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Just The Tip. Just For A Second.

The title may be a little misleading, but I couldn't help myself.  No, this isn't talking about what led to my first pregnancy scare, I'm talking about tipping for good service.

In California, I knew a few people in the service industry who made good money.  California is a state where you can make the standard minimum wage, and tips are just the icing on the cake.

Good servers can make an average of $20+ an hour in California.

In states like Idaho, however, tipped professions make a 'special' minimum wage:  $3.35 an hour.

In other words, they rely on their tips to get to minimum wage, whereas the dude at McDonald's can be a complete douche balloon and still make his $7.25.

So why are people so stingy with tips, especially when you get above-and-beyond service???

I do ride-alongs with vendor reps, bosses, and other VIPs on a regular basis.  This last week I had two scenarios involving bad tips by the same person, and it pissed me off:

- Jackson Hole, WY.  We go to a nice steakhouse to celebrate a great day.  The place is having 2-for-1 entrees, so we eat like kings.  Filet Mignon for me, Braised Elk for him.  The subtotal came to over $70, but because of the special the actual total was just above $40.  He left a $4.83 tip to round the bill up to $45...   I felt bad because the waitress was fantastic.  Extra bread, drink refills on a regular basis, top-notch service.  I slipped in an extra $5 and a note: "Sorry my boss is a bad tipper..."

Even with my $5, the tip was only about 12% of the subtotal.  It was a $70 meal and deserved to be tipped accordingly...  I felt bad, but that was all the cash I had to give.

- Boise, ID.  We go to a gourmet pizza joint and again, top-notch service.  She upgrades our pizza for no extra charge.  Boss talks about a cola-white-wine drink he used to have in Germany, so the intrigued waitress brings us all a sample of it to try.  For free.  $21 tab, $2 tip.  He even told her it was fantastic service, and still shafted her.

I completely understand if it is horrible service.  If you earn your living off tips, the last thing you should do is piss off your customers.

TIPS = To Insure Prompt Service.

Good service should be rewarded, and bad service should be called-out.  However, a 5% tip on good service throws off that way of thinking, making people think a lousy tip is an 'asshole customer' 100% of the time.

If I get bad service (like I did at The Celt) I tip low.  If I get so-so service I tip so-so.  But if the person truly takes care of me and makes the dining experience a good one, I reward them for a job well  done.  $5 tip on a $12 tab, for example.

Especially in Idaho, where they're already $4/hr lower than the 'minimum' wage.  They need these tips to survive, and if they're hustling accordingly, I can't not recognize that.

I do, however, think the lower minimum is unfair.  A Rooty Tootie Fresh n Fruity costs the same if you're in a California IHOP vs an Idaho IHOP, but the waitstaff is making MUCH MUCH less in the tater state...  That's not cool, but the restaurant industry doesn't care.

Do you tip well?  Do you 'not believe' in tipping like Mr. Pink?

What do you think about the 'lower-than-minimum' minimum wage laws like in Idaho?

Do you work for tips and have a fun story to share?  Please leave a comment below, and feel free to share this post with others.  Maybe, with luck, we can educate a person or two...
Please Share it! :)

14 witty retorts:

Youngman Brown said...

I work for tips but it is a little different since the size of the pot I deal doesn't matter as much as just getting a buck per hand. Sucks when you get stiffed though.

Lady Estrogen said...

He's an awesome douche in that movie.

I tip accordingly, for sure.

What I do NOT like is when the tip is "included" in the bill. It should be my call, even if I do understand that it prevents the cheapskates like Mr. Pink.

Jeff Laws said...

I always tip at least 15%, if the service was better than average, then so will be my tip. Even if the service sucks, I will usually still leave something. However, if they include the tip on the check, then that's all I leave. In my case, automatically adding the tip to my bill usually punishes the wait staff because I usually tip at least what they charged.

Something to remember while tipping - my daughter works at Steak 'N Shake and when you tip on your credit/debit card, she actually loses a small percentage of that tip.

abeerfortheshower said...

I always tip appropriately and I'll definitely pay a lot more (25, 30%) if they went above and beyond and did an amazing job.

However, if I get absolutely shitty service and they're blatantly rude, I won't tip at all. But again, it has to be truly shitty service, and this has only happened twice in the last ten years. For the most part, servers around here are very friendly and eager to help.

Accordingto Jewels said...

I am a large tipper. The other day, thanks to identity theft, I was without a lot of cash until my replacement debit card came. I couldn't leave a sufficient tip somewhere while out with a friend. I went back the next day and gave her more money...I felt THAT bad.

Vapid Vixen said...

I absolutely agree. I waited tables here in Utah at a steakhouse for a couple of years. Wage was $2.18/hr. I hustled for my tips and depended on people not sucking so I could make rent. It's ridiculous how low the wage is and frustrating when people like your boss, verbally recognize a job well done but refuse to recognize it monetarily.

Jess resides here said...

I am big on tipping well. If it's bad service like the other day when all I ordered were two drinks and she totally forgot about us it was change to round it to a dollar screw you but in cases where we get good service hell yes. I tipped a bartender so well once he gave me free movie tickets the next time he saw me. Yeah I'm memorable.

Spud said...

I am an example of one who fled the Red state of Idaho. Minimum wage should mean exactly that, how the Repugnicans get around that basic rule defies logic ! We need to pass laws which state that the top person in any organization cannot make more than 10 times the bottom guy ! Not to exceed in any organization more than 30 % net profit either.

Hey Monkey Butt said...

I've served my time waiting tables, I know how it goes. I'm a good tipper, if they're a good server! That's all there is to it!

CTAM said...

We have "tip wage" in NY and NJ too and it's terrible. I waited tables back when I was 18 and if I had to do it now I don't know how I'd survive. My weekly check was maybe $50.

I try to tip well and sometimes over tip simply for good service, and if I have the cash. I learned a long time ago that tipping on a CC is a no-no since it's taxed.

Drake Sigar said...

Here in England we don't really have official tipping or any tipping rules in general, which is probably why I feel so uncomfortable about it. Thing is, we're a country of a dozen different cultures smooshed together, and have no way of knowing when/if it's appropriate or how the tipee would feel about it (never heard one complain, but then people aren't expected to make up their paycheck with tips). What I like to do sometimes is leave a tip, but pretend I'm not leaving a tip. The meal is £16.50 and I leave a £20 note, then say "keep the change" like it's a meagre amount that would inconvenience me to collect it.

Kianwi said...

Ugh, I can't stand poor tippers. Michigan is the same, they can pay them lower than minimum wage. I tip 20%, even if the service is so/so. I am not a queen, so I don't need to be high and mighty about how I was served for gosh sakes. As long as they bring the food and check in at least once, I'm fine. I've tipped more, for sure, generally at the cheaper places, because I feel bad just leaving $2 for a $10 meal. I'm not rich, by any means, but I just factor it in when deciding if I'm going out for dinner or not. That's a really difficult job, dealing with crappy attitudes all day long, so sheesh, we can tip them well for their hard work.

chubby Chatterbox said...

I think that when you get a discount or use a coupon you should tip for what the amount would have been normally--why punish the server? Fifteen percent if average service, twenty percent if good service.

Melanie said...

I have been known to tip 50% at cheaper places if my server is awesome. I generally do around 20%. I'll do 10-15% if service was meh. Once I left a penny to let the server know, "I didn't forget. You were a douche canoe."
I say if you don't want to tip appropriately, eat at home.

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