. End of story.

  • billy williams says:

    If a server isn’t receiving a livable wage that is between them and the manager so it’s not my problem.-Also,If a server doesn’t make minimum wage in wage+tips the employer MUST make up the difference by law so servers are making at least minimum wage without tips.And as mr pink used to say,Tipping is for the birds!

  • Travis says:

    I was never racist before my first time serving a black family. Expect the most, give the least. Now, if I have a 4 table section, I ignore the black people since they dont tip me anyway. Better service to respectful guests. Call me ignorant or “ignant” but Ya aint gettin good service from dis white boi!

  • Mariah says:

    i am a server and it sucks if someone doesnt tip because servers have to tip out generally 5 percent. so if someones bill was 100 and they tipped you nothing you still have to pay 5 dollars for them to eat. so if it was bad service always at least leave the 5 percent so that someone isnt paying for you to come in and eat. servers dont tip out on the percentage of tips they tip out 5 percent on their total sales. (some places a little less but 5 percent is very average)

  • Mohammed Babaki says:

    Funny you mention Waffle House. My wife and I stopped there to have breakfast on our way to the outlets to do some shopping the other day. (Love me my DOUBLE WAFFLE! lol) We were sitting in a booth near the counter right at the end of their morning rush. The servers were dumping and sorting plates and silver and it sounded like a little kid on his first drumset lol my wife and I just laughed cause we are easy going, but this older redneck guy growled out, “stop all that racket!” This situation offers some insight into the differences between standards of service and the differences between small town and big city. The rule is to always make the least noise as possible when handling plates and silverware, even if it means ONE at a time. I’ve seen my GM sneak up behind noisy staff and give them the business many times. He gets just as angry at people in the back of the restaurant for making to much noise in the dish area where no guest can even hear them. The culture of a well run top notch restaurant is made up of so many tiny nuances you would be amazed. It is not the hardest job by any means, but ALOT goes in to creating quality experiences for our guests. Just a random thought to add to the pile 🙂

    I will continue to state that I LOVE my job and I am happy and satisfied to do what I do for a living 🙂 I am anything but spoiled, whiny or a baby. I am grateful to have had so many opportunities to learn and prosper in this industry

  • Erin says:

    Servers don’t get paid enough hourly to support themselves, or for many, a family. So YES, they deserve and EXPECT a tip. You wouldn’t tip someone for a copy of the book because they’re getting a percentage of the sales of the book. Waiters don’t get a cut of money from the check, if they did, it would be like in Europe or Canada, where wages are built in to the price of an entree. So not tipping is like shoplifting- you are robbing someone of the money you owe them. If you have a problem with leaving a tip, order take-out or delivery. That way, you can be a cheap bastard in your house all by yourself instead of expecting someone to wait on you for free.

  • Nick says:

    Sounds like a lot of servers feeling entitled and wanting more money. I understand things are hard like calculating large party separate checks in a timely fashion, but I can’t believe some of these babies complaining that their job is hard because they have to make sure that salt and pepper are on the table and that plates are heavy. And you are allowed to write things down. I don’t think any customer gets mad bc you are taking the time to write things down. And where the fuck did you guys come up with 18 hour shifts? Where the he’ll do you live and you are putting yourself in that situation. I’m sure you’re asking for those hours, the boss will gladly give your shift to someone else who wants the money. Don’t complain about something you asked for. And I know that all 18 of those hours aren’t sprinting around the restaurant busy as fuck. You have busy times, bfast, lunch, and dinner. Others might come in later, but don’t give me that shit that you are constantly working.
    Now I’m hearing that waiters make bank and also that they don’t make anything. I’m thinking it’s the former because everyone thinks they’re not paid enough for what they do. Everyone thinks what they do is hard. Don’t give me “I’m the hardest worker in my town” either, that’s just arrogant. Going into a job and needing no prior degree is called entry level. Doesn’t matter if you train there, it’s entry level.
    Tips are just overstated now. Servers should make $5-7 an hour and tips be 10%. Add the rest to the price of the meal. Tips should be shared with the cooks and such bc they are the reason the food is fast and high quality. Servers get credit for both good and bad things that they had nothing to do with.
    Tip should really just be $3-$8 a person or plate ordered rather than based on meal price. The server is doing the same whether I order a steak or a burger. Should a server get paid less bc only two people are at a table and they both order water (simply bc they like water) and burgers? No because they would be just as nice, check everything just as often, even if the same two people ordered the most expensive drinks and entrees on the menu. Don’t give me crap about garnishing and milkshake making either, it’s a negligible difference.
    If ur getting shitty tips, it’s rude people, but definitely don’t count yourself out. If you’re own self out of the equation. Be nice, check 90 sec after meal is served, and other times, and if things are going wrong, like backed up kitchen, TELL THE CUSTOMERS AND APOLOGIZE FOR GODS SAKE. Ask what you can do and give them a free refill or bread or something cheap to tide them over. you’re just asking for them to think you’re shitty if you let them think what they want. if you just talk to people and let them know what you’re going through, I’ll bet more often than not, they’ll sympathize and give you some slack if things are going slow or wrong. Apologize and most of all, give a fuck.

    • Erin says:

      Tips aren’t based on price-per-head because the whole nature of our job is to upsell and push specials/items with a higher price point. A waitress at Waffle House is going to make less money than a server at a NYC midtown restaurant. The more expensive the food, the higher the expectations for level of service. Wherever you work, how would you feel if someone off the street decided to constantly criticize your work. Waiters are subjected to that more often b/c people feel entitled to let us know all the time. And yes, most of us make better money than you. Your prediction is right. If you think we have easy jobs and make good money doing it, perhaps you should look into it yourself. Doesn’t that seem smart? Doing something that’s relatively easy that pays well?

    • Paul says:

      What restaurant is open 18 fucking hours. McD’s doesn’t count. It isn’t a real restaurant. If you were doing 18 hour days you’d be dead in a very short period of time. Nobody believes that lie.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ok, so I’ve been a server for years and many guests do not seem to realize how many things can go wrong in a restaurant that the server has no control over! Whenever there is a problem we are always the one to blame. The standard tipping for today is actually %20 or higher. The reason being is that we make $2.13 an hour plus tips! Honestly I can’t remember the last time that I got a paycheck because it all goes to taxes from that $2.13 an hour. Also everything that I sell ie all the stuff that you order, I have to tip out on and pay taxes. So that $60 bottle of wine that you buy and think you don’t have to tip on-wrong! I will have to tip out %5 of all of my drink sales to the bartender. It may not seem like much but it adds up especially at the end of the night when I have $300 in drink sales. We also have to tip out our staff that helps us…they run food out to you when we are busy and help stock cups and ice and other things we need through the shift to make sure we are able to help the guest as quickly as possible. At our restaurant its %2 of all of our sales and it gets to be quite a bit when you rack $1000 in sales! O and whatever you order regardless of if you tip anything the government taxes me on everything I sell because they’re assuming I’m getting tipped decently. Really guys most of us try our hardest and are trying to make everything smooth for us and you. Let’s face it not too many people strive to be a server for the rest of our lives-this is usually a job that people have to get from point a in their life to point b. Many of us are in school or serve as a second job or work doubles (lunch and dinner shift)
    just to make ends meet. We all have our good and bad days, good moods and bad moods, and problems or hard times-I think some people expect us to not have them! Now I know there are some really bad servers that don’t do their jobs ie drink refills, clearing plates, taking orders…but, please help us out and understand we are the middle man and try to make everyone happy!

  • S. Cochrane says:

    I eat out often and usually don’t have a problem with the service or the food. However, just last evening I had dinner out with my adult daughter. The waitress took my order and from that point on ignored me. My complaint isn’t that the service was poor due to the restaurant being busy – she came by and asked my daughter if her meal was okay while she literally had her back to me. She swung by later and picked up my daughter’s glass and refilled it with her drink and completely ignored that I had an empty coffee cup. She brought the check to the table and presented it to my daughter saying, “Whenever you’re ready.” At that point I ASKED for a refill on my coffee. She brought it, without a single word spoken to me. I was the one paying for the meal, which I did, and wrote in a $2 tip. Many years ago (I”m not that old) people would have put a penny or dime on the counter as a “tip.” I have no problem paying for the food but to treat me as though I was invisible is just NOT acceptable and should never be rewarded. I can understand if you’re a party of 10 people – the wait staff can’t make contact with each person, but we were just a party of two people at a small table. Do I think this was deliberate? No, just rude with the waitress preferring to communicate with someone close to her own age. Again, NOT acceptable – especially to the person with the $$.

  • Betterthan says:

    As a waiter, I work harder than the cooks and other staff. Servers are better people and we deserve to paid on top of what we are paid by our employer.

    Don’t think I’m awesome and give me all your money?
    Then don’t eat out!

    Personally, I tip everybody – I’m just throwing money all over everyone that does anything for me.

    • EMoney says:

      First off there is no way in hell that you work harder being a server than the cooks I can tell you that right now…but true about the tipping people don’t realize how little you make an hour they think you make minimum wage of $7.75 or something along those lines, they are sorely mistaken.

  • Jenifer says:

    If you dont want to tip, don’t go out to eat. There is no excuse not to tip anything. It is selfish and rude, whether your server was perfect or not. It shouldn’t even be question. I’m a server and I try to be nice to every person that walks in that door. I get great tips. When I go out to eat and I have a bad server, I still leave them a tip because they did serve us. Treat others as you would want to be treated…right? Not everyone has perfects days.

  • Ethan says:

    If you are putting money aside to do something special with someone of something, you can put aside an extra 5 bucks for a tip. Period. Bottom line, if someone is a terrible server, don’t tip then. Just make sure they were actually a bad server. Maybe they’re really busy. Maybe they had to go get ice because the bin ran out. Now if they’re off goofing off, and you can see that, then by all means, just dont tip. But for the most part, tipping should happen. It’s the way its been for a long time almost everywhere where servers exist.

    If you don’t tip for no good reason, that’s okay, at some point, it’ll be made up for, just don’t bring your trashy, selfish self to our restaurant. That’s what McDonald’s is for.

  • Mohammed Babaki says:

    One more thing as far as tips being paid out to you from the restaurant if you don’t get them. Thats in place as a law to make sure people don’t make less than minimum wage, but I’ve never heard of it actually happening.

    Like someone else said earlier, if it did happen you would get fired.

    100% accurate.

    Restaurants keep a record of tips claimed versus sales for ever single server in the restaurant and are required to submit it annually to the IRS. If a servers percentage of claimed tips for an entire year is less than 10% The ENTIRE restaurant becomes subject to an IRS audit. Because of this, managers have a monthly report of “tip offenders” servers or bartenders whose claimed tip percentage has dipped below 10% Anyone who is on this list is told, “Since you tip out 5% of your sales and claim less than 10% of your sales it must mean that you make less than 15% tips. Anyone who gets such bad tips on a consistent basis must not be providing a high standard of customer service. This has to change if you want to continue working here.” Yep, true story………

  • Mohammed Babaki says:

    OK time for me to jump back in this. Moshin, I feel your pain. But come on buddy, you can’t really be feeling it that often? Yes the thought of a world full of non-tippers is scary, but it’s no where near a reality. What city do you work in? I got stiffed by a table on a $70 check on saturday night because they were unhappy with my service (even though they never said anything to me the 5 different times I checked back on them to ask them how different dishes were, which could have given me the chance to salvage their experience by fixing whatever issues they had) lol I also got an $8 tip on a $100 check by some Europeans ( it happens sometimes lol) but still walked with two and a half bills after tip outs on $1700 in sales.

    The reality of the situation is that even though sometimes there are people that don’t tip, this is rare and we are overall satisfied with our wages.

    I get it Moshin, it’s frustrating that some people don’t get it. I know you can’t be so candid with guests in your restaurant cause it would cost you your job and you probably are just using this as a forum to vent your frustrations. Just try to take it easy and not get worked up. Despite what anyone may have to say negatively about tipping, we still go to sleep at night feeling satisfied and happy making the wage we do or else we wouldn’t be doing it 🙂

  • Chris, definitely not that ass one above says:

    If you can’t afford to tip you can’t afford to eat out. Period. Chris your giving me a bad name and I have been fired numerous times for telling people like you just how scummy they are to their faces after bullshit stunts like the one you pull.

  • mohsin says:

    O btw, recession is not a comparable argument. You dont think servers get hit hard during a recession. Tips and restaurant sales go down, so when we get tipped bad in a recession it hurts us even more.

  • mohsin says:

    Chris i really hope all of these arguments make you feel better about being cheap. You probably think your a really nice guy actually. But obviously you dont understand the difference between buying gas to get around, which is a necessity, and going to a restaurant to be served on which is a luxury. You can get a good meal at restaurants that dont offer a serving staff, and you can also do carry out. You are right, its not required, but neither is holding the door open for someone else, saying thank you, doing people favors, etc, but people still do that dont they.

    And its against the fucking law to add grat to the check. HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO BRING THAT UP? And you are a retard for calling a tip a donation. I hope you feel charitable when you give you server a 2 dollar tip on a 40 dollar check. Little do you know, we just did you a service by donating our time to you for free, or sometimes we might even have to pay to serve you.

    And you will care about service when your hungry, show up to a restaurant, and the server takes a long time to bring the drinks and food out.

    And honestly its just about being nice. I dont understand how even though you know we make our income from tips, people still come in, sit down, bitch and bitch about every little thing (some people that is) and then dont pay us for our service. Its downright rude and the opposite of charitable.

    Btw when you said that you tip like shit and the serving staff still likes you at some places. You must also think strippers actually like you too then. Ignorant fool.

    • Jody says:

      In New York City, restaurants have the legal right to add a gratuity which must be paid, in some cases:

      In New York City, restaurants have the legal right to add a gratuity to ANY check, but the customer does not have a legal obligation to pay. The reason it’s automatic in so many restaurants in Manhattan is due to the tourist-based economy. French, Italians, & Spanish diners more often leave less than 10%. I see this ALL THE TIME- They’ll leave $8 on a $100 check and think everything’s hunky dorey.

    • Paul says:

      Wow, Mr Cool Calm and Collected… losing it. You go on about how good you are and how personable you are, yet look at your language in your post. I’d say you are as nice as the hoods in the south of l.a. (refuse to dignify it with capital letters).

      And the comment about people not paying you for your service. Bollocks, that comes out of the meal cost, and your employer should be paying you. The system is broke, pure and simple. Stick the tipping system up where the sun don’t shine.

  • Chris says:

    Well I think if you don’t tip you shouldn’t go out and buy gasoline, if you don’t tip you shouldn’t go out and buy a shirt, … – lol 🙂 Your attitude is hilarious

    Mohsin, it all comes down to what you accept. If you state that the cost is $20 (as you do), don’t always expect to get a donation on top of that.

    If you think tipping is required then add 20+% to the bill (as restaurants often do for large parties). But if you don’t state that it’s required then don’t expect it (as people in other jobs don’t).

    People do lose bonuses for recessions. And people also don’t get bonuses based on irrelevant work – when I go out often I just want a good meal; who cares about the “service” (I might rather tip the cook).

  • mohsin says:

    Teresa, If you want to leave a bad tip because of bad service that is fine, as long as you at least cover what the server would have to pay for serving on you. However I do give great service to all of my tables, and those tables who dont tip and come back, im still civil and friendly to them, even though i would rather not be. However if you expect me to run around for a table who i end up having to pay to serve on you are out of your mind. You say think about the peoples situation who cant tip, how about you think about the server whos AT WORK trying to make a living. You obviously are selfish and only care about your situation, because if you did care about others you would tip as you should.

    I dont think its ignorant to say that if you cant afford to tip you shouldnt eat out. If you cant afford an extra 5 on a 25 dollar check, you DEFINITELY should be eating ramen noodles instead of eating out. Eating out is a luxury, not a necessity. And obviously if you can afford to go out and eat, tip accordingly. How is it our fault that your irresponsible and eating out when you cant afford to. If anything it is ignorant to go out and eat rather then paying what you obviously cant afford. And yes everyone obviously has to pay for doing a bad job at work. But what about us servers who go out of our way to make sure you enjoy your meal, and then still get tipped horribly. You dont get bonuses taken away for doing a good job do you.

    Try not thinking about yourselves all the time and put yourself in someone elses shoes Teresa, and the rest of you non tippers.

