10 Things Most People Don’t Understand About Tipping


First of all, let’s get this out of the way:

What people assume servers are like:

What servers are actually like:

If you receive bad service, you should tip 10%, not *nothing*

In all but 7 states servers are paid less than minimum wage because it’s expected their tips will bump their hourly rate above the minimum wage. So, when you don’t leave a tip, it’s actually costing this person money to serve you. Let that sink in. How would you like to work for $2.33/hour?

The only “point” you make by not tipping is that you’re an asshole

I’ve met a few people in my life who just don’t tip. Period. Each time they assure me that they don’t mean it personally towards me or any other service person that helps them, they just hate the American tipping system and take a stand by opting out completely. This is so completely illogical though, stiffing one person at a time isn’t going to change the way we pay service workers — it’s just going to ruin someone’s day one worker at a time.

Even worse, not tipping says a lot about *your* insecurities

There’s a metaphor called the “crab bucket mentality” which is essentially about how immature people have a “if I can’t have it, neither can you” frame of mind. The phrase comes from observing a bucket of crabs where, “individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless “king of the hill” competition which prevents any from escaping and ensures their collective demise.” When you look at a server who is working very hard and wonder why they should be allowed tips which allow them to make ends meet and want to cut them down, you have the wrong enemy. You are not competing with them. Their success or ability to pay their bills does not come at the expense of yours.

If you say we give good service, but you don’t leave a good tip, it means nothing

Actions speak louder than words.

Servers don’t necessarily LOVE the tipping system either

It would be great to know what we were going to bring home tonight, or next week, or monthly. It would make budgeting a whole lot easier. But we aren’t in charge of the system that pays us, we don’t have any more say in it than you do.

If you get bad service, there are *way* more effective ways to complain than leaving a bad tip (or no tip at all)

Speak up! If something is making you unhappy, tell your server about it. Odds are, they would LOVE to fix whatever the problem is so you leave happy instead of dissatisfied. No one likes having unhappy customers and there are a lot of things a server can do from getting your food refired, moving your table, or even bringing a free soup or salad to make up for slow service when the kitchen’s backed up. Don’t expect your server to be a mind reader and punish them later when they don’t do something you only thought about asking them for. Let them know how they can serve you better.

We remember good tippers, and we will go out of our way for them

If you frequent a particular bar or restaurant, start tipping well and watch what happens. Servers will fight to have you in your section. Your drink will be on the table before you order it. You will get whatever freebies the server is able to offer. You will get above and beyond service each and every time.

When you don’t tip, you look like a huge asshole

Because you are.

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If you are “always getting bad service” the common denominator is you

It sucks to get bad service, it really does, but if this happens to you every time you go out, it’s probably just you. Maybe you are having a bad time because you’re too caught up in judging the person who is serving you. You’ll never have a good time out if that’s what you’re concentrating on! Try to just relax and enjoy your meal and make good food and your good company the focus of your night.

If you think servers are entitled and rolling in tips, watch what happens when you tip one $200

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If this doesn’t touch you, you’re not even human.