Tipping In Restaurants

This is such a heated topic. As a former restaurant employee and manager, I have seen it all. Good tippers to bad tippers. So I am going to write to you about my opinion on the matter.

First let me tell you I personally am a great tipper. I average between fifteen to twenty percent. I believe that if I am going to have a person serve me for a living it is my duty to make sure they get a decent wage.

Now let me tell you about my experiences and why I think bad tipping should be a crime.

My favorite guest is the one who tells me I should give my employee's a raise. They tell me what a great job they have done and that they deserve to make more money. What I love to tell them is this: "If they are so great then you have the chance to improve their wage with a great tip. You are the one that can give them an immediate increase in their salary." The guests generally look at me crazy. See they don't want to have to give more they expect the establishment to do it.

One thing you need to understand is simple economics. If I pay the staff more, then you will have to pay more for the product. If you pay the staff, through your tips, then I can reduce the costs. Most restaurants can only afford to pay their staff minimum wage. Some states even have tip credit and can pay them even less. Some states only pay 2 something an hour. How are they supposed to survive on that.

So as I have been everything from busboy to bartender, tips have been very near and dear to me. I believe if you have a person serving you and does an great job then reward him with the tip. If he does an average job then reward him with an average tip. The tip should start between ten and fifteen percent. The IRS taxes your server on this automatically and can audit and take taxes on fifteen percent of your sales. So when I see servers bust their butts and only get eight or ten percent I can't help but feel sorry.

Now on the rare occasion, which seems to becoming more commonplace, when an employee gives horrible service. You need to communicate that to the manager. They need to know that service was horrible. How else will they be able to change the bad behaviour. Then tip them accordingly. Be careful with this because they do share with other employee's in the building that may have given you great service. You can typically tip them seperately if you want.

Another favorite guest is the one who comes in and says: "Make sure you take great care of me and I will take care of you". This guest usually means they want twenty percent service and only want to pay eight percent for it. Don't tell your server you are going to take care of them. Just let them do what they are good at and reward them later. My favorite guests are returning ones that know I am going to take care of them.

Now like I said it is important to understand that bad service doesn't deserve a great tip. It also doesn't deserve no tip unless it was that bad. If so then you really need to talk to the manager. Did I mention that you should tell the manager.

My favorite part was taking on the guest who had bad service or bad experiences. See I was able to do whatever it took to keep them as guests. Most remained long term guests and friends.

So to sum this all up. Don't go out to a served meal unless you can afford the tip. Don't be a stingy tipper. You are only hurting the server and his family if he has one. Communicate you bad experiences to the manager at the time of service. Push your self to tip more. It really isn't that hard to leave a few extra bucks. I can guarantee that you have that much sitting on your car's floor in change.

Good tippers are blessings to those they tip.

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k witt profile image

k witt 7 years ago from Eastern Iowa

It is also important to note that all problems are brought to the server's attention. If the manager is doing a standard table visit, after the server has been excessively attentive, and the guest complains about random things that were never brought to the server's attention it can often lead to penalization even if the guest never mentioned anything wrong. Generally when a guest complains they want to accumulate all the little things to make the experience seem even worse when in all actuality it was a refill that was fifteen seconds too late.

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