    • Teresa says:

      Take the whole “try putting yourself in someone else’s shoes” comment to heart because you’re still living in the world of “all about me”. I’m also not referring to you and I don’t care how you do your tables as long as you do your job. I’m referring to these spoiled waiters who feel as if they are entitled to a tip for mediocre work and then dare to have the nerve to treat the customer like crap the next time they come in. That’s wrong, and means you fail at doing your job properly. Period. End of story.

      Now in terms of money. If this is a nice dinner for some special occasion like a significant other’s birthday or anniversary, and you are tight for cash, $5 extra IS a lot of money. Instead of paying $25, you’re paying $30, and if you have ever been strapped for cash in terms of saving, it’s a lot. To act like people who are strapped for cash can’t have at least something nice for a yearly event is selfish and makes you look like a jerk. You don’t pay their bills, you aren’t in their life so you aren’t exactly entitled to their money unless they see fit. If I have $20 in my wallet, it’s my $20, not ours; we don’t live in a collective society where we share everything. If they have saved extra on the side for this, they can afford this one time thing. How about you stop thinking for YOUR greedy self and think “hey, maybe they are strapped for cash and this is probably a one time thing”, then move on with your life instead of lingering on it and plotting to spit in the customer’s food or give them shoddy service the next time they return. All that does is cause an endless cycle of crap and bull that pisses the customer off and causes you to lose your “precious hard earned” money.

      Now don’t get me wrong, if the service was outstanding, try to leave something or tell the server why you can’t tip at all. Maybe even try to remember to make it up the next time you are in and have the funds to do so. But if you are tight, and the service did not meet your expectations, you have every right not to leave a tip. Period.

    • Paul says:

      Hey Mohsin… it is your employer who should be paying you. EOFS! Works elsewhere in the world. We shouldn’t have to be going oh, that’s $x plus tax plus tip. Gives me a big headache just thinking about it on my computer, let alone at the fricking restaurant.

  • Irina says:

    I have been a server for over 10 years and in that time server minimum wage has remained at $2.13 per hour. Some states are kind enough to pay more, but here in GA where I live it has not changed. This means that if you don’t tip then I work for you for free. Yes maybe things should change and employers should pay their staff properly, but since Congress is not forcing the employer to pay us more then $2.13 then it is impossible to expect them to pay more. Also if servers were paid minimum wage do you think they would give you good service?
    This server in question could have many reasons for not being courteous. I do not defend any server who chooses to be rude, but we all have our off days. Would you always be in a good mood when hungry people are yelling at you for things out of your control, you haven’t sat down or even used the bathroom in 6hrs, and this is your 8th day in a row of working? This situation is more common than not in the service industry.
    I recommend that you go get a job as a server for 6 months before you decide that you are not going to give your server a proper tip, which by the way has been %18 (not %15) since the new millenium and is heading towards %20 very quickly. Once you have tried living off of tips, dealing with angry, hungry customers and the sheer exhaustion from being on your feet for that many hours that many days in a row, tell me how your mood is? Tell me if you still feel it’s ok not to tip!

    • Paul says:

      if servers were paid minimum wage do you think they would give you good service?

      They do in other countries. Is there something radically different about the American psyche that would inhibit them from doing the same? Obviously there must, otherwise the system would have changed long ago.

      10 years and the minimum hasn’t changed. No wonder the rest of the world laughs about you. And that truly is a sad state of affairs.

      And… what is it with so many Americans that they put the % sign before the number and the $ sign after the number? Thats back to front for both of them.

  • Terri says:

    I’m glad you said that, Ethan. Some people (Chris) just don’t get it! We tip 20-25% 99% of the time. If we get bad service, we let the server know so that he/she may improve in whatever area was lacking. As I said before, if you can’t afford to tip, stay home or go to a drive through. If you can only afford to tip 10%, perhaps skip on the cokes and teas, drink water and you can more easily afford to tip appropriately. That’s my opinion. 🙂

    • Teresa says:

      So nobody should be allowed to eat out once in a blue moon because they can’t afford a tip? That’s silly as all get-go and it’s the most ignorant thing to say.

      You don’t know what their living situation is like to warrant that response. Nobody should be forced to stay at home and eat because the high-and-mighty punks in the serving industry think that they deserve tips even though it’s a gratitude system. What’s worse is the punk servers who then treat people who didn’t tip once or so like crap for the rest of the time they go back to that restaurant. All they are doing is making the situation worse, and if it was me, and you treated me like crap the rest of the time, I’m never giving you anything for it. Got an issue with it? Tough. Don’t pick and choose who you do your job well for and you wouldn’t be in that situation.

      And to the rest of you who say, “at normal jobs if you screw up, your pay doesn’t get docked, you just get fired”. Bull. Have you people ever been on a job outside of the service industry? Doubt it if you believe that. If I screw up, my pay gets docked, I don’t get bonuses, and my boss will straight up with me and tell me why. If I continue to screw up, they fire me. So please, none of that “you just get terminated”. The difference is my pay is a little more set in stone while the majority of the pay of a server is dynamic. One night they can make $500, the next night $200, it all depends on customer base and how the night progressed.

      • Gloria says:

        This is the worst argument I’ve ever heard. IF YOU CAN AFFORD TO DINE IN A RESTAURANT YOU CAN AFFORD THE 18% TIP. And if you came to where I work and didn’t tip me, the next time you came in I would kindly inform you that I won’t be serving you. Because I can legally do that and the owner of the restaurant where I work would back me up because EVERYBODY KNOWS YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO TIP. WELCOME TO 2011.

        If you really can’t afford to tip, then get a sandwich and eat it in the park. That way, you aren’t “forced to eat at home,” which is ridiculous, by the way.

        There’s nothing more enraging than someone who has two glasses of wine and then leaves 10% tip for great service.

        • Paul says:

          Why, oh why, do you perpetuate the myth that “everybody knows you’re supposed to tip?”

          And why do you suppose that someone CAN afford the 18% tip? Maybe, just maybe, that person has saved ALL FRICKING YEAR to have a special meal out for some very special occasion. Would you DEMAND that they pay their tip?

          As has been stated before, there is NO LAW which says you have to tip. That being so, stop acting so high and mighty and welcome to 2014 going on 2015!

          And… and… you get enraged because someone who has 2 glasses of wine and leaves a tip of ONLY 10%. Well obviously you are in the wrong occupation. I mean, shit, it really is hard work and taking so much time away from your other customers to have to deal with a MASSIVE 2 glasses of wine. Oh, the horror, the horror.

          And if your manager backed you up on refusing to serve me for said prior transgression I’d start a mud slinging campaign against you, the manager and the restaurant. Wouldn’t even think twice about it.

  • Ethan says:

    One last thing…

    If ever an employer must give us money because we didst make enough to make minimum wage, they will fire us, as it becomes an assumption by the employer that we are not good enough of an employee to work there. Just an FYI.

  • Ethan says:

    Okay, I just want to intervene a little bit. Some of what I read makes sense, while even what some of you servers are saying is a bit… Wrong.

    First of all, bad service should never purposely be given, whether you know that person won’t tip well or not. Everyone should be treated with the same respect no matter what. It’s as some would say, “kill em’ with kindness.”

    Second of all, people, always tip. I don’t care who you are, or what happened. Okay, if the server was rude to you because of something you, as the customer, said or did, then yeah, maybe that person shouldn’t be working as a server at all, since they can’t handle the stress. And almost anybody can afford a 20% tip, they just feel like they can’t because they don’t want to tip someone who they feel is working *for* them, rather than with them.

    It’s rough dealing with those certain “needy” people, who more often than not tip terribly. But its the price to pay for the job. Serving is good money but it certainly will not earn the average server $17 an hour. Maybe some nights, but in the end we *might* average $12. You have to be an incredible multi-tasker, or have boobs. Those help. Us guys are just SOL though. We have nothing to show.

    The bottom line is for most states, servers make usually between 2 to 4 dollars an hour which they generally receive virtually none of, since most to all of it goes to taxes. We may be guaranteed minimum wage, but 1) we didn’t pick thus job to make that and 2) minimum wage will never be enough to cover school/housing/car expenses. So just tip. And tip accordingly to service.

    But before you do, take a look around. If you got bad service from your server, is he/she goofing off somewhere, or is the restaurant busy and you can clearly see your server running around like a chicken with its head cut off, busting his butt for multiple people who are running him to death?

    Be sensible, people. It’s not that hard. Wouldn’t you like a little help if your parents weren’t helping you with school or anything else that you have to pay for? Just a little of your money can, in essence, help us get good careers after we pay for our college with your help.

    Just tip. It’s the civil thing to do. If you really can’t afford it, the servers who care will understand, and the ones who don’t, probably need to find a different job.

    • Gloria says:

      “Serving is good money but certainly will not earn the average server $17 an hour.”

      Come to Manhattan- I usually average at least $25/hour. A good night $45- serving isn’t always slinging burgers and wings.

  • Chris says:

    I may be cheap 🙂
    But I pay my bill (whatever amount that may be), I don’t whine about my wage and job. And I don’t expect part of my wage to come from donations, which, if people don’t pay, I call them CHEAP and TRASHY.

    I have been a server… not a bad job, but nothing super special about it.

    And a lot of people make minimum wage. If it’s not enough, ask for a raise, or become a plumber/electrician/doctor/etc…

    • mohsin says:

      So your not cheap because you pay your bill. No that is simply paying what you are required to. And im currently in school you ignorant fuck. This is a part time job and to be honest…..i make great money doing this. And i do tip not just servers, but my barber, etc. It is cheap and trashy to not tip, especially since whatever your bill is we have to pay out a portion of that for the bussers, etc. wages. I actually make well over minimum wage, but thats not the point. The point is i smile and am courteous to some customers, and then end up having to pay to server on them because they didnt tip. Now thats fucked up.

      Chris you are trashy and cheap. I really hope you dont go to the same place over and over again, because most likely they hate you. And for someone who serves and still doesnt tip……i dont even know what to say. Thats the cheapest thing ive ever heard of.

      And i never complained about my wages, dont think anyone here did untill the ignorant fuck who posted the article started complaining about having to tip. And how is a tip a donation. Totally different things. As a server, you work for tips, period. A donation would be giving something in return for nothing. If you come in and feel like your donating money to your server, you are a huge nigg. Get off your high horse and tip accordingly.

      And if you want to keep bitching about having to tip….DONT EAT OUT. If your sooooooooo cheap and trashy, stay at home, make some horrible food yourself, and clean your own shit. While your doing that suck my dick. People are out there working hard to pay their rent, school loans, etc, and for you to come in a screw them over like that, you should feel like shit. Regardless, there are MANY people who do know how to tip and they are the ones who actually care about others rather then themselves. No matter how may feel, you are the minority in this situation. Keep being cheap.

      • Chris says:

        Servers I interact with aren’t angry and racist, and they have no problem with me. We’re in a recession – suck it up and don’t expect as much of a donation for being nice to people.

        If you kick me out of your restaurant for not tipping, I respect that – it’s your turf.
        But most servers don’t act like you imply that you do. If they did, I would not eat out, so I think you might be the minority (from my experience).

        • Scott says:

          Don’t mess with people who serve you food. I’m just saying. I’ve seen some pretty bad things.

          You’re better off ordering take out.

  • Chris says:

    Servers DO make minimum wage in all states. In many states, including mine, they make minimum wage PLUS tips, in others they make less (such as $2.13), but if the wage plus tips don’t equal minimum wage or more, then the employer MUST PAY the difference.

    Thus servers ALWAYS make minimum wage, but usually much much more.

    Serving is general labor and I tip the SAME as I occasionally tip a maid, barber, or any other general labor service.

    You believe Serving/Waiting is special and tips are required. You must think maids, barbers, and the lot are worthless.

    It is illegal to force tipping, yet you seem to think it is required – ??? !!! ??? !!! – are you above the law?
    If it is mandatory include it in the f’ing bill! (not as a tip, but as cost of food, which goes into YOUR wage – just like every other job does it) If not, expect it when… no, don’t expect it – EVER. Be gracious and surprised that you ever receive a tip.

    It’s the servers who are nice and don’t expect a tip (NOT LIKE YOU) that I do tip.

    • Terri says:

      I’m not a server. You are an idiot! I am very well aware that in most states the business owner is required to make up the difference when the server doesn’t make minimum wage when his tips and wages are averaged out! Hotel workers, hair dressers, people who come and clean your house, etc. deserve a tip too when they do a great job! Those are my feelings. YOU are CHEAP!

  • Chris says:

    Servers already make minimum wage, $7.50 – $8.50 an hour. I’ve been a server and it’s not a difficult job. Many friends with undergraduate and graduate degrees remain waiting tables because it pays so well.

    A tip is just that: a tip. I only tip at fancy restaurants when the waitress is exceptional. Often times I tip nothing when the service is standard, and it is all the same to me.

    If a server thinks a tip is required they should include it in the price of the food. Only greed keeps it off the food list – servers can avoid tipping out or avoid taxes.

    • mohsin says:

      Servers don’t make minimum wage, they make 2.13 an hour. A tip is not just that, a tip. Its not the same for tipping your maid, your barber, or anything like that. They don’t depend on their customers to make money, just a little extra.

      And a server can’t include tip in the food, because that is actually against the law. It is illegal to force someone to tip, at least in VA. So keep your ignorant comments to yourself Chris.

      Just because you are cheap doesn’t mean you have to convince people you are right. Your still cheap. Stop eating out and cook your own food.

      • mohsin says:

        And by the way, I’ve served my way through school, and have served in both major cities and small towns, so believe me when i say people in general are rude, disrespectful, and downright ignorant. The way people talk to/treat their servers is absolutely disgusting, and then on top of that to not tip is a slap in the face after having to put up with them. And don’t get me wrong I’ve had plenty of great people sit down, and even if not great tippers just polite people and easy to wait on. Serving tables has honestly made me fortunate that i have not been brought up the same as most other people, because I’ve come to realize that most people are pieces of shit. And yes serving tables is mentally easy if you can multitask and have good memory, but it is still labor intensive.

        Keep tipping bad, and karma will come back to bite you.

  • Emily says:

    I always tip 20% and if I only ordered water, I add $2 onto my total bill because I don’t order water to be cheap, I actually only drink water because I don’t drink alcohol or soda. The reason that wait staff deserve at minimum a tip of at least a 15% is because they are only paid like $4 an hour and the work that a server does is physically much harder than someone who stands at a counter and rings people up at a book store. The person at the book store is probably already making about $10 depending on where in the country they live. If you have a problem with the wait staff you should tip 15% still but ask for the manager and let them know your situation so the server can be dealt with if they were rude.

    And by the way, I’ve never been a waitress my whole life, I’m courteous.

    Also, in some other countries, tips are automatically included on your check so there’s no negotiation. If you have a problem with your server, you are expected to say something to the manager. 🙂

    A final note that doesn’t have to do with money, just remember that the way you treat your server will most likely affect how they treat your food. I worked at a coffee shop and people would be SOOO rude while they were ordering that we always gave them “decaf delight.” Be nice to your servers and baristas 🙂

  • mohsin says:

    The reason you are required to tip when you go out to eat, whether or not the service is great, is because you are still being served on. If you are that cheap that you are worried about tipping the waitstaff, or not tipping them at all when that is how they earn a living, stay at home and cook some stouffers. You pay extra for not having to make it, plate it, bring it out to you, get your refills, and pretty much have to put up with you no matter what you are like.

    We dont come into your place of work and take money from you because you are doing lower then expected in our eyes.

  • lizaleigh says:

    I just stumbled upon this.

    It is internet-ancient now, but it is infuriating. I have always found it a bit interesting when people imagine that being a server is a demand that needs a sort of “bribing”–as suggested by this article–by tip, to be done appropriately? I believe the term was a…drive?

    Does that person at the bookstore not need a similar drive? Or a person who cleans hotels? Or a person who washes clothes? Or works at the market? Or does construction on roadways? They don’t need DRIVE? You speak of waiters as if they are puppies. Put a bone out there, and not with their brains, but with impulse, they will chase the scent. They will nearly be FORCED to do a good job.


    And as for the writer of this article and some of those who’ve responded…
    It is not always a fucking choice (exactly) to work at a restaurant. As a person who graduated with honors from a top ten institution and then got a master’s degree and THEN waited tables for a time, I can assure you that this had EVERYTHING to do with an actual need, an actual “this is my only choice…even if briefly…” moment. I didn’t see this as a major problem, but I moved to a big city where rent was high, and a busy downtown restaurant paid better for a summer of moving to a higher rent place and buying furniture than taking a job in my field. It was hard work. I did not feel that I was too “good” for it, and I got another job in a few months.

