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FTR, I've never been a server. My only point of contention is your assertion about the entitlement to SOME tip regardless of service. I disagree.

I normally get excellent service and tip accordingly. I don't remember if I've ever left no tip, but I think it's silly to say you can NEVER do that or call someone trash for that.
I am not referring here to the people who know how to tip. There are ignorant people who are unaware of tipping practices and percentages thinking that the restaurant provides a living wage to the server. I have had a man from Tennessee hand me $5 on his $60 meal and ask me if that was okay, because he didn't know about tipping. He had to ask me what the percentages were and wanted me to explain it to him.
I did not say I don't make any money. I do not make the amount that I should be earning because some people pay no attention to the percentage they should be tipping. Lol, Until you have worked as a server, don't you dare assume that just because you give excellent service you will get even a decent tip. It depends on the type of people you wait on. Every server gets bad tips, even the best of the servers. If someone is a cheapskate, good service is not going to change that in their mind, because the think the restaurant takes care of the servers wage. Oh and those verbal tips suck. "Oh you were the best waiter we ever had! Heres a few bucks!" Verbal tips with a monetary tip, now thats great. I can't go to my utility company and say, "Hey thanks for the power this month! I appreciate it!" And not pay for it. I won't get that service anymore, will I?
The basic jest of the post was ONLY directed toward people who don't know that servers rely on tips for a living, not toward the people who know how to tip for good service. Smiler
Thanks for all those people out there who do tip their servers who take care of them.
Zuter, you go get a job for 2 weeks as a server, give the best darn service to everyone, and lets hear you say that again. In this part of Alabama, no, the tips do not always reflect the good service. I can guarantee that right now.
It happens every day to every server in the restaurant I work at, and I happen to know we give great service. Good servers work their tails off and are stiffed ,or given a few bucks. It sucks, but some people just aren't informed. Or they are informed and are just to cheap to care. Don't pretend to know what goes on as a server when you can't possibly. I was shocked when I became a server at how many people don't tip properly for good service.
[quote]When people have very specific orders and extra sauces and special salad requests, I try to write everything down so I don't forget. If I happen to forget a side of ranch for one person with all the the tables Im trying to take care of at the same time, I feel bad about it and apologize and run and get it. I don't know why you "take points off for that." You aren't the only one being waited on. A mistake like that is not intentional, and when the server is sorry and makes it right, you should forgive them and get on with things. Thats really a silly thing to hold against someone who has a million other things going on and they are trying to the best they can. Some servers are lazy and don't care, and that I would " count points off for". But when they make it right when they accidentely mess up, then thats a good server.[/quote]

AllyTiel

First of all, most of the times HONESTLY, it's not a real mistake, it's a LACK OF EFFORT. What I mean by that is that the servers don't compare their WRITTEN ORDER to the FOOD they deliver to you for obvious errors. Also, we have had servers ALL ON THEIR OWN OFFERED to bring condiments out ahead of time, which some of them said so they wouldn't forget.

I feel if you are that forgetful, maybe you should consider bringing it out beforehand, but always ask permission first.

As far as taking points off goes, if you didn't bring it out ahead of time and forgot it, you had COUNT them TWO CHANCES and forgot, so YES, it should be taken off since I have to WAIT to eat my food the way I enjoy it. WHY should you get the full 20% or more if you mess up? That's not fair in my eyes that I should still pay you the FULL AMOUNT no matter how little you TRIED YOUR BEST!!

A good example of laziness is that I recently a few months ago had a waitress that at the table remembered "Oh yeah you ordered ranch and salsa" when she only brought out ONE appetizer which it wasn't busy or anything, this was like around 1:30p.m. on a Saturday. There was no wait for a table and it wasn't that busy or anything. It's not like it was 7p.m. at night or something. I feel and to me it's a fact, when you forget TWO ITEMS on ONE appetizer plate, there's NO WAY you verified that plate, NO WAY!! She just brought it out without comparing her WRITTEN ORDER TO THE FOOD. I also didn't have to tell her, because she remembered BEFORE I had a chance to. She didn't say she was sorry and I even was nice enough to tell her "Thank you." Most servers don't say they are sorry honestly. I was very nice, even telling her I was sorry for having such a complicated order and that I am just a picky eater. So I was nice, WHY wasn't she? Who knows? Why didn't she TRY to get it right?

