November 14, 2013 46 Comments
Most of us have worked a job serving tables, delivering food, or some sort of unglorified job where paying our bills relies almost completely on the generosity of others.
But then there are many who have been lucky enough to avoid such vocations. Thus, there are people who have no idea that their servers and delivery drivers only make about $2.15 an hour, depending on the state and restaurant.
So the tip you leave them is not additional money on top of a significant salary. It literally goes to paying their bills, maintaining their car, taking care of their children, getting their loved ones Christmas presents, etc.
So I’ve compiled a few steps that I follow when leaving a tip for someone at a restaurant. Yes, I really do keep all of these factors in mind every time I go out, and I think if you do the same, you’ll make your servers much happier.
TIPS FOR TIPPING
1. NEVER discriminate - We all have a group of people we secretly look down on. And sometimes we make assumptions as to how they’ll spend their tip money. Folks, I don’t care if your server speaks little English, and wears rainbow feathers in his hair, worships golden calfs, and has a “Carter for President” sticker on his car, you still treat him/her like a human being who has served you your meal.
2. Be the most memorable customer - You can be the most memorable customer by bringing a smile or a scowl on your server’s face when they cash out at the end of the night. Strive to be the customer that was worth your server’s time. Remember: You very well could have taken the place of someone who might have tipped much, much more. Out-tip that guy.
3. ALWAYS take tipping into account BEFORE you go out - If you’re considering going out to eat or ordering food to be delivered, always count your money to make sure you have enough for a tip. Never think, Our bill will be about $20. I’ve got about 21 bucks, so I’m good to go. No. You have enough to run to the grocery store and grab some stuff to make your own meal. Don’t ever fail to consider leaving a tip for your server.
SO… What Do I Tip?
Let’s face it. I’m a writer, so the other side of my brain is practically dead. I can’t add 10% or 20% for beans. So for my math-dead friends, I’ve created a very simple guideline to follow.
Let’s take a bill of $45.
Look at the first digit: 4.
Double it: That makes 8
Look at the next digit: 5.
When the second digit is 5 or greater, you add $2, because it’s a 2-digit number. When it’s 4 or lower, just add $1.
So a tip for a $45 bill would be $10.
BUT $10 is just a guideline. Now you take into consideration how the service was. Did the server make sure your glasses were full? Did they take care of you? If they messed up, were they apologetic? Did they do their job well?
Feel free to add a few dollars in relation to their service. But if the restaurant was practically empty and you hardly ever saw your server, or they were hanging out in the server’s station on their cell phone, then feel free to deduct a couple of dollars. Since you’re deducting from a $10 tip rather than a $4 tip, you’re still being more than fair by leaving more than they deserve. NEVER leave $0. That’s just being a complete jerk.
Let’s try another one.
A bill of $23. Double the first digit: 4. The second digit is below 5, so add a dollar. Adjust the $5 or keep it the same according to the service you received.
A bill of $149. Double the first two digits: 28. Since there are three digits total, and the last number is 5 or greater, add three dollars (since there’s three digits total). There’s a $31 tip for your server to adjust accordingly.
Remember: If you can’t afford a tip, you can’t afford the bill. Sarabeth and I go out to eat very sparingly because we’d like to be able to leave a generous tip.
Oh, and to my Christian brothers and sisters, let’s not forget that we are to be the most generous people in the world. So we should always be out-tipping the last guy, no matter how small our bill is.