Monday, March 12, 2007


i don't always do things with the purest motives sometimes. the husband and i received a gift certificate from someone we did business with for a restaurant we had never been to, Saylers Old country kitchen. since it's not a restaurant we had heard much about, we thought we'd save it for when we were really broke.

so this past weekend, we were pretty broke. i looked at their online menu and decided that maybe it wasn't that bad of a restaurant. we spent 50 dollars on dinner which the gift certificate covered. as i said, we were pretty broke and it would have been a totally FREE meal except for then we had to leave a tip. or did we? of course we had to. the husband didn't think much tip was necessary. he doesn't care what anyone thinks.

at this point, it was (to me) only about what people think, since i didn't really care about paying the server's salary. she was a good server and all, no complaints here, but it's not like she buttered my french bread for me.

i determined that our tip should be about 10 bucks. we could afford that. but i just didn't really want to. i don't believe in paying the salary of someone i don't know for work that they choose to get paid hourly to do, especially when they don't exceed my expectations tipping so much.

my ONLY motivator for leaving a good tip was the fact that we are an interracial couple and she probably expected us to NOT leave a tip. i was only trying to make it easier for the next black or interracial couple. other than that, if i had been white, i probably wouldn't have tipped or maybe just not so much.


Anonymous said...

Actually, statistics show that if you were white, you would have tipped, which is why servers have low expectations for blacks from the minute you walk in the door. Not tipping after you just received a discount is a double insult. First, you're spending less money than you would have had you bought the food at full price, and then, you're acting as if the waitstaff offered you a discount on their [already undercompensated] services as well. How generous of them!

Anonymous said...

I don't care for giving tips. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I think $10 was a bit much, I would given her $5.
To anonymous above-- My opinion is if a waiter desperately needs money they should get a better paying job. I guess that shows my "blackness"

Jumbo said...

You tip 20 percent every time. If you don't you are an asshole. I don't make the rules but those are the rules.

Nolan said...

Hmmm, showing your 'blackness...' I can't give you that, since I am a black male who always tips well. $10 was 20%, which is the appropriate amount. An exception can be made in the worst cases, but really even that's jerky, since you're making the whole staff pay for her service. Moreover, you don't know why the service was slow, etc. Maybe it's because she's short-handed and working more tables than normal. In any case, waiting tables is where she's at in her life, and maybe she will get a higher paying job soon, but I'd suggest maybe people who don't feel like they can afford the cost of meal and tip should eat at a cheaper restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, tips -are- part of the job. That's considered part of the "compensation" you're expected to receive when you're hired. Your actual pay is below minimum wage, so leaving no tip at all is as good as slipping $10 out of the cash register on your way out. I always tip 20% as a tithing to the restaurant gods because I -never- want to have to be waitstaff.

and if you were a waitress, you'd complain bitterly about the couple that stiffed you because you were black.

Natalie said...

waitstaff typically make between $2 and $4 hourly. Tips are expected. When they do their taxes they are taxed on expected tips, which may or may not be what they actually got. I do 20% as a rule myself but I think that 18% is still considered relatively acceptable. Many people also don't "choose" to do certain jobs, they get them because they are low-skilled workers and they don't have options. That's just my job placement advisor experience talking though. When I take my students to eat I always go over the importance of tipping and because of who my students are people rarely expect us to tip. They always tell me they had no idea the staff made thatlittle and are usually pretty understanding after the discussion.

Aly Cat 121 said...

funny, most restaurants I go to I don't see hardly ANY colored folks, let alone black ones. So I wonder how service folks (and others for that matter) feel that black folks don't leave tips if that many of us are not eating out anyway? Somethings just "make me go ummmm?"

Anonymous said...

Why are some of you knocking this person for being a waiter/waitress? I bet she makes more money than most of you!! I own restaurants and my waitstaff will AVERAGE $200.00 per night during the week and up to $400.00 on the weekends plus their wages Guess what that comes to $5600.00 per month for working 6 hrs per night. I bet most of you are not making that amount of money so DON'T LOOK DOWN YOUR NOSE AT THE WAIT STAFF. Now do they work hard for that money? most of the time they do, at my place they do work hard and most of my waitstaff has been their for years, shit these guys have nice homes and cars, one guy has a nice 27' boat. These guys are intellegent and educated. For those of you who don't leave tips that is your perogative.
NOW DO NOT PULL THE RACE CARD HERE because I'm sure some of you that don't like us whitey's will but statistacally blacks leave much less of a tip than whites do so you figure that one out! Is it that blacks are cheaper than whites? Personally if the service is good I will leave at least 20%, if it is not good I will leave less and I don't freakin care if the waitstaff is white or black!

hotcoffy007 said...

not leaving a tip is rude behavior,if you can't afford a tip stay your behind at home.

