Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Soapbox Moments: Tipping Your Server

My husband posted about this on Facebook last night, but it's still weighing on my mind this morning so I felt like coming over here to talk about it.

We don't always have a lot of extra cash, so going out to eat is a special thing for us. We don't do it often. When we do, there's usually some discussion ahead of time as to whether we can afford to go. When we are deciding, we always factor in the cost of the meal PLUS the tip. If we can't afford the meal and a decent tip, we just don't go. To us, it's common decency to tip your servers for the job they are doing, and if we can't afford to do that, we eat at home.

(Of course, there's a difference when your server just sucks and doesn't deserve a tip. But we always have that money set aside, and if for some reason we decide the server doesn't deserve a tip - which has never happened to us - we just have extra money left over at the end of the night.)

Well, last night, we ate at Logan's and our waitress was super sweet and very friendly. There were two high school graduations in town yesterday, so there were several large groups coming in to eat. Our waitress apologized at one point for seeming so busy, indicating that she was taking care of a couple large groups as well.

I mentioned that I hoped it would be worth it at the end of the night, tip-wise, with the built in gratuity. (I was thinking how a lot of restaurants add a built in gratuity to the check on larger groups.) Apparently Logan's doesn't do that, which our waitress indicated to us.

Then she told us she had served a group of more than 15 that had left no tip at all, and had even STOLEN the tip left by other customers on a nearby table when they left just a few minutes before. That's right, a group of 15 recent graduates and their families took up a large portion of this server's section, left no tip, and literally STOLE FROM HER by taking money left by another customer on a different table.

It makes me SICK. These were teenagers that had just graduated from high school, the biggest accomplishment in their lives so far, with family and friends. I get that money is tight around graduation, with having to buy caps and gowns, invitations, etc.

But that's the point I'm trying to make.

IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO INCLUDE A TIP, YOU SHOULD NOT BE EATING AT A RESTAURANT AND WASTING A SERVER'S TIME.

And I don't agree with those that will say that a tip is "extra" and should not be automatic. Yes, it should be automatic. If your server has a bad attitude, gets your order wrong, doesn't refill your drinks, and just in general offers bad service, by all means, don't tip. They'll get the picture. But it should have been a given before you walked into that restaurant and sat at that server's table that you were going to tip the server so long as the service was good.

Maybe the reason I'm so passionate about it is because my mother was a waitress for years when I was growing up, and I understand how it really effects a person and their family when people don't tip.

But anyway. We did what we could and tipped a little more than we had originally set aside, because she was a good waitress. But I just cannot believe the audacity of some people these days. There is a reason this world is going to you-know-where.