    You are an arrogant thoughtless person–at least in what you let us glean from in this pitiful excuse for a thought-provoking article. Of course they DESERVE a fucking tip. They are getting paid three dollars an hour and are probably smarter than you are.

  • Anon says:

    I’m a server at Olive Garden. We get paid 2.13/hr plus tips. I strongly disagree that the owners should pick up the tab and pay us a higher wage. The profits aren’t good enough to pay all of the servers a good living wage. If they did pay us a good living wage, guess where the extra money would be coming from. Your pocket. They’d have to get the money from somewhere. So why not increase the meal price? And it’s not mandatory to pay a tip at all. No law requires it. If you truly think you deserved a lot better service, tip poorly or not at all. The worst tip you could actually give is anything under a dollar. That’s a direct f#$@ you to the server. But if he/she deserves a tip, give them a tip. You think you could live off of $16 a day from wages? Doubt it.

    -Note: As for why we don’t tip non-servers, excellent question. They’re paid a regular live-able wage, but if they do an outstanding job, I say tip them as well. Even a dollar or two is a lot more than the zilch they normally get. It’ll make their day.

    • Paul says:

      So how come people are being paid decent wages as wait persons (how PC is that?) in other countries? No problem there… no, the problem is with the US and other backward countries.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t see a tip as being mandatory, but rather a reward for good service. As a general rule, when I am out to dinner with my family we will tip higher according to how well the server performed, how many of us he/she waited on, and most importantly, how we were treated. If we feel that the server treated us poorly (which can make our experience feel negative no matter how good the food is), we will leave no tip. Rather than insist on a mandatory tip, wait staff could ask for a higher hourly wage, so that tips go back to being what they are, personal rewards for better service.

    • A says:

      Wow yeah and I’d love to get paid for training, oh and I’d love to not have a credit card processing fee taken out of my (tips) that apparently many of you think servers dont deserve because you idiots used your credit card so if you left me 6.00 ends up being 5.65 because u paid w/ your credit card. Yeah, let me ask my supervisors to change the fact the house makes money… oh wait thats why I dont have a job.

  • Billy Williams says:

    So i am supposed to give you money just cause the government decides that your tips need to be taxed? I am very sorry to all you servers who get taxed on your tips cause that’s screwed up, but that isn’t my fault. Why should i have to pay you just cause the government screws you. FORGET-ABOUT-IT! Also,people claim servers make less than minimum wage & that’s why we must tip them but that’s not true. If you don’t get what the minimum wage is in your state in wage+tips, the restaurant MUST make up for that. So servers are making at least minimum wage & lots of people get minimum wage & don’t work at jobs that society deemed tip worthy. So why should a waitress be any different?

  • Rob says:

    I found this debate on tipping fascinating, as tipping is not customary where I come from.

    It is a shame that something that should really be a bonus for outstanding server seems to be expected.

    • Crystal says:

      It is expected as the government has made it possible to pay less then the absolute minimum required to food service industry workers

  • Julie says:

    Anyone in retail provides service, we don’t tip them. I am happy to tip well on fantastic restaurant/bar service but am unhappy it is expected.

  • monica says:

    Where did you get the idea that in Canada we tip 10%? That is so bizarre. I live in Canada and 15% is the standard MINIMUM. (18% is average) 10% is considered slightly rude and is given when service isn’t that great.

    • Melissa W. says:

      I always tip about 10% when doing sit-down as a standard and will tip up to 15%, if I receive really good service.

  • Mohammed Babaki says:

    Every Job I have ever have has been in the food service industry. During high school I worked as a grunt in a bagel bakery and eventually worked my way up to baker. After high school I was a line cook at Legal Seafood and worked in a Deli before becoming a MIT and eventually GM at Domino’s Pizza Team Washington by the time I was 19 years old. I decided at 21 I wanted to live life a little more freely and delivered pizzas at Papa Johns before I got my first “front of the house” job at Rock Bottom Brewery. During my 6 years at Rock Bottom I worked my way from server to barback and eventually bartender. In between I worked every job in the restaurant from host, outside expo and even managed shifts. I am now 29 and have currently been working at a Jose Andres Restaurant in Washington D.C. for 1 year

    I love food and people. While on some occasions customers can be difficult, more times than not guest are looking to have a good time and are usually understanding. I have always gone into each guest experience with an open mind expecting the best out of all people whether I was preparing a bagel with cream cheese, taking a pizza order or complaint over the phone, sprinting up the walkway with a pizza to someone’s door, greeting guest, slinging drinks, comping 3 fillets off for guests dressed in dallas cowboys attire because the chef accidently made them NY strips (ggggggggrrrrrrrrrrr I hate cowgirls fans lol) while I was the manager on duty or when I greet a table and explain the concept of small plates.

    However, I know that not everyone in this industry is as upbeat and positive as I am. Many servers do complain and don’t enjoy their jobs. Despite this, I maintain the position that most of them do try their best. Being a server is not “rocket science” but it does require a great deal of concentration and attention to detail.

    The job demand for servers versus the supply of our population that actually has the right attitude and patience to deal with the stresses of the job is unbalanced out of favor of the demand. This is the reason why servers only get paid such a small hourly wage and are dependent on tips. The idea of your attitude and effort being able to influence your income on a daily basis is the “equalizer” for people that aren’t naturally as happy go lucky as I am 🙂 The “tip” is what forces them to comply with the standard of service. If the tip was done away with and servers were paid strictly on an hourly wage, the prices on menu’s would go up so that restaurants would still be able to keep their labor cost percentage the same. You would still end up paying the tip one way or another but your service would most likely suffer. I constantly go out of my way (when I have the time) to do extra little things to make the guest happy. Such as last night I brought a little plastic soup togo container with water in it outside to a guest sitting on our patio with their little dog. I didn’t have to do this, nor did the guest ask for it but I know thats how you make people happy and get better tips. Think about how little time many people in offices actually “work” while they are on the clock.(BTW I worked 2 jobs at the same time for about a year and my other job happened to be at an accounting firm where I was a courier who also spent time daily in giant US federal government office buildings) They are less motivated because they know they are going to get the same paycheck as long as they reach their work quota. Why would you work harder if you knew you would get the same pay? The restaurant industry structure is not going to change.

    Now as far as tip percentage is concerned, it varies based on cost of living. I am privileged to work in our nations capital where people have lots of money to spend and I usually never make less than 20% and quite often make 25% Good “honest” bartenders who don’t give the house away usually make at least 30%

    18% 20% is about the standard, no need to break out a calculator to add, if you have a $95 check leave $18 or $20 and the same on a $107 check rounding is cool 🙂

    While I typically think I provide a service worth around 20% I am not offended by a 15% tip. I would like to have a bigger tip, but as long as the guest are nice, pleasant and don’t make me go completely out of my way with off the wall request I am perfectly fine with getting a few 15% tips here and there.

    If You are blown away by the service given and/or your server is able to suggest dishes that you might not have thought of to try on your own truly impacting your dinner and turning it into an “experience” a big 25% or 30% tip will truly make your servers day. But once again 20% is still always an excellent tip and it is understood that not everyone has extra money to throw around by way of the tip 🙂

    There are some rare occasions where it’s obvious a server doesn’t care and perhaps is rude and unapologetic where a “stiff” may be acceptable. But typically 15% should be the lowest you go. I know sometimes it can be frustrating when the timing of your meal is poor, and your server forgets something that you ask for. Please know and understand that more times than not, this is not intentional and sometimes we have a bad day where we never can find a good rhythm. Restaurant work is not always easy and at the end of the night as much as 25% of the tips we make go runners, bussers and bartenders. After that we still have to claim a minimum of 10% of our sales as tips or the IRS will audit us.

    I am happy and privileged to have never graduated from high school (got my GED at 21) and have earned an average annual salary of over 50K my entire adult life. I currently make about 50K a year to be around and learn from some of the best food and best people in the world. I love being able to share this experience with our guest and will continue to do so. 🙂


  • Anya says:

    In Nevada and Hawaii, most waiters don’t deserve tips. They earn min. wage and up by law, and as a BOH worker who earned the SAME WAGES as waiters AND delivery drivers (who are generously compensated by gas) when they get a tip, its actually a tip. As a BOH worker all the waiters and drivers are the biggest jerks (they are nice to me, but hate ALL customers who arent their friends or family).

    Left a $3 tip on a $20 order? THEY HATE YOU.
    Left a $50 tip on a $500 order? THEY HATE YOU.
    Left a $1 tip for a can of soda? THEY HATE YOU.
    Left a $50 order on a $10 pizza? THEY HATE YOU.

    They all consistently talk crap because making $200 is not enough. Admittedly I worked with drug addicts relying on tips for their fix, lol. I just think they are spoiled. They constantly ask me “How are you a manager making shit wages as a slave while we make like 5x more money doing less?” No waiter actually appreciates their tips to be honest. It takes a type of person who loves people to deserve tips. Most of the people I worked with hate people, and BRAG about all their money so they can buy drugs or a nice car. You would have to tip 30% or more for them to not talk crap about you behind the scenes. Sure, they smile to your face but I hear waiters and drivers saying how they wih people deserve die more than not. If they generally hate customers, and you can truly tell at the dining table, then they dont deserve tips.

  • Cakesinthe city says:

    Very well said JSD. I have been a hostess, server, and bartender and it is not easy. I left the industry to pursue office jobs, but guess what I’m going back to serving/bartending because it works well with my school schedule (i’m finally going to finish college!) AND because the pay IS decent, if I work hard enough and smile through the BS. I would not be doing it for $2 an hour though but if there aren’t many options there’s no telling what any of us might do.

  • Jsd says:

    I am a bartender at a higher end restaurant and make well over 50k a year. Started off in the kitchen when I was 19 worked my way all around the restaurant. 10 yrs I have been working in the industry. Now, not everyone can do the job. The turn over rate at most places are very high cause it is not a easy job. With how the economy has been we have had many people with College degrees and Phd’s come in and apply and work and I am sorry, how these people got degrees and Phd’s kinda of makes me scared of our schools. It seriously is one of the funniest things watching some of them train. I have no degree, I have bought a house off bartending before I was 25 and looking to buy another. Yes the money and tips are good, does that mean you shouldn’t tip me? Well if you want a drink in my bar you will cause either I won’t serve you or you going to wait a long time to get your drink. The people who don’t tip I could care less bout, what are you going to do not come back? Good. So go ahead and don’t tip. Every place has plenty of regulars that do tip well. Everyone who is crying why should I tip it’s not fair blah blah blah. It’s life, part of social standards get used to it. It’s not fair someone gets paid 1.5 million a year to through a baseball or football etc. But they do… For the people that complain that they are so much smarter than waitstaff and bartenders and that they shouldn’t make more money than most people with degrees… well than who is really the dumb ones? I make more than my sibling who does have a degree and Phd… fair? No. But what is? I have to deal with drunk assholes all night long and everyone that walks in thinks their someone special, but that comes with the job and that is what I get paid to deal with. If you don’t want to tip don’t go out, you are paying for social atmosphere. Drink at home and be lonely depressed individuals. If you don’t want to tip for food go to fast food where there is little to no interaction with people. Every job has it’s challenges that no one see’s and unless you have done it you would never know. So don’t hate on servers and bartenders getting tips and make more money than what you may think they should make. The simple solution, don’t go out!!!

  • Thursdayzhero says:

    I was a fine dining server in Houston for several years before joining the Army. I joined out of family tradition, not because I had to. I was making 80k a year for three years. I never went to college, nor did I expect to. I dont really need to either, my experience in the industry speaks for itself. I earn 25-30% on average, because I am the best damn server I know! (not really, confidence is key)
    That being said, I agree with both sides to some degree. Just like in politics, neither side is entirely right or wrong.
    To the consumer- when you go out to a restaurant, you expect some sort of an experience. Be it excessive, fast, friendly, lavish or quiet. Your server SHOULD be able to accomodate you. The culture of the place is usually quite obvious(fine dining, cheap seafood, classic italian, etc) You as the consumer play a role in the whole game as a means of quality control. You tell the owner how your visit was by your attitude. You are probably unaware of this. Thats why in nicer places a manager almost always comes to your table, not because you look interesting, or he wants to fill his evening with idle chatter, but because he HAS to. More than likely he hates you. He is recieving info from you on your experience, so he can report to the owner on how his business is doing. Or to defuse a sh@tty situation and offer you something in exchange for a bad experience. You dont technically HAVE to tip your server, but it has become CULTURE in our country to do so. Compare service expectations to Asia, I lived in Korea for two years, and let me tell you about the service there. Nonexistant. But they dont tip in that culture, its actually an insult to your server. If you dont like the American Capitalist Tipping Machine, go to Taco Bell. But if you do choose to grace us with your business, we will act honored to serve you. I wont, Im an a55hole, and my customers love my honesty. And I bank like you jerkoffs who went to college wish you could. By the way I only work five shifts a week.
    Servers- Stop complaining! One of the strongest stereotypes of servers is that the complain, roll their eyes, and generally exhibit disdain towards their customers. Grow up! Act like you like them, get paid, and go spend your money. If you like what you do, own it. Become the best damnserver you can, learn from the old school cats that have been around longer. If your good enough take your game to the majors, try always to improve. If your content with crap, thats all you will be. Aspire to be the best, and you will be. Servers who complain about bad tippers usually bring it upon themselves. But there are people out there who generally dont care, and dont tip. IE Canadians, Gypsies, and Geriatrics. If you give these people a little more attention, and flash a smile, or flurt a little, they will tip. Sometimes more generous than others. Treat every table like allstars and you cant go wrong.
    Sorry to be long winded and unorganized, I smoke weed to level my head.

  • Jonathan says:

    I read every comment carefully and have a few things to say:

    I feel I have a unique vantage point on this situation as I have worked in the food service industry from the age of 15 – 23. I’ve done all FOH duties – busser, barback, server, manager. I’ve worked in fine dining, seafood restaurants, steak houses, casino restaurants, and counter jobs. Some were great and some not so great.

    It was actually working a counter job that a corporate, office job fell into my lap. I had developed a rapport with some office workers and their company was growing so one day they said to me, “Want to work with us?” So I did and spent the next ten years of my life (currently 33) climbing the corporate ladder. I began as a temp, worked in the service center, became office manager and eventually reached program manager status.

    Then, last September, I was unceremoniously let go. The company was bought and resold and restructured. As a result, my service (and my pay) were no longer necessary – in fact, three people have been brought in to do my job…but they’re all coordinates and associates who make far less than I so the company was able to save money in order to woo a high paid executive.

    So…I re-evaluated my life and decided to return to school to finish my Bachelor’s.
    I left college unfinished due to the unexpected birth of my son (ten years ago) and the corporate job offered so much promise and advancement (and pay) that I was satisfied with status quo.

    Now I’ve been fortunate enough to return to the food service sector as it’s flexibility allows me to take the classes necessary to reach my degree. And…I’m pretty excited about it. It wasn’t easy. The job market is depressing and having been out of the service industry for ten years was difficult to explain, especially when I would show up with my resume and just place it on a stack on the bar.

    So I’d like to say, “Please don’t generalize.” Or better yet, “Don’t assume anything.” We all know what happens when you assume. You never know what someone’s going through so if you make the choice to go out to eat and expect service, you should also expect to tip. Yes, I get it, other people work jobs where they don’t receive tips but isn’t it all relative? From where does this anger arise? Jealousy? Seriously, do yourself a favor and don’t walk around with a chip on your shoulder. The weight of negativity isn’t worth it.

    I mean, I’m a consumer, too. When I go out to eat, I love interacting with my server. I use them, too, and I pay attention to their service. If it’s spot on, they get my money. If not, not so much. It keeps them honest. But to stiff them is simply wrong. What is it your conscience says when you leave, knowing you stiffed someone? Do you feel good?

  • Darren says:

    And Jane you are one of the ignorant people I’m talking about. I make 2.33 an hour. I also have to pay 3% of my sales to the bus boys and hosts. So if you don’t tip I actually pay to serve you. Tell me would you work at your job if you had to pay to do what ever you do? I don’t think so. Take what you said and get a grip, because you clearly know nothing and shouldn’t even be commenting on this blog. Have a great day.

    • Ana says:


      To answer your question directly, NO I would not keep any job where my day or week could be screwed up so badly by the rotten attitudes of a few customers who were having a bad day and took it out on my tip.

