The Insane Waiter

Running wild on customers, chefs, owners and managers since 1997. I bring to you, The Insane Waiter. What do bring to your table? A crisp bottle of San Pellegrino ? Perhaps a lovely seared Sashimi Tuna? Start off with a wonderful bottle from Tuscany perhaps? Why I'll be more than happy to bring you your White Zinfandel and Chicken Caesar. No you can't order the mac and cheese off the kids menu and sorry no, we don't serve cheese sticks....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Anti-Tipping Site

Here's his forum


WHY Tipping?

Why NOT Stop?

Just say NO!

TIP means To Insure Promptness, or TIPS, To Insure Promt Service...Numerous writings regarding the history of "tipping" would indicate that tipping came about centuries ago, and was a gratuity paid up front to insure prompt, efficient service subsequently. Now, the gratuity is paid after the fact (just another aspect of how backasswards things have become).
Gone are the days of olde when the innkeeper's daughter was the servant administering to weary travelers at wayside inns. But today, tipping has grown into an institution unto itself, and we are "conditioned" to this with obedience, and without question, no resistence, not so much as a whimper.

In fact, we Tip with extreme loyalty, vanity, and pride, as do we obediently submit to paying our "taxes"! Anyone who dares voice an opinion contrary to tipping, is immediately attacked by tippers--the majority--therefore, mob rule prevails. Recently, I chanced to post some of my thoughts on the above to an Internet bulletin board, and was lambasted unmercifully as a tightwad, flake, and just plain mean-spirited, (where have I heard that b4?) etc. And then, yet another!

Some of these irate responses came from enraged waiters, waitresses, etc. (excuse me, "SERVERS") who felt that they were entitled to tips, since their employers paid them below minimum wage and they needed the tips. I'm not sure that is even so and/or legal.
Others stated that they certainly would not take another job at higher pay and have to pay taxes on that pay, ending up w/less in their pockets; whereas otherwise they did not report their total tips, etc. Hmmm...

This topic is not limited to servers, etc. Today, everybody under the sun seems to be an eligible tippee and expects a tip--and big ones too.

I have no doubt that many folks--that silent majority--would agree that the archaic system of tipping should come to a screeching halt. And it would but for one thing, the overwhelming social pressure from the loudmouths in general--"why, what would people think..." if one publicly states and demonstrates that he/she thinks that this system is antiquated and it is time to change? Granted, that many have served faithfully receiving/not receiving well-deserved tips for their service--I am addressing the system of tipping itself, and not those people involved--good or bad--tippees or employers, tippers, etc.

If you are inclined to respond/post on this board, please attempt to do so with the big picture in mind, and not personally biased, e,g., as you would if you just happen to be one of the countless tipped/insufficiently tipped servers, taxi-drivers, bellhops, etc., etc. You may respond/post on any or all of those things mentioned above, and/or related information, questions, answers, etc.
Actually, I may have been motivated on this topic after reading an article on the Internet (by a U.S. Marine, moonlighting) who was badmouthing consumers in general for thinking that they should pay only the traditional 15% tip--this arrogant xxxxxxx was sure he had more coming him, and, indeed, was irritated/enraged that some were daring enough, depriving him of his due.

Personally, I am damned sick and tired of "servers" kneeling at my table, referring to me/us as "you guys," and hearing their "sorry bout dat," (which means xxxx you!) What? Complain to the manager you say? Yeah, right, and what do ya get--another pimply-faced kid w/a wiseass attitude--samo-samo as your server who shows up and recites their little spiel, "Hi, "I'm MaryJane, etc., and I'll be your server today..."

Don't get me wrong--I am not opposed to tipping because of the above listed grievances, and/or other inadequacies--I am opposed to tipping in principle, period--I work for my pay like most others--and I neither expect nor demand a handout. Just thought I would pitch my favorite bitches here while I'm at it, since the opportunity presents itself.

