T Nation

Why Tip?

Bad tippers have a special place reserved in hell.

A lot of people don’t understand exactly why a bad tip is so…well, bad.

When you give a bad tip to a server (or no tip at all), you often cost them money. A server generally has to “tip out” a percentage of his sales to the bartender and bussers at the end of the night. I personally have to give 1% of my sales (regardless of my tips) to the bartender, 2% to the bussers, and 1% to the food runner if there is one (a food runner “runs” the food from the kitchen to the tables). So if I sell $500 worth of food in a night, I am required to tip out $20, no matter what my tips were.

So, lets say I averaged 20% tips that night. That’s $100 before the tip out, so I take home $80. But here’s where it gets fun. Let’s say I averaged 20% on all my tables except one, which stiffed me. If their tab was, say, $150 (which is common at the restaurant I work in), I still have to tip out $6 on that one table. I had to pay money to serve them. So when I would have had a $30 tip and could take home $24 from that tip, I lose $6 instead. Now instead of taking home $80 I’m taking home $50 ($350 x 20% is $70, minus the $20 tip out on the total sales of $500).

In the US, 15-20% is standard for restaurant servers. I know, it used to be 10%. It isn’t anymore. A 10% tip is not acceptable unless service was poor. It seems like a lot of people here in Texas think 10% is still a good tip. Or my favorite, that $5 or $10 is a good tip (regardless of the total bill). Sure, $10 is good on a $50 tab. It isn’t good on a $150 tab. Keep tip outs in mind. It’s a percentage of your tab, not a percentage of the tips I made.

(So you know I’m not talking out of my ass about any of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipping#United_States )

And by the way, “poor service” does not mean “my food came out wrong,” or “it took too long.” That isn’t your server’s fault, it’s the kitchen’s fault. If you feel your food is taking too long, tell your server, and he should be able to go to the kitchen manager and make him aware that the meal is taking too long.

If your food isn’t cooked right, tell your server and he will take care of it immediately. It doesn’t take 15 minutes to re-cook your meal becuase re-cooks are done “on the fly,” meaning “I know that steak is supposed to go to table 15, but I need it NOW for table 26.”

It isn’t a server’s fault if something is wrong with your food, and if you make him aware of the problem he should bust his ass to make it right. And most servers will, because they know that if they don’t, they lose money. If something happens that is the fault of your server (he neglects your table for an extended period of time, has a bad attitude, takes too long bringing or refilling drinks, etc.), then sure, leave a bad tip. Or better yet, talk to a manager. You may be able to get a discount on your meal, or a free dessert.

what was the point of this? your whining makes me want to tip less, and i used to be the chef who’s fault it was that everything went wrong, according to your philosophy. the rerason people leave a shitty tip, for the most part is due to shitty service by the wait staff. stop talking to your friends, and refill my drink. then you get a tip. besides, if it was not for the work of the back of the house, you would’nt get shit for tips anyways. i(along with the rest of the back of the house) feel that you should tip the cooks too. why does’nt the cook get tipped? he/she is the one who made the food the people are tipping for, we should be tipping the rest of the crew out and keeping the bulk for ourselves. servers are not the ones slaving in 120 degree heat, over open flame, on a slippery floor, around countless sharp and hot items. after cooking for several years, i realized it is one of the more dangerous jobs around. you have fryers, knives, boiling liquids, open flames, slippery floors, no sitting, and a crowd of customers who do not like to wait. tip us, we will make sure you servers get compinsated for all your “hard work”. i know how hard it is to carry a tray, you guys deserve a medal.

I think most of us are aware of what is and isn’t the responsibility of a ‘server.’

Bottom line is good ‘service’ gets tipped and poor service doesn’t. And for those non-tippers, your little expanation probably didn’t convert them.

Boo-hoo on the rest. We all have our crosses to bear.

Tips are earned, not a right. Find another job if you can’t get people to like the way you serve them.