      However for as long as I put up with it I would keep my mouth shut, because:

      First, no one forces me to do any job, I can always tell them take this job and ……, (well you know the rest), the day I can find another job that thinks I’m worth more money.

      Second, all I have to do is open my eyes to see there are lots of people who wish they could take my job away from me, and would be happy with what I get paid.

      Third, if I got fed up and decided to move on I would check out the job market carefully just to make sure that I wasn’t actually ending up with PRETTY DAMN GOOD PAY for my time. I would hate to quit a job that pays ok, only to find out no one is willing to pay me more.

      In many other occupations and life in general, shi_ happens, and you need to get use to accepting the bad as just part of life. If you think you’re worth far more than what you get, look around and get another job when you can, but don’t waste your time moaning about how little you make, and do nothing about it.

      Maybe you’ll discover that waiting tables isn’t the worst thing in the world even if many of the people don’t show their appreciation like you think they should.

  • Darren says:

    To all of you who said being a server is unskilled, easy, and we always make $17 an hour, don’t you think everyone would become a server then? Its not always like that. We have to deal with rude people every single day. Most of you ignorant people usually complain about your food to get it free anyway. I have been a server for 3 years and I’ve never gotten a guest complaint. So i don’t really think my service is bad enough to not get tipped but it still happens. Everyone is expecting everything for nothing. I agree if you have a horrible server then tip them accordingly, but if you have a great server then take care of them like they just took care of you. Servers don’t always make great money either. Monday – Thursday its not very busy and sometimes you walk out with $20. Servers usually don’t get breaks because you’re sitting in their table do you think it’d be okay if I go sit down for fifteen minutes and eat something while I’m serving you? I don’t think you’d appreciate that. Servers live off of tips and usually are going to school. (I’m going to school for dental) And the reason most people become servers is because you make the money faster and the hours work well with going to school. Here’s a tips guide and learn how to use it if you go out to eat. Otherwise go to non tip restaurants Aka Fast food (20% Best) (18% Great) (15% Good) (10% Fair) and if they are a horrible server then tip under that. To all you people who think serving is so easy then get a serving job and then re-read what you wrote I guarantee you will change your mind. To all the other servers out there keep up the good work and make the money you deserve.

  • Jane says:

    I never tip. I think the price should be incorporated into the bill. I usually go to a restaurant where the prices are high anyway — and know the restaurant is making a huge profit off my meal. I don’t think it makes sense for me to tip on top of that.

    I think it’s demeaning to work for a tip. Do your job well, efficiently, courteously, etc. If you receive a tip, be grateful. If not, c’est la vie. I expect some people tip more than they need do, and others, like me, don’t tip at all.

    I don’t have any sympathy for whiny waiters. As someone else here said, if you dont like the pay structure, get another job. A lot of people work for the same, if not, less. Any many more volunteer their time and don’t receive ANY compensation for it. Many people make a very good living off of tipping.

    I don’t believe in the whole tipping structure and never tip. Trying to engage in emotional blackmail by being chatty and personal to drum up tips is just obnoxious.

    • chal says:

      You go to restaurants where the prices are high and don’t tip at all? EVER? How trashy. If you want to be trendy, do what is socially accepted. I serve, AND volunteer. I don’t get paid overtime. I do schedules from home off the clock. It’s only demeaning to work for tips when you do not receive them after working your ass off for someone, being treated like crap and looked down on, and then not being thanked in anyway. I am grateful for tips, but it wrecks me when I don’t receive them because I feel like I unknowingly wronged my guest. If it is their own personal beliefs, doesn’t matter, still is going to give me an early heartattack.

    • kay says:

      While I would never not tip at high-end restaurants, your perspective on tipping is something to which I subscribe. Denigrating someone who disagrees with your opinion is disgraceful and immature at best. That is why I respectfully disagree with your thoughts about not tipping period. I belicve that a person should tip, but that it is at the discretion of the customer. While adding an automatic gratuity into the bill would be a nice thing for servers, staff members, and customers , food would become more expensive and service would go down a bit. Servers would know that they would be guaranteed a 20% tip regardless of service rendered instead of having to provide good service and hope to get a decent tip. I have read that servers and other restaurant staff members have to be given minimum wage if their tips do not give them that minimum wage. I suppose if they do an exceptional job, anything that they earn, above minimum wage, is extra money for them. Not too bad to have extra disposable income for simply doing their job well.

  • James W says:

    Honestly I despise tipping, and trust me I don’t if I don’t have to. I also ignore tip jars entirely. Am I cheap? Yep but that’s money in my pocket.

    • Brenda says:

      I wish I was your server just to give you the crappy service you deserve. You are most likely the person who complains about everything, and treat people like they are under you. What a joke.

      • Paul says:

        Reality is, in the States, a LOT of the servers DO give CRAPPY service as the NORM, and still EXPECT to get a tip. Now THAT’S a joke.

  • Dynamic Mike says:

    I’m gonna keep it sweet… I’m a college graduate who is one of the most talented in my class, yet can’t get a job in the over flooded industry I majored in. There were plenty of jobs when I went in. There are no jobs now that I’m out. As a result, I am a Pizza Delivery man with a $100,000 student loan to pay off. I see this all the time with me and my comrades up front waiting on tables. The reason you’re supposed to tip is because often times when we do outstanding service (i.e. getting your food to you from the kitchen piping hot with all your drinks and sauces, fetching you napkins, cleaning your table spills, all with a smile and positive attitude while calling you sir or ma’am) for you the customer just to make you enjoy your meal and have to deal with multiple tables/houses, OFTEN TIMES WE DON’T GET TIPPED AT ALL. Period.

    The reason you tip a waiter/waitress/driver is that often times they might have given great service to the 5 or 10 tables/houses before you and because the kitchen or dispatcher messed up an order they bring you the wrong stuff. It is not the fault of the waiter/waitress/driver. Don’t take it out on them. We work hard. Some people we provide great service to and get nothing in return. If the service was bad you leave a small tip to offset the no tips for tables that person did do a good job for.

    I think the best solution that isn’t universally put into practice, but should be, is restaurants should automatically add the tip into the customer’s bill. If it’s too much for them to pay, they’re cheap asses probably weren’t going to tip anyways so fuck em, we don’t need their business. They can stay home and cook. But they won’t because they’re too lazy, which is why they’re out in the first place.

    If the standard procedure is outdated, we need to change the standard. Understand people make systems, systems don’t make us. Make the system work for you or get rid of it. It’s impossible for a fixed system to contain something alive because it lacks the flexibility to adapt. We are alive. If capitalism has turned people emotionally numb, socially ignorant, or down right greedy/cheap, we need to TAKE what’s properly owed.

    Simple: If a customer dines in or orders delivery, they should be forced to pay for the extra service of dining in or getting food rushed to them by car.

    What should be done: Restaurants SHOULD tack the tip % onto the bill. Every customer pays equal %. Wait staff/Drivers get paid fairly. Customers who dine in/order delivery get greeted and properly taken care of because their Driver/Waitress is happy due to being fairly paid. Less customer complaints equates happier customers which will boost business. Everybody wins.

    • Ana says:

      Beware of what you ask for, you may get what you asked for but not what you want.

      Most waiters believe their worth well over $20 per hour, and the truth is that if the restarant owners paid them right up front and there were no tips, lots would fight to get a job serving that pays far less. I be lots would be working or closer to $15 an hour, and couldn’t get more as long as college students were around who were willing to do the job for less.

      If your system came true do you think restaurant owners wouldn’t try to pay you as little as possible so they could use the money they saved to undercut their compeition’s prices, get more customers, and put more money in their own pocket?

      I believe your average customer is much more inclinded to be genererous to you than your employeer ever would be. They want and will hire the person will do your job for as little as possible and are not in business to make you rich.

      I just don’t think you’d like the result.

  • Falco says:

    I only tip if the service is good. I tend to tip waitresses better than waiters. I prefer a female with large breasts to serve me. A lot of the time when I go out on dates I have to conceal my rage when the girl I’m with orders ice tea, they should drink ice water like me. Keep costs down. More money I can spend on better things like drugs and alcohol. If the service is really bad I rub my genitals and anus all over some change and leave it on the table as their tiip. Then I leave a note on their car stating where the change in their pockets they earned that night has been, lol. Delightful indeed. I prefer to not tip, and I don’t go back to the same place if I stiff someone. I’ve actually just flat out walked out if the service was horrible. I’m a student and don’t work, so I need the money for than the waiters anyways. I’ll use it on better things so my date and I can have a good time. 😀

  • Tyro Prate says:

    I consider myself a big tipper. I generally tip around 25-30% and there are a few reasons why, none of which are that I want to feel like a big shot.

    First, I think almost everyone is underpaid. Tipping is one of the rare instances in which I can directly influence what someone makes. If I could pay a little more for groceries so the cashier could make more, I would. But it doesn’t work that way.

    Second, I’m a vegetarian. As such, my meals tend to be cheaper than other peoples’. I’ve never understood why tipping should be based on a percentage of the bill. I don’t know what the alternative would be, but it takes the same amount of work to bring me a plate with just pasta on it as it does to bring someone a plate with a filet mignon on it. So why should the waiter get 15% of $15 for bringing me a plate, and 15% of $40 for bringing meat-eater a plate?

    • Ana says:

      I quite agree about the percentage, service is service whether it’s a $4 burger or a $40 steak.

      Since I travel a lot I also see trimendous inequities between locations. A $20 meal in many parts of Texas is a real feast, but the same $20 gets you almost nothing in many parts of LA.

      Go to the midwest and if you tip more than pocket change watresses will almost fight over you next time you come in, but the same tip would be an insult in any similar place in LA.

      Most of the waiters and waitresses I see in LA are students, and that’s their way of making money while their in school. If they could make $50K a year doing it, they wouldn’t need to stay in school.

      Waiters who pretend your a jerk if you don’t pay them a fortune are just dreaming out loud. It’s not a job that requires a 4 yr degree, and it’s not any tougher than many other jobs that never pay that much either.

  • Tim says:

    There is one thing that constantly bugs me and that is when I get a tip below 15% without a reason. When I go out and receive sub-par service, I may not leave 15% but I will write on the check why I did so. This feedback is necessary so that server can change for the better. Just as in every other job, you will get a reason for why you didn’t get a bonus etc. And if it is because you are cheap, just write “sorry but I can’t afford a pot to piss in and I’m still going out to eat”, I’ll understand and cut you a break but I might use my knowledge gained while earning my Finance degree to tell you that you should just eat at home next time if you can’t afford to pay for the service.

  • Cornflower says:

    What do Canadians and canoes have in common? (They don’t tip).

    This was the stereotype when I was growing up, and a lot of us still don’t tip. I eventually learned to do so as an adult, and in the larger cities, 15% is bare minimum for many.

    My son (who works in a bar) tells me that he thinks waiters, etc., always tip well, because it is built into the economy–poor wages, so the tips really count. I never tip below 15%, but will sometimes write a note with the tip, praising, or soft-pedaling problems (I try to never blame anyone, just report what didn’t go right–waiters, etc., have enough ugly customers to deal with).

    The one tip in recent years I’ve added is to give a second tip on special occasions (birthdays, US Thanksgiving last week) to the kitchen staff. Theya re stuck back there, especially on holidays, doing extra work, so I figure it si probably a very small gesture on my part, but they absolutely deserve it.

    • Erin says:

      While I do agree with servers deserving their tips. But there are situations like when a receptionist gave me attitude because one of my companions forgot to tip. The person was distracted and did not do it on purpose and the receptionist’s reaction was very uncalled for.

      The worst part was, when my companions heard her, because she was being loud and I happened to be the last one paying. Everyone apologized and gave extra tip in order to make up for it. The receptionist simply looked and watched us leave afterwards. She didn’t apologize for being rude, didn’t thank us for coming nor did she see us out.

      Even if the meal was delicious and the service was adequate, it made me want to retract my own tip. Simply because the receptionist gave me a bad time for a misunderstanding which we tried to make up for.

      Obviously, I don’t intend on going there again.

  • Blue Spyder says:

    It depends on the service given by the wait staff, and to be honest, I’m running into some rude people lately. I try tipping at least 15% for great service, if the place was packed and you still gave good service 25%. However, just downright horrible service forget a tip, especially if the place is empty and you’d rather go hang outside smoking all night…

    • server says:

      15% for GREAT service!?! Stay out of my restaurant please. 15% is considered standard in most places, it should be increased for exceptional service! Otherwise there would be no motivation to do better.

  • Christine says:

    This is waht I think….When you come into a restaurant the clock will start running on the meter, whether you are seated or not. Oh yea you have to fend for yourself finding a clean table. We’ll charge you rent for the space you are sitting or standing in, electric for the cost of preparing your food, you can have your own “slaves” to serve and cook for you (you just have to pay them minimum wage) you have to rent the silverware, plates, drink glasses and cloth napkins (include cleaning charge if you dont return the items cleaned). Then we will sell you the food at 30% above what we paid for it unless of course you want to stay home…
    People who don’t want to pay for service then don’t go somewhere that you have to pay for it. The custom is as old as prostitution…you want to be served you gotta pay. Nothing in life is free

    • tony says:

      Christine, listen to yourself…we will charge you rent for space you are sitting in…the electric cost….You are talking like YOU pay the operating bills for the restaurant owner and that you carry all the risk. All you need to do is take the order, deliver the order, fill drink, present check, smile, then do you side duties. Do that and you will get your %18 even though I know that you believe you should be getting 25% tip on every check just for showing up. I cannot stand working with people like you.

  • Brad says:

    Hit it on the head, except I’ll drop %15 for bad service and won’t go back. I was going to post but you said it all. And Thumbellina, you’re a moron.

  • Thumbellina says:

    Wages need to be regulated once and for all in all jobs.
    If you can’t afford paying your staff decently, then don’t have your own business, it’s as simple as that.
    It’s ludicrous to expect people to give a 20% tip – it’s one fifth of the meal.
    Very few people can afford this and saying that people should not go out if they can’t give a huge tip is basically being elitist and despicable.
    If people can afford to give something, then fair enough, but that should be on top of a stable salary, not something that waiters feel their lives depend on.
    The government needs to put pressure on business owners – no more stupidly paid work.
    Work is neither begging nor charity.

    • Lauren says:


      Did you read any of the other comments before you posted? Or do you just not understand what would happen if restaurants paid servers the state mandated minimum wage?

      I am a server in Wisconsin. Here the server minimum wage is $2.33 per hour. The regular minimum wage is $7.55 per hour. That means my co-workers and I would get a raise of $5.22 per hour. The restaurant I work at employs about 35 servers. Let’s say each employee averages 30 hours per week, which is probably low because most work full time. That means the company needs to spend roughly $5,481 extra a week (increase of $5.22/hour x 35 employees x 30 hours/week) to pay its staff.

      In a business that already sees very little profit, where do you think that $5,000 and change will come from? YOU!

      With the system being the way it is you have the opportunity to decide how much to tip. I am a human being, not a machine. I understand that I have my “off” days and I do make mistakes. I expect my tips to reflect that! If I forget to bring you a refill or make you wait to run your credit card, you have every right to lower my tip accordingly. However, people in restaurants make their living off of tips, don’t forget that! Leaving no tip at all is absolutely unacceptable.

      As someone mentioned early, do you expect to get docked pay for every mistake you make? I doubt it.

      On a final note, servers never forget the great guests, and we tell our co-workers. The people who go out of their way to be friendly and courteous or those who leave an extra generous tip can expect to get extra special service the next time around. That also means we don’t forget the really bad ones. So next time you’re rude to your server, or leave a minimal/no tip, you can expect to get mediocre or bad service the next time around. Like I said we tell our co-workers!

      • tony says:

        You are the first sensible server to write on this thread.

      • kay says:

        Doesn’t your manager have to pay you minimum wage when your salary does not come out to be minimum wage? So in that case, what is your complaint? I’ve been to a lot of restaurants where the prices go up every few months, the portion sizes are smaller, or the quality of the food has lowered. Are you servers receiving raises every few months and this is the reason why all of these things have occurred? I must say, I was completely unaware that you all have to share a portion of your tips with other staff members. While I feel sorry that you are paid such low wages and you have to share your tips with others, my feelings remain that tipping is at my discretion and that you should be thankful for any amount of tip. That could be the only amount of money that someone could afford to leave. If it were not for the customer, you all would not have a job. So please don’t tell us to eat elsewhere.

        • Paul says:

          Kay, you are right. Federal law mandates that if a worker earns less than the Federal minimum that the employer must make up the difference.