Then the entrée came, she said something like "I hope they got it right." Which that made me mad, so I just said "the side of mayonnaise. I can't stand the attitude that kitchen staff are the only people that can get things wrong. She could have brought that mayo out ahead of time if she was that forgetful and of course once again she didn't apologize. That time I didn't say "Thank you", because of her being so uncaring by what she said and how she didn't TRY her BEST to get it right. I usually say "Thank you" no matter what, but it's really getting to me now-a-days that I am so sick of the lazy servers out there like her.

My point is,(especially to MarianLiabrian2), I am being nice, she wasn't, so why should I be as nice back when it comes tip time?

She would have had a BETTER tip if she would have said she was sorry, of course. She also would have had a better tip not telling me if "did they get it right" attitude.

I asked for a bag, box, and some containers for the condiments. She didn't write those down and forgot the bag. Another lazy thing she didn't do was write it down and then when later I asked for a bag again, she didn't apologize for forgetting it the first time around. She also didn't listen when I had told her I didn't know about the check yet if I was ready or not, which she ended up bringing it anyway, which after we got the check that we didn't want, we ordered a dessert and some bar drinks making the total from like around $55 or so to $70 there about. Her tip was $5. That's a terrible tip, but she was a terrible server. She's lucky she got something for being such a LAZY and extremely UNCARING server.

My point is, NO MOST servers DON'T TRY THEIR BEST!!

Can you honestly say that you compare the food to the written order BEFORE you bring it out? If you don't, then you aren't trying your best. You are being lazy about it. Try to verify that order BEFORE bringing it out. If you aren't the server that took the order, I bet you don't compare the ticket to the food(assuming the ticket is correct of course), do you? Trying your best is truly trying your BEST and if you can't say you do all of that, you aren't trying your best.

It's one thing to compare the written order or ticket to the food and just miss something once in a while, it's another to not try at all.

Most servers are like that waitress that I just mentioned above. Do you check the orders with what you wrote down? I bet you don't.
Its true. And while it may not be true for every single family that goes and eats out on a Sunday afternoon, the tips are far below average and the people are more rude. Everyone hates working Sunday lunch. I think it should be the other way around. I think the people who come out to eat on Sunday afternoon from church should be full of joy, generosity, and love. Instead, it seems like the opposite. :/ Its a very bad witness to servers.
I believe anyone who does not leave a tip is a jerk. The server does not believe it is because of bad service. He believes you are a jerk who likes the power they have to determine your pay.

Get off the power trip and tip. Did you get any kind of service? Was your meal delivered to your table? Did you ask if you could have a refill if the place is very busy? You are not the only person in the restaurant! No tip means that no one showed up and you did not get food.

If you cannot afford to tip, go through the fast food window!

I have never been a server, however, my daughter works as a server in another town while she is going to college. I have learned to be much more generous while tipping.

She makes very good money at a good restaurant. It usually can make up for those who under tip or not tip at all, but not always. She is good at her job. She has to put up with all sorts. I work and have to put up with all sorts, but get paid. She, however, gets stiffed by teenagers all the time. They feel it is funny to get away with walking out without paying for the food! She pays for them! The meal is on her dime. As for the minimum wage of 7.25. That is only if her sales fall below the minimum. When a table does not tip she pays for them because it is assumed she has received a tip and pays taxes on that tip. Not fair!

Sundays are for newbies and the veteran servers do not have to work Sundays. NO TIPS ON SUNDAYS!!! NO! Leaving a Sunday Church Program is not the same as a tip!!!! Telling her that she is the best server they have ever had and complimenting her over and over does not take the place of a tip!!!!

