Tip Your Server

What’s your philosophy on tipping? Every person in my family, both male and female, have worked as servers at some point in their lives. Some still are. I know how important the tips are from hard experience. I tip about 20%. I think people who fail to tip or don’t tip enough are mean, nasty people who should eat at home.

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Author: Virginia DeBolt

Writer and teacher who writes blogs about web education, writing practice, and pop culture.

6 thoughts on “Tip Your Server”

  1. “We always start with fifteen percent. Whenever going to a restaraunt, I always give the benefit that our server will be prompt, courteous, professional and keep our waters filled. If extra attention is given, extra gratuity is allowed, but when small ‘indiscretions’ are observed, small amounts are withheld as well.” -kia

  2. And I’m a notoriously bad tipper. It’s not because I never worked as a server (although I never did), it’s that after I’ve overpaid for dinner or brunch or a coffee, I don’t feel obligated to hand someone more money. I don’t have a rich uncle or a money tree growing in my yard. I don’t particularly CARE if my waiter thinks I’m a cheap bastard.

  3. Twenty percent is the norm today. If you can’t afford to leave it, as long as your service was appropriate, you shouldn’t be eating out. If you think you have a difficult time financially living just try to live on what servers earn. Add to that the working conditions many of them have to work under. I’ve worked in the hotel/restaurant business on the management end and seen for myself how some of the owners of these businesses treat their hired help and it’s not pretty. I’d venture to guess most servers are females who are stuck in these jobs because they are sole support of their children and need the money so don’t have the feeling of independence that others do in walking away from bad jobs. And yes they can try to further their educations, etc. but it takes a lot of extra time and sometimes money that they just don’t have to do that without distress to already highly stressful situations. Let’s add to all that aching feet and at times having to tolerate rude, arrogant customers who seem to forget slavery is supposed to be a thing of the past.

  4. It took almost a lifetime. Unless the service by a restaurant server is obviously obnoxious the tip is 20%. There are other sides to the situation though: the establishment owner or manager, the server him/herself, the IRS.

    Question: why are server tips so very necessary? Could it be that a base salary is not livable and so once again the powerful of the world have devised a system to better their bottom line at the expense of consumers? Also we’ve all heard of servers who’ve had bad days and take it out on their customers in hidden, despicable “mean and nasty” ways. The IRS enters the picture because tips in their eyes, tips are income with requirements to report them as such. also paying their FICA taxes. Those who don’t are yet another group of people who avoid taxes and increase the burden on the rest of us. In recent years the IRS has shifted part of the reporting responsibility to owners/managers so that most tips of the bigger restaurants are to be found on an employee’s W-2 form. Things are never as simple as they appear. Like so much else in life, tipping a server is not what it seems.

  5. I once worked as a cocktail waitress and made BEAUCOUP money (and this was when the “standard” was 10%). But I realize that serving food is different than cocktails in that the patrons don’t get drunk (and generous).

    Having said that, we generally tip 20% and reduce it if the server has not (at least once) checked back on us. To me, this is a faux pas because I may want more lemon for my fish, my water glass refilled, a clean fork because I dropped mine … or some other need to make my meal enjoyable. Also, it helps when the server is pleasant and amiable.

    As to the server’s personal life circumstances, I don’t think that should play a part. I’m not dining out to help the individuals who serve me live a better life. I do NOT mean to sound cruel and uncaring, but I simply don’t think that should enter into my tipping decision. To me, it’s about service … and if that’s good (or exemplary), the server will be compensated accordingly.

    I do realize there are jerks in this world who seem unable to part with a couple of dollars (or who leave religious tracts), but there’s not much a server can do except mumble and curse under her/his breath and hope the next table will be more generous.

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