Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tip Accordingly!

I found this on another blog and thought it was pretty good. (Don't hold the spelling/punctuation against me).

The next time your out eating at a resturant, look at your waiter, you think they are really happy to be doing that job? the answer is no, they are not. but its what we do, and we do it for the money so please help them out. Its a tougher job than you think and you should pay them accordingly!

This is for everybody who goes to a restaurant and has ever footed the bill.
OK. I'm tired of those people flooding the restaurants w/o any knowledge of how to tip. Here is a short guide for the general public to follow. Feel free to print out and store in your wallet and/or purse. also please print out and put on your fridge for the whole family to see!!!

1. If you are not a child and get something from the kids menu (which we DO NOT have to do), tip as if you received an adult meal and leave the server an extra $1 @ least!

2. If you have children, DO NOT let them, open and dump anything on the table (ie; salt, sugar, etc). IF YOU DO, you must leave an extra $5 for the server to clean up YOUR CHILDS mess & to restock the now unusable wasted items. We are neither their babys! itter no r their parent. The least you can do is pay us for the extra work. Also make sure you control your kids and don't let them scream or run around the restraunt. It's very distracting not to mention dangerous if they get ran over by a server with hot food in their hands.

3. If you feel the necessity to stay for longer than 15 minutes after you pay, its an extra $3 every 30 minutes (including the first 15min). We make our money from the tables. If you are in one and we cant seat it, we CANT make money.

4. Telling a server they are the best or excellent service is not a tip. If we are good, let us know by leaving us more money. We cant pay our bills on compliments. Its not that we mind the praise; its just that you say were good and then leave 10 %...this is not good.

5. Prayer cards and any other religious pamphlet is NOT a tip. It is insulting that you assume we are w/o religion and must save us. Again, like ..4, we cant pay bills w/prayer cards. P.S. We'd go to church on Sundays if it wasn't mandatory to work on Sundays because EVERYONE who goes to church follows it by eating out. Also don't try to preach to us while we are working. We don't go to your work and put you down so don't do it to us.

6. We know that you have just given money to God, but Sundays are not discounted tip day. 8%=NOT a good tip.

7. It is not 1960. Cost of living has gone up dramatically since then. 18% is the MINIMUM amount of what you should be tipping your servers. Just look at the tax line and multiple by 2-3, this gives you your minimum tip amount. Remember, our companies pay us minimum wage.(minumum wage for servers is $6.75 an hour! and thats in california. In Texas we get $2.13 an hour and we don't even see it cause the government takes it all in Taxes.) And we are taxed on 10 percent of your meal automatically anyway. So if you dont leave a tip, we end up paying for your meal.

8. Say what you mean; plain means nothing on it. If you get a (ex.) burger plain and we bring it that way, d! ont trea t us like idiots because it doesnt have ketchup & mustard. What you order is what we bring. We are not mind readers. If we were, we wouldnt be working in a restaurant.

9. Do not take your bad day (or past experience) out on us. It is not our fault. We dont take our bad customers out on you. Its only fair you do the same for us.

10. If the prices go up or we start charging for things that used to be free, do not take it out us. We do not make these decisions. We don't even want to enforce them because we know that it will end up hurting our already low tip in the end. Unfortunately our bosses have no problem taking the $ out of our tips if they see us give you something for free that shouldn't be. They will never say anything to you either because you're the customer, so its on us.

11. If you get a discount because of bad food or something, do not take it out of our tip. We didn't cook it. The cooks get paid hourly regardless if the food sucks. However, we only make what you give us. Also, if the manager gives you a discount because of this, you tip of the ORIGINAL total, not the discounted one. Also, if you use a coupon, you tip based on what the total was before the discount people.

12. Holidays for us don't exist. Example: If you are eating at our restraunt on a holiday like Thanksgiving and you wish us a happy thanksgiving, do you honestly think we are having a good thanksgiving. No we are stuck at work because it is mandatory for us to be there serving you lazy people who don't want to cook instead of being at home with our families. So be a little more thoughtful when tipping because we are stuck there working and no we don't get paid overtime.

13. If you come into the restraunt 10 mins before closing or any time near closing hurry up and order your food and get out. Closed means closed not social hour. It is so rude to sit there and take your sweet ass time. We can't leave until you leave because we have to do sidework and clean the table you are sitting at. W! e don't want to stand there waiting for you for an extra hour just because you don't want to go home.

