Matters Missing Management: Tipping important for more than just sake of servers

As much as I like to tell myself I am a journalist, by definition I'm not quite a professional yet. I have a couple of years to go before graduating into the professional world.

In the meantime, there is a second side to my working career that supplies my dusty wallet with the cash for the simplicities of life such as bread and milk - it's serving.

Of course serving being the "politically correct" term nowadays. To most I am a waiter. I'll plead the fifth when it comes to the restaurant where I work, to be honest it doesn't matter. The problem isn't my restaurant of employment, but rather its customers. Actually it's dining customers in general that disgust me. To be even more exact, it's not the customers who deserve discussion, but rather their tipping habits.

I have worked as a server for over a year and a half. In that time span I have delivered food to tables full of patrons of all religions, colors, sizes and beliefs. The assortment of restaurant customers is ever evolving and constantly changing. However, things that do remain consistent in the business are the bad habits and poor morals when it comes to tipping.

So from a server's standpoint, hopefully I can help reshape the concept of tipping in your mind.

First and foremost, I, and most other servers, make only $2.13 an hour - not $5.15 like the rest of the minimum wage world. So the first point being that your tip is my income. Most of that $2.13 an hour is taken out for taxes leaving my paycheck up to the dollar bills left on the table by you.

Secondly, regardless of what your grandparents taught you, 15 percent is the rule of thumb for a tip. Simple math really. Take the sales tax times three, bring a calculator if need be, but at the very least, tip your server 15 percent. Do keep in mind, 15 percent is the norm for average service.

If you have a server who goes beyond the call of duty, brings you 18 refills of Diet Cherry Coke, puts extra ranch dressing on your salad and brings you extra napkins before you ask, try going out on a limb and leaving a little more. That's why servers do extra things for you, to get a better tip. Honor that.

Perhaps my most convincing piece of evidence for tipping well can be this. If you tip me bad, and come back to my restaurant, don't expect prompt service. If I'm not your server, I'll be sure to tell whoever is your server about your bad tipping habits, which in turn will result in sub-par service from some other server. A bad tip, even worse, being stiffed, is something that is quite easy for a server to remember.

I'm not saying every server deserves a $10 tip, but anything less than 15 percent these days is simply unacceptable, unless given poor service.

It really boils down to a sense of morals, or lack thereof.

Tipping according to service is just part of dining out. If you don't expect and accept that, try McDonald's, where they love to see you smile - and require no tip in the process.

Write to Greg at


More from The Daily

Loading Recent Classifieds...