Now, this site/board is post moderated--by me. I will likely not approve all posts across the board, whether pro or con in view of my stated feelings on this topic--my previous experience convinces me that there are people who will post to anything whether or not they have anything to say. Not trying to discourage anyone from posting here, I hope you will post here, but be assured I intend to keep the outright jerks away. Those not agreeing w/me, however, should have something germane to the subject, and/or at least interesting (somewhat), as will be those (many?) interesting responses from those agreeing w/me. :)

OK, I may re-write this forum description as I go along--but this will suffice to get things rolling, hopefully. This topic, I think, has the potential for some interesting interaction, as I believe it is something most people have an opinion on--one way or the other. I also have noticed that Mr. Google cannot seem to search for and find any anti-tipping sites on the Internet--so here it is! An interim anti-tipping site, until people wake up and decide they're not going to take it anymore--that might take some time...

But, it does take balls to post here agreeing with what I have had to say above. Those agreeing with me will quickly find themselves among the politically incorrect. The loudmouths, however, the ever-present majority (of the herd-mentality), will have no problem posting their venom here--they don't know from balls.

Have at it.
Thank You,Dick Gaines


At 6:10 AM , Blogger staticwarp said...

well, it was a bit vague, but i generally get the idea that you get paid a standard wage, and your tips are a secondary income, an afterthought bestowed upon you by customers grateful for enjoying your exemplary service. i would ask you to clarify one thing: do you work in the united states?

i ask this because i know that in the UK servers/bartenders get paid an hourly wage based on a contract they sign with their employer during the hiring process. however, in the US, generally our servers/bartenders get paid a percentage of the minimum wage which is calculated based on the average dollar amount of tips received per hour of work. the "archaic" system of tipping has become so commonplace that the tax czars in this country (US) decided to give the employer the option to pay servers/bartenders a certain percentage less than the minimum wage, based on the knowledge that they will earn enough to make up for it and then some through their tip income, which also must be reported to the IRS.

this forces a certain karmic pay scale on tipped employees, for whether they provide great service or poor service, at times they just wont make as much because of the type of customer they happen to be dealing with on a given day. however many people make a good living working for tips.

the advantages of tipping are mostly in favour of the customer and the restaurant: the restaurant does not have to pay the server as much, thus lowering their labor cost. this lowered labor cost is passed on to the customer in the way of lower food prices.

the tipped employee is encouraged to earn their money by providing excellent service that elicits a gratuity from patrons.

however, the tipped employee cannot always count on their tip, no matter how good their service is, considering slow periods in the work day/week and customers ignorant (willfully or otherwise) of the fact that these people make their living on tips, which in turn makes the customer's meal cheaper.

personally the tip i leave reflects the promptness and quality of service. if its good, its fat. if not, well, its not. however, i would much rather leave a tip than have my entrees at outback cost upwards of 30$.

At 7:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of tipping. It really serves to purpose. I have heard arguments for it saying that this gives the consumer direct control on paying what they deem is fair for service provided by a waiter.

But in reality, what server has ever thought they deserved a low tip?

From the numerous blogs out there and talking to a few friends who were servers, no waiter has ever said "Yeah, my service to that table wasn't that great, so I could see why I got a less then stellar tip."

Another argument for tipping is that if a waiter has no incentive to get a tip, then they will give everyone worse service. I don't know if I buy this since a lot of jobs are salaried and this doesn't result in poor work in the other job sectors. And it also seems to imply that if a server is guaranteed a specific amount of pay, then they will automatically treat a customer poorly because they can.

And you also can't forget that tipping perpetuates some common stereotypes that certain races/ethnicities are going to tip poorly regardless of the quality of service.

While there may be some truth to this, you cannot ignore the fact that it is a self perpetuating cycle. The waiter will see a person of a specific group or race and give them lesser service since the waiter is going to assume that they will be poor tippers. The customer, who may or may not be a good tipper, will feel somewhat slighted and give a lower tip. The waiter sees this and his or her feelings are validated and the cycle continues over again. I know this isn't official, but I did see an example from this blog (

And let's not forget that waiters are able to basically cheat the IRS (
This only increases the tax burden for everyone else.

I know this won't change any minds but I feel that these are valid points against the tipping system. But I doubt it will ever change since it does provide benefits to the owners since consumers can foot part of the wage responsibility. And I'm guessing a decent amount of servers like the current system as it allows them some opportunity to work the system.

Many apologies if the post is incoherent in any areas. I didn't take the time to proofread.

At 12:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get that guy's website. He invites comments (moderated) but you have to join some arcane organization to do it and you can't even sign up through his page. Why bother? He sounds like a jerk-off.

