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Why Restaurant Patrons Should ALWAYS Leave a Tip!

Updated on April 4, 2012

Why Restaurant Patrons Should ALWAYS Leave a Tip!

Tequila Suprise!!!!

When I turned eighteen years old, despite my parents’ opinions to focus solely on my education, I began working. I wanted to be as independent as possible (while still living under their roof) and be able to put gas in my car, buy a cell phone, and pay for the expensive jeans I wanted but my mother wouldn’t waste money on. I started off working by “bussing” tables on the weekends at a restaurant. Since I was a gregarious person, I quickly made relationships with clientele. And since I inherited the “blue collar work ethic”, I quickly moved up the echelon to server and then eventually bartender. I continued to work at the restaurant long after I graduated high school, community college, and the university. Even though I obtained a full-time teaching position at a local pre-school, I still loved going into work on the weekends (and as a teacher at a non-profit organization, I still needed money to pay my bills and rent). The people I worked with felt like family (probably because I unfortunately spent more time with them than my own blood). Quickly I learned names, what beverages regulars liked, and would have their drinks ready before they even sat down. I liked my job and would rarely have problems with anyone especially with tipping, since the majority of my regular customers would leave 20% or more gratuities.

Once day, a group of three individuals walked in. I asked them what they would like to drink. The one man replied, “Tequila Surprise!” I responded, “Sir, that sounds delicious; although, I only know how to make a tequila sunrise, so you will have to tell me what a tequila surprise is since I have never heard of it before.” He yelled, “It’s tequila, tequila, and more tequila, SURPRISE! It’s tequila.” Since this man was with two sober people who were driving him, and I recognized this obnoxious man, I served him numerous drinks made with……surprise…..tequila! I recognized this man as one of my previous teachers, and let him know that I was one of his former students from a particular school. He seemed less than fascinated with my information; he most likely did not recognize me from his AP Chemistry class roster from almost a decade ago.

These three individuals ate, drank, bought drinks for people, socialized for three hours and tallied up a bill around $80. When they cashed out their check, the gentleman quickly shoved his change in his pocket and said, “Let’s go.” Since I am not a timid person, especially at work when money is involved, I asked if everything was ok since they were not planning on leaving a tip. The man said, “Oh, a tip, you probably want a tip……Well, here’s a tip, missy, go get yourself an education. There you go…. there’s your tip.”

The man neglected to realize that I was an educated person and seemed to think he was better than I was since I was “serving” him. Well, I gave this man a little piece of my mind and felt like I was on a soapbox for all individuals that work at a restaurant and were high school, technical school, community college, military affiliates (past, present, and future) and/or university graduates!

I collected my thoughts quickly; although, I was ready to spontaneously combust with anger. I replied, “An education? Thank you, but I already got mine! You see sir, I graduated high school with a 3.2 grade point average, participated in numerous extra-curricular activities, volunteered my extra time to various organizations, all while working here; I graduated from community college and a university~ Cum Laude with two majors. I have worked hard my whole life and I am proud to be the first person on all sides of my family to graduate from college; I have a teaching degree, and am a highly-qualified, certified educator just like you! So, thanks, but, no thanks; I don’t ‘need’ to go get myself an education….I already got mine. ”

You could have heard a pin drop for a few moments after my impromptu monologue, then a plethora of shouting and yelling from regular customers; including, but not limited to, “You tell him like it is, honey!” “You go girl!” “I hear ya!” “You better leave something, you …”

The man said to his accomplices, who were previously not going to leave any money either, “Give the girl a few bucks!”

I’m not saying that every single server, bartender, bus person, chef, host, maitre d’, dish washer, or other employee of your favorite fine-dining establishment is worthy of your 20% tip (or more!), but just understand that the person who is “serving” you is not your personal “servant”, and they might just be smarter than you think!


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      A plnsliegay rational answer. Good to hear from you.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Sadly, there are people who imagine themselves superior for any reason, and more sadly like to tear other people down in order to build themselves up. You're correct in that one should tip when it is applicable unless the service was considerably less than expected without good reason.

      Very interesting hub.

    • FreezeFrame34 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Charleston SC

      Thanks bankscottage and ElleBee for reading and commenting!

      I've had some bad experiences myself at restaurants!

      I once had a waitress blow smoke in my face when she was taking my order!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes, there are definitely lots of cheap/rude people in the wold like this! I have only not left a tip once (and even then I think I left 50c or something), and it was because I found the service to be inexcusably poor, and that it was actually on the part of the server (usually I know this isn't the case b/c the kitchen is probably slow). This happened when I stopped for breakfast at a little local diner type place last St. Patrick's Day - the place was a little busy and incredibly slow because of a race in the next town. I had to wait around 25-30 minutes for a very basic breakfast order (toast and fried eggs). I was sitting at the counter so I could see what was going on and the servers were right in front of me hanging out behind the counter area where they waited for the incredibly slow food - the server never came over to apologize for things taking so long (didn't bother w/ anyone really even though people were asking about their food), didn't offer to refill my coffee (even after I'd been sitting there for 20 minutes), never checked how my food was etc. I had to ask for a coffee refill, for napkins, and eventually for my bill. I used to eat there a lot as a kid, and was excited to be working very close by, but after that day they definitely lost me as a customer.

    • bankscottage profile image


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Some people, me included, are just not meant to be servers (or involved in customer service in general for that matter).

    • FreezeFrame34 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Charleston SC

      Thanks for your input, bankscottage! I always try to give the server the benefit of the doubt too; I know what it's like having customers get angry because their food is taking too long in the kitchen. I know that sometimes I would have to go back into the kitchen to run silverware and roll it so my costumers would have utensils on a busy Friday night.

      I do know that there are bad servers too! I've had a few horrible experiences as well!

    • bankscottage profile image


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I have heard that some interviews for top executive positions involve going out to lunch or dinner. The candidate thinks it is a chance to be a little less formal and relax. They think they are getting a break from the tense interview process.

      What they didn't realize was it was one of the most important parts of the interview process. The potential employer wanted to see how they would interact with the server. The thinking is that how you treat the server will be how you treat subordinates. Good candidates have lost jobs because of how they treated the servers.

      You just don't know who that server is. They could be a college or grad student, the owner of a small business trying to make ends meet as they grow their business. In fact, someday they could even be your boss.

      The other side is the bad server. My son's girlfriend has had several jobs serving (she is finishing her master's degree). She always leaves at least a 20% tip, almost no matter what. After one dinner in an upscale restaurant where the service was particularly poor, she offered to leave the tip. I looked back to see what she left. It was 1 penny. That is how bad she thought the service was.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 

      6 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Kudos to you for wanting to be an independent woman! I agree on tipping, if I get the service I deserve. But, if the waiter is just there filling in his time, he get's what his attitude is worth. A waitress is hired to serve, and should be there for the customer.

      I'm so glad you spoke up to the person! Not every waitress is "dumb". I know many who do it for extra money. I know you probably would have gotten fired, but I would have called him a halfwit for thinking all waitresses are uneducated. And, I would have told him to go get an education of the real world! Voted up!


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