I’ve held the job of a server, on and off, for about four years in Peoria, Illinois. The spot I call my workplace is a homey little spot called ‘Haddad’s Restaurant.’ It’s quite popular with the locals and folks who come by for its renowned lamb kabobs. Before a particular Monday two weeks ago, I don’t remember a day when I didn’t receive a tip. But, on that Monday, things changed when I was snubbed by four different people across three tables. A collective 18% tip would’ve totaled up to $24, not a fortune, but noticeable.
Here’s what got to me – a group at one of the tables chatted about their routine of never tipping, no matter where they dined.
If a diner decides they’re not going to tip regardless of the service quality, they should notify the server in advance. Of course, there’s no way to make this mandatory, and it sounds unrealistic, but it’s disheartening.
Had I known that no tip was coming my way, regardless of the service, I could have changed my approach. I wouldn’t have hustled to keep their glasses filled or rushed to deliver extra condiments.
The only upside is if they decide to visit ‘Haddad’s’ again, I can either opt not to serve them or modify my service.
In the U.S., it’s an accepted practice to tip when dining out. Disliking the tipping culture is a personal choice, but choosing not to tip hurts the servers, not the establishment.
I would personally prefer if tips were replaced with a rise in wages. Restaurants could increase prices by 18% to balance it, and I would be fine. The steadiness would be a welcome change from the uncertainty of tips. But, considering people’s reactions to a mere 4% inflation, I doubt they’d accept an 18% increase in food prices. The issue isn’t just about servers earning more than an hourly wage.
You might believe that being a server isn’t a demanding job, and that’s your choice. You can decide how much to tip, but remember, you are being provided a service. As a server, I take your orders, bring your drinks and refills, serve your food, and clean up after you. You have every right to decide the worth of this service, but it isn’t zero. If you’d rather not tip, consider fast food or cooking at home. But you dined out because you didn’t want to do these tasks yourself.
I can’t address every issue, but tipping is the standard for service in America, and choosing not to tip is disappointing and, to put it mildly, unfair.