What he fails to understand is that the tip for service is an implied contract. A person brings food to the table and they get 15-20% of the tab unless they're just worse than incompetent or make an effort to insult the customer. I guess he and his ilk take issue with the "expectation" of a tip, and I would too if a tip was really for efforts above and beyond the minimum, but everybody knows that tipping is the main source of income for waitstaff.

I'll agree that tipping should be abolished, or at least servers should be paid a living wage with a right to collect voluntary gratuities over that. I could see staff in low price eateries getting something around minimum wage, mid-price restaurants would pay something more, and higher end establishments that provide a full dining experience would pay their waiters as if they were professionals. But it won't happen, so pony up that 15-20% and shut up.

The problem is that the service in most low to mid-priced restaurants is usually pretty bad. They'll hire anybody, people who don't know that soup comes before the entree and worse. It's really reflective of the low level of education and cultural knowledge that people entering that industry today have and the employers aren't bothering to train the employees to do any better.

I really don't see the 15-20% as a tip, it's just payment for service. Even if it's bad you still have to pay for it, but I'm not one of those who doubles the tip for exemplary service, whatever that is. You're just doing your fucking job. "Exemplary" just means you're the one in a hundred who takes it seriously and is good at it.

At 6:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a professional by day and a server by night, I tend to see both sides of the issue. First of all, employers are allowed to pay a fraction of the minimum wage. For example, I live in CT (where the cost of living is pretty high). The minimum wage here is 7.15 an hour, and I get 5.23 plus tips which I have to declare. Management gets screwed more than servers if the IRS finds out we don't declare everything, so we are not able to skip out with $100 and claim we only made $10. Besides, with most people paying with credit cards, there is nowhere to hide.

As for the tipping system overall, it will not go away because of the level of service that most Americans expect. In Europe, many servers are competent; here, we really suck up to the customer. I would be happy to get a flat wage for serving, however, any customer request that goes above and beyond the basic job (i.e.-warming baby bottles) just won't get done. It's not in the job description. You see, in non-tipping countries it is simply about serving. Here, we also have to make you "happy," which includes knowing if you are having a bad day, reading your mind when you forget to order yourself a salad, and trying not to make any eye contact with your boyfriend/girlfriend lest you think we are flirting and cut the tip in half.

I have two graduate degrees plus a successful day job, and I still like to serve. It doesn't pay my rent, but it does for some. I do it because the people are fun and the work is interesting. I meet wonderful customers and some very rude people as well, but it all comes with the territory. It is hard, honest work and I will always have a healthy respect for those who serve me.

At 2:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes...I was mistaking your "balls" for ignorance and miserliness. My mistake.

At 2:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

shortsightedness is abundant here. tipping is one of those things that is a part of american culture. it is not going to change because you don't leave a tip. All that is going to accomplish is to dick someone over for their hard work. If a server does a subpar job, tip them accordingly. Do you understand that you're not changing the restaurants opinion on tipping through you not leaving a dime? They don't care. Further, do you think for a second, that if servers were paid a flat rate for their work, a special request would be granted? For instance, do you think a server would look after kids, get a guest a cigarette when they asked or any other menial task outside of serving the food? It won't happen. Service in other countries, yeah try and compare it to the level of asskissing guests get here in the states. I'd like to see someone expect a french or any european server to do the often demeaning tasks that servers do in the states for guests to insure they get paid. granted, i understand that the restaurant should pay their employees more. I get it. However, the flexibility and potential money that can be made in serving tables is often too high for some people to pass up.
I'd comment on this further but world cup is on.

At 12:08 AM , Blogger KristieD said...

wow. i cant beleive some people really are such jerks. Do they not realize that we get paid crap and that we dont live off our paychecks? Here in FL we get paid something like $3.30 /hr plus tips. after claiming all our tips--the taxesa are taken out and that leaves us with a pretty small check. like $100 or less for 2 weeks. (at least thats the average where i work). until we can change all of america- tipping is necessary to servers livelihood. if people dont like to tip, they shouldnt go out to eat in places where people are not paid even minimum wage. and i agree with one of the anons above me, if we were paid hourly then we would rarely go above and beyond. you would have all mediocre servers and would lose the really good ones.

At 11:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least the guy has an appropriate first name . . .

My favorite part of the rant is where he brushes off the facts about sub-minimum hourly wages by saying he's "not sure that's even so and/or legal." Good job on the research there, big guy.

