Why You Should Tip Your Server

Written by on October 6, 2020

Think about the last time you dinned in at a restaurant. Was your server friendly? Did your food come out in a timely fashion and prepared correctly? How was your overall experience? Now for the big question: did you tip twenty percent? If you answered yes to all of the questions except for the last one, then you are literally my nightmare. 

I currently work as a server at a popular restaurant here in Salina. I work at least three or more days a week on top of playing college soccer and attending class full-time in order to pay my bills and be able to buy food. Even though I’m at work for sometimes over 6 hours, I am only getting paid the national hourly minimum wage, $2.75, which means that I am relying on two things: lots of tables and for each of them to at least tip me 20%, which according to our government, would make up for the extra $10 restaurants don’t believe they should have to pay their servers. If you think that sounds rough, it gets worse. At the end of the night, there is a thing called tip out, which is where a percentage of the total tips (usually 5 percent)  I made that day goes to bartenders, bussers, and food runners who have helped me get food to your table. So basically, if a customer doesn’t tip at least 20%, then none of us get paid. It can be even more frustrating for servers when we have difficult customers who don’t tip or a table that has an expensive bill with various items, but then chooses not tip, disregarding all the work that their server has done for them during their meal. 

Now, I’m not saying you have to leave a good tip if you have terrible service, food, or experience, but what you do have to keep in mind is that most bad things that happen during your meal are actually out of your servers control. For example, your food not being cooked through or maybe your meal didn’t come out fast enough. In fact, these hiccups can be even more stressful for your server, as many of us know that the kitchen not cooking your steak correctly could ultimately result in us not getting paid. 

There are a few ways though to combat not having to leave a huge tip. The first is ordering what you can pay for. If you cant leave a 20% tip on a full six course meal, then maybe cut it down to one or two dishes. Another way is ordering what you can afford to tip. As a server I would rather someone order a cheaper option on the menu and then leave a full tip, than buy an expensive dish and leave no tip. Lastly, you can vote. If you are like me and think that service workers and other minimum wage workers should get paid a fair wage, then you should elect repressive into office that have the same beliefs as you. Service workers should feel like their work is valuable and important, and they should be paid accordingly. 

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