By Brenda Acuna |Staff Writer|
You’re indulging in the last morsel of that decadent chocolate cake the server suggested, when suddenly he/she drops the bill at the table.
Thinking about not tipping? Think again.
Customers typically may not tip because they assume their server is making tips on top of a minimum wage.
College students, in particular, are notoriously known for tipping poorly or not tipping at all.
As a server, I cannot advocate enough the importance of tipping. I rely on tips as my primary source of income. Servers don’t get regular pay checks because we have to claim our tips and most of it goes to taxes.
More importantly, the tips you leave don’t go entirely to the server either.
For instance, I have to give 2 percent of my tips to the busser, 1 percent to the bartender (whether or not you consume alcohol) and 1 percent to the food runner based on my sales at the end of my shift.
When a table fails to leave me a tip, I end up having to pay to serve them. If my tips are horrible and my sales are high, I’m at a disadvantage.
In other words, money comes out of my pocket when guests refrain from tipping. When a customer stiffs me, I’m punished.
The most irritating thing about serving is giving a table the best service, anticipating their needs and wants and at the end only getting $3 on a $80 check.
While a tip is better than no tip at all, it is still frustrating. I have to “tip out” on that $80 check.
I work at an establishment where almost all of the servers are either college students or college graduates. A lot of us are trying to make ends meet and save money to continue our expensive education.
Servers work hard to give guests an excellent dining experience even though they deal with some that are rude and disrespectful.
I understand that we live in an economy where times are tough, and as college students we are often frugal with our money, but as it is commonly said in the restaurant industry: “If you can’t afford to tip, don’t dine out.”
Now, I don’t think poor tipping stems from customers being cheap entirely, but also from the misconception of how the restaurant industry works.
The standard tip for most services in the U.S. is 15 percent, but according to a 2012 Zagat survey, the average restaurant tip has risen to 19.7 percent.
As a frequent visitor to dine-in restaurants, I have also been a victim of poor service. Because I’m a server and can empathize with them, I always tip 20 percent.
However, I think a poor tip is acceptable if your server fails to recognize your needs or if they are unpleasant, but keep in mind that good service is not always rewarded with a big tip, and bad service is not with a poor one.
The point is, you should always tip your server. Unless they have given you poor service, there’s simply no excuse not to.
On a budget? Refrain from ordering that appetizer or that extra avocado on your salad. Nothing infuriates me more than to have a table with a $60 check that either leaves a small tip or worse-no tip at all.
Lastly, if you don’t want to tip at a restaurant, there’s always takeout.