At 2:46 AM , Blogger irv said...

Ditto everyone here. LOL "good job on the research, dude..."

Our state recently enacted mandatory minimum wage for all employees, so we actually get paid egregiously well on top of our tips. I would actually consider myself an outspoken opponent of this, because I don't think that I, as a server, should be making the same hourly as a cook, when I leave work with a c-note and he walks with a five dollar bill. I'm accustomed to three bucks an hour, and that's that.

Guess how many menu changes we went through to raise prices to accomodate this legislation? 100 bucks for three pizzas? yup.

anyway, you know how it is.... it's such a tricky issue, and the people who are least qualified to speak on it are non-servers who set up these incendiary websites....

At 11:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The points about Europe and the States are a little misleading. In Europe people go out for the food, not the service. The quality of the service is directly proportional to the cost of the food. A very busy bistro will not have waitstaff that have the time for small talk. In fact a lot of people don't expect or want it. Tell me if the pasta is made in-house, not what your name is.

In the US, the whole thing is the service. For the most part, the food in Europe is much better than found in the US. Sure, there are exceptions, but generally this is true. So the whole thing is about the show. I'm always amazed that some restos still do the whole menu show (I don't want to see the raw example steaks).

So, this is most probably why there is a disparity with respect to salary and tips. A tip should be given, but the amount is up to the customer.

At 7:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good points, all. the discussion here seems to be much more smart than the discussion on the forum linked to -- yikes!

I work at a coffee bar where I make a little more than minimum wage (on a university campus, so they have to pay more), but I do make a bit extra off of tips. And really, without it, I'd probably quit. The university hosts conferences that bring in 700 to 1000 people in addition to all of our regulars and I definitely don't feel bad about bringing home $25 extra on those days - especially since we don't have plumbing and have to haul all of our water.

This guy might think he works hard at his salaried job, but guess what? there's no way he's making as little as $3.50 an hour there...probably $20 at the least. And his work is nothing compared with having to put up with him and his ilk at their worst. The service industry is a hard place to work, and even if we got rid of tipping, the customers would pay the difference.

As far as the Europe vs. the States discussion, many European countries (Germany and Austria, at least) expect you to tip or pay to use a public restroom. There's a full time attendant that makes sure it's clean and stocked (in one place, she would go into the stall and disinfect the seat after someone left). The service provided was well worth the tip!

And really, that's what the tip is for - a way of showing appreciation for the service recieved. I certainly don't feel bad when I don't get tips (sometimes I even feel bad about getting them...!) and I don't feel bad giving a lousy tip for lousy service. But if you don't want to tip at all, order from one of those places that has a curbside to-go service and serve yourself!

At 5:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Servers: Quit bitching that you don't get paid enough one is forcing you to work in such a screwed up industry. And the mark up on food is the highest there is, period.

At 2:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

fuck you customers.
i bet most of you never had a real part time job, because mommy and daddy paid for all your shit. im sure most customers who complained had everything taking care of them their job, their schooling etc. if your poor waiting tables is a great option, especially for me a starving college student who pays all his bills, tuition etc. all i want is a tip! i dont twirl my mustache and laugh meniacly in the kitchen planning to ruin your dinner. what comes of it? being yelled at by the manager, no tip, claiming money i didnt make therefore a negative income. wow! did u think of that? we lose money when you dont tip, or we get fired when you complain. I'm sorry were pimply faced kid waiters, let me tell you something i'm considered a kid waiter but i can bench 315 fucking pounds and if i wasnt wearing my uniform i could rip your head off. So dont treat me like a trashcan im a human being and so are all the waiters of the world. Lastly i can understand where customers have it so bad boohoo there steak is undercooked cry cry. That is so much more of a terrible thing then people in guatemela who live off a dollar a day, 12 year old kids in pakistan who fight in the streets with AK-47's, and the starving children of Somalhia one third of which has AIDS. Think about that when your cold soup or your pimply faced waiter has ruined your life.