Only in America.

I tip out 20%. 15 if you suck.

If I order my stake rare, and it comes out well-done… guess what, buck-o? That’s your bad. You took the order and knew what I specified. You should be checking the order before it gets to me.

That said, I still don’t penalize servers as long as they are busting ass and trying to do a good job.

A personable, reasonably intelligent, and diligent server can make a lot of money in tips.

For good or excellent service, I tip more than the expected 15%… sometimes a lot more.

For OK service, I’ll tip the 15%. If the place is busy as hell and I can see that all the waiters and waitresses are doing their best to cope, I won’t hold that agains you. It’s not your fault if your boss is a lousy manager.

For lousy service, I’ll tip nothing. 0$. I’ll write it explicitely in the little “tip” box on the bill. And if I come back and I recognize you, I’ll ask for another waiter. Lousy service includes stuff like getting my order wrong, especially if you didn’t write it down and then you argue with me when I point out the mistake; forgetting about something I asked for; etc. Basically, if you make me feel like I’m bothering you, I won’t “bother” with a tip.

If you feel “entitled” to your tip but don’t feel that you have to do anything in particular to earn it, well you should find work in another industry. Try tech support, where hating your customers is par for the course.

I normally tip 20 to 25 % someone would have to be exceptionally rude to get a low tip from me.

What the guy is talking about is the lowlife cheap A**es. You know who you are! leaving a 5$ tip on a 100.00 meal.

BTW let me ask some opinion on this one.

Guy goes to a high priced cigar bar. Buys a round of napoleon brandy for 4 guys @ 250.00 per shot. So do you tip 20 % i.e. 200.00 to the waitress on a 1000.00 tab???

What do you do???

[quote]emdawgz1 wrote:
I normally tip 20 to 25 % someone would have to be exceptionally rude to get a low tip from me.

What the guy is talking about is the lowlife cheap A**es. You know who you are! leaving a 5$ tip on a 100.00 meal.

BTW let me ask some opinion on this one.

Guy goes to a high priced cigar bar. Buys a round of napoleon brandy for 4 guys @ 250.00 per shot. So do you tip 20 % i.e. 200.00 to the waitress on a 1000.00 tab???

What do you do???[/quote]

dine and dash, fuck 250.00 for a shot. they used to serve hennesy timeless where i used to work, tastes like a 5k bottle of ASS, whoever buys that deserves to be hit in the skull with a blunt object, and have their ferrari stolen.

I have a friend who gives a tip explanation on the receipt if she gets particularly bad service. I like the idea.

He farted on meringue; he sneezed on braised endive; and with creme of mushroom soup, well…

[quote]emdawgz1 wrote:
Guy goes to a high priced cigar bar. Buys a round of napoleon brandy for 4 guys @ 250.00 per shot. So do you tip 20 % i.e. 200.00 to the waitress on a 1000.00 tab???

What do you do???[/quote]

If you can afford to splash out 250 for a shot, and if the service is good, you can afford and should pay a 200 tip - simple as that.

[quote]Rockscar wrote:
Tips are earned, not a right. Find another job if you can’t get people to like the way you serve them.
[/quote]

Well stated.

If they are polite and respectable they get a good tip, if they are a dick they get my standard $0.12 tip. I am always polite; there is no reason for disrespect no matter what.

There have been cases where I tipped the server more than the actual bill. There have also been cases where I gave the bus boy the tip and told the manager the server was a dick.

[quote]chewie wrote:
Rockscar wrote:
Tips are earned, not a right. Find another job if you can’t get people to like the way you serve them.

Well stated.

If they are polite and respectable they get a good tip, if they are a dick they get my standard $0.12 tip. I am always polite; there is no reason for disrespect no matter what.

There have been cases where I tipped the server more than the actual bill. There have also been cases where I gave the bus boy the tip and told the manager the server was a dick.

