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. Nat3ski says:

    Ok, i just have to weigh in here. There are some seriously over entitled waiting staff here.

    1. It should be your EMPLOYERS RESPONSIBILITY to pay you a reasonable wage. This wage should be covered in the cost of the food in the same way the running costs of the establishment and the wages of the manager are. This isnt a difficult concept!

    2. Why does a waiter deserve a tip when a shop clerk doesn’t? Its still customer service, they’re still required to be knowledgeable about the products and to provide exemplary service so why does one kind of service deserve a gratuity and another does not? Should your nurse at hospital be tipped for changing your sheets? No! So why should i pay any other kind of staff directly.

    3. As a shop clerk, I frequently have to stand for 30-60 minutes discussing the virtues of a given product with a customer who reeks of his own urine. If i dont get a tip for that i fail to see why anyone else should.

    4. I get a wage. Minimum wage to be exact and that is enforced by law. In this country. (the U.K. incase you were wondering) even waiters are paid this. This allows tips to be given for GOOD SERVICE not as a matter of course. I am simply baffled as to why America doesnt feel the employer should be responsible for paying thier staff and ,instead, delegate this responsibility to the customer.

    Take the BS out of the equation. Pay your staff properly. Charge customers a price shown on the menu and allow good service to be rewarded if the customer feels the service was truly exemplary. Stop standing around expecting more than you deserve and feeling butt-hurt when its not forthcoming. Scrap this stupid auto tip culture. sort out your minimum wage laws or get a real job.

    FYI I have worked as a waiter and when I was given a tip it was truly unexpected and received with gratefulness. Y’know, the way it should be!

    Gratuity definition (aka TIP); something given voluntarily or beyond obligation usually for some service.

    Reply

    • Jenna says:

      In reply to Nat3ski

      It’s all boils down to different cultures and their customs. I’m sure not tipping isn’t the only custom that differs from our customs here in American culture. It’s just how it is. It’s very rare here to get stiffed as it may be very rare in the U.K. to receive a tip. As when I wait on people from your country here in America I’m aware that they won’t tip me, that doesn’t stop me from giving them wonderful service and when I visit the U.K. I will always tip because that’s my custom! : )

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      • Nat3ski says:

        In reply to Jenna

        It’s more of a simple belief that when someone performs a job they deserve to be paid. This is the employers responsibility.

        Should I bring my own waiting staff with me to a restaurant? Seeing as I’m paying them myself it seems strange I don’t get to interview and pick my waiting staff. If that much is being done for me why am I the one expected to handle payroll? It simply flies in the face of reason.

        If they work for the restaurant then the restaurant should pay them and I should pay the restaurant. Same as in every other business.

        The issue here is that your government doesn’t respect you enough to consider waiting staff in equal standing to other staff and the sheer readiness to make this the customers fault is frankly sickening.
        The complete apathy of said staff to take this up with governers and statesmen is equally baffling and decidedly undemocratic an unamerican!

        Tipping did not originate in America but you as a whole have chosen to make it the status quo and its about time y’all chose to change that.

        You have categorically ruined the value and the very definition of the gratuity and have only yourselves to blame.

        No other industry would take this type of remuneration as par for the course and the restaurant industry shouldn’t either.

        I get paid to do my job to the best of my ability for a wage agreed upon upfront and so should you. I don’t get paid extra for doing it well and neither should you. A gratuity should be my choice to reward those I deem worthy of rewarding not as an act of subsistence for the recipient.

        tips should be viewed in the same light as soldier’s medals, they should be awarded for going above and beyond the call of duty. (though I know America has devalued this practice aswell)

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      • Nat3ski says:

        In reply to Nat3ski

        As an aside the mentality that a patron of your business that pays their bill can “stiff you” as you so colourfully put it is absolutely sickening and just the thing that I’m talking about. Unless they dine and dash a customer CANNOT STIFF YOU! Your boss paying you the pathetic circa 2 dollars an hour is the one screwing you over. They are barely paying you at all.

