There are times and situations in which I can be a cheap bastard.
Tipping is not one of them.
My mom waited tables back before she became mom.
I waited tables for a very brief period, not my thing, but I respect the trade.
Tipping was something that never really mattered to me at that point, mainly because my overhead was so low that minimum wage and tips was ample at that point in my life.
10% used to be the standard.
And then the Government stepped in, like it usually does, and fucked it all up.
Those in the service industry are now taxed as if they got a healthy tip, regardless of whether or not they did.
With single parenting at an all time high and tradeskills at an all time low, there are a shit ton of people waiting on others and trying feed a family on it.
Tipping used to be an additional amount you gave to thank the server for making things a little nicer, not expected, but an “Above and beyond” type of thing.
But the government has decided that they have had enough of that shit.
I did the research and crunched the numbers, and if you tip anything less than 20%, you are penalizing your server for taking care of you, because they are going to be taxed by the state for that amount no matter what went down.
I recently got into one of those frustrating online arguments with an old friend who waited tables back in the day and who’s daughter is waiting table now.
The old information I was operating under is what led to the argument.
Shit has changed, friends and neighbors.
I did a little research and found out 2 shocking facts.
1. The government will tax any tipping position as if each and every customer tips big. That alone is pretty shocking and shitty all at the same time.
2. It seems that stiffing your waitress, leaving nothing at all, is more popular now than back in the day.
What the hell? The research didn’t give age demographics but I would be willing to bet that the stiffing is a younger demographic and the weak tippers are the older demographic. I could be wrong, and I have been thru most of this, but that would follow the tendencies of both demographics.
The older generation grew up during that period that 10% was an extra that the government never touched, a thank you for the effort.
The younger generation, quite frankly, doesn’t think of much beyond themselves, so stiffing doesn’t hurt anyone. That may be a rude statement, more than a little generic, but seems to follow that same logic.
My own field research turned up results that led me to the conclusions above.
I made it a point to go out to eat a lot over a one month period. Places that you pay at the table.
The discussion of how much to tip among the older generation always started at 10%.
The disappointed look on the waiter/waitress after collecting the bill from a younger person, along with a quick inquiry, was usually a stiffed tip.
Not everyone, but enough to form the opinion and take sides. (Side note – I ended up contributing a tip to a few that truly deserved it and got stiffed.)
The long and the short of it is this.
First, tip starting at 20%, anything less and you are penalizing your server. Yes it sucks and makes it cost more to enjoy a meal out, but It is not the wait staff or the restaurant’s fault. Blame the assholes we elected.
Second, and this one is key, STOP BEING CHEAP BASTARDS!
If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford a sit down meal, go get some drive thru.
I remember the original conversation I had with the outraged mother at the beginning of all this.
I would be pissed too.