Tipping: A reward for good service, or an OBLIGATION? Hmmmm….


Why do we tip..because we are FORCED to? Is tipping a reward for good service or just automatically assumed? Why are restaurant owners allowed to pay their servers way below minimum wage? In some states the average is $2.13 an hour, BUT…is it my responsibility to make up the difference and become financially responsible for someone who asks me what I want to eat or drink, and then brings it to me? Why isn’t the tip….

just automatically added to the menu price? (I know sometimes it is when there are parties of 8 or more). I know restaurant owners will say that is because people will stop coming to their establishment if the prices are sky high…but therein lies is the catch 22.

I think the thing that gets me most about knowing that my server gets paid $2.13 an hour is that there is an OBLIGATION to tip. You are thought to be a rude / bad person if you don’t tip. I don’t understand why it’s my job to make sure a server has enough money to live. They have a job. It should be the restaurant’s responsibility to pay their employees, right? Not the customer’s. I mean, you don’t go to a grocery store, pay for your groceries, and then pay the cashier for cashing you out, do you? That’s their JOB. Someone is paying them to be there, hence why they’re there. How audacious is it for a restaurant to expect you to pay for food and then also pay for customer service?

If my bill is $50, and I give a 20% tip my bill is now $60. Couldn’t they have just added the $10 somewhere else in my bill..for example, make the chicken fingers I ate $2 higher, add $1 to the burger, whatever….then pay the servers the federal minimum wage, and not have their night totally ruined if they get people who aren’t tipping enough for them to live on?

I DO NOT think that from the minute I sit down at a table in a restaurant or on a stool at the bar, I should be AUTOMATICALLY expected to leave a generous tip. There are many factors that come into play when figuring out how much money to leave as a tip:

1. The service itself. Was my server friendly, approached me in a timely manner, and was knowledgeable about what was on the menu or what I was asking for? Or was he/she rude, didn’t really seem to listen, no personality, and I had been sitting for 15 minutes before you even approached me?

2. How long did it take for my food or drink to be served to me? If I order a beer while I am sitting at the bar, I wouldn’t expect it to take more than a minute or two to be brought to me. Of course there are exceptions and sometimes people forget or they get caught up in something else right away, but generally it shouldn’t take very long.

3. The FOOD. Now I know I may hear some people say “the server doesn’t work in the kitchen, they should not be punished for bad food”. Well I do not speak with the people who actually cook my food, I speak to the server. If I say I want a baked potato and I get fries, or I want my steak rare and it comes back medium well, of course I am going to say something. And we have all heard the “rumors” (which I am positive are sometimes based in fact) that if you complain about your food and send it back, you are taking your life into your own hands. I really hate it when you are out with 3 or 4 people, and on of the peoples food doesn’t come with the rest of the food. So that person has to sit there and say ‘It’s ok” while everyone else eats, or nobody eats until that persons food comes, and now we all have cold food.

4. How did my server LOOK. I know this may sound REALLY shallow, but deep down we all know it is the truth. Looks do matter. Do you want someone with food all over their clothes, looks dirty and smells bad bringing you your food? old beer Now I am sure the woman to my right is a really nice person and she is obviously hard working…but…

hooters These women also can carry beer! And I am sure that they are all just “working there way through college”, so I feel that i should help with their college expenses and tip them a little better 😉  Plus…and I am sure a lot of guys actually believe this..(pic below)

cover pic Basically what I am saying is that I don’t and shouldn’t be obligated or forced to give a good tip. I have received service that is out of this world phenomenal, and it was usually the bartender/server who kept me coming back, not the prices or even the quality of the food.  I have also received service that ensured I would never go back to that establishment again, no matter what.

Bottom line is this: If you treat me well and are nice to me, I will treat you the same. Just like in the “real world”. If you treat me like crap and act like you don’t care if I am there or not,  and you still expect a generous tip…. you must be out of your mind!ugly aitressAs always, thanks for taking the time out of your day to stop by our blog, and please take a minute to respond to the poll below. I am interested in seeing what/why people tip….and “ya’ll come back now, ya hear!”

About shawnpmcclellan

Fun loving guy who is here to inform, entertain, and force feed my opinion down your throat!. We will be talking about a myriad of topics, including, but not limited to: the hot issues of the day, sports, movies, TV, books, food,sex, religion....I have lived all over this great country, and I love to share my opinion on almost everything. I am a trivia master, so trivia will be sprinkled throughout my blogs...feel free to make comments or suggestions, and if i don't agree with them I will just ignore them!
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2 Responses to Tipping: A reward for good service, or an OBLIGATION? Hmmmm….

  1. Hey there, I’m a host who works in a chain restaurant nearby, and I think I can shed a little perspective on your post.

    You are absolutely right. Restaurants SHOULD pay their employee’s minimum wage at the very least and have tips be for only EXCELLENT behavior while on the job. This fact has been brought to the attention of many cooperations, but to no avail. May cooperations want to spend the least amount of money on their business and profit the most out of it at the same time. Worker strikes, threats to Unionize, and the like have been thrown around for years–but nothing has changed.

    What makes the situation even WORSE is that a lot of your tip in Chain restaurants do not even go the server. Many places are now adopting the new collective tip system so that they can pay their Hosts, Bussers, and Runners below minimum wage and factor in a piece of the servers tip into their pay. This means that if you tip 2 dollars on a 10 dollar bill, your server is lucky to get 1.25 if not less out of that tip. The rest is divided among the other Front of House staff. So that’s something that I believe many people when calculating how much to tip should consider.

    Also, I see you mentioned that food coming out in a timely manner is a must. While I do believe that it is important that customers receive their food on time, I know for a fact that the arrival time of a customers food does not depend on the server at all. The server takes your order, puts in your order on the computer, and everything after that is the Kitchen. Sometimes restaurants go on what we call a “false wait” in order to prevent delayed food arrivals. A “false wait” is where you have tables available but the Kitchen is so swamped that if you sat someone at those tables they would have to wait over thirty minutes for food. So next time your host tells you that it’s going to be a wait, just listen to them–we actually know a bit more about the restaurant than the customer.

    And another point about appearance. Yes, it is very important to look presentable. Most managers will not let you work if you do not look presentable with clean hair, clean clothes, and practical health care. However, many restaurants exploit their female workers by pushing them into uniforms that show off their “physique”. Women have a hard enough time being hit on, stalked, and pushed around by drunk guys at work. They don’t need “costumes” to be added to the list.

    Just throwing in my two cents from experience.


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