        The tip culture is beneficial for the owner of the restaurant and no one else. Why not pay staff on a commission basis of a percentage of total food sold? Shift the onus onto the employer not the customers. Eating out should be a pleasure not an effort in mathematics, social convention and what is essentially grovelling servitude. Employment shouldn’t be equal to charity but somehow America has made it just that.

        Reply

      • Jenna says:

        In reply to Nat3ski

        Many of the Anerican population has worked as a server at some point in their lives, they see the good money in it, so why would we argue with the government to take that away? That’s the plus side of serving, making lots of money in a short amount of time, sometimes making more than those with a college degree. As I myself am a college student, even after I obtain a diploma, I will most likely still wait tables. You don’t have to like it, it’s just the way it is. Call it unamerican if you want, but I assure you our government does way worse things than allowing restaurants to pay us under
        minimum wage(this is the least of their concerns) In my life as a server the only people I’ve heard complain about this matter are people that live in different countries. Just be happy you have the way you see fit in the U.K. and leave it to use to do what works for us. It’s the job I chose and agreed up getting paid 5.15/ hr plus tips. People will continue to complain and bitch about this until they are blue in the face or dead, if you’d like to waste your breath that’s on you. I don’t see the tipping customs being changed anytime soon and until they do servers are going to continue to make boat loads of money if they are good at what they do. I always go above and beyond with my tables and treat them as I would expect to be treated.

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      • Nat3ski says:

        In reply to Jenna

        And I’ll bet you view non tippers as screwing you over? waiting tables is a low skilled job. In that I mean it requires the bare minimum of education so it shouldn’t be brilliantly paid but should guarantee a minimum standards of living as should any employment of similar skill.

        My objections are mostly to the sense of entitlement shown by many here for customers to pay them when their employers don’t feel they should.

        How can someone providing customers to your establishment screw you over!? That’s a disgusting attitude to have towards your patrons.

        If you already out earn college graduates then I dare say your customers are more generous then you deserve.

        I hope you generously tip your mother when she cooks and then brings your food to the table.

        Though I find it strange that someone making such good money would trawl a forum about not tipping.

        Reply

      • Jenna says:

        In reply to Nat3ski

        If I could find a restaurant that pays 30$/hour and provides benefits then yes I would apply in a heart beat. Stiffing is just the word we use to describe someone not leaving a tip. We didn’t make these choices, we only choose to work with them, and any smart person who chooses to live life and work less, this is the job for them until reaching a career they truly care about. If I get stiffed (geesh I hope I don’t hurt your feeling by using such an ugly
        word) I don’t cry about it. I treat everyone with respect and courtesy, even if they smell of piss and garbage. If they come in the next week, I’ll continue to treat them in the same manner because this is the job I chose and not getting ripped comes along with it. You chose to work at a place with minimum wage. That’s your choice. For every person out there that is against tipping there is a person happy to tip me obnoxious amounts just because they feel cool throwing money around. It’s the way of life in the service industry. If you don’t like to tip than dont. It’s not affecting you one bit by us getting ripped besides your butt hurt because I work less and make more. If you had that option would turn it down? That’s your choice.

        Reply

      • Nat3ski says:

        In reply to Jenna

        So why do I keep hearing that not tipping leaves y’all unable to pay your bills and feed your kids. I’m guessing you don’t tip the man who gives you your paper. You don’t tip your police officers, divorce lawyers doctors etc. So why tip anyone else who is just doing their job? It doesn’t make sense. Why should tips be the reserve of waiters, cab drivers and bag handlers? When was the last time you tipped anyone not driving a cab or handling your food? If tipping must exist in such an expectant manner why is it not applied universally across the board?
        Seems to be dual standards. And two different stories at both ends of the scale. I’m sure I too would perpetuate a custom whereby people threw money at me but it doesn’t make it a good system. Tips should be for all or not at all.
        fyi I find my wage perfectly acceptable for the job I do, which is as skilled as waiting, which I too have done. I don’t expect to be paid by customers for doing my job and neither should custom dictate as such. My employer pays me and that’s the way it should be.

