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TIP WARS: WaPo food critic says you have to tip 20 percent, no matter what

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,770
USA
I never said I don't tip, I said it's shitty that people think it's mandatory. You also still need to stop with the not a good person bullshit.
Good people tip when they utilize services where tipping is customary and expected. If an asshole or two doesn’t tip but took up time, it can fuck up someone’s wages for the shift or their day. Gross behavior if you’ve received the service the establishment is providing and don’t compensate for it.
 
OP
OP
Syriel

Syriel

Member
Dec 13, 2017
6,009
Because servers get paid $3 an hour and deserve compensation if you are privelaged enough to go enjoy a meal at a sit down restaurant.
Only in the crappy states. This isn't true across the board.

I think that not tipping at a “tipping expected” restaurant that pays its servers less than minimum wage doesn’t do anything to solve the issue. In fact, the only person it hurts is the person serving you as the business that incorporates this unfair practice is still getting your time and money.
Pet is in CA. Tip credit wages (aka paying less than min because servers get tips) is illegal.

I'm going to say this very carefully....first and foremost I don't condone stiffing a waiter out of his/her tip out of political protest.

That being said, I guarantee you if every diner in the US decided to stop tipping or tip ridiculously low.....then there would be actual political pressure to legislate actual wages for restaurant servers.
Servers have been the loudest voice against real wages and no tipping

No. How about change the shitty broken US system instead.
A chunk of states did that. Tips didn't go away.

My point is, if the cost of dining out has gone up, the amount the servers get from the same tip percentage has gone up and that should cover cost of living without having to up the percentage every five years.
Bingo.

I don't tip fast food workers because A) they're not paid two fucking dollars an hour on the assumption that tips will cover the rest and B) there is no mechanism for doing so.

As for the people in the kitchens, uh, the tips your server receives are often split with the back of the house, so yeah I do.
1) Neither are restaurant workers out here.
2) Nothing is stopping you from tipping at a fast food place.
3) That is not typical. Restaurants in the SF Bay Area has not had a problem hiring servers, but has had challenges keeping cooks because cooks don't get to share in tips.

The % thing never made sense to me. Are waiters at a high-end place bringing you your food better than a more affordable restaurant? Not really. Then why is the amount you tip dependent on the price of the food?
To be fair, service at a high end restaurant is generally much better than that at a chain restaurant.

Drop the coin on a Michelin star place, something like Victoria and Albert's in Disney, or a chef's table dinner on a cruise and you're getting a much higher level of service.

Who knew "the people who bring you food to consume deserve more than $2/hour even if they're having a shitty day" was controversial. Huh.
WaPo is in Seattle so that would be $12/hour (not $2/hour) or $16/hour minimum if working for a large chain like Applebee's or Cheesecake Factory.

Pro tip for the US: Pay better wages and you don't need to tip.
Servers constantly push back against that. Tips direct the majority of income to the front of the house. Higher wages all around more equitably share that between the front and back of the house, but would mean a lot less six figure income options for servers.
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,797
Only in the crappy states. This isn't true across the board.



Pet is in CA. Tip credit wages (aka paying less than min because servers get tips) is illegal.



Servers have been the loudest voice against real wages and no tipping



A chunk of states did that. Tips didn't go away.



Bingo.



1) Neither are restaurant workers out here.
2) Nothing is stopping you from tipping at a fast food place.
3) That is not typical. Restaurants in the SF Bay Area has not had a problem hiring servers, but has had challenges keeping cooks because cooks don't get to share in tips.



To be fair, service at a high end restaurant is generally much better than that at a chain restaurant.

Drop the coin on a Michelin star place, something like Victoria and Albert's in Disney, or a chef's table dinner on a cruise and you're getting a much higher level of service.



WaPo is in Seattle so that would be $12/hour (not $2/hour) or $16/hour minimum if working for a large chain like Applebee's or Cheesecake Factory.