    • Paul says:

      Thumbellina, agree 100%

  • Cristian says:

    Let me tell you sonething about tip . In some restaurants like the one I am working, from 17% only 8% cames in my pocket , bacause is a shering sistem . and most of the tips money is going to Manager ( can you imagin?)
    Manager paint is 1.66
    Asistent manager 1.33
    Server 1.0
    Soo if I make on one night $100 my manager is making $166+ his salary@1000/week)
    In my opinion customers think 17% is ok money for a server but what they dont know is we have to share with soo many poaple theat 17 % .(kitcken 1%, Runner 1.0, Bartender 0.5 ; Manager 1.66′ Asistent Manager 1.33. Soo in the end half is gaing out and half in my pocket Many poaple @90% dont live the extra tip evan the service is exelent, bacause they see is included the tip . Soo some servers dont give to the costomer best service bacause anyway they get the same money . I give you one example : in some nights i can make $400 a night in tips some nights 200 but in the end of the week end up with $130/night wich is not theat great comparing with amount of work . 30-50 covers /night ( normal is 18-25covers /server/night. Soo dont be shame to tip the servers if you have a great time and great service bacause make big diference when you tip extra .

    • tony says:

      Why are you complaining? What job can you get other than serving with your spelling? Be happy with what you got.

      • WaitressInTraining says:

        How do you know this isn’t someone who just doesn’t type well?
        Just in case you don’t realize everyone has a job to do. Whether they are cleaning bathrooms, gardening, or taking your order if someone wasn’t there to do it, you would miss out on the experience. I’m not going to be a server all my life. I’m trying to go to school to a be a pharmacist. I’m 16 and a junior in high school. I don’t even have a high school diploma. I’m responsible for my expenses from my birth control to everything to do with my car to my clothes for work, school, and other. Plus my necessary feminine needs and the like.
        Birth Control: 8 dollars
        Insurance: 175 a month
        Pads, Tampons, etc: 4 to 8 dollars a box
        Gas: 3.70 a gallon
        Clothes: 200-300 dollars for clothes and shoes (this is seasonal at most.)
        Hair product: 6-8 dollars a bottle.
        Hair cut: 20
        Color: 40
        Pedicure: 20
        I’m making minimum wage until I get my own tables and I do not get tips until then.
        After that I have all those expenses to take care of on my own and more with school fees and books for my college classes in the afternoon. It is expensive. I work hard now to make people like me so they will recognize me and tip me better because 2.13 an hour does not go far.
        What about the older women though. With kids and bills making 2.13 an hour. How do you know what they have to pay for?
        Not tipping might equal someone’s child going hungry.
        Someone not making enough to pay for classes or books or power. Thank your waitresses by tipping. They have to put up with your bullshit with a smile.

      • Terri says:

        Tony, you are rude! Get off your high horse!

        • Paul says:

          I agree with Tony… WaitressInTraining tried to justify it by saying maybe he doesn’t type well. No, someone who doesn’t type well doesn’t type words with letters nowhere near what the word is supposed to have. This isn’t mis-typing… this is something altogether different.

          Examples: Manager paint… WTF? bacause instead of because, shering sistem instead of sharing system, Asistent Manager instead of Assistant Manager… imagin instead of imagine (more than once), gaing instead of going, costomer instead of customer, not to mention soo so many times.

          Either the American education system has failed this boy or he has some serious issues in learning from a structured curriculum. Which doesn’t necessarily make him stupid (if it did he’d probably not keep his job right?) but would hold him back from many a job.

  • Ryan says:

    I’ve been a server for years working at an upscale, world famous pizza place in chicago. I’ve read a few comments in here that made me pretty mad. Servers don’t always deserve tips, true. Even as a server, I’ve gone to restaurants and left below 10% tips. But if a server does everything they’re supposed to I’ll usually leave 30-40% just for good karma.

    For the people that think serving is easy and non deserving of a tip, let me tell you a little about what I do. For every table, I greet/take drink orders, bring the drink/take food order, bring the salads/appetizers, bring the food, bring the check, take the check, then drop off the check a final time. All of this while getting refills and taking dirty plates off the table. That doesn’t seem so bad though since it’s spread out of about 30-40 minutes. But what’s hard is when you times that by 6-10. You literally have to run to be able to do everything fast enough and give adequate service. Someone think this is easy? You’re wrong.

    Anything less than 20% to me is insulting. I’m extremely friendly and almost always go above and beyond what is required of me.

    • alien says:

      i dont mean to fight or make you angry… but your worst enemy is you… if you get mad because someone tips you below 20% (that someone probably tipped you out of kindness) you sir are never going to get peace of mind.. no matter what kind of money you earn

    • Melissa W. says:

      Sorry, but if 10% is all I can afford to tip, that is what you are going to get. And you are the reason that people don’t tip more.

  • valkur says:

    For me the important subject is the quality of the food in a restaurant. I go out to eat a great quality meal, not for the service. I always leave tip for the waitperson, what is almost always 15%. There was twice when I didn’t leave tip at all because I felt I was misguided (once I was wrong as I realized it later). Sometimes I leave 20%+ when they leave me alone, they are short, sweet and polite, if I don’t get the chatty salesperson speech, and if I am not interrupted when I talk with my companion.

    But I have to admit that it is very hard for me to leave a tip when the food sucks. Unfortunately lately it happens more often, probably because restaurants have to cut corners. But when I leave hungry because the food quality is just simply substandard then I really feel cheated out of my money even if it is the tip. Because of the food quality, the server’s work rendered valueless for me by the kitchen/management/whoever. Yes it is not the waitperson’s fault but it is not mine either. In my opinion in this case s(he) should get the proper gratitude amount from that person who messed up the food but not from me.

    • Anonymous says:

      I understand your position however your reaction to it is just not logical. If your food is substandard then do what many people said before and tell a member of management or very often even the server if you make the mistake known they have the opportunity to either fix it or discount it or supply some sort of free beverage or dessert do not punish the server without affording them the opportunity to rectify your issues.

  • Jaime says:

    Yes, Servers always deserve a tip. I have had some pretty bad experiences, myself, but if it’s that bad, say something. Talk to the manager. Maybe he/she just got bitched out, found out their kid was sick, was really busy at that specific moment, etc. Most servers do not intentionally give bad service – either they’re ignorant (in which case it needs to be addressed) or there was something else going on. Servers generally have to tip out someone – bussers, bartenders, expos, food runners…not tipping them means they may actually have to PAY to wait on you.

  • FedUp says:

    The waitress gets TAXED on her tips whether or not she makes them. Maybe she should get to choose which taxes she pays if she feels the government didn’t serve her properly, the street lights weren’t fixed, etc. Yes, she can make up to $20 an hour – and get taxed on every penny of it. What? You don’t want our unskilled citizens supporting our government? What kind of society do you want to live in? Communist China? Yeah? You like that better? Pay them pennies? Keep it up. Wake up people.

  • lissajean says:

    We have an 8% tax here in RI for dining out. so I just use that number (whatever it is) and double it. Then thats 16 % every time.

  • ryn says:

    The question I keep in mind with waiters is, ‘do they deserve to be paid today?’ And the answer is almost always yes. If the service is less than stellar, I think through whether it was their fault or not (did the kitchen screw up?) and, even if it was their fault, was it just a bad day? Did they apologize?

    The bottom line is that when I have a bad day at work, or make an honest mistake, I still get paid. And in at least some restaurants/areas, they’re taxed on the assumption that they got 15% in tips whether they actually did or not. Given that, I think I’ve not tipped anything perhaps twice in my life, both times when the service was so bad (i.e. restaurant wasn’t busy, but waiter was goofing off rather than serving me) that I honestly couldn’t see paying for it.

    And since I know some people don’t tip (I can only assume because they have emperor fantasies and like to pretend they have slaves) I generally tip 20%, sometimes more. These people work hard and deserve to be paid, even if they’re having an off day. If they make a point of ignoring me or obviously don’t care, it’s different. But most want to do a good job.

    • Paul says:

      Emperor fantasies? Slaves? No sunshine, for a lot of us tipping is repugnant. The employer should be paying a living wage to his staff. Whether it is a bad night or not. Works in other countries. No reason why it can’t work in the US.

  • Bella says:

    What many people fail to understand is the fact that many times, things that go wrong during your time at a restaurant are often not the fault of your server AT ALL but because of the way the system works and the fact that they are the public face of the restaurant, they are the ones that must smile and apologize and take the heat for it. I have been a professional server for years and although I am human and do certainly have my off days, more often than not, it is a variety of problems that can take place to make someone’s experience not so positive. Perhaps the kitchen forgot to fire the food and it takes forever….whose fault is it? THE SERVER. The drinks were ordered, but the bar is slammed and they take forever. Whose fault is it? THE SERVER. A patron asks a busser for a beer order and they don’t understand, so the beer never gets to the table. Whose fault is it? THE SERVER. The server orders the turkey sandwich with no avocado, but it gets made with avocado….whose fault is it? THE SERVER. Let me tell you….I could go on and on but you get the point. What I am trying to say, is to have a heart, people. We work in an industry rife with craziness both from the people we wait on to the people we work with and we are under CONSTANT scrutiny from people who don’t really know how it works. I certainly understand frustration at sub par service, but let’s be honest…’s a tough job with many many many intricacies and before some a-hole says it…no, it’s not rocket science, but a truly good server (i.e. one that can apologize for mistakes both their own and NOT) is tough to find. So, when you experience one…..give them a good tip. And say thank you and please. It’s all we ask for.

  • uuuu says:

    and i must comment on unskilled employment, most servers are not only going to college to better their minds and the world they live in, but trying to better your afternoon or evening, by serving you.There is much knowledge of wine and food and culture that a server must know. This is not unskilled employment.

  • uuuu says:

    I have worked in restaurants were a guest actually goes t the extent of tipping the kitchen before hand, now that is thoughtful.

  • Anastasia says:

    I totaly agree people dont know anything about tip system in the restaurant.
    They dont know you have to give away a pretty big part of your tips to other employees in the restaurant. I worked in the restaurant where you tip out almost 6% of your total sale. If you sell 1000 dollars you tip out 60 to the bar, to bussers, to foodrunners. it is a lot. if you consider people dont tip 20% most of the times. The best it is now 15%.So you make 150 the best on your 1000 sale and you give away 60 dollars anyway. No matter what. So people should be more educated about that kind of stuff.Dont blame our server saying she or he doesnt have skills and doesnt deserve 20%. At the restaurant i work now, servers do dishes, do some prep work in the kitchen, and still get paid 2.oo dollars. If it is slow , you have 2-3 tables, you still maker 2.00 dollars. Owner doesnt want to pay to dishwasher 10$ or cook . So we do it all. So Please have more respect to servers and at least treat them nice . Thanks

  • kl_kl says:

    For states that allow low wages for servers, the total compensation is required to meet minimum wage. So servers will make minimum wage even if we don’t tip. Serving may be difficult. But the difficulty is miniscule compared to any skilled job.

    • Christine says:

      you’re an idiot, did you google the spelling of miniscule so you sounded intelligent? You missed the mark.

      • tony says:

        Christine, you are an idiot because they are right. Any dummy can be a server. People have been duped that servers are poor single mother’s who live in a run down studio apartment because they don’t make enough when they are doing just fine. You too have drank the server kool aid.

        • WaitressInTraining says:

          Serving is not on level with let’s say any scientist, but the physical effort far exceeds any skilled job.
          As a waitress, you have to have a great attitude, run your feet numb, carry hundreds of lbs in ice, drink, cups, lids, custard, water, baskets, food, and so much more.

          • Paul says:

            The physical effort far exceeds any skilled job??? Really??? Try the very skilled job of coal mining then and see how tough you are.

        • Crystal says:

          Tony I am a single mother who works 65 hours a week just to make ends meet. (I’m not getting rich doing this but why shouldn’t I?). Servers work extremely hard and deserve everything they make, National Studies show that minimum wage really isn’t enough for anyone to get by on. The corporate restaurant chain I work in forces(or you are fired) us to claim 12%of our sales to the IRS it is company policy. We are also forced to tip out 6% of our sales Even on Dine and Dashes where I may have also been forced to pay the tab. I work 7 days a week with no sick days or 401 K. I have attempted to take classes but can not make enough money to support myself if I do not work constantly (so that means one class a semester). If you have a problem with servers why don’t you just stay home and serve yourself?

          • Paul says:

            Crystal, many more people are choosing to do just that. Stay home and serve themselves. And guess what? Not only is it often a LOT cheaper, it is also generally, a LOT healthier.

            The US isn’t known as the lard country for nothing. When you have in excess of 60% of the population being classified as morbidly obese then you know you have a problem.

            I think you should go have a look at the following web page and look at what the IRS requires, and I’d hazard a guess that your employer is acting illegally.

            Why don’t you “out” the corporate restaurant chain that you work for. Make for an interesting doco for 60 minutes methinks.

  • kl_kl says:

    $2/hr, $1/hr??? Are you kidding?

    In Oregon (and probably many states) servers make minimum wage, which is approaching $9/hr.

    With tips servers make closer to $20/hr. That’s an insane amount of money for unskilled employment.

  • Zach says:

    Ok, I have been waiting tables for around two years now at a mid-range place. What have I noticed about tipping? People do get uncomfortable and feel obligated when they get their bill and realize they just spent 60$ for two people and decide that they will just leave 6$ because hey thats 6$ more than I had before they got there. This is completely untrue. The six dollars gets divided out to my bartender and my bus boy(S) at the end of the night so in actuality they just gave me 5$. Less than 10%. The bottom line is that people can have their bitter opinion about tipping being an unfair practice and go to sub way or mcdonalds where YOU get the food and YOU speak directly to the cashier and YOU get your 3rd or 4th refill of soda and YOU take up your tray to the trash when finished. That is why places are called full service… you are there to be taken care of. If this isn’t provided in a timely fashion by all means do not leave 20%, but be more conscious about what the other side of the table goes through.

    • tony says:

      Boo Hoo Zack, very few people leave 10%. Most leave 20% and you know that to be true so don’t try to make us feel bad for you when you know those type of people are a rare.

      • WaitressInTraining says:

        You are just completely full of it aren’t you. Before I started doing waitressing I left a woman 57 cents for poor service. I’ll never do it again because those servers work and just because they aren’t smiling or your drink got low doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tip. They work hard to keep up and people can run you ragged trying to keep everyone happy.

  • garettowner says:

    i am a server with a degree in buisness and i just got my paycheck for this week it was 57 hours and it was for 52.27 that is what i make with out tips so if you think it is ok to not tip even with good service then stay the f*** home

    • tony says:

      Minimum server wage in FL is almost $4.5 so you should be at almost $200 minus 30% for state, fed, etc and probably got paid closer to $140. Nice try though.

  • helpin says:

    all said and done……restaurants can advertise the price of a meal as $15…
    ….sounds fair enough…………..HOWEVER…………….add tax and tip and your meal is quite a bit more than $15…………..customer beware.

    • Christine says:

      You gotta be kidding me with that remark……customer beware of what? Taxes and tip? Thats a given you fool. Did you have your first dining experience today or were you just born stupid…Do grocery stores include the tax when they advertize the price of steak…

      Everyone beware of the big bad restaurant owners NOT telling you that there will be taxes and a tip is expected.

      • kathyk says:

        hahaha wish I thought of that one

      • Paul says:

        See, this is where we (people outside the US) think the States is dumb. You go to a supermarket. The price of, for example, a steak is say $10. Then there is tax on top… but you probably don’t know how much until you get to the checkout. So, just for arguments sake say the tax is 10%. That makes the steak $11. But, what if you buy laundry powder and it has 15% tax? Gee, doesn’t that start to make it hard to know how much you are running up on your grocery bill? See where this is going?

        In my country there is the same tax rate on everything you buy and it is built into the price that is shown on the label/sticker. So, that steak mentioned before would have a sticker price of $11. Same thing goes with the aforementioned laundry powder… you know how much you are going to be paying for it because the tax is built into the price shown on the label.

        Now, think about your restaurant, if the steak being served up is shown as $18, plus your drinks are $12 and they have 2 different tax rates well doesn’t it become hard to figure out what you are going to pay… but wait… I’m supposed to tip a percentage of my bill, which I don’t know how much it is going to be until I get to the cashier… ooooh, my head hurts. Not to mention my wallet.

