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 Chili’s. A waitress at Chili’s 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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868 thoughts on “Why Your Reasons for Demanding a Tip are Wrong”

  1. As a part restaurant owner I can safely say on some of your points you are dead wrong.
    Most states have special wages laws regarding waiters and people who make their earnings from tips.
    The tips are included in as part of their pay. Thus the restaurants and such are allowed to pay them below the normal wage law requirement.

    Take NC for example you can pay employees as little as 2.13 an hour who receive tips. However with Obamacare coming into the picture a number of restaurants went to actually using contract workers to avoid paying the health care costs.

    As for bringing the food to you. Nope it isn’t a requirement. They can and do in some restaurants call out a number and tell people to come and get it and that isn’t just fast food. From the sound of it you probably have limited your experience to a few places or types of restaurants.

    People like you can make a choice. Either take the opportunity to pay the 15% or what you feel their service was worth or you can expect restaurants like mine to take the option away from you and simply mark your meal up 25% and provide that to the waiter.

    The way I see it is you are little more than a thief.


    • In reply to George

      You can call us thieves as much as you want but until it’s enforced by law (i.e. you put it into your prices on the menu) we ain’t tipping

      I prefer not to give people money unless I have to


    • In reply to George

      Doesn’t really matter how you see it. Mark your food up, we don’t care. I’d rather that than some looser or teenager handle my food. Waiters are just losers. That’s the sad fact. Talk about setting your sights low. I want a career where I’m surrounded by broke ass people, make shit money so I’m always broke and can never take a vacation, and where i have no potential to be promoted or given a raise. I mean fuck that. If you sat down and thought things through for 5 minutes you would have a better plan than that


      • In reply to Deputy

        At McDonald ,I caught a black teenager lick his glove before he grab beef patties in that burger ….what a fuck was that all about? His friends sat near by watching the guy eating his burger.
        Anywhere you go nowadays,watch out for black kids!!!
        That means some well being about to get fuck up !!! If you don’t believe me just pretend like you are not looking.


      • In reply to Deputy

        You are nothing but a loser trust fund baby! Not all servers are young teenagers. There are all ages of servers. Very respectable people some are older college students going for their master degrees and flexible hours of food serving allow them to make a living while studying. Some are of retirement age who actually enjoy serving others…. you are just an unhappy person and I guarantee you that servers see people like you coming a mile a way… we have learned to read people real easy and we have a good sense of good tippers bad tippers and on rare occasions STIFFS like you! Ever wonder why YOUR food took too long or the server FORGOT your free refill or YOUR service wasn’t that great? You need to stick with the ALL YOU CAN EAT buffet mr. CHEAP ASS because that’s where you belong!


    • In reply to George

      So if I work manual labor for $15 an hour and they walk my food to me and get me 1 refill and bring me my check all together that takes 2 minutes. So they should get 1/30th of my hourly pay. Why do they deserve to get more money than I do for easier work? Why don’t you quit being a scum bag and just pay them what they deserve


  2. The problem is people like experiencing going out and spend their money not knowing that they are too cheap for the taste.They are not fully aware of their pathetic mind set toward what others have been doing as custom.
    “BUT IT’S MY MONEY I EARNRD” you said….
    Oh God…Don’t you know that everywhere in United State nowadays everybody are so aware of your people ,Bhagwad? Restaurant businesses survive just fine without having your patron.My people know not to get too comfortable going to places that don’t fit to our cheapness.
    Even an American plumber knows the tip custom.All of this happens because you guys like to explore.What happen is that your patronizing causes words to spread out among your own people.The more of you coming for patron the less servers wanted to work there.This also causes good regular customers to stay out due to poor scale
    of service.Nobody wants to work there so they have no choice but to hired no experienced employee.The business survives with low scale quality.Sale is low due to bad taste customers who do not know anything about what they having.(and disliking what they are having as if something is wrong but it’s not)
    The business still has to pay bills as time goes by so they need to cut the unnecessary costs more and more.
    At last the place is nothing but an unattractive sh*t hole.
    Go where it suit you please.You don’t need to exist there.Your value has a lot less meaning to their business.If it not worth your experience you don’t have to tip 20%,they didn’t mean to demanding you on this ,they just resonating with you in truthful way.Keep in mind that it’s not where you should be in the first place.


  3. Well said. I agree with you completely. It’s funny how most people think you’re being mean but I think people expect a lot that they don’t deserve. Just because something is typical or the norm or common practice doesn’t mean it should continue. And when we tip for one thing then another and another, when does it end?
    I just found out that some people tip housekeepers in hotels and I was shocked as my family has never done that, and I was sure it’s something my parents would know about and practice because they’re always into tipping at restaurants.

    But I think tipping should never be required, it should be an “Extra” if you Really liked the service, if you were really impressed with the person, in any situation. I’ve been tipped at a print shop for doing above and beyond customer expectations for example, and yeah, it totally should never be expected, but all workers should be doing their very best at all times not because they want a tip but because it’s the right thing to do. And people should only tip if they feel their service was exemplary and they want to show their gratitude in that way. (I personally prefer to contact management and inform them of how awesome a worker was, so maybe that person will get a raise or something, which in the long run would be a lot better than a couple dollar tip, right?)


    • In reply to Sarah

      Spoken like someone who has NEVER worked in HOPSPTALITY INDUSTRY a day in their life. Go Bartend & Wait tables while in school or have another job & trying to make ends meet. Do that then come back & see if your opinion is the same.


  4. I waited tables many times, and back in the day that they were allowed to pay you less than minimum wage. I made a killing those days. However, even then, I thought it was so odd that I wasn’t just paid an hourly wage. Why did I have to rely on customers to make me whole?

    Now most states require wait staff to be paid minimum wage (like Hawaii). Their minimum wage is $11/hr. Yet wait staff, and many other service workers, expect generous tips. When does it end?

    If we as a society believe that wait staff should be paid $100/hr (or more), than adjust the menu prices accordingly and don’t make it an option for diners. I don’t like tipping. I think it creates divides between people who can pay larger tips, and those that cannot. It brings out negativity and judgement of those that tip, and those that don’t. It creates hostility. Best way to avoid this is to raise menu prices.

    If wait staff, and restaurants, believe they should make more per hour, then pay them accordingly. And this goes for all service people expecting tips. Change your prices for services. Think about it… I don’t tip my lawn people every week… but I’m expected to tip my hairdresser. I don’t tip my mechanic… but we tip our Uber drivers. We don’t tip our appliance repair people… but we tip our movers. No logic, no reason, just societal “norms”. I want employers to pay their people a fair wage. I don’t care if they choose to hire them as contractors or employees. It’s their job to pay fairly and attract the right talent. It’s not our job to subsidize their wages. We need to hold businesses accountable for what they pay their people.


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