She survives on her regulars that always ask for her section and tip generously. They get very special care and extras! Her management encourages it. Great Restaurant.

She would not be able to pay her bills in Florence!!!!!!!
I am reading these posts and still remain puzzled as to how a restaurant owner can get away with not paying his/her employees at least min. wage. I do tip, ususally 20%. I have though eaten at restaurants where a simple hamburger was ordered and no condiments were brought at all even though requested at time of order- even had to run down another server (after waiting until the hamburger was getting cold)---what really obligates me to give this very bad server a 20% tip? You could say she was having a bad day? She definitely was not busy and upon leaving I saw here outside smoking. If a tip is mandatory/or woman-a tory then it should just be added on, period thus preventing all the confusion. Why do we not tip all others who work in the service industry? Store clerks, meter readers, library workers, office workers at dr's offices and so on?
Yes, Springs, I write things down and then compare them when the food comes out. I usually remember everything. But you don't seem to realize servers are taking care of more than just you. Around the corner where you can't see they may have a party of 7 and a 4 top. Talk about stress and trying to get everything right for everyone. You could use a little patience, and maybe try serving and see what its really like. Yes, I do my best.

Lilyredrose: Don't know if you knew, but that server has to take their time to go to the back and prepare your stuff for you. The sides, salads, box it up, all while having their other tables. That is why some kind of tip (even a small one) is expected for to go orders.
Twenty percent, which is a standard tip, is easy to calculate. Just calculate 10% by moving the decimal one place to the left, then double it for 20%. So 10% of $50 is $5; double that and you have a 20% tip of $10.

My cousin was telling me that she was in Boston several months ago. She got in a conversation with her server in a restaurant. She asked her to tell her honestly what they think of Southerners. The server told her that they groan when Southerners come in the restaurant because they are rude and leave bad tips. I was surprised by that, but after reading the responses to this thread, I realize that the concept that tipping is optional is more widespread than I thought. So much for Southern gentility.
Ally - I want you to know that I feel your pain, I waited tables for 8 years both here in the Shoals & in Fayetteville GA and know first hand the difference in tipping when it comes to this area.

From what I can tell from all who have commented on this forum everyone agrees: good service/good tip, bad service/bad tip but unfortunately the people you are trying to reach are not going to read this forum.

There will always be those who think that 2 dollars is a good tip whether it's a 20 dollar meal or a 50 dollar meal.

Take the good with the bad, for me the worst was waiting on a mom & dad who had two children sick with a stomach flu, vomiting in the floor. The good: $100 tip on an Easter Sunday.

You're a good server and you know it, just sounds like you had a bad day (maybe a bad week?) & needed to vent.
I normally leave a $7.00 to $10.00 tip. Normally it is just for 2 adults, and sometimes 2 kids... if they were loud or extra messy I clean their messes up and leave a little more. However, I have been known to leave a $3.00 to $5.00 tip if I didn't recieve good service. Normally when we eat out it is about $45 to $50 and I think anywhere between $7 and $10 is a good tip depending on service... I have been known to leave a $40.00 tip but that was an EXCELLENT server and my kids were being rowdy and she was so sweet and understanding... don't remember her name but I will never forget her face... she works at Red Lobster and everytime I go I look for her...
I guess I'm like Marian I can't honestly remember the last time I had service bad enough to not tip or complain to the manger. I try to tip in the 15-20% range. I usually add more if I kept the server busy with special request.

I would like to pose a question. Do you tip carhops at places like Sonic? I've had people tell me yes but when I've tipped sometimes they look at me like what am supposed to do with this?
[quote]If I tip a dollar and the check total is $5 then that is a 20% tip. If the check total is $10 then it is a 10% tip. Both servers did the same amount of work for the same amount of money.[/quote]

[b]Gus[/b], the way it was explained to me when I waited/bartended was that we were taxed on what we "should" have made if we had preformed our service correctly. That's what the difference between the $10 and the $20 meal is.

I waited and bartended for years - through some college summers and then full time for three years after. Waiting is a VERY physically demanding job - probably the hardest I've ever had except for the one day I had helping out a friend tying rebar (hard on the back!).