        And then to add insult to injury I’m supposed to pay this magical percentage of a tip no matter whether the purchase is $20 or $200… yet, let’s face it, the $200 bill wasn’t 10 times harder or time consuming than the $20 bill was it?

  • Austin says:

    you’ve obviously never waited tables. servers are paid less than $3 an hour in America so there is a difference between the cashier at the book store making min. wage or more for standing in one place for several hours. and no, the service is not included in the price of the food on the menu; also, if employers were responsible for paying the waitstaff a set rate, that would up the cost of operation, therefore making the food more expensive, so that would end up costing the customer more because at least they “willingly” give up the vast fortune of $3 to the ungrateful server who has to pretend to laugh at the “witty” comment or smile until the muscles in there face hurt. even if one does receive poor service, maybe the server is having a bad day and slacking off, causing them to make less money than usual, even though the same situation happens to employees who are paid a set amount or salary.

  • Christina says:

    WOW…. I had no idea that this many people cared(or didn”t) about servers. Jorge, I beg you, come work with me as a server in a fine dining restaurant that I work for in Orlando. You my friend, would not last a day. I have a college education, by the way. I have been in the restaurant world for 15 years; managed most of them, and went back to serving. The bottom line is this; I can not, nor can most people these days, just get another job. If you can not afford to go out to eat, don’t. If you get bad service, do as I do; take the tip and give it to the manager and explain what was wrong with your service. Another thing one should consider: Did YOU have a bad day and maybe were a little abrupt, or inconsiderate with your server. Think about a colleague or customer that YOU have to service or confer with. Is their attitude reflective on the service or attention that you pay to them? Does THEIR attitude reflect the tone of the moment or the passion of your commitment to excellence? These my friends, are simple questions you should ask yourselves before you complain, undertip,insult, or suggest another livelihood to another server. ( yes, server is the PC term) One other thing to consider, is that I am your server, not chef. So when your steak comes out overcooked, guess what…. I didn’t cook it. Talk to a manager to complain about food temperatures, and incorrectly prepared meals, don’t take it out on your server (or their tip) your server is just that, server, not cook or chef. P.S. Servers are HUMANS too. We have bad days at work just like YOU. Usually because of rude and inconsiderate guests that they had to wait on that day.

    • tony says:

      All you do is regurgitate what the guest wants into the computer, bring it out, and fill their beverage. And we both know the reason you went back to serving after being a manager is because you wanted back in on the gravy train. Easy and relatively decent money compared to being the manager who puts up with everybody’s crap and make less than half of what you do!!

      • WaitressInTraining says:

        I call bullshit. Have you ever worked as a server? I really don’t think so. I live in a rural area so maybe that’s why I take so much offense to everything your idiot brain regurgitates onto this poor webpage. Try it then come back and talk about it. It is by no means easy or simple. There is so much more to it then you can imagine. Especially in a rush hour where every table is full. Those girls will run for 5 hours straight, clean before closing, and only take home thirty dollars. That is not a lot by any means.

  • Jorge says:

    The bottom line is this: Most people do tip. Most waitstaff at reasonable to nice restaurants make very good money for the work they do (which is unskilled and air conditioned) because of the tips. If you think you are not getting paid enough because people aren’t tipping, get another job. No one is forcing you to wait tables. You do it because the money is good enough, and you can’t get a better paying job.

    $17 dollars an hour is good money for a high school education, I don’t care how hard the job is. You want something better, become a salesman, go to college, or start at the bottom of some industry and work yourself into management. More money can be had in this world, but not for waiting tables.

    • Zach says:

      a more un thought ignorant response has never been said.

      • Ana says:

        Sorry you feel that $17 an hour is such chicken feed.

        Do you think all the people who make far less doing things like digging ditches, unloading trucks, janitorial and landscaping work just don’t work as hard as you do, or are you just so much better than they are that you deserver more?

      • Natalie says:

        I think Jorge’s response is very well thought out. I completely agree. For the most part, people with higher-paying jobs are being compensated for talent (think athletes or entrepreneurs) or for education. What would be the point of going to 4 years of undergrad and 3 years of graduate school if a server made more than me? I’m giving up my time, 7 years of earnings, and more tuition money than I want to contemplate. Why? To get a better job. If you want to make more, you need to find a different career.

    • tony says:

      Amen brother,
      They do make great money for no education, comfortable, clean and safe work environment. What are they always complaining about?

  • Anonymous says:

    Here are the reasons you should tip:

    1. Your food prices are based on the restaurants ability to pay their Front of House staff with tips. If you dont tip, people wont be servers or the law of servers making under minimum will not happen and you will pay in the end. How would you like to play 18 dollars for your burger that use to cost 8 because the restaurant cant pay all employees state wages without taking it out on someone….you
    2. If you feel like you shouldnt be responsible for tipping someone talk to your congressmen because Im pretty sure he didnt come up with the law and enact all himself.
    3. If you leave no tip because you feel we didnt do an exceptional job does this mean your employer should deduct your pay if you dont do an exceptional job week in and week out. No they would just fire you. Simple solution to all this….tip your server out, if you have a problem speak to a manager express the problem and im sure they will take care of it on the bill. The person will get spoken to, learn their mistakes and either fix them or leave but either way i bet you wont have the same problem again. Why the need to leave nothing?
    4. Last thing imagine you wait on an 8 top and you give them solid service and their bill is 300 dollars and they leave nothing. That solid service from that server will now cost him at least 9 dollars depending on restaurants tip out policy. Can i go to your job and charge you because i decided to come in?

    • Ana says:

      I think its a real shame that the restaurant business chooses to leave their staff’s compensation level up to the whim of customers; any other business would just pay them for the work they do.

      I would much rather be told my burger costs $1 more right there on the menu and get that and decent service without having to worry about being ignored by some waiter whose paying much more attention to a really big tipper instead of me, so that they can keep the big tips comming.

      I must admit however that when service is lousy it does feel good to know that there is nothing stopping me from giving the lousy waiter a lousy tip.

      I really don’t care why I went thursty becasue they didn’t remember I asked for more water, or why my food got cold before I could tell them I don’t have a fork, I just pass my pain on to them for letting it happen.

  • Michael says:

    LMAO. Waiters don’t make 50k a year unless they are in fine dining. Most waiters make about 15-20k and 26k at the most working 30-40 hours a week. The waiters in fine dining have paid their dues and have to have tons of waiting experience, training, and are usually certified wine specialists. A stock broker doesn’t need a college degree either and he has the potential to make a ton more than you. Let the waiter no your gonna tip 0-10 percent they wait on you and see what happens lol. 0 percent service is not receiving anything and your food sitting back there for an hour after it came out and then them brining it out to you while tellin you to f*** yourself.

  • Nick says:

    1. How much time does a cashier spend with you? 2-5 min. at the most.
    How long does a waiter do things for you? At least 45 min.- hour usually sometimes even longer.
    2. Does your cashier bring you drinks and go through the effort of keeping them constantly full? No. Does your waiter? Yes.
    3. Does your cashier provide you with all of the sauces that you require and keep refilling them while your eating them such as gorgonzola port, ranch, salsa, etc.? No. Does your waiter? Yes
    4. Does your cashier guide you through your dining experience answering questions about wine, food, alcohol? No. Does your waiter? Yes
    5. Does your cashier decant your wine for you at the table, serve it gracefully, make the date feel romantic, make you feel special, pay strong attention to detail, run and get your extra olives that you need for your martini, and get things for your every whim? No. Does your waiter? Yes.
    6. Does your cashier carry heavy dishes out to the table for you and then remove them and deal with your screaming kids crumbling crackers on the carpet and stomping on them? No. Does your waiter? yes
    7. Does your cashier sweep the tables and have to clean extra messess you left behind even when you didn’t pay? No. Does your waiter? Yes
    8. Does your cashier get paid $2.15 an hour to work? No. Does your waiter? Yes
    9. Does your cashier have to share the money they made with not only being taxed on the sales by the government but also a tip share taken by the restaurant that is usually 3.5% of the sales(NOT THE TIPS) making a 15% tip an 11.5% tip? No. Does your server? Yes.(Side not that tip pool mentioned is usually for crappy restaurants like chilis and red lobster and is much higher for fine dining restaurants)
    10. Does your cashier have to worry about making you happy to make any money? No. Does your server? Yes.
    11. Does a cashier take care of 3 or more tables at once or 22 people or more at once while still giving you attention? No. Does your server? Yes.
    12. Does a cashier have to garnish your food before it comes out and run around like a crazy person in the kitchen to make sure it gets all the sauces and items you requested before it comes out, while getting drinks for another table, and MAKING a strawberry milkshake for your little kid, to come out at the same time? No. Does your server? Yes.
    13. Does your cashier get blamed for the food taking a long time when it is still cooking and the kitchen is backed up? No. Does your sever? Yes.
    14. Does your cashier box up your food for you and then get you “to-go” beverages while getting your dessert ready? No. Does your server? Yes.
    15. Does your cashier split checks for 20 people at your table, who all have different methods of payment, and some need change, and are giving a 100 dollar bill on a 14.25 tab to someone that doesn’t have a till, and has to get that change from the bar and handle the rest of the transactions and get them closed out while people are standing up and saying “we’re in a hurry” (but we asked for 10 split checks and we aren’t all using debit/credit cards) and before table goes crazy and pays you nothing? No. Does your server? Yes
    16. Does your cashier have to deal with a customer who has a bad attitude longer than 10 min? No. Does your server? Yes.
    17. Does your cashier have to take your order and make sure everything comes out as you requested including any crazy special modifications the customer might make? No. Does your server? Yes.
    19. I could go on. But I think I you see that the author of this arcticle used an extremely bad example of comparing a waiter to cashier. And you can also see why tipping is neccessary. They work hard for you guys. And that $2.15 an hour is takin by the government as taxes. Then, if you stiff the waiter by not tipping them, they owe money to the restaurant at the end of the day restaurant for their tip pool which is mandatory.
    20. And as for the waitress not saying anything to you when she gave you the plate that you needed. She might have been on her way to due something else for another table. And there is something called “silent service.” Your need was taken care of, correct? Do you need her to interrupt you and your girlfriend every time she comes by with a smile and chatty sentence? She was taking care of you without getting in your space. I think you gave a really bad example. It’s not like she didn’t do what you asked. You didn’t like her attitude. Are you really going to tip her nothing over that instead of decreasing the tip? If you are, you’re one terrible human being.

    • Natalie says:

      Why demean cashiers? Cashiers and serve staff have fundamentally different tasks to perform, so that’s a ridiculous comparison, but they are both entry-level, unskilled laborers. They didn’t spend years in graduate school, paying for a degree and sacrificing income to get better jobs, so it’s ludicrous for them to think they should earn the equivalent of people who do so . Cashiers get minimum wage, no tips. Serve staff should be satisfied when their tips meet minimum wage, which, particularly at more expensive restaurants, is possible at a much lower than 15% gratuity. I know waitstaff will hate this, but if you want more than minimum wage, develop the skills to get a different job. Our economic system is set up to reward people who use skills or talents (like the stockbroker mentioned below).

      • Scott says:

        A waiter is not an entry level, unskilled laborer. Granted, a college degree isn’t required to wait tables, but it usually requires extensive training, if not starting at a lower position and working for months to years to move up, depending on the restaurant. You can teach someone to be a cashier in less than an hour. This post was to previous responses arguing that you tip waiters but not cashiers while both provide customer service, hence the comparison. By the way, at grocery stores cashiers that are union members (which are quite frequent) get paid ridiculous amounts of money for sliding your groceries across a scanner, which takes no skill at all. Wonder why your groceries cost so much? Would you really want your server to get paid more by the restaurant to meet minimum wage (which you would still pay for when they increase menu prices to cover the increased labor cost) but not have the incentive to work quickly to satisfy your wants? And for the record, most servers are not there for a career, but are actually in college to do something different. Personally, when I go out for a nice meal I wouldn’t want someone waiting on me who is only paid minimum wage. If you are out celebrating a special event and having a $30 steak, would you really want the same level of service you get for a $2 fast food steak burrito? Because that is what you would get if you staffed restaurants with minimum wage employees who have no real incentive to work.

      • Christine says:

        Natalie you are way off base with servers being unskilled. If you think that pushing buttons or scanning a bar code takes any skill they teach monkeys to do it….have a monkey bring your table of 8 some hot coffee.

        • Liz says:

          Actually, in the bookstore where I work (as a cashier, customer service agent, go-fer, newsstand clerk, mess-cleaner-upper, and about anything else you can imagine), a goodly portion of our staff are not only college-educated, but graduate school-educated (including myself). Also, we don’t hire unskilled workers to be booksellers. If you can’t do everything, you can’t do anything. Don’t assume that every cashier you meet is just a monkey pushing buttons. Some of us are working on PhDs.

    • tony says:

      All the things you just mentioned is really nothing complicated as part of your job description. The chef in the kitchen has many more details to worry about to help you get that food to the customer, works in a more uncomfortable, dirty, hot environment and makes like $15/hr. But the law says you can’t tip the kitchen guy. The law does say that counter person can be paid same as your waitstaff wage and get tips. So shut up. (1) You are an entitled pain in the but for your manager. (2) Other people work just as hard as you do, if not more, and get paid less. (3) The whole restaurant system of compensation is screwed up but you would never help solve it because you would make less, and you should. (4) Leave the counter person alone because they are helping you manage your tables and guest to make them happy.

    • James E says:

      Looks like Nick has embellished more than a bit here of the value of a waiter and or waitress.

      Now, I have waited tables as well as been a busboy at one of the busiest restraurants on the west coast while in college. I know very well what the responsibilities are of a wait staff in a restaurant but once again Nick has far over stated the value of the service and I’ll explain.

      1st thing is that the term tip or “T.I.P.” means “to insure prompt service”

      Customary tipping has changed due to industry pressure from very organized people in the restaurant and bar service industy which included putting the notion out there that all you had to do to figure out a tip was double the tax once the tax got to be 7% and above.

      Prior to that the tip percentage that was customary was in fact 10% of the actual bill and not including the tax.

      One thing that most people make a mistake about especially those that like to buy some love from the waiter or waitress is to over tip and to admonish others that don’t tip more than 15% which is now an considered standard after very organized campainging.

      All that being said it is a very very very rare situation when any waiter or waitress is devoting more than 15 minutes of their time to serve any single table of 8 persons or less during the course of a meal. Decanting wine is done by very few waiters and waitresses and that is hardly a big deal. The mood is not set by a waiter or waitress unless they get in the way as the restauranture sets the mood with the arrangement of the scene, menu, and table arrangements which no waiter or waitress has anything to do with and as far a all the B.S. that Nick laid out there about how the IRS taxes a wait staff person it is done strictly on an 8% ceiling of gross reciepts assigned to that particular waiter minus any loss which may be claimed from people that supposedly skip out on their bills.

      * In fact the IRS and many states including California have actuall agreements with many people that work in the industry that they “only” have to pay 8% of their gross reciepts that do not include tax on the meal or drink as their total tax dispite the fact that so many make far more than that.

      In California alone it is estimated that as of 2011 in hard times that well over 1 million people are taking home over $60K a year in cash that is untaxed in the restaurant industry and those numbers are conservative at best given the fact that so many don’t even report a full 8% of gross reciepts do to most tips being recieved in cash. This doesn’t even include bartenders and cocktail waitresses.

      Things are of course very different in slow towns with low traffic and low cost menu’s but in large cities like NY, LA, SF, Phi, Miami,etc wait staff get away with paying virtually nothing compared to what their actual income is.

    • Paul says:

      Are you comparing Apples with Oranges? **CENSORED** oath you are.

  • trevor says:

    dude it sounds like you got good service to me. you most likely didn’t mention the second plate until your waiter brought out all the food (which is annoying already) she quickly ran back, got you one, and dropped it off without making a big show because there were most likely a dozen other tables she was also looking after. if thats your criteria for bad service, not calling you sir every time a waiter walks past you, then you are nuts.