At 4:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dick(s),
{this is what i poseted on his site or at least tried too}
I am curious to know if you have ever worked in the service industry. We are the people who bring you your food, make your drinks, we cook your food, provide a nice atmosphere to entertain your friends and family, etc. We bend over backwards to ensure that your drinks are served promptly, your meal is prepared to your specs, and that we are as unobtrusive as possible. Yes, we expect to be tipped for the work that we do but if anything that is because the government expects us to be tipped for the work that we do. In the majority if not all of the states there is a thing called tip wage, in other words your employer pays under minimum wage because you as a server are expected to make up the difference in tips. If you want to stop tipping change the law first. The statement that the majority of the service industry do not declare there earnings is erroneous, believe it or not the IRS keeps track of your credit card tips (which are automatically declared) versus your declared cash tips. If there is major discrepancy you will be audited. Not only that but since a majority of servers are students of some form or another, it doesn't serve us not to declare our tips because tips are our income, and we receive loans, apartments, credit and other needs based on our declared income. As for the statement that the server is doing less work and receiving a larger profit, please be my guest to work in my shoes for a day. In the state of Texas for example I was making $2.15 an hour and working 10 sometime 12 hour days, on my feet. You might like to know that not only does Texas not have a split shift law, but the service industry in Texas is one of the only workplaces where our employer is not required to give you a break, time spent between your tables (which are sometimes no time at all) is considered break enough. Being a server is much harder then it appears, we deal with harassment from the drunks, screaming children, being berated by, hit on, and not given the same respect that you would give to an indigent on the street, this is all part of our job. Some of us do it because we're sociable and like doing it, others do it for the money, but what it all comes down to is if we don't do it whom else will bring you your food? If it was bad service, don't tip, but if it wasn't why you are denying someone what they earned. Why are we beneath you? Is it because mommy and daddy didn't pay for our school or is it because school and the cost of living has become so high that even with scholarships and loans we can't afford it? Your right, we aren't in our careers just yet this is only something until we get where we are going but the majority of us do the best we can at our job and take pride in our work, so please before your so quick to judge and before your so quick to assume walk a mile in my non-slip shoes.

At 9:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree with people who find it ok, nay, encourage, not tipping. The waitstaff are working longer than your "long and hard" eight hour day. Often, without breaks, and on their feet for those hours. Insane people who try to experiment with food, and change it eight billion times, then complain that the food "doesn't taste right". Sorry, your fault. I only had the chefs bitch at me for such a f***ed up order that takes them longer to cook because of all the substitutions. "Yes, I'd like the Grilled Chicken Ceaser salad with no chicken." ....

These people work for us, and unless the waitstaff really screws up (people have their bad days, I know, but my favorite restaurant, this occasional ditz of a waitress shows up for a lunch shift, and forgets things... a lot, even after telling her, "Hey, I didn't get my appetizer."... While I'm the only table in the restaurant.. [I personally think she might be on drugs]).

I will stand by my standard tipping rates - 0% for absolute crap service... I understand being busy. Said ditz waitress doesn't get tipped when she forgets my appitizer.

10% for ok service

20% and up for good service... yes! you remembered my drink refill. And even though you're swamped, you still made me enjoy my dining experience. Awesome on handling that crazy lady at the next table who sent everything back. Twice.

At 10:57 AM , Anonymous Laura said...

As a server in an almost Denny's like resteraunt, it makes me sad the way people talk about waiters. I think most customers forget that we are people too and because they don't know what we deal with. I had a woman who I had forgotten to give some ketchup too storm up to me before leaving and proclaiming "not tip for you today...blah blah blah" - which I could understand but I damn near cried because of the venom this elderly woman had.

In the resteraunt I work in my section is almost always nearly 10 tables at a time, and often I am getting slammed. An earlier commen talked about our incompetance because we do not always bring soup or salad before the rest of the food - or things like that. Sometimes I am so far lost its hard to get there. If you look around and see that the resteraunt is full and there are only three servers, that five tables got put down near you, and I am bringing out the food for another three that were there before you - when you see another table being unkind towards me because the cook never makes me toast on time... can you forgive me then?

The reason that there are usually not enough servers on the floor, and that many of the servers are new to the business and not fully trained is that these jobs are generally so high stress that nobody wants to stay there - alot of that stress comes from the customers failing to have the understanding that we are people too - and that we are doing the very best we can.

At 3:56 PM , Blogger Devdas said...

