In my endeavors as a restaurant industry employee advocate I often encounter the tired ‘debate’ on tipping.
Why should I have to tip?
Restaurants should pay their staff more instead of making the customers do it.
10% is good enough for Jesus, why isn’t it good enough for you?
And the ever-popular be all/end all argument:
If they don’t like getting stiffed they can go get real jobs.
Tipping started out a long time ago well before restaurants even came into being in the form of bribes. Wheels have always needed to be greased. Just as the first auto race happened shortly after the second automobile was assembled, I’m sure the first tip was given just as soon as the first money was minted. The actual origins of tipping are lost in time. A commonly heard backronym for TIPS is ‘To Insure Prompt Service’ but that explanation is slightly off for at least two reasons. First of all it implies that the gratuity is given to waitstaff before the meal is served and secondly the word insure is being used where the word ensure is should be. I learned to read and comprehend words at an early age so for some reason it gets on my last dick nerve when people mangle the English language.
Whatever its origins, the situation with tipping we have here in America these days is that when you go out to eat at a restaurant and someone waits on you it is customary to leave a gratuity. That’s all it is-a social custom. And it’s a good one I think.
Not everybody can be rich. Not everybody can afford servants and personal chefs. But in a restaurant, even if for just a little bit of time, just about every man can be a king and every woman can be a queen. Anyone can go to a restaurant and be treated with courtesy and respect, have an almost obscene amount of culinary choices offered to them, have someone cook their meal for them, bring it to them, keep their beverages flowing, and clean up after them. Like running water, eating in a restaurant is a luxury that we often forget how lucky we are to have. Most people in the world can’t after all.
But when you go out to eat and have a retinue of servants at your beck and call you have a further option of being royalty-you get to show your good side by being kind and generous. The way you do that is by treating the service staff with dignity and respect and tipping generously. Such behavior elevates the restaurant patron not only in our minds but theirs as well.
Forget the correlation between leaving a good tip and getting good service. Research indicates that it almost doesn’t exist. What you really buy when you leave a good tip is a sense of self satisfaction at having treated someone well who treated you well. You are putting food on a single mother’s table. You are putting tuition money (okay beer money) in the hands of a college student. Okay it’s weed money. But the point is you are continuing in a social custom that promotes generosity and good will towards others, kind of like Christmas–only the food is better.
In short tipping is a good thing. You’ll feel better about yourself for doing it. The hardworking people who wait on you will feel better about giving you good service. If you already tip well then we in the service industry thank you. If you don’t feel like you should then please reconsider. Your food will taste better without the bitter twang of guilt and regret.
20% is the 15-Show the love and leave 20 and above:)
Dignity and Respect
Me, The JerBear