I’ll make this real simple. Anything less than 15 percent is unacceptable. To tell you the truth, I don’t even think 15 percent is acceptable but let’s just say I’m being “generous.” As a general rule, I would say anything between 15-25 percent should be the norm.
Now, why am I bringing this up?
Well, I had a friendly (for lack of a better word) debate over the matter this week after a friend of mine asked me to purchase some food for him. The debate started after I agreed to pay for a friend’s meal under the condition that he would pay me back in a few days. When the bill came, my friend’s meal totaled $11.50. I told him, “Ok you owe me $15 on Friday.” His response was, “15.00?!”
I chuckled and said, “Yes, it’s going to be $15.00 total after I tip her.”
“Just give her a dollar,” he replied. Obviously, this is where the debate began to transpire.
Here’s my take on the matter. If you don’t have the money to throw in an extra couple dollars for a decent tip, then you probably shouldn’t be eating out in the first place.
Now, if the service is just completely horrendous and the server is not very polite, ok, obviously there is somewhat of a curve there. However, while on that notion, stop being so picky people!
I cannot stand when a patron gets upset because a waiter/waitress messed up the order. It’s not the end of the world people! Additionally, this should not affect the server’s tip. It was a simple mistake. Think about it this way; What if your boss started docking your paycheck for every little mistake you made. How much would your paycheck be then? After all, the standard rate for a server in Texas is $2.13 an hour, which after taxes pretty much amounts to nothing. And when you factor in that most servers are college students and single mothers (statistically speaking), how could you not tip anything over 15 percent?
Look, I understand everyone has a budget and in order to stay financially sound it’s best to be frugal with your money and not “overspend.” But like I said before, if you can’t throw in an extra dollar or so for a $12 tab to make the tip at least 15-20 percent, then you probably shouldn’t be eating out in the first place. Grab some ramen noodles and stay home!
With that said, let me finish with a few friendly “tips.”
EVERYONE in the service industry should be tipped accordingly. This includes barbers, porters, car washers, valet parkers, even the person who brings you your “to-go” order, however, the percentage on those positions can vary substantially. But that’s a whole other topic of debate. Also, positions like baby sitters, nannies, mailmen, etc. should receive some sort of generosity on special occasions and/or holidays. And while we are on proper etiquette, don’t forget to acknowledge when a server is being cut for the day, while you are still eating. When this occurs, you should always ask for your current tab so that she can be tipped on the service she has provided before she leaves for the day.