    • kathyk says:

      I’m a waitress…I’ve always thought it funny to think about different businesses. If you go into a bookstore, you might or might not spend money. If you go into a restaurant, you’re probably going to spend money. In a bookstore they might help you find the ‘travel section’. Or recommend a book, ring you up and put your book in a bag. Now if you go home and don’t like the book…you might go back into the store and get your money back (after you’ve read the book). You don’t give the book seller an attitude. You go away w/ your cash in hand… When you go into a restaurant, you expect alot more, knowing you are going to spend your money. I understand that. I am one of the hardest workers in our little tourist town. I give each and every person my time and attention. Given I have the time. When we’re busy I at least tell the customer how long it will be before I can get to them…at least i’ve gotten their water and menus. They decide to stay or not is now their business. But don’t jump my ass when you’ve been warned how long it will be to get an order in. Make a choice to stay and live with it in a nice way or go somewhere else. It’s always a customers choice. I make less tips when I’m busy. Go away. I don’t care. I would rather give quality service to a few people that appreciate it then crappy service to those customers that you can’t make happy. When everyone crowds into a restaurant the same exact time as everyone else, can you not see that i’m running my ass off and will get to you in due time? So sit and relax. You’re not going to die. Hungry people tend to get a little onery. And don’t they understand the time when they get hungry and the time they feel like they are going to die from starvation will always be the same, so plan accordingly? When I wait on any European they always tell me to slow down. I love our European visitors. And they always ask how much tip to leave as they are not use to tipping. And I’ve also found that if I get a table of guys which I do often. If they ask my name I know I’m going to get a bad tip. And then I’ll get a family and you just never know what you’re going to get for a tip. I’ve had gentlemen leave me a tip and when they are walking out w/ the woman behind him, the woman will take the tip off the table and put it in her purse. I’ve had the nickel tip and never knowing why. I don’t care anymore. There are more good tippers, good people that make up for the rude people or bad tippers. I get sympathy tips when it’s slow. I don’t get tips from people that buy the cheapest beer we carry. Tipping has alot to do w/ people’s place in their life. You don’t get bad tips from thoughtful nice people. You get bad tips from rude people. You can pretty much see by their behavior during their short time at one of your tables where they are coming from, what their needs are and what kind of tip you’re going to get. I’m never surprised when I get a crummy tip but i’m always pleasantly suprised when I get a great tip. Only because someone has recognized my work and give me money in appreciation. I knew what kind of paycheck I was getting when I signed up to do this work. I knew I would save money by eating at work. I knew to get a job at a restaurant that I liked the food and the kitchen was clean so I would enjoy my shift meal and my shift drink. I would tip the kitchen help when I felt they helped me. They get a bigger paycheck then I do. They get breaks and they don’t have to deal w/ the public. And they get to yell at me….now when the boss brings up that he’s going to impliment sharing tips I’ll quit my job. I think sharing tips is laughable. I am the only one in the restaurant that has to claim tips by law. So I’m giving free money to the kitchen that I worked for? hahaha If you’re a good and happy person. Work hard and treat people like humans I think good comes from that. I never tell anyone how much I make in tips. I make alot of money and I deserve every penny.

  • Bill says:

    I haven’t read all of the comments, stopped at the second which very seriously disturbed me, being a waiter in past years.

    *Ahem* **CENSORED**. Why should a **CENSORED** waiter and I make the same pay? If a waiter is good, he doesn’t have to worry about Congress and the government helping him (or her) out to come up with minimum wage. Selling books and serving people their food is entirely different. How many people connect with the clerk at Barnes and Noble? Vs how many connect to their favorite waiter/waitress at their favorite restaurant? Do you really care that the book guy scowled at you for buying something weird? That he was pissed off that day? That he smells bad? Is reading next to an unpleasant person really as bad as eating food next to the unpleasant person that just served it to you?

    Did you ever stop to think WHY we tip people in restaurants? Because that’s been the American custom for **CENSORED** ever. DUHRR… You think one day someone just decided to stop paying their employees and put up a sign that said “I’m sorry, I can’t afford my waiter’s pay, please tip him based on service”? NO… You mook.

  • Paul says:

    I grew up in the restaurant/catering business as my mother has owned and operated restaurants for over 35 years. So I’ve done quite a few years of serving. I have a degree in Math & Chemistry so I’m ‘fairly’ educated. I’ve also worked construction (landscaping/sewer & general) before in addition to growing up on a farm where my father had 300 head of cattle, 400 gilts (young female pigs), and farmed 640 acres. So I’d like to say I have at least some ‘measurable’ experience in the academic setting, manual labor, and food service.

    Life on the job as a server…
    Being a server can be very hard on your feet and your back. In my server experience I’ve usually been scheduled a LOT of double shifts. Even if it’s a single shift that starts at 4pm til close (2am)…after clean ups…tip outs…restacking plates…it’s around 3:15am….AND…my back is often got a pinch in it…my feet are numb.

    As a server for over 15 years and being the son of a restaurant owner all of my 27 years, I DO NOT believe everyone DESERVES a tip as a server. In restaurants I worked at we never had to report ALL our tips. We were taxed out of what we sold. We had to report all electronic (credit card tips) and total sales of the food we sold. For instance…I might sell $1600 during a 10 hour shift…and have $60 in tips from credit cards. So let’s just say I made 15% tips that night (and since I gew up the son of a restaurant owner, am educated, AND motivated and believe that when people come to a restaurant they are PAYING for the EXPERIENCE…i.e. their beverage glass should NEVER be below 1/4 full, they should NEVER run out of condiments, ketchup, and a server should ALWAYS check back within 90 seconds of when they receive their food so they dont’ have to wait or eat a bite of something with something missing, condiment, undercooked, etc)….and servers should NEVER return to the kitchen with empty hands. My tables were almost always entirely prebused tables. It enables quicker seating as my tables get open quicker and not dependent on a buser. With that as my MINIMUM guideline, I’ve NEVER had a problem making 15% even with some people who stiff you regardless of service.

    So…back to the math.

    We get taxed 10% (varies by state) of our total sales. $1600 x .10 = $160
    Then credit card tips…$60.

    So by the end of the night we have $220 of taxable income. In Minnesota, state and fed taxes would take around 30% of that. So that means I’d pay MN and the Fed Govn’t $66 for that night of work.

    15% of $1600 means I probably made $240. I got taxed on $220, so not too bad. I got $20 tax free that night.

    Cooks get 5%. Bartenders get 2%. Busers get 3%. Hosts get 2%c of my ‘reported’ tip earnings.

    So on my $220….government got $66. Cooks got $11. Bartenders got $4.40. Busers got $6.60. Hosts got $4.40.

    $92.40 of my $220 I had to pay out.

    I earned $2.35 per hour for my work. Worked 11 hours. So I got $47.

    So in all. $47 + (lets say I got 15% of $1600 = $240) = $287

    Thus my TOTAL night would be $287 – $92 = $195 for 11 hours of work. Not too bad. But it’s a hard job.

    I probably had 80-100 customers that night. Had to memorize their entree and what goes with each entree…suggest a wine/beer that goes with it. Make a desert recommendation. Remember ANY changes to condiments, how something is cooked etc. And generally per 40 mins I had to remember what 16 people ordered, how they ordered it, what drink they ordered, when that drink might run out, and any deserts and/or changes to the ticket as well. So it’s a tough job on the memory. some days I honestly get scared…cause it’s a LOT to remember. The Cheesecake Factory has OVER 200 items on their menu… Now remember the 8 different sides that can go with those 120 entrees…gravies, sauces, etc….it takes some time. Many jobs require 2 weeks of training…where you have to score at least 90% on the quizzes. (More upscale places…I don’t know about Joe’s diner or Buffalo Wild Wings, etc type of places…more simple…I’m guessing)…and then 4 days of shadowing.

    So I made around $17/hr that night for remembering quite a bit of info. Working on my feet over 11 hours…til 3am.

    I don’t DESERVE a tip…but if someone DOES DO GOOD SERVICE…they do deserve at least that 10% of your ticket price cause they DO have to pay for serving you. Stay at home, order in, do DRIVE THROUGH if you CAN’T tip for GOOD service. =)

    Hope that helps…

    • Ana says:

      Very well said, and nice to see someone who can think in a forum.

      I’ve been wondering why we tip waters and watresses to begin with, because restaurants are a whole lot like other businesses where we don’t tip anyone.

      Buy new carpet the sales people might spend half an hour with me pushing around big piles of carpet samples, and then a small crew of people might spend half a day carefully moving every piece of furniture in my house so they can carefully install the carpet I select, and no one ever tips the sales people, the installers, or the the guys that load and unload all that carpet or clean up afterwards. It’s the same if I buy a new roof, or even a truck load of lumber at home depot.

      I think what makes restaurants different is the old fashoned culture that suggests the customers are somehow an elevated class of people who are either want to buy a little extra good service from them, or impres them with how rich and generous they are. Surely the cook who the waiter or watress tips back to doesn’t work any harder than the guy who loads carpet or bricks onto a truck all day, so why are they different?

      Why is a customer giving the waiter the entire tip if it’s actually suppose to be part of the pay for all the support staff too? Well I have a theory.

      The tip is a way customers buy preferential treatment and customers have gotten so carried away with doing it, that the business owners, (who own the restaurant), hardly even need to pay waiters anymore. What other businesses can you think of where how an employee treates a customer is expected to be proportional to what the customer pays them above and beyond the contractual price?

      The older I get the less I even want to deal with that crap. I EXPECT good service from any company that wants my business, and expect the business owner to do everything they can to make sure I get it so that I not only come back but also tell everyone else I know how great it was.

      As a business owner I sure don’t want any of my employees to treat even my worst customer, (who is paying my full asking price), poorly, or make them somehow feel unwelcome because they didn’t give my employee a big tip.

      I also resent being pressured to pay 15 to 18% tips, when I have personally known so many waiters and waitresses who were lucky if they got 10%.

      I also have a hard time justifying paying the service staff twice as much because the food was twice as expensive, expecially if the level of service was quite comperable. As a matter of fact I tend to tip better when and where the food costs less because I think those people work just as hard and need the money even more.

      I think the system sucks even though I must admit I often benifit from waiters and waitresses who like me, and are overly generous with the food as a result. If I owned those restaurants I would be quite angry if I saw staff giving away my food to customers just so they could get a little larger tip. I’d also be pissed if I saw one treat a paying customer like crap because they knew their not going to give THEM a good tip. My God, they paid full price for the meal, and without that, no one has a job.

    • Smith says:

      At Buffalo Wild Wings the training is over 40 hours and 3 “practice days”. They spend a great deal of time making sure that all servers, bartenders, greeters and back of house know everything that needs to be known about their resturant.

      Give credit where it is due.

    • tony says:

      You my friend truly do have family in the business to know those numbers so well. It is a game of numbers that becomes fairly predictable based on larger sample sizes. All in all though, servers do get paid pretty well on average, certainly better than others in the biz. Perhaps on some days better that your mother who owned the business.

  • anonymous says:

    I never leave a tip and am unclear why I should. Why are they OWED money? They should be grateful for what they get, I paid for my meal and have had wait staff who did little more than bring me a glass of water — and late at that — demand I leave them $10 for the effort — and even follow me out the door, begging for money. Give me a break. Most of them earn more than average. Some attorneys only earn $35k a year, but waiters can earn $50k for menial work. I never tip becasue I am cheap and I choose to save my money. I also don’t believe in the principle of it. I paid the cover charge and don’t see why I have to fork out extra — when doing so would not be cost effective to me. Do your job because you love it. A tip is extra. Many people work in thankless jobs being paid less than they deserve and they aren’t given “tips” for their service. It’s a stupid practice. If these people beg for tips, they have reduced themselves to the level of slaves.

    • Ashley says:

      Wow, I must say after reading this I am absolutely appalled. It is because of people like you that servers have bad days. Because a prick like you in sitting in their section, asking for refills when you know they are running their a55es off then leaves nothing. If you think I have reduced myself to the level of a slave because I walk almost 2 miles over the night, multi-tasked by taking care of 5 tables, and managed to deal with a person like you with a smile on my face to receive your ‘tip’ then I guess I am just like any other working citizen in the world. I PROVIDE A SERVICE TO RECEIVE LEGAL TENDER (a.k.a MONEY) AS COMPENSATION FOR DOING A JOB.

      What ever you do for a living… you are a slave to your own boss who fills your pockets. Do everyone a favor and go to Mcdonalds for your next meal, becuase trust me, you really don’t wanna mess with the people who bring your food. 😉

      • niko says:

        well said ….

      • Terri says:

        I agree with Ashley! And, less than 1/2 of minimum wage is pitiful as a base! The servers, if they are attentive, accomodating and courteous, deserve their 20% + tip. I always leave a tip! If service was poor (server never comes back to check on if you need anything during your meal or was rude) then tip them less but leave a reason written on a piece of paper for them so they know what needs improvement. Be polite about it. Don’t ever hassle the server. Don’t write anything negative on the receipt since that may cause them to lose their job. When my husband and I first started dating, I had to school him on the facts about how little servers make as their base pay. He has since learned and tips 20% plus when the service is good – which is 99% of the time! TO ALL SERVERS OUT THERE – thank you for all your hard work, we appreciate what you do!! – Terri

      • Paul says:


        Then get it from your EMPLOYER! He’s the one who is supposed to pay you.

        Imagine if everyone who patronised restaurants refused to tip. What would happen then? One thing that would happen is restaurants would be FORCED to pay their staff decent wages. Just like people in other jobs get. Sound fair and reasonable to me that the BOSS would pay their wages. Obviously it doesn’t to you.

    • carina says:

      holy moly youre an idiot. i hope you never go out to eat again jerk. especially if you go into a particular restaurant to eat many times. theres no telling whether your food was dropped on the floor before serving it to a lame-o like you. have you ever seen the movie “waiting”? hahahahahaha oh dear i feel sorry for you.

      • carina says:

        IN ADDITION. If you go to a restaurant and expect no less that your food and your drink, feel free to tip $1 or nothing stupid ass. otherwise, if you want refills, probably water because you’re so cheap, don’t expect to get any water cheap-o refills. ESPECIALLY if the serving staff knows you don’t tip. no one will do anything for you. you are what we call low class. some people call servers underclass. do you want to be related???? poor guy 🙁 Funniest thing ever ever….was when I would walk out from work to my car, while one of my tables walked out. they saw me walking to me 2008 BMW coupe, I saw them walking to their car. they had the most absurd look on their face. like what? I’m not your slave so don’t treat me like I’m under you.

        • Paul says:

          2008 BMW coupe… yeah on lease I bet.

          You are right though. You are not our slave. But you are a slave to your boss who has no scruples about ripping you off monetarily.

    • Christine says:

      You my freind are a nasty human being and I hope that you get the same server every night…He/She know you are a cheap SOB and are pissing in your food and drink by now. so enjoy the taste of shit because you are what you eat.

      • alien says:

        LOL… im assuming most of the people here replying are waiters/waitresses? calm down people, why let a few people ruin your day? and everyone knows you have a tough day at work… but ranting and demanding money will only piss people off.. i for one wudnt want to go to your resturaunt, and when i do go to resturaunts i dont expect waitresses to treat me like a king… just wanna eat the damn food.. hell i can go pick it up myself 😛

        • Ary says:

          I have worked as a server at a popular casual dining restaurant for approx a year and a half now.. I think the reason many of us become “passionate” whe discussing this particular subject is becasue we know that yes, there are those server who make lots of money at fine dining restuarants, but(!) there are far more servers making almost nothing at our more poular restaurnts. Where I work, most servers can expect 6-10 tables per shift, working with 4-6 other servers. too often I have come home with less than 30 dollars after working from 3pm-11pm (not including time spent doing sidework tacking on an addition 2 hours). Even though there are laws claiming that we should be compensated for not making enough, most of us know that our bosses arent going to pay and reporting them does nothing but endanger the whistleblower. we know what its like to go home with 17 dolars in our pockets after 1 table stiffed us, 3 tables tipped 5 dollars(good where i work) and the last was an elderly couple or a perty of one who only tipped 2 dollars despite good service. it doesnt feel good. even with the raving “verbal tips” and job security for being good at what i do, i still need to eat, pay bills, and ultimately live.

  • Ana Mouse says:

    I have about the same education level as most waiters, (High School Diploma), and work just as hard, (landscaping); and think it’s ridiculous that some people think waiters deserve to be paid so much.

    If I could earn $50 grand a year without sweating in the hot sun for 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week I would gladly wait on tables.

    Don’t complain when people leave you a $5 tip on a $50 bill, after you, said good evening, took their order, checked once to see if they wanted anything else and brought them the bill. Government labor statistics say those who think waiters average 15% are dreaming because they actually seem to earn far less an hour and a year than they would if that was true. Perhaps you should have done a little homework before you decided to become a waiter. There’s a reason why so few waiters have college degrees.

    Half the waiters where I live are students who do it part time so they can get a good education and then get a real good paying job. If you want a better job, do what I am trying to do; go back to school and get a job that really does pay well.