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      • Lou says:

        In reply to Nat3ski

        Have you ever waited tables before?? I assume not. It definitely requires more brains than your standard minimum wage job (if you want to be good at it) and when you really think about what the day can consist of it CAN be a lot of work. Not only are you keeping track of 25-30 people at all times anywhere from 8-12 hours per day all day, you are also walking (running sometimes if you’re really busy) literally for miles every day through the course of your shift all while carrying anywhere from 25-50 pound trays full of food or empty dishes, all in the 85 degree restaurant because your boss doesn’t want to run his/her electricity bill through the roof because of the air conditioning. It’s the people who say these things about waiters and waitresses and bartenders who need to come to their local busy restaraunt/bar and throw on an apron and get down and dirty for a week and see what it’s really all about. And oh yeah…if you think all the job consists of is putting in a food order and bringing it to your table then you’re nucking futs.

        Reply

      • Nat3ski says:

        In reply to Lou

        I assume as you can write you can read also. As I have already stated I have indeed waited tables, and during Christmas no less so I know exactly what is entailed in this job. It really isn’t as difficult as you are making out unless those you work with are thoroughly incompetent. Do you tip your nurses at the hospital? No? Well thier job is essentially the same but with added stresses and intricacies. They also bring you food on top of all that. So if you don’t chuck a few dollars at them why should a waiter get any?

        Think about it objectively people, rather than just blindly following a custom which, as a matter of fact, used to be frowned upon in the USA when introduced from Europe due to its demeaning insinuation.

        Reply

      • Jim DeVinney says:

        In reply to Nat3ski

        Thinking about it objectively nurses used to make 3 to 5 dollars an hour in roughly the 80s. Now they start around 25 an hour. So applying that bit of reasoning servers should make around 25 an hour too? For completely different jobs? And thinking in terms of capitalism, it has been tossed around that the resturant should pay the service staff accordingly so that customers don’t have to tip. Now a 14 ounce soft drink with minimum ice costs the resturant about 20 cents out the door abs they charge about 2.50 a glass on average. How much reality to we have to suspend to think that a change in how the service staff is paid would not result in an increase in overall price and reduced quality?

        Reply

      • Nat3ski says:

        In reply to Jim DeVinney

        Nurses perform a more skilled job hands down, in addition to the job servers perform. Prices would increase, not doubt about it. But the assumption the quality would decrease is brought out from nowhere and us an entirely basesless claim. If you take away the extra you pay as a tup the customer wallet is no lighter afterwards. It just takes away the uncertainty.

        Reply

      • Jim DeVinney says:

        In reply to Nat3ski

        From the economic perspective let us agree that 15% is standard. And thst your responce can be summed up as the money would move from the customer to the resturant. Are you still confident that the resturant owner wouldn’t move the percentage to 20-25% then pay the employee 10%? although I would bet that it is closer to 5%. It would do two things, and both are unspeakable to free market ssupporters. First the customer would be priced out of the market and those that did remain would suffer from a lower quality worker. My support for my second part is based on the fact that we are pleasenty suprised when we get above average service from a Mcdonalds worker or other service industry employee paid a minimal wage. The free market is an allusion when humans get involved.

        Reply

      • Mr. Grammar says:

        In reply to Jim DeVinney

        What does it allude to?

        Reply

      • Jim DeVinney says:

        In reply to Mr. Grammar

        Conrad for one. I would also go with Marie Antoinette as another example of what my poit alludes to.

        Reply

  2. sensibleguyhastoeat says:

    This article is awesome! Tipping totally sucks! If you you think you deserve more get if from your boss, otherwise you should have studied harder.

    Reply

  3. Snoglydox says:

    I believe minimum wage has dropped for servers because they were making so much money; most make up to and over 20 an hour now, above the $2.13 an hour.

    I would also like to add, that if a server does not make full minimum wage, adding tips, the employer must make up the difference.

    Reply

  4. Nat3ski says:

    Hear, hear! Well said.

    Reply

  5. DeDe says:

    Their not thier. So there!!!!

    Reply

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