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Tipping your waitress

Updated on March 10, 2011

What to tip

 As tipping is always at your descretion, I have learned that some people think very differently about tips then I do.  Waitressing put me through school years ago and to this day me and my brother will argue about tipping.  Everytime we go out to eat with my family and his, I am still dismayed and apalled when he leaves 5.00 on a hundred dollar check.  He bless his heart is still convinced that this is a fair wage and actually a good tip from him.  He used to tell me how he would start out at five dollars, yes this was his cap, and he would subtract a dollar everytime he had to wait for another drink, etc.

So coming to the conclusion that we will never see eye to eye on this matter, I always leave the tip no matter who treats.  And I have no qualms leaving additional monies if someone else treats, this may hurt some feelings however.

So the standard amount would be 15-18 percent of your check.  I will say this is an acceptable amount for any area.  I would also like to say this is a standard low tip. 

Tipped Employee Facts

So, in the name alone you would think of a tip as extra. Your show of appreciation for great service, right?

No. A tipped employees pay is minimum wage and I am not talking 7.25 or 5.15 as federal minimum wage. I am talking about to-date, 2.13 an hour is a waitress wage in the United States. A lot of people do not know this fact, the few dollars that you throw on the table after dinner, makes up 3/4 of that waitresses income.

Another interesting fact you may not know, however in most of your higher end restaurants, your waitress will have to tip put up to five percent of their sales to other employees in the restaurant, i.e. bus boys, bartender, food runners, etc.

Also, your server will be taxed on at least ten percent of their tips by the government. So, on a good night, an average of 1,000.00 in sales. Your waitress will pay other people 20.00 and pay taxes on at least 100.00, whether they get that amount or not. I served for many years and there are times I would get checks from the company for zero, the hourly wage mainly goes to taxes on the tips. 

Another thing that some companies will do is what they call a tip allocation.  This basically takes the power from the server to claim her own tips and a certain set amount per hour is automatically taxed off of your sales for the night.  I used to work in Nevada and I was actually taxed over eleven dollars an hour right off the bat.  Now don't get me wrong I made that plus, but once again, maybe an unknown fact.

So, if you stiff your server for let's say a hundred dollar check, do you realize that you are actually taking money out of their pocket? If they tip out 5 dollars and then pay 20 percent tax on ten percent=they are losing 7.00 dollars by waiting on you. Kind of crazy huh? So I know there are bad servers out there, but I ask you..."Are the bad enough to have to pay to serve you?"

So why waitress?

Might be asking yourself this very same question when you know the facts, but truth is it is usually a good living. I have found that if so meone can not make goo dmoney doing this job, they will quickly find a job that their performance will not make a difference to their bottom line. I waitressed for years and will admit sometimes, I would make more than what I do with a degree. So next time you throw your change on the table, just think about what you are really doing.

So where did tipping come from, honestly not sure.  I would imagine that some women were getting some tips for being fabulous in their service and it actually was a tip. Maybe the store and restaurant owners saw it as a way to pay 2 dollars an hour in 2011, who knows.  But please, whenever you are out, tip the people that are there to serve you. Don't make them pay for you.


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    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Nevada pays at least minimum wage too. Yeah it does suck for us 2.13ers.

    • profile image

      FactCheck 5 years ago

      A Washington State waitress gets paid the state minimum wage of $9.04/hr not the $2.13 you other crummy states force upon your workers. Suck it!