    • Cody says:

      I was happily content ONLY reading until I got to this backward, ridiculous, stupid comment. Sure it was years ago, but what do I care?

      Did you ever notice that the majority of people serving you are in their late teens or early 20s? I can promise you the reason most waiters only have a high school education is because THEY ARE USING THE MONEY THEY MAKE WAITING TABLES TO PAY FOR THEIR SCHOOLING. How is it even possible you have missed that portion of the common sense exercise? As far as toiling away in the hot sun. How about YOU find a better job? 🙂 If you think for a second that a waiter who has been working for 18 hours straight, without a break, and without sitting down has it easy then you again have lost your damn marbles.

      Let’s face facts. In the 97% of restaurants, as soon as you sit down at a table and order a drink, the waiter has lost money. A portion of their SALES total is calculated as money designated to be paid to busboys and bartenders, usually around 3-7%. Meaning if you have a 50 dollar bill, and you leave 5 dollars, the server has only actually made 3.50 at the most. This is in addition to the fact that servers are fully taxed both on their pitiful hourly 2.13/hr wage AND on reported tip income. I am currently attending law school and waiting tables is the only possible job that can accommodate my schedule and provide me with enough income to pay for school in addition to living expenses.

      Don’t go around thinking waiters are stupid, or lazy, we just have to deal with people with your ignorant mindset multiple times a day, every day, every shift, for hours at a time. And you wonder why we get pissed?

      • tony says:

        Listen to what you just said, it is the only job that earns you enough money to pay your bills within a relatively short period of time. All the servers I know make way more money than anyone else in the restaurant. Get off your high horse and try to understand the true expenses that go into your ability to make that money. No one says your job is easy but no job in a restaurant is. I know for a fact if a restaurant tried to pay everybody what you make then every single one of them would close down. EVERY SINGLE ONE! Let’s see you go wash dishes or cook for half of what you make or less.
        You are an idiot.

        • WaitressInTraining says:

          No tony you are an idiot. I personally just started training to be a waitress so I’m following someone, but I have to take orders, get drinks, stock, do dishes, and clean bathrooms.

          You don’t know what is entailed in some waitresses jobs. Our girls work 4 to 6 tables a shift, carry out food, and make drinks. We, also, stock cups, lids, straws, ice, custard, fruit, do dishes which include all the baskets, pots, and cook’s silverware, clean the bathrooms, and stock up the tables before we can go home.
          There will be 4 girls working a shift taking care of 18 tables and a bar. We also make sure all tables have napkins, ketchup, salt and pepper.

          In 4 hours just yesterday, Elisabeth and I ran around trying to make you customers happy. More customers forget how much people want us to do and how many people are asking. I’ve had people get an attitude with me and I made it clear I was in training. I apologized and told the couple I was new and would have to check with Elisabeth. They started getting huffy asking why would I come over if I didn’t know. I had brought them their drinks.

          It’s hard to please people. It’s work keeping a smile on your face pretending you give a fuck if their cheese is melted while trying to figure out how to excuse yourself because another table has empty drinks and are giving you dirty looks.

        • Paul says:

          No tony… YOU are the idiot. Plenty of people in restaurants in other countries doing the exact same job as you, and all the other people in the restaurant, get paid at LEAST minimum wage, which where I live is $14.25 an hour.

          Funny, we don’t see restaurants closing down all the time because they can’t make money.

          So, why can’t Amerika, the land of opportunity and innovation, do the same? Because it’s too hard? No, because the restaurant owners are 1) too lazy to try that and 2) money grubbing bastards who treat their staff like slaves.

  • mnnarco says:

    So much to say…
    Being a server is one of the most difficult and demanding jobs there is. I would like everyone in the general public to come to my restaurant and try to wait tables for a month. I would say 3 out of 4 wouldn’t last that month. The job requires exceptional multi-tasking skills and a great memory. Servers work 6 to sometimes 16 hours at a time, often without a break, regardless of the law. This entire time, they are on their feet. Normally they do not have a set time they get off work, meaning they stay until the business slows down and the manager “cuts” them. You had a family function to attend? Well, guess what? It got busy and you had to stay so you missed it. Sucks for you. Should the restaurant pay the servers more? Maybe. But I’ve been both a server and a manager, and I can tell you that restaurants really don’t profit much. In the company I worked for, a $70,000 per week location would see about $1000 in profits a week. Raise wages and that quickly disappears. Then you’d just see the price of your meal go up to compensate, so you’d still end up paying the same amount, except now it would not be discretionary like tipping is.
    Don’t get me wrong – you can actually make good money as a server. But if you’re not going to tip, make sure it’s because you got the worst service ever.

    • ohiomark says:

      Why do servers always try to defend their hard work by challenging the general public to try to do their job, and say most probably could not do it. Well, I bet there are a lot of servers who could not do the jobs properly of other people’s professions! Servers are experienced, or have gained experience over the years they have done their job, so I would not expect just anyone from the general public to be able to come in and do their job. For many servers, it is the only job they can get.

    • Paul says:

      $70,000 a week location only makes about $1,000 profit a week. Bwa ha ha, pull the other one. The food industry (as in restaurants and take aways) is, if not the, then definitely one of the biggest money making businesses out there. Those that go under usually do so for one or more of the following: Poor location, poor food, bad menu choices, poorly cooked or presented food, bad wait staff, incompetent management.

  • jack Canada says:

    Wow your comments are amazing.
    I am a waiter in a restaurant. Been doing it now cause tips are a great way to make money fast (i’m a student.) We all have bad days, and sometimes we get super busy but a good waiter will always try his hardest no matter how busy he is. A standard tip is 15%, 20 is good and more than that is really good. but before you tip, remember this… leave what you want… just keep in mind that waiters give a certain percentage of their sales to “the house” (which goes to busboys barmen etc) and also here where I live we declare our tips. 8% of our sales is declared as income, so guys keep in mind that if you don’t leave us a proper tip (minimum 10%) we are basically paying out of our pockets for your service. A good waiter though will always try hard to be nice.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am so sick of whiney servers. If a server does a good job and is half-way polite then they deserve a 20% tip, no less. If they are rude, lazy, talking with their pals at the bar while you need silverware, ignore you, or are argumentative because you don’t like the way something was prepared(we realize that this is not your fault so don’t be so damn defensive.) then they should get NOTHING. I don’t care how much you make an hour. Get a different job. I work with people who do mind-numbing data entry and deal with hateful people over the phone all day for minimum wage. They bring home A LOT LESS than the many waiters and waitresses that I know. If they were to ever be rude to our clientele they would be fired, not merely lose something that was never gauranteed in the first place. I won’t mention the countless factory and state workers that make minimum wage who are locked into hiring freezes that sometimes don’t get a raise for years. If you want a good tip then do your job. If you hate working with the public and feel like you’re under “tipped” then you’re probably an ass and are earning more money in tips than you deserve anyway. Just because a server is “having a bad day” doesn’t give him or her the right to make the customer’s day bad. If a server feels that he or she has the right to be rude to a customer then they should expect the customer to practice their right to not tip.

  • carlgrace says:

    I’m with you, Limeade. What’s the big deal… the tip is part of the price. When it comes down to it, waitstaff are generally hard working people with a real crappy job. They need the extra couple of bucks more than I do. If I get terrible service, I won’t tip well, but they don’t need to do cartwheels to get a good tip.

    If you don’t want to tip, get takeout.

  • limeade says:

    People get so caught up in leaving a tip. If you don’t want to spend the money, then don’t go to the restaurant in the first place.

    Also, it’s important to remember that TIP is actually an acronym. It stand for : To Insure Promptness. All other forms of insurance have you pay the premiums up front.

    Why not give your server the tip up front. You’ll be surprised how fantastic the service will be.


    • Dbag says:

      Hahaha. I like how you say “Why not give your server the tip up front…”. I guess that is a good idea, one might actually get PROMPT service. But what are the odds of that happening? Besides, I don’t think that is the norm/custom here in the US.
      However, I would like to point out this one time I went out with a friend to a restaurant whose name I shall not mention. We ordered for steak, my friend asked for a 7 oz. steak; I ordered for a 9 oz. Now I wonder what the standard of difference is between a 7 and 9 oz. steak. However, when we were served, the plates were virtually the same!!! Forget virtually, they were the SAME.
      I do not know if the waiter made a mistake in the order, or they just messed up in the kitchen. The food wasn’t, umm, good, I could have done a better job.
      But here is my problem, they kept on asking us if we were doing okay and if the food was good, and if everything was to our liking. REALLY???
      Should I have caused a scene and embarass my friend and I (P.S The food took a while to come, it was steak) or Am I justified with having walked away without tipping??

      • JB says:

        It could have been the kitchen’s mistake! That is why if you are not satisfied with your food you need to let your server know so that they can fix it instead of leaving them a bad tip for something that wasn’t their fault! The cooks get pay hourly unlike the servers and they can often make careless mistakes without it affecting their pay. The ONLY reason you should not leave a good tip is if you are not satisfied with the server (taking too long, not refilling your drinks..), if you have any complaints about anything else you should talk to the manager.

      • Rainne says:

        As a former server, you are NOT justified in failing to tip your (admittedly very attentive) server because of a problem with the food. Your server did not cook it or plate it! You yourself admit you had AMPLE opportunity to advise the server that you had ordered the 9 oz steak, and you still had the option to say that you didn’t need a change, you just want to make sure it’s correct on the ticket; you’d probably have had a manager immediately at your table to correct the problem. Taking out FOOD problems on the server’s tip is absolutely NOT the way to go about that.

        That being said, you also had no need to cause a scene and embarrass your friend! When the server asked if everything was okay, you could simply and calmly have pointed out the size issue and inquired about it in a civilized manner. But instead of doing that, you lived up to your name and acted like a d-bag.

        • thisguy says:

          I’ve been in the business of hospitality for over six years now, I’ll tell you what, when you’ve done it all that tip is what makes the difference. If your doing a good job, your ass-busting gets noticed. The 2.10 an hour IS justified as thus: it covers the taxes of your tips for the week providing your offering good service.

          In this “case of the steak” Rainne is correct in saying, “Taking out FOOD problems on the server’s tip is absolutely NOT the way to go about that.” I have a culinary degree and it’s true, mistakes happen back there. It is the responsibility of the guest and the server to bring and food discrepancies to the attention of a manager. Bottom line: If the steak was ordered at 9oz and the server brought a 7oz instead without realizing (which they should have), the guest should have noticed the problem and requested a manager.

    • Paul says:

      Also, it’s important to remember that TIP is actually an acronym. It stand for : To Insure Promptness.

      Actually, it doesn’t… it comes from slang used by English criminals dating back to the 17th century.

  • Anonymous says:

    One more thing to consider is the waiter’s taxes. At the end of a shift, a waiter must claim all their tips. However, they are taxed on 10% of the total bills of all their tables combined, whether or not they received a tip. And many busboys and bartenders are tipped a % of the total for the night, as well. So, if you don’t tip, the waiter actually loses money while servicing you.

  • Anonymous says:

    The tip should be proportional to service. I always start with a baseline 20% tip (above average) and deduct. I can understand if the place is busy, but if it’s empty like sometimes in afternoons, and the waiter/waitress can’t bother to get me a refill or just disappears, then I deduct. If they’re rude or argue with me (instead of just saying “let me check about that”) that I can’t replace a side-dish when as a regular customer I know that I can, then I do the same.

    Usually I tip very well (sometimes even over 20% for great service), but if the service is lousy, I make it sure that their tip is equally lousy. Frankly, hopefully if more people tipped the lousy ones poorly, they’ll either quit or realize they need to change their attitude and realize their job is to serve the customer. (Preferably the latter since I don’t want them wasting my tax money through welfare.)

    Tipping is not about charity for me to give some rude prick money because his job pays $2.10 per hour. In fact his job pays $2.10, because it’s assumed that if he doesn’t piss people off, he’ll easily be able to make a living wage when tips are factored in.

    Bottom line: Tipping is about fairness and giving them what they deserve for their service; it’s not charity.

  • Anonymous says:

    Here in Canada the standard tip is 15%. Though I know people who will tip pennies if there service is terrible.

  • Anonymous says:

    I’m all for leaving %15 – %20 tip, and usually do, even for mediocre service. If you need to make a point about bad service, I’ve heard that making it especially low is the way to go. Otherwise, it appears that you just forgot.

    One of the few times I tipped 1% is when I was told about an ingredient that the kitchen was out of after a companion and I ordered it, and only after we had to ask about it, after we noticed it missing. I was especially annoyed because of the way the waitress handled it. The fact that I was looking forward to avocado in my turkey & avocado sandwich was kind of incidental.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a restaurant manager, and can only say this: Any time I have a guest complain about service, I always try to make up for the bad experience. Most of the time, it is a server who is just having a bad day. Imagine having to deal with the public day in and day out. It does get tiring. As for the “rule” of 15%, that is an old one. I manage a restaurant in NY, and the rule of thumb in NY, and any other state that I have worked in is 18%. A tip of %18 is standard where exponential service will get a server 20%. Think about it. If your bill is $20, what’s an extra $4?

  • MyOwnMillions says:


    I’m not quite sure which country you are in, but in America, everyone tips in some way. Therefore, to get the better experience you were talking about, you really need to tip (20 to 25% plus) and also be a frequent visitor in order to get better service. If you add taxes and everything, that’s like saying a $50 dollar meal will cost $70, quite a bit more than what the menu says.

    I think that if the tip standard is actually lower (~ 5%), it will give people more room to pay extra to waiters/waitresses who deserve them.

    • LWHYBREW says:

      I am a waitress, a very courteous and attentive one at that, and NO…not everyone tips in some way, some people stiff regardless of the level of service they received…you might say “well you must be subjective, they must have received sub par service if they did not tip.” also untrue…I have had many tables who have taken the time out of their meals to compliment and thank me, raving about my personal and kind service…then they leave two dollars for a fifty dollar meal..or even five dollars on the same meal, which if you have ever waited tables, you know this is a BAD tip for the level of service.

      I agree, something should be done ( I make 2.13/hour of course i agree.) but reducing tips and increasing hourly wage is NOT going to happen, so how about people either become educated on the proper tip practices or just don’t eat out at service restaurants if they can’t afford to TIP WELL based on service.

      • Paul says:

        …and increasing hourly wage is NOT going to happen,

        And why is that? Oh yes, you have a corrupt Congress and Senate who are in the pockets of big business.

        Wake up Americans, you’re trapped in the 2 party system. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.

        Until your corrupt system is turned on its head things will just stay the same, or worse.

  • MyOwnMillions says:

    I think the idea is so the waiters will work for their tip, which in a way is fair. Sort of like sales people are put on commission so they have more drive.

    All I am saying is what ends up happening is we are kind of forced to pay extra even if the service is bad, which does not make sense to me.

    I also agree that the business owners should pick up more of the tab and it’s up to them to find courteous workers so people will eat at their restaurants.

  • pradeep says:

    Its very difficult to agree with the previous comment…
    being a business owner myself, setting living wage for waiting staff would have a huge impact on the business where operational costs are very high…and profits marginal.
    I have noticed something very distinct when the approach to service at a table becomes more personal – the tipping increases exponentially.
    In a country where no minimum tip is prevailant, I have noticed service staff make huge tips ( by our standards)just because they have paid more attention to the service at a table or sometimes when a new staff joins the team the tips earned increases dramatically by virtue of his personal attention at tables.
    Having said that not many people in my country tip I think its important that people tip, it surely improves your dining experience when you visit the next time around.
    Things here are changing for the good though…

    • Paul says:

      …and in my country virtually no one tips. And surprise, surprise, the service is pretty damned good. Sure, you’ll get the odd bad server, but they don’t get to keep their job for long.

  • Anonymous says:

    The difference is, the persons making and selling you the books are paid at least minimum wage, but waitstaff are paid a very reduced wage rate, somewhere around $2.10 an hour, and as such are dependent on their customers to make up the difference. Is this fair? Absolutely not, Why should business owners expect us to pick up their slack in taking care of their employees? Not tipping the waitstaff isn’t really the answer, but rather pressuring business owners (and perhaps congress) to set a living wage for all employees and eliminate tipping altogether.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately buisness owners would just apply the increased wages of their staff to your meal and you would be still paying with no options at all. I think it is better to tip, but pay better for good service and complain to management for bad service.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ha.. We are really nice sometimes aren’t we? I don’t always pay the 15%…

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