Anonymous said...

Tipping is an option. Not a requirement as in parties of 6 or more. No, I do not feel like every time I go out that the waitstaff should be tipped. I do however believe that good service and exceptional service gets tipped. I have had enough experiences to know that if you want a tip, you will exhibit your best service. I have been a waitress and I know. no matter what is going on in my life I do not need to bring it to work. I have had servers with horrible attitudes. I have had servers that have been no shows the entire meal and show up just to get a tip.

Last week I was out with my husband and 3 year old for lunch. I had a waitress tell me that she believes our "unlimited refills" drinks (lemonade) should be charged after we had one refill and when she found out that it should not be a charge, charged us for another drink on the bill anyway and told us that it was not a charge but for inventory purposes. This was before she seated another (white) family of two women with a little girl (maybe 2 years old) in the booth in front of us. The waitress brought back a small container of cherries to that little girl without the customers asking as a courtesy I guess. She did not do this for us and my daughter was just as well behaved. She was a white waitress also. Did this waitress deserve a tip?

I can honestly say that this was a rare time that I believe race made a difference when it came to the waitress. I have had great waitresses/waiters of all races so my tipping is not predicated upon race.

My husband and I have devised a system. We go in with every intention of tipping. It is the actions of the waitress/waiter that will determine how much if any. We start at 20% and it goes down for things like if they have not come to check and make sure everything is going well for maybe 15 minutes or attitude. When I go to a restaurant I expect good service and not attitude. If we get exception service we tip 25% and let the manager know of the superior service. Any waiter/waitress knows that they are in the business to serve the customer. Tips(like weekly allowances) are earned. For those that cannot make a good enough living at it should either move to another profession (Walmart is always hiring) or get a better attitude. A special on 20/20 shows that the waitresses with the best attitudes get the best tips. One to grow on.

Anonymous said...

There are NO RULES, in tipping.

I love this statement from the above comment.

"Tips(like weekly allowances) are earned. For those that cannot make a good enough living at it should either move to another profession (Walmart is always hiring) or get a better attitude"

It's not about not affording the meal & tip, obviously if I couldn't afford it I wouldn't be at the restaurant. TIPPING IS NOT MANDATORY. It's just something that people do to show appreciation for the services. Trust me I make WAY MORE than any waitress ever makes. If you are dependent on tips and want a more stable salary go to school and become a doctor like I DID.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe your only motivator to leave a decent tip was rooted in your massive hang up about who you are.

Anonymous said...

ahhh... the power! The power we have over our fellow-workers when they are wait staff.I consider it an act of solidarity to my class to leave a decent tip.

Anonymous said...

" TIPPING IS NOT MANDATORY. It's just something that people do to show appreciation for the services. Trust me I make WAY MORE than any waitress ever makes. If you are dependent on tips and want a more stable salary go to school and become a doctor like I DID."

Keya, always the bragging one, aren't you? Even a thousand alleged Ph.Ds don't make you a decent human being. You seem to exhibit this little superiority complex over the less educated, and like to use their salary as a yardstick to measure how superior you are. What a sad thing you are.

If waiters rendered you good and pleasant service, it would be despicable of you not to compensate for their efforts, and no, being an alleged "doctor" doesn't exempt you from the rules, kid.

CALI said...

Wow - Tipping isn't mandatory - but I think everytime you visit a restaurant you should go with tipping in mind, meaning having enough money for the meal and the tip.

I tip according to service. I could care less if this person is depending on this tip to survive financially. Poor or inadequate service will not yiels a tip. If that's the case - their service will show it.

I heard many people say that Blacks aren't the best tippers - but as a Black person, I know I have not always received the best service.

D said...

10% for poor service
30% for excellent (make your day) service
20% for average service

the waitstaff had nothing to do with the fact that you had a gift certificate, so they should not be punished.

and, the waitstaff is just trying to make a living, like everyone else. and most of the time, they depend on their tips as a significant part of their income.

and that 10/20/30% - they earn it. it's not "extra", it's part of the deal.

Anonymous said...

I rarely tip, although I make good money and could easily give 20-30%. Why? When I was working my way through college, I worked in a service station, back in the days when they were "service" stations. After putting the nozzle into filler tube, I opened the hood, checked the water, oil, transmission fluid, battery water, power steering fluid, brake fluid, checked the air pressure in all 4 tires, and washed the windows - front, back and side. I NEVER rec'd a tip. At the same time, I had college friends who worked as waiters and waitresses who bragged about how much they rec'd in tips and how (back then) it was not taxed.

Today, I don't feel one bit of remorse walking out of a restaurant without leaving a tip. BTW, in Oregon, wait staff earn minimum wage, not $2 -$4 dollars/hr as one post stated.

I do however, tip the gas station attendant $1 at every fill-up.