If I could, maybe I'd tip for a friend. But often times it's sad that people are driven to do anything for money alone. I mean, I realize that most of these workers are only trying to do a good job so they can get some extra money in the end. They're trying to exploit my emotions about feeling like I had a good service. What makes me sick is when I often see waiters and workers like that who aren't even trying to do a good job; it's as if they're expecting to automatically get a tip no matter what so they don't even try. Tipping is a backwards practice. If anyone should get getting a tip, it's doctors and nurses; they save lives, which is markedly different from serving food products and cutting off dead cells from our scalps. Instead, many people give them malpractice lawsuits in greed. Visit my blog for more.

At 11:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tip 10 percent at all restaurants to the servers.
Good service or bad.
Because I like to. Simple.

My advice to management:
Pat your servers what ever you can get away with, as low as you can
while maintaining the quality of service necessary to satify your business plan.

My advice to the servers.
Get your whole staff together, and demand a raise to a living rate.
If the management refuses, walk.
Contact your state government representative, and demand it.
Put a measure on the ballot raising server wages to at least state minimum.

My advise to customers:
Eat where you like. Leave money if you want.
If they raise wages, you will pay for it in higher bill totals.
So vote no on a living wage.

Its called capitalism. Use it.

Whiny bitches, almost all of you.

At 10:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate tipping, because it costs me money, and everyone else, too.
1. 15% is looked down upon it seems now. More like 20.
2. Since all tip earners don't claim all their tips, they don't pay as much in taxes, and therefore, as a non-tip earner, I pay more.
How come not tipping works in every other country in the world, but people say it wouldn't work here?

At 9:41 PM , Anonymous Corrinne said...

my thought is the people who don't like 2 tip should cook 4 themselves & stay home,obviously u don't work in a business where u receive tips cuz if u did u would'nt be talking this ways so stop your whinning111111

At 1:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

just so y'all know, in European countries the gratuity is included in the price of the meal - the servers still make tips, its just a set percentage that you pay without an option not to. Also serving is a draining job - you are emotionally, physically and mentally drained at the end of a shift. Please remember that when you leave a tip you are paying for someone to cater to your every whim, to bring you everything you want, and they are in turn making sure that your food is prepare correctly, your drinks are to your liking and they are paying others to make sure that it happens. If you don't want to be catered to - eat at home, eat at a cafeteria, but don't come to my restaurant and be dissapointed because you got a dinning experience, not a quick bite to eat.

At 1:57 AM , Blogger Alejandro said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every Waiter job I've had, people treat me like I'm a piece of shit on the floor. The only reason why I stay for now is cause its a job and it pays my bills until I can get something else. People have NO RESPECT! We are practically your slaves for an hour or two. If you can afford to go out to dinner cause your too lazy to cook your own dinner then you can afford to tip! It comes with the territory of going out to eat! Also I love how people think they are the only one in the restuarant and need to be attended to every fucking minute! As a waiter, you have also other tables/customers to take care of. The other day someone said they weren't going to come back to the restuarant cause we didn't have free food for them to nibble on at the bar! Fuck off bitch! This isn't a free for all! This isn't a fucking dive bar! How could you have such a fucking nerve to even say that! I also love how people that go out to eat to fancy restuarants who count the money in their wallets before they go in. If you can't afford it stay home! ANd then people make shit up so they can get stuff for free! Your cheap ass is getting someone in trouble or fired cause you want to be cheap! And it's not our fault the stupid law is "Tipped employee's" make minimum wage of $4/hour. Trust me if it was up to me the law would be we get a regular minimum wage and service would be already included in the bill. We don't even see any of that money anyway! It all goes to freaking taxes! Please I'd like to see your fucking lazy ass be a waiter or bartender just for one day! And see how you like being treated like shit at your job! And then getting a shit ass tip on top of being treated like garbage!

