This is the ‘tipping’ time of the year and I thought this would make a good post. I am a good tipper and sometimes get flack about it, which chaps me because, why do people care how much I tip? You would think I was taking it directly out of their pockets. I tip well because I was a waitress and sometimes the extra buck or 2 I got came at a critical time.
Lets say you are meeting some friends after work for drinks and appetizers at your favorite restaurant. There are 10 of you, its happy hour, and you have had a bunch of drinks and lots of food and your total bill is $150. You decide to split it evenly and everyone owes $15. A reasonable tip is 20% or $3.00 each for a total of $30. But wait, lots of people don’t tip 20% and even restaurants who enforce a gratuity on tables of 10 or more usually only require 15%. So lets say that 5 people only tip 10% and 2 don’t tip at all and the other 3 tip 20%. Now the tip has went from $30 down to (stops to get calculator) a measly $16.50 or barely 10%. This waitress who has been shlepping drinks and apps for you and your noisy friends for the last 2 hours is going to get a measly $16.50? Now you are probably thinking that its on top of her hourly rate but did you know that minimum wage for wait staff is substantially less than other types of workers? It is assumed that the wait staff will receive enough tips to make up the difference but this isn’t always the case. By the way, the 2007 minimum exception (wait staff, etc) wage is $2.87 per hour.
Here is my philosophy on tipping. If your bill is $15 and a reasonable tip is $3, why not go the extra mile and leave $5. If everyone in a group of 10 did that, the $30 tip just became $50. The $2 extra you are leaving doesn’t mean jack to you but the extra $20 might mean a lot to the wait staff.
My last comment is, just because I tip well on our group bill, doesn’t mean that some people in the group don’t need to. This is another thing that really chaps me. Lets say everyone has left decent tips and the last person writing out their check sees that there is already a $30 tip on the $150 tab. That person still needs to tip. I have seen it more than once and my daughter Jessica told me she has seen it too. What the hey!
Ok, I am climbing down off my soap box now but the next time you go out for dinner, throw an extra couple bucks on the tab. Those waiters and waitresses work hard. I know, I was one.