Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Etiquette of Tipping.

No. It's not a city in China. And it's not what you do to cows-- *you* being all those who live outside of Wyoming. (big, obvious wink to my Nomz and all my Cheyenne peeps). Tipping is the expression of your gratitude for the service rendered for your meal and/or dining experience. IE: a clean, set table, full glass, correct order, yummy food, and polite man or woman to help you with your needs throughout your meal.

When dining out, please keep in mind the following:

*According to the National Restaurant Association, servers make an average of $2.63/hour and servers are required, by law, to claim any tip they make- be it cash or credit. Most times, a server doesn't even receive a bi-weekly paycheck because it has been submitted to the government for taxes. Once a server's shift has ended, most corporate restaurants assign "side work" to each server as upkeep for the business. At this time, the servers- not making tips any longer- are still earning the average wage mentioned above. Additionally, servers are usually required to "tip out" other parts of the house, including bar tenders, bussers, seaters, and kitchen-staff. Though the government cannot require that servers tip-out (not that I'm aware of, anyway) pure politics will teach you that if you do not share the love, you will not be seated with customers, your tables will not be bussed and your food will probably not be prepared to your customers' satisfaction. Every company's policy is different regarding this, but most request that a server gives up 5-10% of their earnings.

*Contemporary etiquette for tipping is 10-20%, depending on how well you feel that you have been served. It seems that there are black and white views on an appropriate tip for a server. Whereas some think that a generous tip is required, regardless of service, the majority tend to show their generosity based on the server and his/her skills.

*Servers do not just wait tables and call it good. There are usually other requirements to the job that need to be performed, whilst also attending to guests. The requirements may include, bussing tables of other servers ("one for all, all for one"), rolling silverware, and taking food out to another server's table.

Because I used to serve tables and because Husband currently serves tables, I try to be generous when leaving a tip; knowing that when I bless a person, regardless of their service, it will come back to me. Now, that isn't always the case. I have left tips below 10% because I received atrocious service and I have also tips upwards of 40% because I felt that the server deserved every penny.

I do know that there are certain reasons for which a server does not necessarily deserve a tip. Consider the following:

"My server didn't pay attention to my requests or needs"
- Though it may be gratifying to stiff a server that didn't perform his/her job well, there are other ways to get your point across. Try being honest and confronting the server yourself. You could say something along the lines of "As of this moment, I feel that your service is sub par and it will affect your tip if you do not begin to treat me as a guest. I do want to tip you, but I feel you are not earning it." If that doesn't help, request to speak with a manager. Remember, what goes around comes around. If you do not show mercy, there could be a point when you are not shown mercy.

"She was rude"
- The truth, here, is that all people should/need to be polite and kind hearted towards each other. There is no excuse for being rude or curt. However, it is possible that the server could be dealing with some very bad news, could be feeling ill, could even be having the worst day of their life. Now, reverse roles. Would you want to be treated with patience and kindness?

"I don't need to be the one to pay her wages. That's up to the managers"
- Keep in mind that the government is responsible for a server's wages. For some reason, they elected to exclude restaurants from the minimum wage rule. I have no idea why. Regardless, remember that the server did not go to your home and beg you to dine out. You chose to go to their restaurant. You didn't have to cook or clean up. Be polite. Tip.

One last point, before I step off of my cute lil soapbox. Please, remember to tip on your original ticket total. If you spend $100 on a meal and pay with part cash part credit card or have a gift card, do not tip on the remaining balance.

I've been perusing and a thread regarding tipping. There are some excellent arguments for both sides- from customers and servers. It's quite entertaining, really. I suggest that you read it.

And for an impromptu survey- what is your "policy" regarding tipping? Let us know!

Psssst, nothing is sexier than a big heart. Not even a big wallet. Just sayin'....


Nomz said...

Really! Like that last quote. :)

I am huge on tipping...on both ends. When I get good service, they get AT LEAST 20%. Because, really, they made the meal. Generally, our table orders at least one drink I always assume a tip is shared. However, if I go thirsty (BIG TIME FAIL), tip goes down. I am a pretty patient person though....always grateful that they are there, doing what I dont want to do, and making sure I get fed.

BIG kudos and love to those amazing servers out there, that really are passionate about keeping people full and happy. *prays for big tips for you*.

Good blog miss Sarah!

Linda said...

I am a consistent 20% tipper!

I/we usually try and make our first impression with our waiter/waitress (from the very minute we sit down) a positive one, so that they don't leave us alone, and so that they are constantly at our beckon call all evening long. It just makes for a 'happy, happy, joy, joy' evening for us, as well as our server!

Plus...if we return to the same restaurant...the servers fight over who gets to serve us! That's a GOOD thing! :)

Sazaran said...

Hey, good idea Linda!! I'm sure that your servers appreciate you trying to help their night be pleasant, too! :)

Anonymous said...

Be generous, it always comes back to you. I was a server and bartender for a long time and the worst tippers were the rubes that would come in after church on Sunday. Never failed, full of hypocrisy and self importance they would pull up in there gas guzzling wasteful SUV, order too much food, throw most of it out and then leave an abysmal tip. Christianity at it's finest!

Sazaran said...

Anonymous, I fail to see how you can take a blog about tipping and turn it into a rant about hypocritical Christians. How do you know the people you served were Christians? Could it be possible they they were Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses or even just people who dressed up on Sunday? I- and many many people I know- are Christians and our aims are to be a blessing. I'd like to see the car you drive, how much food remains on your plate after a meal or even the attitude you carry toward those you think are (lousy) Christians... and see if it makes you any better of a person....?

THAT sounds hypocrtitcal to me....

Becky said...

I usually tip 20-30%. If I feel the service is extremely lacking (not getting drink refills or not getting checked on in general), I will drop the tip to 10-15%. Like Linda, if we go to a restaurant regularly and get to know the servers, we tip even more and then they really give us great service! :)

Anonymous said...

I knew that the patrons were Christians because I waited on them many many times and they were fairly boisterous about their beliefs. Ask any server what the after church crowd is like on Sundays, I guarantee the consensus is whiny, cheapskates. Many Christians aim to be a blessing only to those that align with their specific value and idealogy set. Because of the duality that most organized religions are centered around it just is that way, it's very hard to argue that point isn't it? I hate hi-jacking your blog but do you think that muslims are going to hell? What about Native Americans or Hindus?
If you must know I drive an extremely fuel efficient car, I hardly waste anything, I don't consume much, my critiscisms are based more towards the American way of life but I have personally noticed quite a few Christians to not exactly be stewards of the earth, didn't mean to offend if I did. Nice blog.

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