Summertime is in full swing, and all the little birdies say don’t be “cheap, cheap, cheap.”
I never worked in the food service industry, but I know a lot of people who go their start there. A family friend once told us that minimum wage was about $2 ($2.13 according to this article) because the rest should be supplemented by tipping. So, that means tips are essential for servers to make a living wage.
My parents taught me to tip fairly, and in light of this information, it is even more important to do so. If I get average service, I tip at least 15-17%. If I get outstanding service, I’ll probably tip about 25%. If I get horrible service, I might tip less, depending on the cause. Anyone who knows me knows I detest “rewarding bad behavior,” but oftentimes, the poor service might not be the server’s fault (like the kitchen is backed up, or the hostess seated too many people in her section). The only reason I would really “ding” the server is if he or she were rude to us or absolutely seemed checked out of his or her responsibilities. Even at a “self-serve” restaurant like Corner Bakery, I’ll leave a couple dollars on the table for the person who clears the dishes. Some may see that as overgenerous and unnecessary, but I would rather be that than stingy. I think it’s the right thing to do.
So, if you go out to eat, I urge you to tip fairly. If you can’t do that, I would encourage you to reconsider eating at sit-down restaurants.