Servers constantly push back against that. Tips direct the majority of income to the front of the house. Higher wages all around more equitably share that between the front and back of the house, but would mean a lot less six figure income options for servers.
So then replace “business that pays its servers less than minimum wage” with “business that pays its servers minimum wage”. The point still stands.
 

Scrooge

Member
Oct 25, 2017
608
BS. The vast majority of waiters do a good enough job to deserve the expected level of tip and it's been a while since I've felt the need to go below 20%, but if one does a poor job, particularly if unjustified rudeness is involved, I am absolutely willing to go lower and I won't feel the least bit of guilt not tipping the usual to someone who is acting like an asshole. No one should feel obligated in that circumstance. Of course, I also go much, much higher for exceptional service. And since I know what it's like to serve people, I try hard to be the easiest person they've ever waited on and to not blame them for things that are unlikely to be a result of their service.
 

mrmoose

Member
Nov 13, 2017
7,239
I've read a lot of horror stories about servers being stiffed or given little in tips. Also, the idea of making less money an hour and having to require on the chance that they get good customers doesn't feel right. Maybe it comes down to personal preference I would rather get a straight wage as opposed to a smaller wage and a chance to make more.
Servers usually have horror stories about being stiffed a few times. But ask them if they'd take a standard wage instead of getting tips and I'm pretty sure for most servers they'd keep the tips. So I don't think that's being unfair to the servers. They make way more than standard minimum wage in most cases. Heck, give them minimum wage + 20% and take away tips and I think a lot of them quit.

The law is also that if they make less than minimum wage for the year after tips they can make the restaurant pay them minimum wage, though I don't think that happens very often, and if it does I don't see servers lasting long there. Bottom line is that if you're working at an establishment where you're always stiffed, you'll either move on or (if it's an area thing where everybody doesn't tip) you change professions.

Now it is absolutely unfair that a lot of times personal bias determines how people tip, and being attractive and seeming nice will net you on average way more than if you're unattractive, but I don't think you're talking about that.
 

Wetwork

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,898
Colorado
My mom's a waitress in a diner. She pulls in about a grand a week in tips and upwards to two grand when it's holiday season. Tipping pays for a house, all the vacations her and my old man want to take, all the trips they want to go on, and all the extras they need in life. It allows 50% of my father's income to go into their 401k and then cover benefits with room to play.

Yeah, lets raise the servers wage to minimum, cut their overall income as it is, and make an already extremely volatile industry even harder to succeed (on average, 60% of restaurants fail in their first year). I'm sure that'll go over just well with waitstaff.
 

Spenny

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,809
Los Angeles
I’m pretty much in this camp. I’ll drop 20% no matter what (unless there’s straight hostility) and then add if the service is exceptional.


My mom's a waitress in a diner. She pulls in about a grand a week in tips and upwards to two grand when it's holiday season. Tipping pays for a house, all the vacations her and my old man want to take, all the trips they want to go on, and all the extras they need in life. It allows 50% of my father's income to go into their 401k and then cover benefits with room to play.

Yeah, lets raise the servers wage to minimum, cut their overall income as it is, and make an already extremely volatile industry even harder to succeed (on average, 60% of restaurants fail in their first year). I'm sure that'll go over just well with waitstaff.
Everyone would legit quit if they raised the pay to minimum and did away with tips. Peoples income would drop from $50k to around $30k. Fuck that. Tips are what servers work for not some shitty wage.
 
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Vilam

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,644
Who knew "the people who bring you food to consume deserve more than $2/hour even if they're having a shitty day" was controversial. Huh.
When you buy something, do you expect to actually receive that thing? I know I do. The tip is for good service, not because I feel guilted into some social contract over paying the remainder of the wage they should be earning.
 

Jimx26

Member
Oct 30, 2017
992
Because you are stiffing the staff, and you know it.
No I’m not. When did I say I don’t tip. My original post was I said 10% is sufficient and I stand by that. I’m not a pos for doing so.

Plus if staff don’t make enough in tips the money gets made up to minimum wage by the employer.

