Once in a while I like to put a post out there directed at the customer.  This is one of those.  There always seems to be so much confusion out there about tipping.  I actually had a friend the other day ask me if 10% was still the norm.

Maybe when Roosevelt was president

Seriously?  10%?  Wow.  Don’t worry, he isn’t my friend anymore.  The truth is the whole percentage thing is overplayed.  Sure, in some fine dining restaurants, the straight percentage (whether that is 15%, 20%, 25%, or even more–yes more) system still seems to make sense.

What about this:  A server puts a lot more effort into serving two or three rounds of beers than they do serving a bottle of wine.  Even though that wine often is much more expensive.

I am not suggesting that people tip less on that wine they ordered, in fact it always bothers me when people decide that they are not going to tip on the wine like everything else.  What is that?  You ordered it, were served it, tip generously on it!

What I am suggesting

What I am suggesting is that you look at the whole experience, and come to some tipping conclusion that makes sense.  Sometimes I will get the breakfast special at the golf course.  If it is only $5, am I really only going to tip 75 cents?  Or a dollar? Hell no.  Was the server attentive?  Kept my water glass full?  Friendly?  Give her $5!

Yeah, that’s right, 100% tip

There is nothing wrong with that.  I went out to breakfast the other day with my daughter, who afterwards commented that I had left an extremely generous tip.  “Not really,” I said.  I had her go through the whole experience and then I broke it all down for her.

Were we greeted right away?  Was she nice and friendly?  Did she make a point of getting our order in quickly, ahead of the big rush?  Did she make those substitutions that you wanted–with a smile?  Was the breakfast actually under priced for what we received?  In other words a lot of value?  When you add it all up it comes out to a generous tip deserved.

Besides the fact that these servers make their living on tips (they are paid minimum wage and taxes usually eat up their entire paycheck), isn’t it a good idea to make someone’s day by rewarding their great, friendly, accommodating service with an over the top generous tip?  I think so.  But what do I know, I give money to homeless people.

Federal minimum wage

There is a debate going on around this country right now over our federal minimum wage.  It is ridiculously low.  However, there are 37 states in this country who by law can pay their tipped employees less than the federal minimum wage.  That is one of those that needs to be explained to me.

Another thing that needs to be explained to me is how some people feel they deserve to be served  without actually having to reward their server at the end of the meal.  Like they are entitled to it.  Like this is England during the middle ages and the servers are just serfs, put here to serve the lords of the manor.

Okay, I’ll calm down.  I am not always aware when these posts are turning into whiny rants.  I’m sorry.    My point today is to really look at what your server is doing for you, and then tip accordingly. Don’t just look at the total of the check.  Especially when you get that exceptional service.


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