What some people don't know that sometimes a part of the server's job is to roll silverware. They are getting the low wage when they don't have the opportunity to balance it out with making tips. Hard to make tips sitting on a chair rolling silver before your shift really starts.

Also, servers sometimes have other "side" jobs. We didn't have bar backs where I worked so someone was assigned getting ice, garnish, glasses, etc., for the bar during their shift. Those waiters might not be out smoking. They might be working on something else.

Other people were "ketchup marriers" (keeping the ketchup full), glass restockers, tea makers, coffee remakers, etc. It wasn't just straight having four tables and no other responsibility.

Plus, sometimes the kitchen screws up. The server always catches it for late or food that's not cooked quite right.

The customer is at the mercy of the server, but sometimes the server is also at the mercy of other people. Just saying...

All of us ex or current servers know that ex or current servers are the best tippers around. I used to love to see the other servers from another restaurant come to the bar when I was bartending. Made the best money then.

That said, if you give me bad service and I know it's your fault, you get nothing from me. I did your job. I know what is in and out of your control. If I see you lazing around chatting with people, etc., while ignoring requests you deserve what I'm not going to leave you.
Being being a server has made me more generous for sure but also more critical of the type of service I receive.
I love to get a table of young people, (who a lot of time that age group doesn't seem to know much about tipping), and they leave me a very generous tip and a note saying what a great server I am. Makes my day. Smiler
[quote]
My cousin was telling me that she was in Boston several months ago. She got in a conversation with her server in a restaurant. She asked her to tell her honestly what they think of Southerners. The server told her that they groan when Southerners come in the restaurant because they are rude and leave bad tips. I was surprised by that, but after reading the responses to this thread, I realize that the concept that tipping is optional is more widespread than I thought. So much for Southern gentility. [/quote]

I think some of that has to do with cost of living. I know often when I have visitors from small towns visit me and they offer to leave a tip I usually add a couple of more dollars to the tip without them knowing due to it being generous in the Shoals, but not were I live.

In larger cities, the 15% standard is low. Atlanta, 20% is considered standard, the further up north 22 to 25% is standard. Consider the standard costs of living. In the shoals $400 for an apartment is pretty high end with multiple rooms. That's not even a hole in the wall in Boston. I'm not saying it's your responsibility to pay her rent, but that's just an example. Just figure out minimum wage were you are going. Federal may be $7.25, but no one pays that in Boston, there it's more like $8.25. $13.02 if you are looking at living wage.
[quote]Lilyredrose: Don't know if you knew, but that server has to take their time to go to the back and prepare your stuff for you. The sides, salads, box it up, all while having their other tables. That is why some kind of tip (even a small one) is expected for to go orders.[/quote]

The cook wrapped up some biscuits and put them in a bag, no sides, no jelly. I've served. Don't recall asking for a tip when I handed someone a 'to go' order that the cook prepared. We'll "be expected" to tip at McDonald's next.
I usually double the tax amount - in Florence that is 8.5% x 2 is 17%. If the service has been really great, I'll add more. I always leave at least $2.00, unless it the service has been awful - no drink refills, no check backs, wrong orders, etc. If the place is busy and the server kept running, I take that into account when tipping.
It is my understanding that even though wait staff is paid $2.13 per hour, if they do not make enough in tips to make minimum wage for the hours that they have worked, the owner of the restaurant has to make up the difference to the wait staff- in other words, even if you do not tip, the waiter still makes minimum wage. If a certain server has to be augmented all the time, the owner will know they are not a good waitress and will hopefully replace them. (He would rather have you pay their salary than him.) So not tipping a consistently poor wait staff person DOES tell management that they need to be replaced.
AllyTiel
New Kid on the Block
Picture of AllyTiel

Posted 19 August 2010 08:10 PM Hide Post
I tip at Sonic every once in a while just to be nice, but they receive regular minimum wage, so I don't think its necessary. I just think its nice for them to get a little tip every once in a while since they do have to come out in all types of weather. Smiler They don't live off tips though.

