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.

What do you think of this post?
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  1. AL says:

    My opinion is similar to yours. I don’t like tipping, but when I do, it reflects the amount I think the servers deserve. In some cases I don’t tip at all for terrible service (and food, if I’m feeling really foul).

    Here’s where I draw my criticisms though. Your article slightly missed the mark, in that you instigated the right emotions in us for the wrong cause. Mandatory tipping is pretty bad, and low server wage is abhorrent. HOWEVER, the tone of your article belittled the servers who ARE honest about their work and DON’T place priority on their tips, even if you didn’t mean to. Make sure you make that line clear in the future – it helps people arguing in favour of tips to understand what they SHOULDN’T be arguing about, and it helps YOU understand more about what you AREN’T arguing about.


  2. ghpham says:

    the % based system of tipping really confuse me. For example, I dine with my wife and we order 2 burgers for $10 each. With 20% tips, this would be $4. But if I order 2 steaks at $20 each, now the tips would be $8. Did he server do something different to deserve the double amount? Whoever came up with this idea is a complete idiot. I would rather tip at my own discretion. It probably would be a better idea to base the tip on a per person basis, no matter the cost of the ticket.


  3. Je Be says:


    1st to all the disgruntled credulous peons it’s the Internet! Much like life: if. You were that bothered by his opinion and post you should just keep it moving why get so emotionally charged trying to invalidate another’s opinion it’s their opinion to have. Mind your business

    2nd I don’t need to work in a restaurant setting to know simple logic! I would never EXPECT a tip! People don’t owe me that, nor should I feel some type of way because someone didn’t tip me! If you were more intelligent you’d see how silly you sound.

    If I were a waiter I would base my income on my FIXED wages! Tips are not guaranteed nor should it affect how I do my job! The FAKE smiles and extra chatter shut up and just be effective at doing what you are paid to do, and if you don’t like your job………find another!

    Take say a call center job where you earn X amount of dollars. Then you earn a percentage of sales for product Y, so you mean to tell me your gonna base your income on another’s decision and not your FIXED income o_O

    If serving tables paid an hourly rate that wasn’t sufficient then I wouldn’t work the job or I’d be finding a better job asap, I don’t care that you are a single mother or college student those are choices we all make! Hell i’m single and we all go through life it can happen to any of us at anytime! I’m not saying your right or he is wrong. I am saying to EXPECT a tip or have the audacity to treat me different because I didn’t tip!

    Again just a game! I hate fake people. Ol chik was all smiles and overly nice, when it came time to sign her receipt she had an attitude i’m presuming from my lack of “tip” that’s silly to me

    It’s just dumb, no other way to put it – any tip job for that matter if you not making a decent hourly FIXED wage don’t blame the customer!!!! Get a backbone WAKE UP YOUVE BEEN SLEEPING


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