UnderCover Waitress: You Know You're a Bad Tipper if...

Monday, January 17, 2011

You Know You're a Bad Tipper if...

The big question that restaurant customers ask themselves: Are waiters and waitresses entitled to tips?

Yes: Waitresses are tipped employees, as as such most states still pay servers under a living wage. The tip is expected compensation for working. People in other types of employment get paid an hourly wage regardless of whether they make a mistake.

To complicate matters, servers are required to "tip out" bussers and food runners as if they made 20% of their sales, even if they did not. The IRS looks at a waiter's sales and charges him income tax based upon what he "should have" made.

No: The arrangement in a restaraunt is different than most other employment situations. It is up to the customer to tip based upon the level of service. Waiters know this.

A waitress enters into a business relationship with the customer. She provides table service and the customer compensates her. Waitresses remember their customers and how well they tip. After eating in the same establishment a few times, the type of service received is a reflection on the expected compensation, ie, you get what you pay for.

While no professional waitress is going to risk her job to make a statement about a cheap customer, nor will she go out of her way for a client who does not pay.

Your Might be a Bad Tipper if...

You walk into a restaurant and the wait staff draw straws.

You walk into an empty restaurant but the hostess cannot find a seat for you. This is because every server has already slipped her a $20 to keep you out of her section.

You get the new waitress. Every time.

The decaf. coffee keeps you up all night.

You must repeat your "usual." Every time.

Other tables get better service than you do. Every time.

And yet, the "do I have to tip" debate rages on. Feel free to leave comments regarding the tip debate -- do you have to tip? If yes, how much? What if the service is bad? Sound off!


  1. people who dont tip when there is exceptional service given are wrong. they dont understand that, for example at my restaurant--we are tipping hosts/bartenders not out of OUR tips, but our NET SALES. so when all my other tables tip me decently and you leave me $4 on a $65 dollar check, you're boosting my sales but NOT my tips. So I lose a lot of money when tipping out to the hosts/bartenders.

    I can always tell when someone's a bad tipper. And usually they're the table that keeps me running my ass off--getting separate checks, extra to go orders after ur meal, containers of five different sauces to go...ten refills. you get the picture.

    we make 3 bucks an hour! we depend on tips to survive, so if you wanna go out to eat, you have to be prepared to leave a decent tip. serving is hard work

  2. To anonymous (the first comment),

    As they say in Reservoir dogs, if you don't like it, you can quit. You are nothing less than a spoiled child. I work for a minimum wage in retail and I don't expect anyone to give me any tips. Far from it, I look forward to my job and feel that I make a meaningful impact every day. Screw you and go to hell.

    1. Bill, what Anonymous said is absolutely true. In most states, servers make less than minimum wage. Tips supplement that wage, and tip outs supplement the low wages of other FOH staff. You may not think it's right, but tipping isn't optional. It is all too common that waitresses and waiters end up paying taxes on money they didn't earn, because the IRS assumes they made a certain percentage of sales in tips.


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