At 4:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waiters in California are caught between tradition, reality and the IRS. They knowingly take jobs that pay almost nothing unless they convince patrons they deserve to be rewarded for what usually amounts to a few minutes of being nice, with a gratuity that amounts to 15-20% of the price of the patron's meal, including tax. That's nuts, because a lot of people especially in expensive restaurants, don't think the work they do is worth the pay they are demanding. Some of the latest management trends support that line of thinking, especially where management takes all the tips and splits them up, and the waiter only gets part of what you leave. Even knowing that very good waiters are still waiting in line to take those jobs, which tells me that even at the reduced rate, there are lots of people who think the pay is better than what they can get in other occupations. The tip has become a part of the price of a meal that they use guilt to make you pay even when reason and basic math tells you the service you are suppose to be paying for isn't worth a fraction of what they are asking. Young men and women with little more than cute smiles and good intentions want you to think they should be just as highly paid as highly educated professionals, because???? That’s nuts. Last night I watched a young woman who said she wasn’t going to college, serve 7 tables in less than an hour and a half. If my table was any example, each was billed about $60. 7 tables X 15%, ($9), =
$63 x .66, she might have made $41.58 per hour. Not bad for a high school graduate. Why if I could make that much I’d make a career out of it. Even if she only did it part time that’s still $43,243 a year. Ask yourself how much you think it would cost to hire someone to do any similarly skilled job and I bet you won’t be saying about $40 per hour. Oh, and my tip, it was only 12%, but if you were there and gave her a 20% tip, ($55 per hour), you would have made up for my stinginess.

At 4:10 PM , Anonymous Eric said...

First of all, I agree. No one is being forced to work in a position where it pays less than minimum wage. If you don't like those circumstances, look for a better, higher paying job.

I worked as a waiter just out of high school. I liked getting tips, but I honestly looked at it as a reflection of my service, not as a requirement. Then again, I didn't like the pay, so I got a better job.

It seems as if the entire discussion is revolved around dining. Those aren't the only people we tip. Valets, hair stylists, door men, delivery people, taxi drivers, etc., etc. I'm not sure, but I believe a lot of those people make at least minimum wage. AND a lot of them do a lot less for us than a server in a restaurant does. Taxi drivers are notorious for taking longer routes to places just to get a higher fair, and then we tip them!! Most of the time, if we're in a foreign city, we don't even know we're being screwed.

I don't like to tip. I think wages should be raised to minimum wage and tipping should be based on service and not expected.



If I go to Denny's and get a burger, fries and drink and it comes to say $12, and I tip 20%, that's $2.40 tip. If I got to an expensive restaurant in Beverly Hills and get a burger, fries and drink and it comes to $48, I'm expected to tip $9.60! Sure, the food may be better, the ambiance nicer, but why does that deserve a better tip to the server?! They take our order, turn it in, pick it up and deliver it to us in both places.

Tips should be a flat rate. Not unlike tipping the sky caps at an airport $1 per bag. It's not a percentage of the cost of our airline ticket!

I've started tipping $1.50 per person at our table. Three of us gets a server a $4.50 tip. In California, minimum wage is $8 an hour. That's over half of what they'd make in an hour, just at one table! Let's say a minimum of 4 tables (and it's usually more) per hour, that's an extra $18 in tips in just one hour. An 8 hour shift, 18x8 is $144. Some servers have to share that with bus boys, etc, so lets say even 1/3 of that would work out to almost $50 an hour.

That doesn't sound like less than minimum wage to me. And that's based on tipping when it's not based on a percentage. If you start doing that, the tips go up even higher.

A person who makes $12 an hour is now making less than a server who makes less than minimum wage who's getting tips!

And think about those people who work for us who work a hell of a lot harder and in worse circumstances than food servers who get no tips at all! Think of a janitor that has to clean 20 classrooms a night in a school. Mopping floors, emptying trash cans, etc. Janitors don't make a heck of a lot of money and we don't tip them. Think of gardeners. I pay mine $125 to do my yard 4 times a month. He sends three guys. That's $31.25 to pay three guys each time they come to my house and still keep enough money for himself to make a profit. If he divided it 4 ways and didn't make any profit, they'd bet getting $7.81 each to take care of my yard each week. They don't usually get tips. Granted they're not here a whole hour.

And then there are the food server establishments who expect me to tip, when I order takeout! If they aren't serving me at a table, why should I be tipping them?!

And what about the cooks? A lot of cooks are not included in on the servers tip split. It seems to me they are working a heck of a lot harder than the server (and in hotter conditions) who is walking back and forth carrying plates.

Again, I don't mind tipping for excellent service, but I believe it should be changed to be equitable across the board. Tipping on a percentage of the cost of food is ridiculous.

At 8:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it laughable that so many servers fall back to the argument that they are somehow entitled to or owed a tip simply because they work for less than the minimum wage. The server CHOSE to take the job. No one is FORCING them to work for less than the minimum wage.

