To Tip or Not to Tip?

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Written by Mary-Todd Christian. Media by Jack Dawdy


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Having worked in a restaurant for almost 3 years, I can certainly attest to the fact that being a waitress is not the most glorious position. If any of you have been a server, you understand what working in a restaurant entails. You deal with amazing customers, as well as some really, sometimes really, really, mean ones. Maybe you’re not the one cooking the food, but you’re, with out a doubt, the one who gets yelled at if the customer doesn’t like his or her hamburger. Between dealing with unhappy customers, and coming home smelling like chicken fingers each night, it truly was the amazing family that I worked for, and the tips I would receive at the end of the night that kept me from quitting. You might be thinking, “Really? A couple dollars from each table is what kept you working?”. YES. To Tip or Not to Tip? The answer is simple. TIP. Here are some reasons why!


1. Tips Make Up the Salary.

As most waiters and waitresses are paid at, or below, minimum wage, he or she is definitely reliant on the amount of tips made from night to night. The majority of waiters and waitresses make 85%-100% of their salary off the tips they receive at the end of the night. Isn’t that crazy?! While it may only be a couple dollars to you, a dollar here and there adds up for the waiter who is trying to pay his phone bill, or rent.


2. It Makes Your Server Feel Valued.

Most servers don’t want to be servers. When you think about it, the majority of servers are teenagers with their first job,

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or someone who needs a little extra money as a supplement. Try and watch your waiter or waitress on a busy night. Most of them are wearing several hats. They are serving your table as well as four others,plus attempting to make tea in the back, while also dealing with a customer who isn’t pleased. Servers can potentially take a lot of heat from people in one given night. By treating your server with kindness, and leaving them an appropriate tip, it makes them feel that they are appreciated and doing their job well.


3. Your Server Will Take Care of You.

If you are a returning customer, and your server knows that you tip well, they will reciprocate by taking extra care of you. This is a win-win for both the server and the customer. In doing this, you can build relationships with one another, especially if you work in a small or local restaurant.

“Okay, I get it. Tipping is important… but how much should I tip?” 20% is usually the appropriate amount, but if you’re still uncertain, my suggestion is to always air on the side of generosity. I always tend to tip more than what is probably appropriate to my server (partially because I understand their struggle). If you are without the extra pocket change, you can always leave something to show that you care. Leaving a nice note to let your waiter know that you appreciated his or her hard work is not expected, but very nice especially if it was a busy night (A customer did this for me once!). Even if the service is bad, don’t tip fewer than 15%.


While I look at this from a server’s perspective, there are several other occupations that definitely work hard for tips. It’s very appropriate to tip your hairdressers, baristas, and the people who deliver your pizza. The truth is, your tips matter. Don’t be stingy. Let your server know you appreciate them.



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