As I said before if 10% was the standard servers would make more than enough money for the type of job they do. And yes I have been in their shoes so I know how hard the job can be.
 

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,572
No I’m not. When did I say I don’t tip. My original post was I said 10% is sufficient and I stand by that. I’m not a pos for doing so.

Plus if staff don’t make enough in tips the money gets made up to minimum wage by the employer.

As I said before if 10% was the standard servers would make more than enough money for the type of job they do. And yes I have been in their shoes so I know how hard the job can be.
Yeah, you tell 'em! Servers make way too much money, we need to take em down a peg, they deserve to make less money if they wanna have a stupid job like bringing people food. Low skill jobs pay too much in this country. We need to lower the minimum wage while we're at it.
 

jem

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,675
As a Brit 20% seems crazy to me.

Usually I tip between 5-10%. Would never even consider 20. Quite often don't tip at all, if you aren't doing something extra you don't deserve a tip...
 

TechnicPuppet

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,319
My mom's a waitress in a diner. She pulls in about a grand a week in tips and upwards to two grand when it's holiday season. Tipping pays for a house, all the vacations her and my old man want to take, all the trips they want to go on, and all the extras they need in life. It allows 50% of my father's income to go into their 401k and then cover benefits with room to play.

Yeah, lets raise the servers wage to minimum, cut their overall income as it is, and make an already extremely volatile industry even harder to succeed (on average, 60% of restaurants fail in their first year). I'm sure that'll go over just well with waitstaff.
Probably be easier to run a restaurant if the 20% of the total cost of everything wasn't going to a small number of people doing one job.
 

Chan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,219
My mom's a waitress in a diner. She pulls in about a grand a week in tips and upwards to two grand when it's holiday season. Tipping pays for a house, all the vacations her and my old man want to take, all the trips they want to go on, and all the extras they need in life. It allows 50% of my father's income to go into their 401k and then cover benefits with room to play.

Yeah, lets raise the servers wage to minimum, cut their overall income as it is, and make an already extremely volatile industry even harder to succeed (on average, 60% of restaurants fail in their first year). I'm sure that'll go over just well with waitstaff.
They’ll learn to adapt, you know what I did, obtained a job with nearly 100% job security.
 

-Pyromaniac-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,274
I just about always tip 15-20 going slightly up or slightly down (to maybe 13/25) depending on service quality....but I will say when I visited the USA, I found restaurants to be generally cheaper so it was a lot easier. In Canada, toronto specifically, prices are so high, and taxes high at 13%, that another 20% on top of it is a harder one to swallow. I debate it more internally.

There's so much context though, what kind of restaurant is there, what kind of waiting is it, am I a regular there, etc.
 

LastCaress

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
835
One thing these threads make me wonder is if there are people like me out there, that don't really pay attention to service. Like the waiter takes my order and then brings me food, and that's about it for me. Maybe the waiter takes more time or isn't as friendly , it really doesn't make a difference to me. It's more about the person/persons I am with than all the rest. If I enjoy the whole thing maybe I'll come back. I would never be able to leave a review anywhere. Am I an un-critic or something?
 

Chan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,219
One thing these threads make me wonder is if there are people like me out there, that don't really pay attention to service. Like the waiter takes my order and then brings me food, and that's about it for me. Maybe the waiter takes more time or isn't as friendly , it really doesn't make a difference to me. It's more about the person/persons I am with than all the rest. If I enjoy the whole thing maybe I'll come back. I would never be able to leave a review anywhere. Am I an un-critic or something?
I really dislike it when a waiter is trying to make conversation with me without me initiating. If I wanted to talk I’d sit at the bar.
 