It's a gamble that servers takes upon themselves. They believe that they can do their job well enough that they will receive tips. That's all. If they believe that they are ENTITLED to tips or expect the tips for mediocre service or for simply doing their jobs, then they will and SHOULD be disappointed.

I am a very generous tipper, at times as much as 50% or more of the bill of fare, when service is superior. Superior, not adequate. Adequate service is to be expected -- anything less than adequate rates a complaint to management. Service that is only adequate almost NEVER rates a tip from me, which is how it should be.

"But," the server will complain, "the restaurant pays less than minimum wage and I rely on tips to pay my bills." Oh yeah? Sounds like you need to step it up a bit then, in order to make sure you deliver better service than your peers.

Be the sort of waiter whose section/table people specifically request. Be the sort of server whose performance influences customers to recommend the restaurant to their friends. Do the minimum required, and you shouldn't expect a penny more than your employer's check. Moreover, customers shouldn't be expected or pressured to help you make up for your bad gamble.

At 5:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You comment saying you work for you pay and you don't expect a handout or extra. I ask if you receive any type of Bonus for your work? If so, that is in a sense a tip. Its extra money given to you based on your performance or lack of performance. If you are recipient of bonuses from work and are against tips, then you should return your bonuses to your company

At 10:55 AM , Anonymous np said...

I completely agree with Eric, no one is forcing anyone to work for less than minimum wage. I don't agree with percentage tipping either, but I don't think that's ever going to change.
The problem is not just with the waiters who now think it's their god-given right to expect atleast a 15 to 20% tip,no matter how good or bad the service is. The problem also lies with the irresponsibly big tippers. The tipping average has gone from less than 10% to over nearly 20% in a matter of few years! The price we pay at restaurants go through the inflation process over the years anyway, so if we're tipping a percentage, why does the percentage has to inflate!
For all you big tippers out there, remember that as you keep getting more and more generous with your tips, the restaurant owners exploit that and pay the waiters less and less. So really it's not the waiter or the restaurant who loses in this game, it's only the customer. If you look at this the other way, by being too generous with your tipping, you are the ones who encourage restaurant owners to pay less than minimum wage.
I say max tipping at 15% for extra-ordinary service. If the service is mediocre tip 10-12% and if the service sucks don't tip at all!
Lastly, for the person who started this discussion, thanks!

At 9:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have 100% anti-tipping. I have formed this opinion from years of working in various industries, both tipped and non tipped.
As a waitress/bartender i made A LOT of money. It was not difficult work, sure it was frustrating at times and having to smile and be pleasant all day could get tedious, but honestly.. a monkey could do that job. And let me tell you, some of my co-worker weren't far from that.
Other jobs i've had were both mentally and physically challenging, and didn't include any sort of tipping. At minimum wage, i made less money than when i worked in the service industry. ALL of my co-workers were hard working, loyal, trustworthy, and passionate about their jobs. (this is true of 3 different job markets).

I don't think ANYONE deserves a tip. If a friend or family member wants to give you money, as i have done for many of mine, great. But i don't want hand outs from strangers, nor do i want to give them.

Servers, your job isn't hard. Sorry. It's not. Now that's not to say that there aren't many other overpaid positions out there, but most of these aren't tipped. This is a specific argument to do with people being bullied into paying extra that is a "choice", but one will be ostracized if they don't make the correct "choice". Its terrible!

I would happily welcome an increase in food costs to supplement pay. I would be thrilled to receive $8 an hour to serve people rather than depend on tips. When i was a working in the industry, i often felt TERRIBLE and EMBARRASSED about the amount of $ i was earning for pouring a glass of wine or opening a beer bottle. I often made 100-200 $ in tips alone (+ pay) for a 6 hour shift. And this was a few years ago so inflate that a bit for today.

I have a job now where i make a fair wage, i work hard, and am proud of what i do.

At 1:45 PM , Blogger Xyluss Nelms said...

Don't blame the customers.

At 1:47 PM , Blogger Xyluss Nelms said...

I'm 25. I worked in food since I was 15. Last year was the only year I got a different job. I know how the food industry is. I oppose tipping. Stop blaming the customers because you are too chicken shit to stand up to those above you.

At 8:54 AM , Blogger Edward said...

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