Your blog post (Found here, seriously go check it out. It’s a real treat!) regarding the practice of tipping a restaurant server has recently come to my attention and I have had the extreme honor to peruse your blog since that time. You have given a very concise and well researched list as to why tipping is something you choose not to practice when you dine at a restaurant. I would like, if I may, to respond to these reasons.
1. You act as if you’re my best friend
Your first concern is that in your estimation the wait staff seems to be too friendly towards you. There is a reason for this. When a person attends a restaurant, they are there not only for the food, but also for the ambiance. I know that is kind of a big word, so I will explain. Ambiance is the surroundings, decor and personality of the place which sets a certain mood and puts the patrons in a certain frame of mind. This includes the color of the walls, the type of wall hangings, the curtains, tablecloths, plates, glasses, and yes, even the personality of the wait staff. If the employer has a certain expectation of how the staff is to interact with the customers, then that is what they will do. If you do not wish for this interaction to occur, then you may get your food to go. Or better yet, keep your sorry self at home, learn to cook your own meals and leave us civilized folk alone.
2. You don’t get paid enough
Let me explain to you something about the restaurant industry. It is a Gratuity driven market. Big words again. I know. So let me break it down into smaller pieces so you can digest it more easily. The restaurant pays the servers for the side work and non-service elements of the job. When a customer chooses to sit down and purchase a meal from the establishment they immediately enter into a contract with the server, the person who brings them the food. That contract is an understanding that there is an exchange of services for the purpose of receiving compensation. YOU pay the server, because the server has done a job for you. Even if that job consists of nothing more than carrying a plate of food ten feet. (There is so much more involved, but I digress.) If you choose not to pay the server, then you have essentially become, not only an asshat, but also a thief. It is not fair to say that the server is not getting paid enough. No tip and the server is not getting paid. Period.
3. You’ll spit in my food if I don’t tip you?
I know it was a long time ago for your brain to remember, but if you really concentrate you may recall a few sentences ago when I alluded to what a server actually does besides carry a plate of food ten feet. The server takes the order from you, being certain to document all of the weird little “side of onions, no salsa” stuff that customers often like to specify. They bring you the beverage, then the rolls, in a timely fashion. Not too bad, so far. Then they must communicate to the kitchen what food you would like and how you want it prepared. This includes the “side of onions, no salsa” stuff that annoys the crap out of everyone who has ever worked in a restaurant ever. The kitchen then prepares the food and (pay attention because this is where it gets good) the server checks the food, makes sure it is what you ordered, makes sure there is extra onions and no salsa, (or whatever) and then gets it to your table while it is still hot. Now, this next step might require a little bit of concentration. Add about twenty more people doing the exact same thing as your server in a space only slightly larger than a phone booth all reaching for the plates, adding ramekins of dijon, and so on. Your server has brought you a hot plate of food from such an environment, free of any foreign debris. At least they did until you posted this article to which I am responding. You can rest assured that you have probably had your food spit upon plenty since the original publish date of your article.
4. Bringing me my food isn’t worthy of being paid extra
Please see number two. A server is not getting paid extra. A server is getting paid.
5. Money doesn’t grow on trees
Ah! Finally something that we can agree on! You are correct. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Therefore if a job has been performed then compensation must be given. It’s simple really. You try to say that leaving a tip for a server is akin to a favor, that is doing something that you don’t have to do. Okay, technically you don’t have to leave a tip, but neither do you have to go to a restaurant in the first place. Let’s expand on this idea for a moment. Say you have a busted pipe in your kitchen. You call a plumber. They come to your house and fix the pipe. You get charged for the replacement part and for the service rendered. I can see you perusing over the bill and casually saying “I’m not going to pay this silly old part because I don’t have to. I’d be doing that plumber a favor.” It doesn’t really work that way, does it. If you don’t want to pay for the service, then don’t call the plumber. Likewise, if you are not going to tip, then you should not set foot inside a restaurant. Period.
To sum up, I’d like to point out that the amount of karma that you have brought upon yourself by posting this article is worth far more than anything that I or anyone else could say to you. You are obviously a sad little man with who has drawn the short straw in life and feel the need to pick on those you perceive as less than you. I have no pretense of thinking that I can change your mind and heart into becoming a 20% tipper merely from reading my blog. But I take comfort in knowing that you have to wake up everyday and look in the mirror. You have to walk through your day with your own thoughts as your company. You have to go to sleep at night with the knowledge of your actions resting on your conscience. The anger and sadness that seeps through in your writing is more indicative of the kind of person that you are, and refusing to leave a tip is merely a symptom of your hubris. (I’ll let you look that one up all by yourself.) In closing, as you walk through life enjoying said karma, I have but one more question for you.
Would you like that for here or to go?