14. If you only come in for coffee or a dessert, to do paper work, or to have a meeting, don't sit there taking up our booths for hours. We are not starbucks or a hotel restraunt. If you want to sit for hours go there or else you better leave a good tip for us and camping fee included.

15. When we come up to the table to greet you and we ask how you are doing please let us know. We honestly want to know how you are doing. If you are in a bad mood we want to know that from the beginning. Also Don't interrupt us and say "I want coffee", "can we get some bread, or "what are the soups."

16. Don't ever talk on your cell phone in a restraunt. This is probably the rudest thing to do. If you are on your cell phone when we walk up to greet your table we will walk away until you get off your phone. Just show some respect and give us your attention for a couple of minutes.

17. Always remember to tip the take out order servers! They work just as hard as a server, and hardly ever get tips for it! WE DESERVE TO BE TIPPED TOO!

18. One of the most frustrating things for a server to hear is "we are kinda in a hurry." If you take your time to order and your food doesn't come out when YOU think it should, don't take it out on us. It is NOT our fault, we are not in the kitchen making your food just because you are in a hurry. If you don't have time to wait then you shouldn't come in and dine at a sit down restaurant.

19. Never walk around to track down your server to let them know that you are ready for your food. It will come out when it's ready and hot. We haven't forgotton about you. Sometimes the kitchen gets backed are NOT the only table in the restaurant!

20. If you can't tip accordingly...go get fast food...we work to pay bills and (as said earlier) 10% just doesn't cut it anymore...welcome to 2006 a tip of 18-20% is the minimum now.

all your fabulous servers out there, all the cooks who care if you get your food right because it's a pride thing, AND because they want to see their friends who serve make money, and all the managers who actually care if their servers make money or who where once servers themselves

ps. feel free to share this with your family and friends...even if you are not a server!

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Anonymous said...

18% to 20% minimum?? That's crap. 15% is the standard tip, and always will be. It's a percentage dude - as menu prices rise so does the amount you get tipped. I usually end up tipping 20-25% anyway, but that's because I worked in restaurants for 15 yrs. -- so now I'm cheap if I tip 20% for good service? Give me a break.

Lobster Boy said...

A) I didn't write it and
B) he's going off of the PRE-tax amount

So I think 15% is a fair number to shoot for since most people base their tipping off the bottom line, not the pre-tax line. Generally I make at or beyond 15% of the bottom line, but I've been in the biz a long time as well.

As for 15% always being the standard tip, you sir are incorrect. 10% used to be the standard tip. Times changed, and in this case for the better for service staff.

For me when I tip, I start at 15% and go up, and it's not hard to get 20% from me, but that's because I've paid bills for so long doing the same I know how it is. You better really rock it to get over 30% out of me though.

Lobster Boy

Anonymous said...

Good site and very educational.

Perhaps you might consider changing stylesheet though? Very hard to read...


Anonymous said...

Sorry LB I skimmed right over that first paragraph. Regarding pre-tax tipping, a $3 tip on $20 tab is about 16.2% of the pre-tax line, so I don't know where this dude comes up with 18-20%.

And you're right, for 30% they have to absolutely put on a clinic. Either that I've fallen in love.

Anonymous said...

Where I live tax is 7.75% - if I use an 8.25% tax rate that 3 bucks comes out to 17.5% - maybe I'm not such a cheapskate after all.

Lobster Boy said...

It makes a big difference which line you tip off of. That's why I just start at 15% of the final total and don't worry about it. I have also tried to get in the habit of leaving cash tips instead of putting it on a card. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but cash is the waiter's best friend!

Lobster Boy

Anonymous said...

i'm repeating myself, but....

why don't restaurants pay their waitstaff a decent wage and not pass it on to the customer on top of the published cost of the meal???

i can't think of any other industry (though i'm sure there are some and i'll be enlightened) whereby the customer is supposed to pay directly, the service provider's wage when it should really be part and parcel of the 'experience'

i say to the restaurant owners...pony up and pay a decent living wage to your employees, then pool the tips and redistribute...even take 10% if you want - at least they won't be worrying about having enough cash in pocket every day of their lives

Big Tasty said...