Westbahnhof

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
5,854
Austria
One thing these threads make me wonder is if there are people like me out there, that don't really pay attention to service. Like the waiter takes my order and then brings me food, and that's about it for me. Maybe the waiter takes more time or isn't as friendly , it really doesn't make a difference to me. It's more about the person/persons I am with than all the rest. If I enjoy the whole thing maybe I'll come back. I would never be able to leave a review anywhere. Am I an un-critic or something?
Sounds like you just haven't had bad service. Hard to not pay attention to having to go look for my waiter to pay because for 20 minutes, all I see is other waiters constantly telling me they'll send the guy I ordered from.
 

crazyfunster

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,610
My tip (assuming roughly $10 meal, though I keep this up if it's less- some meals I get are as little as $7) is $2 for a full-service, and $1 for a buffet. I've only not given that at one place that says no-tip, and one time at a place I like because the service was incredibly bad (and then it was $1.75)

The reason I don't go below that sum is because I assume the place that's $7 , the dude serving as working as hard as the dude in the more expensive place, so I don't want to stiff them. If I went to a $20 place I would tip more as its expected, but there aren't many of those here, and they're not worth the money so I don't go there. Plenty of awesome inexpensive places here!
 

GMT Master

Member
Oct 3, 2019
42
No, tipping is not 'additional' in America. You're literally not paying your waiter by not providing a tip.
I'm not there to pay my waiter, I'm there to pay the restaurant for both food and service. Servers are employees of the restaurant. That's their job.

If I have to tip, I'd rather the kitchen staff get it. They are preparing my meal. The server is just carrying it 20 feet to my table. Like I said before, if given the option, I will happily go pick up my food from a counter by the kitchen.
 

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,770
USA
I'm not there to pay my waiter, I'm there to pay the restaurant for both food and service. Servers are employees of the restaurant. That's their job.

If I have to tip, I'd rather the kitchen staff get it. They are preparing my meal. The server is just carrying it 20 feet to my table. Like I said before, if given the option, I will happily go pick up my food from a counter by the kitchen.
Then don’t go to restaurants that have have tipping convention for servers. You aren’t paying for the service you receive under their tipping wage structure so you don’t deserve to be there.
 

daxy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,501
Sounds like you just haven't had bad service. Hard to not pay attention to having to go look for my waiter to pay because for 20 minutes, all I see is other waiters constantly telling me they'll send the guy I ordered from.
Been there. When I'm really just waiting there for the check and nothing else (and it's taking a while to get it), I've made it a habit to just walk up to the bar or service counter to get it done with.
 

GMT Master

Member
Oct 3, 2019
42
Then don’t go to restaurants that have have tipping convention for servers. You aren’t paying for the service you receive under their tipping wage structure so you don’t deserve to be there.
Yeah, you're the authority on who deserves to go where. Fuck off with that high horse bullshit. I will continue to go to restaurants and I will continue to leave a standard 20% (unless the service is bad), but it's bullshit.

Servers these days do the absolute bare minimum. It's obnoxious that those eating out have to increase tips despite the quality going down. The service industry is a joke.
 

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,770
USA
Yeah, you're the authority on who deserves to go where. Fuck off with that high horse bullshit. I will continue to go to restaurants and I will continue to leave a standard 20% (unless the service is bad), but it's bullshit.

Servers these days do the absolute bare minimum. It's obnoxious that those eating out have to increase tips despite the quality going down. The service industry is a joke.
If you can’t be arsed to tip for receiving the service, you don’t deserve to be served 👏
 

Westbahnhof

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
5,854
Austria
Been there. When I'm really just waiting there for the check and nothing else (and it's taking a while to get it), I've made it a habit to just walk up to the bar or service counter to get it done with.
Oh, same here.
But while that usually helps, last time, what I got was "Please wait here, I'll find your server". And then I waited longer, though I admit it was only like 2 minutes.
 

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,572
What a messed up system in a messed up country that produces minds like this.

Yes sir!
You pay the restaurant for the food, you pay the server for the service. Could they include the service charge in the bill and give that to the server? Sure, but they don't, and you'd still be paying the same amount, so get over it. At least this way you can adjust your service fee depending on how adequate the service was
 

DopeToast

Member
Oct 27, 2017
714
I mostly agree with him (and I'm just specifically talking about in the United States). I've never had service bad enough that I felt I should tip less than 20%. The system we have is bad, yes, but me not personally tipping is not going to change anything.

