Why Your Reasons for Demanding a Tip are Wrong

Waiters are understandably upset about why I don’t tip and have given many illogical reasons in support of this ridiculous practice. Here’s a rebuttal of the most common ones.

Bullshit 1: We only Pay for the Food. Service is Extra

The menu price doesn’t include just the cost of preparing the food and paying the chef. It includes the restaurant setting, the tables, the cutlery, the effort and investment that the restaurant owner has put into the dining area. Now guess what? Since I’m paying for it, the restaurant has to give it to me. And how do they accomplish this?

Waiters. Ding ding!

See without waiters, the restaurant has no way of delivering the dining experience to me that I’m paying for. I’m paying for sitting down in a nice place. I’m paying for the air conditioning. I’m paying for the nice tablecloth and for my food to be delivered to me in a reasonable time. The menu price covers all this. Waiters are just the restaurant’s way of bringing me my food. Of fulfilling their part of the contractual obligation.

Bottom line. Servers are not independent contractors. They’re not an “extra” that you have to pay for. By hook or crook, the restaurant needs to deliver the product. Whether they use waiters or conveyor belts (a term that many seem to object to), is not my business. I don’t care. The waiters can just melt into the background and let me enjoy my food in peace. If the menu includes free refills or whatever, then waiters are required to deliver that as well. Why? Because…wait for it….I paid for it!

Bullshit 2: It’s the custom. It’s ‘merica!

Yeah right. You do realize that not all customs are created equal don’t you? Slavery was a “custom” back in the day and so was race and sexual discrimination. Anyone with an ounce of integrity does what they feel is right. There are many harmless customs in the world like bowing instead of shaking hands, or using chopsticks instead of forks etc that are morally neutral. It really makes no difference if you follow them or not.

But tipping? Hell no! It’s not morally neutral. If you get better service because you’re a good tipper, then you’re essentially paying a bribe to servers to get them to do their job properly next time. All customs have a limit. And tipping is such a convenient custom isn’t it? Hell, I wish I had a custom in place for people to just throw money at me.

And just in case someone feels I don’t appreciate the US, there are many great things about this country that I love and I’ve blogged about repeatedly. Freedom of expression, the way Americans show respect to their armed forces, the politeness of people as you walk by on the road, the work culture, the individuality.

I just don’t like tipping. It’s not as if a person has to blindly accept everything in a country without judgment. There are good things. And there are bad things. Just like everywhere else.

Bullshit 3: The cost of food will increase dramatically

Someone needs to do basic math. Increasing the price of food to pay minimum wage to waiters will not double the price of food. Some have even gone so far to claim that it’ll increase 4-5 times. Ridiculous. Totally, utterly ridiculous. Let’s dissect this rubbish.

As an example, I’ll take Chilis. A waitress at Chilis was so kind as to comment saying that the price of food at her restaurant will increase by 3 times – $30 for a $10 burger. Using the statistics she herself gave in her comment, there are 12 waiters (at full capacity) who need to be paid minimum wage. That’s $5 extra per hour per waiter making it a net total of $60 per hour that has to be added to the price of food on a full day.

$60/hr? For 12 waiters. That’s it! It’s peanuts. If you assume even that each waiter is serving just four tables. That’s $5 an hour extra they have to make from four tables. Even if we say that each table sits for a massive two hours, the extra paid per table is way less than $5. On the total bill. Worst, worst case scenario.

You know what? Customers won’t even notice. So stop the garbage about the prices of food going up several times to pay minimum wage. It’s utter nonsense. The only reason waiters don’t want this system in place is because they earn a hell of a lot more than than minimum wage using our tips. And they come across as the victims.

Waiters are Struggling Mothers/Students

Look, it’s not as if I don’t have sympathy for those who struggle in life. I just don’t think it’s my problem. And I specially don’t like it being impinged upon me. Generosity is one thing. Having money demanded from you is something totally else. Any tip I give is out of the generosity of my heart and I expect some gratitude for helping those in need. It’s not something I have to do since…refer to Myth 1.

Bottom line: Socially mandated tipping is a scam. I can’t believe how intelligent people have been hoodwinked into it. Probably because they like to come across as “nice” people and feel sorry for servers who hover around looking expectantly. Well, I find that irritating and I won’t buy into it.

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Comments

  1. FSA says:

    The mentality is the same… waiters are just freeshitarmy in the end. demanding everything for nothing and crying when they don’t get it all the time. sorry losers, but you’ll be seeing 0%. screw with my food and not only will I *not* be paying, you’ll be getting fired at the very least, and I’ll be compensated for not suing the establishment.

  2. Xavier says:

    Sorry, but you’re being deliberately obtuse. The US has food establishments where you are expected to tip (Chili’s, etc.), and places where you are not (McDonalds, McAllister’s Deli, Panda Express, etc). If you do not wish to tip, you have the option of going to a place where you are not expected to. You also have the option of take out at 95% of restaurants, where a tip is not expected and you will not have to deal with a server “pretending” to be your friend. The fact is, you have options to not tip. You do not have to participate in a tip based system if you do not choose to. But if you CHOOSE to participate in the system and take advantage of the service (refilling drinks, cleaning up your mess, etc.), then you are in essence extending a separate merit-based, contractual obligation to the server, apart from the restaurant.