I am confused it is ok for them to make minimum wage but not you? I always tip at Sonic and I tip 20% or more when the service is good at a restaurant. I have left no tip only twice in my life 47 yrs and they earned it!!! I believe a tip is earned and not a right, it seems you think no matter how bad the service is a tip is mandatory. I also agree that if you provide a good dining experience you deserve a tip. We just disagree on you view that no matter what someone deserves a tip.
ok, heres' my take on it.
( if anyone cares Smiler

you give me average service.. nothign horrible, nothign great, you get an average tip.. roughly 10 percent. if you cna be bothered to make me happy, i'm not going to bother doing the math.

you do a great job. .you make me happy... you smile and you make me smile... i've left 100% tips before.
heh.. ive ordered a coke and a plate of wings and left a 100 on the table....

but.. if you are surly and cranky.. if i have to wait for things i should wait for .. if you give me poor service , you get a poor tip.

the worse the service, the less likely you get a tip at all.

i understand hte point of whoever it was that said they leave a tip no matter how bad the service was...

.. but i don't agree with it.

you do a crappy job at aork, and still expect to get good pay?
how does NO grab ya?
i don't reward poor performance, no matter who i get it from. i don't buy a new video game for my kids when they get a D on a report card.

to leave a tip even when the service is bad is just stupid.
Trash, someone called me.. because i am one of the ones who refuses to reward poor service.
ok.. fine. i'm trash. but, i am not encourageing bad service. if they get tips for being a crappy server, why would they bother getting better?

i may be trash, but at least i'm not an idiot.

the idea of 15% for me is a guildline... it's where i start. you blow me away, you get better tips. if you suck, you get nothing.

yes, i tip pizza drivers... IF i get what i ordered ( i don't blame a badly or wrongly made pizza on the driver.. he's only responsible for getting it and the drinks et al to me..)

i tip the kids that take the groceries to the car (yes.. some places still do that).

i tip the lady that cuts my hair.

on the rare occasions i used a taxi, i tip the driver...

*IF* they do a job worthy of a tip.

if i do a crap job, i don't expect a tip. if i want a tip, i work for it.
The way it’s supposed to be done is as follows:

It starts with the server; servers need to realize that they are not owed a tip but that they do owe good service to their customers. If a server does a bad job they should not by any means be tipped. Tipping for bad service promotes laziness and does not help future customers to get good service. If you do not tip when bad service is received then you are sending a message to the server that it’s time to shape up or perhaps if a server who regularly gives bad service is not tipped then they will get the hint that waiting tables is not their forte’ and find another line of work which makes room for servers that will do a good job and give a great dining experience to their customers.
Used to be that 10% was considered a fair tip, then it went to 15% and now 20% and the excuse is always the same and that is that the cost of living went up, well so did the cost of food at the restaurant so jacking up the percentages is not a necessity to keep up with inflation.
When deciding how much a tip to leave there are a few things to consider: first is the type of service you received, next is the amount of the bill, then how long you were there, and then the trouble factor such as how many people and if there is a mess left behind.
When you go out and sit down for a meal and receive good service then you should leave a fair tip, no matter how small the bill is you should leave at least $2.00 for the first person and $1.50 for each additional person. There have been times when I have gone to eat alone and had a bill for less than $5.00 and left a $2.00 tip (that’s 40%). If there are just a couple of people and you have been at the table about 45 minutes and had a bill for $50.00 then at least a 20% tip is in order and of course at 20% this means your server received $10.00 from your table over less than an hour span in addition to tips received from other tables and their 2.whatever an hour. At this I would say the server is making enough to get by ok. Let’s say the bill was $100.00 and the number of people is the same and amount of time the same? In this case 15% is pretty generous, $200?? Yea 10%. Of course if you are there for an hour or more and have more people then the tip needs to go up appropriately. oF course if the level of service is really outstanding then a little something extra over a normal tip should be left to show that their efforts did not go unnoticed.

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