Dec 21, 2010

A word or two about Restaurant TIPPING during a Recession

Yeah, times are tough.  I doubt many unemployed people eat out much.  So this is to those who still have jobs but are too lazy to cook, or just flat out don't know how.  Who eat out a LOT!


First.  Note to black people.  You have a very shitty reputation as bad tippers!    Waiters say too often the worst tippers are the very ones who have misbehaving kids and endless special orders and requests...  After all that, some actually  TIP A DOLLAR like it's 1954!

Lets face it.  If we're going out to ACT like we have money while eating out, let's ACT like we have money when it's time to leave the TIP!!
Because servers make WAY BELOW minimum wage by law, we should just consider tipping as part of the cost of eating out, even though it's just not on the menu.  NEVER TIP LESS than TEN PERCENT.   If you can't do that, you can't afford to eat OUT.  So, eat at home!


My TIPPING views (taught to me by my kid who worked summers at an Applebee's --a place where fast & attentive is mandatory.  And where they withheld 10 percent tax on servers' total shift sales, --whether they get the 10 percent tip from each table or not!)
   

  • I tip 20 percent for good service on a check under $40.  If you're making a good living, 20 percent should be your number.  20 pct.

  • I tip the minimum allowable 10 percent on a check over $40  (because I'm retired now and income's not so good..   I tipped at least 15 pct when I was working!  That's the going rate.  15 pct.
  •  But I tip flat $3-5 for any check under $20 because breakfast/small orders/cheap restaurants take as much from the server as a bigger, more expensive meal.  Again, be generous to your server who took care of you in good faith!  No matter how cheap or small was your order today!!  Tip less only if you're unemployed, but NEVER less than ten percent!
Do you hog (camp out at) a server's table?

My view is that smokers/coffee drinkers should tip twice as much because they don't ever seem to leave, costing the server time in coffee refills, and lost revenue  because the table you're hogging isn't generating another meal...and another tip.   So THINK of the server who makes a living off of that table each day!  If your'e having a long business meeting there, RENT the table from her with a triple tip.  Twenty?

There should be a rule that no one be allowed to after-dinner smoke during the dinner hour when the lobby's full of people there standing with whiny kids to actually PAY to EAT!  Aside from your selfishness to sit on your ass while people wait to eat, consider the server.  Pay him/her extra if you don't leave after you've eaten.  Or be courteous to other customers.  Eat and Run even if you don't have fidgety kids in tow.

Crappy service.   This is a difficult issue. 

As you're about to write out the Visa/Mastercard form, consider what your are to be paying for.

 Did the waiter/waitress disappear because of laziness or was he/she overworked with too many tables, rush hour, or very large orders at tables near you?   Did he/she bring you extra sauces or have the kitchen recook something?  More bread?  Many coffee refills?  More tip!  If the manager gave you a comp meal because it wasn't right, pay the waiter/waitress anyway for doing THEIR job!  (And hope the manager didn't make the server pay for it after you left!)

Tip NORMALLY if you see the waiter was overworked and it was just one wild night, from his/her viewpoint as you were dining.  Not his/her fault somebody didn't show up for work!  You can tell.  Tip less ONLY to make a statement about his/her bad work ethic!

Deciding on the tip

My view is that when you're deciding on a tip, have a personal policy in mind.  Be consistent.   (Your 10-15-20 pct minimum and what constitutes special service to tip better.)   

Never tip less than TEN PERCENT unless the server was a complete butt, which is not likely.  (Tip extra for substitutions, extras, and complimentaries which take more server time!!  And if you get something FREE from your server, pay for it in the tip! ALWAYS!  Every time!  Add a couple bucks!

The SIMPLE MATH of tipping!

  • To tip 10 percent of a bill, just move the decimal over.  A $20.00 bill .. tip $2.00 dollars.  (eww!   Be generous on a small restaurant bill!)  Yet, maybe NO TIP on an airport drink when the bar-keep doesn't even LOOK at you!! 
  • To tip 20 percent on such a small bill, take the dollars, round UP.  Take your 10 percent computation and DOUBLE IT.  $4 dollars minimum on a real meal when the waitress makes eye contact and tries to pleasure you!   
  • Tip 15 percent on a good meal.  Look at the bill.  Compute the ten percent by moving the decimal over.  A $50 restaurant bill would be $5.    To tip 15 percent, just add another half.  That'd be $2.50 more, to make the $5 up to $7.50  or 8 bucks.  This is the regular tip. 15 pct.  Move the decimal over and add HALF AGAIN.  Not so hard, huh?   
  •  A $38 bill,  ten pct is $3.80.  Round Up to $4.00.   Pay THAT for minimum ten percent!  Four bucks.   Or a fiver.   Double the Tip for great service---20 percent, or $8 bucks.

    TIPPING RIGHT IS not that hard but it's important!  Decide before the waiter sucks up to you as he hands you your bill.  Decide right then.  Pay the REGULAR RATE, or pay BETTER FOR A GREAT TIME!!  Pay him/her what they provided!




    To all the waiters, you're welcome!  And thanks for doing your best!


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