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Monday, July 11, 2011

You Suck At Tipping

Actually, I don't know if you suck at tipping or not. I've heard that it's a good idea to use potentially inflammatory or controversial post titles to get the reader's attention (because who doesn't want to go read a post about why they suck?) and so here we are.

Joe's a good tipper. 20% for good service. 15% for okay service where we might have to ask for a refill or have a small issue. Less than that if the server totally sucks, at which point we let the server know and usually speak with a manager. Politely. But we're talking BAD service.

Know who does suck at tipping? My brother. And Joe's brother. Embarrassing, honestly.

We ate lunch with my brother and his wife a couple of weeks ago at the Hard Rock Cafe in Baltimore. The waitress was lovely - lots of personality, very on her game. She made great suggestions, didn't leave us wanting, never made us ask twice, but she also wasn't in our face and driving us nuts.

We asked for separate checks, paid our bills, and went on our merry way. My brother gave us his check afterwards because we have some kind of HRC rewards card and we thought we could add their amount to our account. It was at this point that I noticed they left a tip of $4.18 on a check of $73.96, making their total $78.14. Huh?

I was absolutely mortified. I considered trying to track down the poor girl somehow even though we were safely home at our undisclosed location by that time. I felt so awful.

Last week, we went to dinner with BIL, his wife, and their two kids. Again, separate checks. Because I was on alert after lunch with my brother (plus my BIL is kinda known for his cheapness), I did take a look at his check when it arrived. Just over $60. He tipped $7. What for? I'll admit, the server was not amazing. She was okay but she forgot the bacon on the top of the kids' cheese fries. She didn't ask if we wanted an additional appetizer. She wasn't good with drink refills. I would've tipped her around 15%.

I gave Joe a nice nudge and he was able to adjust our tip upwards to compensate for the shortfall.

I don't understand not tipping the waitstaff properly. Sure, I wish they weren't paid so little. I wish their pay started at a minimum wage, just like everyone else, and that a tip was a reward, not an expectation. But that's not how things work, which means we need to factor in a tip if we're going out to eat.

What about you? Do you suck at tipping? Are you a big tipper? What do you do when you're out with someone else and you feel they've severely under-tipped?


Accidentally Me said...

Usually it is people that have never waited tables;-)

I am with you...usually 20% unless they suck..

C. Beth said...

I'm always embarrassed if I'm out to eat with someone who tips low! We usually tip around 20%.

Toriz said...

By your standards I'm a bad tipper, but...

1. I come from a family of non-tippers, so compared to them I'm an awesome tipper.

2. Due to me being disabled and my hubby being classed as my carer, we're only on minimum wage (well, equivellent of having minimum wage), so we don't have much spare money in general.

Anyway, we "usually" give about 10% as a tip, and if the people with us don't tip... Well, we don't do anything to be honest, because if we eat out with people it's usually my parents, and arguing with them isn't worth the trouble. I know the last time we made sure to tip more than the 10% so as to balance it out a bit, but don't remember how much more.

I understand the people are only on minimum wage, but... *Shrugs*... Technically I am too!

Eternal Lizdom said...

I am a generous tipper. I almost always tip 20%- mostly because the math is easier. I will round up or down based on quality of service. And I'll add more for great service and I'll deduct for bad service.

Amd I did used to wait tables. Maybe that's why?

Maybe Mama said...

My father thinks he's a good tipper...and I'm sure he was in 1974 but he hasn't really kept up with inflation.

I on the other hand just round up and have been told by my office that "I tip too much." But I suck at math and the waiter/tress usually benefit. Unless they're horrid, then they just get stink eye.

Linda said...

My husband tips generously... I hate it that waiters don't get paid enough. It is a hard job sometimes.

Melinda (Sew-Lin) said...

Our usual breakfast place treats us so well that I usually tip them about 30% for going above and beyond. But for anywhere else I tip about 20%. I have actually slipped more money on the table when I notice someone I dine with tips too low.