[/quote]

I agree as well, i eat out alot and always tip very well in response to exceptional service. But if you can’t even bother to keep my water glass full and when i ask its like i am bothering you then too bad, i will leave a penny so you know that i did not forget its just that you suck that bad.

I’m like Rockscar when it comes to tipping. 20% or so when it’s good, right around 15% when it’s bad.

The dilemma I have is the whole “carside to go” takeout from restaurants like Applebees, Olive Garden, Chili’s etc. I wasn’t served, I wasn’t taken care of, a waiter just brought me my shit in a plastic bag and I went on my way. Still they kind of look at me like a puppy expecting a tip, but I never give them one.

B.

Anyone who worked in a service industry is usually a pretty good tipper. I was a valet parker in college, and made all my money on tips. I feel I am very generous when it comes to tipping.

However, nephorms steak example was perfect. Or if you failed to write it down and my order came out wrong. Or if I ask for bread and the server never brings bread. My biggest pet peeve is my water glass. If it stays empty and the server sees it yet does nothing, then your tip just went cascading downward.

When service has been bad, I have had the manager take off the added 18% or whatever at party events. The service has to be good, to warrant a high tip. My guidelines are simple. If the service was acceptable, you get 15%. If the service was good, around 20%. If the service was exceptional, then you are in the ball park of whatever I see fit. I have left a 20 on a 12 dollar meal before on many occasions.

However, if the service was bad, you can expect me to complain to a manager, get the meal free or knocked down, make a complaint about a terrible server, and then not leave a single cent.

I agree with this. I won’t tip them. Or the people at starbucks who make my overpriced coffee. Or anywhere that is not a traditional tipping profession, that has a tip jar out. When they are paid a wage to provide the service, then it doesn’t count. Wait staff, bartenders, valets, strippers (had to throw that one in) are not paid a wage, and live off of tips.

[quote]BradTGIF wrote:
I’m like Rockscar when it comes to tipping. 20% or so when it’s good, right around 15% when it’s bad.

The dilemma I have is the whole “carside to go” takeout from restaurants like Applebees, Olive Garden, Chili’s etc. I wasn’t served, I wasn’t taken care of, a waiter just brought me my shit in a plastic bag and I went on my way. Still they kind of look at me like a puppy expecting a tip, but I never give them one.

B.[/quote]

[quote]TrainerinDC wrote:
I agree with this. I won’t tip them. Or the people at starbucks who make my overpriced coffee. Or anywhere that is not a traditional tipping profession, that has a tip jar out. When they are paid a wage to provide the service, then it doesn’t count. Wait staff, bartenders, valets, strippers (had to throw that one in) are not paid a wage, and live off of tips.
[/quote]

Here’s a tipping question: If you order food in the restaurant, and also order “to-go” items to take with you after your meal, do you tip on the to-go items? I usually base my tip only on the “sit-down” food, with maybe a little extra thrown in for any to-go items.

I agree with tipping well for good service, and poorly for bad service, but I always tip something.

The server would have to roll his/her eyes at me, or be blatenly rude for me not to leave anything.

A small tip is enough to tell them the didn’t do as well as they could/should have.

Here in lovely “tax the hell out of me” NY, our tax is 8%, so it’s easy for us to just double the tax to get 16%, then add a couple bucks.

I think that seems to work out. Last meal we had came to $33 and we tipped $5. The waitress never filled our coffee or water, and told us she was going on break when we were half way through our meal.

I had to hunt down another waitress to get a to-go box while my wife and daughter waited for me to find someone who wasn’t busy.

I think I was overly generous then.

How do you tip the pizza guy?

When I made deliveries, I usually got $1, occasionally got $2 and every once in a while I would get a real good tip.

I usually tip them at least $2, but I usually only order one or two pizzas at most.

It seems like the 15% or more rule doesn’t apply with pizza delivery. At least not when I delivered.

“I don’t tip because society deems it necessary.”-Mr. Pink I think from Res. Dogs