    And let’s examine what would happen if a large number of people adopted your philosophy. Servers would only be making $2.37/hr and taking home next to no money. Consequentially, servers would quit that establishment and go somewhere they make more money (either another restaurant where you don’t frequent, or leave the industry entirely). Without staff, the restaurants will either have to close, or significantly raise prices on everything to pay servers a reasonable wage. So in essence, you would be tipping ANYWAY, it would just be built into the cost of the food. So for all your blustering and “I’m not tipping no matter what,” you would end up paying the tip regardless.

    But you know the majority of Americans tip. You’re counting on the system not changing, and being able to save $5 here and there. You’re effectively skimming from the people who go to restaurants, use the service, and compensate accordingly. You’re a leech, a parasite. That’s not to be derogatory, it accurately describes what you are doing. There is no high-minded ideal about the inequality of the system or indignant stance on the value of service. You’re just cheap, and wrote a blog post to rationalize your selfish behavior and pretend that it is some intellectual epiphany. And maybe you wanted to post it on the internet to find the few people who do the same things, like the other commenter FSA, seeking out affirmation when society at large tells you that you are completely wrong. Just like pedophiles do.

    • ron says:

      Those things you mention are part of your job. The arrangement you have with your employer and yourself in regard to wages has nothing to do with the customers.

      Customers are under no obligation to hand you tax free money in addition to the bill for what wad ordered.

      If your getting any tips at all , be thankful and stop whining about those who don’t see the need to pay anything over and above the required bill and applicable taxes.

      Customers don’t owe you a living so stop this asinine ranting and bitching because your sense of entertainment is very annoying.

    • tehy says:

      Sorry, but you’re being deliberately obtuse. The US has food establishments where you are expected to tip (Chili’s, etc.), and places where you are not (McDonalds, McAllister’s Deli, Panda Express, etc). If you do not wish to tip, you have the option of going to a place where you are not expected to.

      Too bad those are all fast-food take-out restaurants. a nice meal and mcdonalds don’t mesh well, unsurprisingly.

      You also have the option of take out at 95% of restaurants, where a tip is not expected and you will not have to deal with a server “pretending” to be your friend.

      Here’s a story to illustrate the problem with this idea. I was with my friend and his family, We were waiting for a table at this high-end restaurant. I suggest that we just order it take-out, because the time we take to get a table there is probably the same as the time to get home, which saves us the drive home and standing around like a bunch of chumps. This brilliant idea is shot down, of course, in a flash.Why? Well, people want to eat at restaurants. The ambience, the ability to get refills and order more dishes, not getting the house dirty with food stains, et cetera.

      The fact is, you have options to not tip. You do not have to participate in a tip based system if you do not choose to. But if you CHOOSE to participate in the system and take advantage of the service (refilling drinks, cleaning up your mess, etc.), then you are in essence extending a separate merit-based, contractual obligation to the server, apart from the restaurant.

      Wait, what? The restaurant PAYS you for giving that service. If take-out was even close to a primary option, the restaurant would be a kitchen with a few tables out front. Since it’s not, the restaurant needs a method of food delivery…which it pays for. What are you, a damn salesman or something?

      And let’s examine what would happen if a large number of people adopted your philosophy. Servers would only be making $2.37/hr and taking home next to no money. Consequentially, servers would quit that establishment and go somewhere they make more money (either another restaurant where you don’t frequent, or leave the industry entirely). Without staff, the restaurants will either have to close, or significantly raise prices on everything to pay servers a reasonable wage. So in essence, you would be tipping ANYWAY, it would just be built into the cost of the food. So for all your blustering and “I’m not tipping no matter what,” you would end up paying the tip regardless.

      Did you not see him explain in the article exactly the problem with the “significantly raised prices” thing? “That’s $5 extra per hour per waiter”. That’s less than a single tip for a party of four, so how could prices rise significantly?

      But you know the majority of Americans tip. You’re counting on the system not changing, and being able to save $5 here and there. You’re effectively skimming from the people who go to restaurants, use the service, and compensate accordingly. You’re a leech, a parasite. That’s not to be derogatory, it accurately describes what you are doing.

      You are the leech, the parasite. Stop trying to justify your sucking of money via societal norms. Once again bhagwad and many others have said THIS IS OKAY CHARGE US MORE.

      There is no high-minded ideal about the inequality of the system or indignant stance on the value of service. You’re just cheap, and wrote a blog post to rationalize your selfish behavior and pretend that it is some intellectual epiphany. And maybe you wanted to post it on the internet to find the few people who do the same things, like the other commenter FSA, seeking out affirmation when society at large tells you that you are completely wrong. Just like pedophiles do.

      Yes, not tipping is like pedophilia. I see your point, that they’re both “abnormal people” that seek justification, it’s still a purposely provocative analogy and you shouldn’t do that. Especially since I don’t think pedophiles do that?

      So far you’ve provided no actual reasons for not tipping other than ones disproved in this very article, nonsensicality about takeout (not that takeout isn’t an option) and of course you have added a lot of hominem to the discussion. SO kind of you do come again

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