If You Don’t Want to Tip, Don’t Go Out to Eat
If you have worked in any kind of service industry like a restaurant or fast food joint, you'll agree with my headline. Although I actually loved working in the food industry, there were some overall glaring complaints. The biggest? Those who don't tip.
If you don't plan to tip, you shouldn't go out to eat at a restaurant. Plain and simple.
Servers, waitresses, waiters etc. in New York State, outside of NYC, Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties make less than the state required minimum wage of $10.40 an hour.
Let's say a server in a restaurant is making $7.25 pre-tip and they work 40 hours a week. This would equal out to $290 a week pre-tax and $1,160 a month pre-tax. In my very simplistic math this would equate to $13,920 a year pre-tax. That $13k is their base. This also doesn't take into account getting "cut" from work early, or inconsistent hours.
Tips are meant to make up the gap left behind by the lower hourly rate. If the gap isn't filled, employers must fill the gap.
Currently, New York State is conducting hearings around the state to possibly raise the minimum wage on all tipped workers. Let's say they raise tipped workers hourly wage to $10.40 an hour. This would result in a 40-hour-a-week worker to make $416 pre-tax a week and $19,968 a year pre-tax. Again, I am no math expert, I am literally doing the math on my phone.
The proposed wage increase has actually taken place in Maine. Service workers there saw an increase in their wages that brought them up to minimum wage. This apparently sparked concern from patrons of restaurants. Patrons would basically say "hey you are making minimum wage, why should we still tip you?" Maine reversed their decision to increase tipped workers minimum wage just a year later.
I am not arguing for raising the minimum wage or keeping it the same, just providing some simple math and background on what tipped workers roughly make without tips.
Now that we have covered bad math and how much tipped workers make, back to my argument.
If you don't plan on tipping your server, you shouldn't go out to eat. Servers, bartenders, etc. are working hard to provide a service to you. They are crafting individual attention towards you and are trying to give you the best experience possible.
They can also only control THEIR situation.
Lets say there is a backup in the kitchen, that isn't the servers fault. Lets say the restaurant runs out of the special menu item, that isn't their fault. What is their fault is forgetting an order, not filling up drinks, or just being plain un-attentive.
In my personal belief, and I am not saying you should do this, always tip 20 percent of the bill. The unwritten rule is 18 percent but as you can see above, math isn't my wheelhouse. I have worked in restaurants and have worked for little to no money, and we all have our days.
I personally think it is "ok" to tip 20 percent even if the service is horrible. The person is still trying to do their job and is still making less than minimum wage.
Let's say you call a plumber, there is always a service fee included within the repair call. Tipping could be considered a service fee. You are asking a person to take your desired order, transport that information to the kitchen, then have the person deliver the food back to you, all while refilling drinks and making sure you are comfortable.
This all on the backs of the report that "millennials are killing tips." A recent survey by CreditCards.com, Americans between the ages of 18 to 37 are much less likely to tip food service workers. The scary part is 10 percent of millennials do not tip at all, and one in three will tip less than 15 percent.
I wrote this article to encourage my fellow millenials to not kill tipping, I'm actually tired of these "millenials kill" articles. We live in a time where rent is high and student loans are crushing. We are all trying to make ends meet.
Do me a favor if you don't want to tip, stay home.