For specific instances of a server being overtly racist or something like that, of course I wouldn't tip in that situation. But in 99.9% of cases, I tip 20%. I expect that when going out to eat.
 

gully state

Member
Oct 27, 2017
842
One thing these threads make me wonder is if there are people like me out there, that don't really pay attention to service. Like the waiter takes my order and then brings me food, and that's about it for me. Maybe the waiter takes more time or isn't as friendly , it really doesn't make a difference to me. It's more about the person/persons I am with than all the rest. If I enjoy the whole thing maybe I'll come back. I would never be able to leave a review anywhere. Am I an un-critic or something?
I think most of us are like this...take my order, bring my food. Bring the check. I absolutely get annoyed when a server comes up to me while I’m in the middle of my first bite of food and asks “how’s everything?”
 

GMT Master

Member
Oct 3, 2019
42
You pay the restaurant for the food, you pay the server for the service.
This is a societal convention. The customer directly paying the server is not a thing. If that's the case then why is the server being paid a wage by the restaurant? Maybe they should be freelancers who come in off the street and work shifts based only on tips. Then I won't feel so annoyed by this whole system.

This bullshit also breaks down because they guy getting 20% of my check on a $400 meal has nothing almost nothing differently than the guy getting 20% on $100 meal. Yeah, you usually get better service at nicer restaurants, but the difference is not significant.

All the people defending this idea that people are trash if they don't tip 20% or don't deserve to eat out if they don't tip are rationalizing their shitty attitudes because it's easier to blame the customer than it is to want real change at the higher level.

I think most of us are like this...take my order, bring my food. Bring the check. I absolutely get annoyed when a server comes up to me while I’m in the middle of my first bite of food and asks “how’s everything?”
Yeah, most people are like that. I forget the server three seconds after I leave the restaurant. It's the same baseline experience every time. Sometimes they are very nice and that may warranty a comment and sometimes they are annoying which leads to a lesser tip.

Some people here act like it's some grand experience to be waited on at a restaurant.
 

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,770
USA
This is a societal convention. The customer directly paying the server is not a thing. If that's the case then why is the server being paid a wage by the restaurant? Maybe they should be freelancers who come in off the street and work shifts based only on tips. Then I won't feel so annoyed by this whole system.

This bullshit also breaks down because they guy getting 20% of my check on a $400 meal has nothing almost nothing differently than the guy getting 20% on $100 meal. Yeah, you usually get better service at nicer restaurants, but the difference is not significant.

All the people defending this idea that people are trash if they don't tip 20% or don't deserve to eat out if they don't tip are rationalizing their shitty attitudes because it's easier to blame the customer than it is to want real change at the higher level.



Yeah, most people are like that. I forget the server three seconds after I leave the restaurant. It's the same baseline experience every time. Sometimes they are very nice and that may warranty a comment and sometimes they are annoying which leads to a lesser tip.

Some people here act like it's some grand experience to be waited on at a restaurant.
Girl plenty of us understand wanting reform at a high level, but that comes from regulators. Individuals not tipping is trash behavior and does nothing for a responsible server.
 

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,572
This is a societal convention. The customer directly paying the server is not a thing. If that's the case then why is the server being paid a wage by the restaurant? Maybe they should be freelancers who come in off the street and work shifts based only on tips. Then I won't feel so annoyed by this whole system.

This bullshit also breaks down because they guy getting 20% of my check on a $400 meal has nothing almost nothing differently than the guy getting 20% on $100 meal. Yeah, you usually get better service at nicer restaurants, but the difference is not significant.

All the people defending this idea that people are trash if they don't tip 20% or don't deserve to eat out if they don't tip are rationalizing their shitty attitudes because it's easier to blame the customer than it is to want real change at the higher level.



Yeah, most people are like that. I forget the server three seconds after I leave the restaurant. It's the same baseline experience every time. Sometimes they are very nice and that may warranty a comment and sometimes they are annoying which leads to a lesser tip.