Waitstaff are usually paid below minimum wage, because tips count into their wages to make up the difference. I don't really think that is right. Tips really should be for service over and above. So I just consider the tip part of the cost of dining out.

Kimmy said...

Oh NO!!! We are generous tippers. I learned from my parents! My in-laws however SUCK!! We always make up for their shortfall also. My SIL (my brother's wife) also sucks! We won't eat with them anymore cause once we went out with them and the waitress was wonderful and my SIL and brother left and had only given $1. $1!!!! The waitress looked like she wanted to cry and we told her that it wasn't her that my SIL was a horrible tipper and that we would make up for them. Poor girl!!

We used to go to this one restaurant and the waiter their knew us but left that restaurant but then went to a different restaurant and when we saw him at the new place, he told the waitress that had our table "Be good to them. They're good tippers!" That made us feel good!

Waiters and waitress' need to be regognized for a job well done cause with the way customer service is these days (SUCKS HORRIBLY!!), we need to show those that do try that we appreciate them!!

ReadyOrNot said...

What a great topic! I HATE having to make- up for poor tippers. I don't have a lot of money but would never stiff the waitstaff! An easy way to tip is take 10 percent of the bill and double it. (Ex. 35 bucks- 3.50 doubled- 7.00) I made 2.13 an hour when I waited tables. Plus had to tip out the bar staff and kitchen staff 3 percent. That 3 percent is deducted out of your tips at the end of the night- whether people tip you or not.

Princess Andy said...

being a former waitress i make sure to tip...unless i am completely mortified by their utter lack of ability to do anything other than walking upright and breathing.

Joanie said...

I'm a server. In Pennsylvania, we make $2.83 an hour, plus tips. That's right folks, $2.83 an hour and if we aren't busy, we could conceivably make less than minimum wage. Today I had 2 bad tipping tables. I gave them good service. I even went into the mall to tell one man his food was on the table, when he was yacking on his phone. He left me a whopping #1.31 on a $30.69 check. Later on, another table's check was $57 and change. They left $60 and coins and told me the rest was for me, $3 tip. They both got good service and the 2nd table ran my butt off (get me this, get me that)

If you aren't willing or are too cheap to tip decently, go to McDonald's where you don't have to.

Tami said...

The whole concept of tipping annoys me. I don't get tipped for doing my job, no matter how well I do it. Besides, if it's required, then it's not a tip, it's just part of the bill. Why not raise the price of food by 15% and pay your servers more?

However, I realize that the world doesn't go by my rules and the server is trying to earn a living so I tip 15% - more if the server is personable.

TMC said...

I fancy myself a generous tipper.

vivinfrance said...

In France you look at the bill and if it says Service compris you don't tip - though sometimes we do if the service is exceptional. 30% ?!? We'd never be able to eat out at all if that were the norm here. But Service is an honorable metier here and properly paid.

Susan in SC said...

We are good tippers since husband and I both worked in restaurants while in college. I have to watch some of my friends and nudge them into doing the right thing. I feel bad if I don't leave a decent tip. At Christmas, we leave a very generous tip ($100) for wait staff. We never know when we will leave it but something tells us when the right person is.


one thing to consider: maybe those people got fed up dealing with bad tippers, and that's the kind of service you get, because some folks refuse [consciously] to reward good service. some people should eat at home and avoid the embarrassment. serving people is not easy nor is it a menial job, it's a vocation we all get to appreciate. i know i do!! to not have to do grocery, cook my dinner and DO THE F%*&@g DISHES is heaven to me and well worth something. i know i once forgot to add it to my credit charge and felt terrible for it, but i have yet to get the same waiter at the restaurant. the day will come when he'll get what's coming to him, in a good way.
it's only fair!!


2.83$ AN HOUR???????????????????
you need to move to canada!!!!!!
that's disgusting!!!!
i thought it was bad here, but $2.83?
your lawmakers should be fired!! that's beyond indecency...