Sorry, This is our country, love it or leave it. I mean that in the nicest possible way. A percentage added to the bill is absolute bullshit, you'll end up receiving a very European style of service where people don't work harder because they'll always receive the same.

With the tipping system YOU have the power as the consumer to say whether or not a guy gets paid. That's a lot of power, don't abuse it. And respect the fact that the guy serving you may be a professional, yes a professional server, someone making a decent middle-class (hopefully) income.

I even think this tipping guide may be a little extreme, with all the service charges for camping out and all--when I serve I just take it as it comes. When I work I do my best to never judge...I'll make my damned money.

That's because I'm the best.

I dropped out of college eight years ago and I'm in the business now. I work in it because I enjoy it.

Tipping shouldn't be an equation or a burden, it should be an added pleasure to give a little extra to a guy who devoted his day to helping you.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more on most of these...especially 16.

However, on #3...I guess I should start SUBTRACTING $3/minute if I have to sit and sit and sit waiting for the check? (my pet peeve) I've never understood this one. If you want to turn my table, how come sometimes I have to wait 1/2 hour after all the plates are clean to get the check?

Lobster Boy said...

If you are in the USA and are waiting for 30 minutes for your check, you need to start dining somewhere else. Now in other countries this is the norm, the almost avoid bringing you the check, but not so in the USA.

Lobster Boy

Anonymous said...

tipping is just that A TIP. Not a "fee in addition to your bill". I have a suggestion for you, get a different job if you hate it so much. No one is forcing you to work in the restaurant industry.

Anonymous said...

Really, employers should be paying better wages. Relying on tips is such an idiotic concept in this day in age.

It's really just subsidized slave labour the way we have things now in this country.

"It's a percentage dude - as menu prices rise so does the amount you get tipped."

I've never been able to figure that out. Whether you walk to my table with a $10 bottle of wine or a $100 bottle of wine it's the same service. Why should the cost of the product affect the cost of the service?

As for messy's a thought...have stuff in the resturaunt *for* kids:

- saltines
- applesauce
- maybe a section with a TV
- cheap toys (McD's can figure that out)
- DECENT high chairs
- Wet Naps
- kids cups with SECURE lids

I do leave extra tips when the kids make a mess, of course.

"Sorry, This is our country, love it or leave it. I mean that in the nicest possible way."

well, so do the folks that say 'quit bitching about tips'

"A percentage added to the bill is absolute bullshit, you'll end up receiving a very European style of service where people don't work harder because they'll always receive the same."

I've been to Europe. Dined there. Had excellent service. No worse/better than here. And everyone REFUSED tips.

It's a silly argument. It's like saying universal european health care sucks because they don't pay a premium like we do here. Which is just patently false.

Its simply tradition. And a silly one at that.

Anonymous said...

I'm SO happy to live in a country where tipping is not a tradition.

Here in Australia wait staff are paid a reasonable wage, and tips are for extra special service. When you read a price in the menu, that is the price! There are no hidden costs, no tax, no tip (actually there is tax but they have to include it in the price).

I've experienced service in many parts of Europe, the US and here in Australia and New Zealand. The best (by average) was in New Zealand. Of course I might be biased, but being a good waiter should be part of doing the job well, not because you are afraid of lowering your tip.

Having said that, I always found it difficult in USA when I had to tip. It always made things seem too expensive. Like I had a $20 meal, which seemed fair, then I had to ad tax and tip... suddenly it seemed like a rip off.

That is my thoughts anyway.

Lobster Boy said...

Having only spent my life on the North American continent, I'll have to defer to other people as to the cost comparisons. I hope to get to Europe and Asia in the next 4-5 years.

Lobster Boy

Anonymous said...

I am sick of whiny waitstaff. As an excutive chef in an upscale restaurant, I am amazed that the line cooks get $15 an hour and the waitstaff over $75 an hour...It isn't about pride. Pride does not pay the cook's bills either.

Lobster Boy said...

1) We don't make $75 an hour at Red Lobster. I've had a few hours in my career with some big tips that would likely equal that, but never more than once or twice a year.

2) What's then keeping your kitchen staff from waiting tables? My experience in a number of restaurants (not all being RL's) is that there is a reason a lot of the people who work in the kitchen stay in the kitchen. It could be language, or people skills, or they just are really that passionate about cooking, or they lack ambition to learn a new job. Either way, that's not your wait staff's fault.

Lobster Boy