Some people here act like it's some grand experience to be waited on at a restaurant.
The employer pays an hourly wage because they have to, a server has more duties than just serving. Rolling silverware, vacuuming at the end of the night in some cases, working the pos system, etc. They also dont just get to go home if an hour goes by when they don't get a customer, and in most states this tipped wage is like 3$ an hour for that specific reason, the majority of the server's wages is derived from flexible service fees, an exchange of money directly between the server and the person they're serving.
 

GalvoAg

Member
Oct 30, 2017
812
Galveston
Tipping is dumb, plenty of servers shit on workers getting payed minimum wage and never think about giving them a tip. Take it out with your employer if your tips aren’t cutting it, but we all know they won’t.
 

MazeHaze

Member
Nov 1, 2017
3,572
Tipping is dumb, plenty of servers shit on workers getting payed minimum wage and never think about giving them a tip. Take it out with your employer if your tips aren’t cutting it, but we all know they won’t.
The tips usually cut it tho, because the majority of people understand how tipping works, which allows people to make more than minimum wage and actually afford to pay their bills (probably not health insurance though)
 

jred250

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,167
People who are/were servers: Tip 20% Always
People like me who used to be cooks: Tip 10% to the server, tip 10% to the cook

You guys who defend the crazy tipping culture in the US completely neglect all of the other people who contribute to the dining experience who are completely cut out of that tip. Some places (none of which i worked at) will do tip-sharing with other staff, but that is super rare. Honestly, the arguments for people who defend tipping culture are the exact same arguments that rich people use to justify their position.

I worked hard for this! (Ignoring the other people who are equally responsible for your money who work equally as hard)
Yes, some days are good others I hardly make anything! (People who work in tipping positions make far more than any other position in a restaurant which is why they don't want to give it up)

Servers will fight against tip sharing the way that rich people will fight against fair wages and increased taxes.
 

ISWThunder

Member
Oct 30, 2017
428
I tip well, but I’ll tip however I want. I agree that it’s a shit system, but socially mandating 20% tips isn’t how you fix it.

I’ve had plenty of servers who did the bare minimum, and disappeared for long stretches. I get it, they are busy, but that doesn’t change the fact that my service was below par.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,195
San Francisco
Tipping and tip wages is an antiquated practice born from the ashes of american slavery. The NRA (national restaurant association) formed just after the end of the civil war to help federalize no wage work so that they didn't have to pay freed slaves a salery.

American taxpayers subsidize tip wage earners to the tune of 15 billion a year, roughly 250k a restaurant due to their reliance on government assistance.

I don't tip if I pay before I get my food, I eat at restaurants maybe 5 times a year where tipping is the norm.
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,530
Yeah, you're the authority on who deserves to go where. Fuck off with that high horse bullshit. I will continue to go to restaurants and I will continue to leave a standard 20% (unless the service is bad), but it's bullshit.

Servers these days do the absolute bare minimum. It's obnoxious that those eating out have to increase tips despite the quality going down. The service industry is a joke.
I think its worth mentioning that it is ok to find the convention bullshit (I for sure do) but its still important to do it.

No, it is not required. No there is no authority to hold you accountable for tipping 20, 15, 10, or nothing. It's (once again) a bullshit societal system but it is our current bullshit societal system. You can adjust your tipping behavior if you know for a fact what that areas laws are, but in general you should be expecting that your tips are what is paying for that persons wage.

If you feel strongly enough against this system than write your legislators to give servers a real wage and vote with your dollar by not eating out at establishments that operate like this.

No one is going to hold a gun to your head to tip a certain way. But everyone in society from other patrons, to the staff, to people on the internet can 100% tip shame you for being a cheap, pompous asshole for not tipping or under tipping out of principle.


Also, fuck the people who say "well if they don't make enough tips they are required to get paid minimum wage which is fine by me thats how much they should make anyway"

So many people in this thread have never worked a busy server job and it shows.