There are many reasons why you should tip your server, not the least of which is the fact that 90% of their salary and livelihood is dependent upon it.
One of the most demanding jobs I’ve come across in recent years is working in the foodservice industry. Whether it’s a restaurant or billiard club that serves food, it demands a lot of patience and a vast amount of fake smiles and laughs. Why? Dealing with demanding customers, insane requests, and a salary that’s not guaranteed is not the typical way anyone wants to live. Granted, there are days when being a sever can be worth it, but nothing I imagine is worse than working your ass off for a table and getting nothing in return. There are many reasons why you should tip your server, and we’ll gladly explain why.
For a lot of servers, their primary source of income comes from tips. They use tips to pay their bills. In many states, people who work in the foodservice industry don’t even make an hourly minimum wage, so servers depend entirely on their tips to make a living. Personally speaking, when I visit my favorite sports club to shoot some pool, I usually complement it with a round of burgers and beers. Just the idea of having someone take my order and deliver it to me warrants a tip. But that’s me.
If you’re a demanding customer and have your server running all over the place to suit your needs, then at least have the decency to acknowledge their hard work. Nothing is worse than sending back your food multiple times because it doesn’t taste right. Besides, the way your food taste isn’t the server’s fault, those issues should be taken up with the cook, and the best way to resolve them is to tell a manager but don’t take it out on the server, by not leaving a tip.
Large parties are hell! Large billiard clubs that serve restaurant-style foods like Steinway Café Billiards and Raxx Pool Room can be tough to work in if tips are not regular of the club doesn’t automatically add gratuity. It’s stressful to cover everyone’s needs in a party of over 20 while tending to other tables. Even worse is finding out that the group you worked so hard to accommodate tipped 10 percent on a $400 bill.
You and I know these servers deal with a lot of crap. Don’t come in a few minutes before closing, nibble your food, chat nonsense to your friends, and have your server (whose probably been up for the past 12 hours) waiting on you to finish so that they can finally clock out and go home. And to add insult to injury, not leaving a tip to say thanks.
Your server’s job is to take good care of you the entire time you’re in the restaurant or club. This alone makes you a priority in someone’s life for a good hour, which you should appreciate. If that doesn’t deserve a tip, I don’t know what does.
Believe it or not, servers generally make less than $3 per hour. They don’t make minimum wage, and they do so much more than we all realize. Waiters and waitresses often begin their shift hours before a restaurant or club opens and have to cut lemons, make teas, clean tables (that may include pool tables in a pool club), spot sweep, and check bathrooms. After their shifts, servers must clean their sections, refill sugar caddies, stock condiments, roll silverware, and wash dishes. Even if a server is cut early, they sometimes don’t get to leave until the restaurant or club closes.
Everybody has a bad day. I’ve seen people get angry if a server is not attentive or doesn’t refill their drink promptly, and their tip is reduced. If everyone in America received merit-based pay, I think we’d be hearing LOTS of complaints from folks in every single workforce industry. We all have our not-so-good days, so why tip poorly just because someone isn’t on their A-game?
Tipping 20 percent is a good start. For every $10 you spend, you should tip at least $2. Don’t be that person who only tips $3 no matter what the bill is. Don’t rack up an $85 bill at happy hour and then tip $5 because you spent too much money, either. If you can’t afford to tip, then don’t go out to eat.
Paying it forward is always a good thing. Nothing beats leaving a tip or nice note for a server who has done a great job. Paying it forward is rewarding in any facet of life. When I have the extra cash and the service is phenomenal, I always try to leave a nice note behind along with some extra money. Being good to one another is essential.