Tipping at Restaurants


From what I gather, tipping at restaurants is mostly a North American thing.  It seems kind of stupid sometimes but there are also arguments for it.  I think anyone outside of North America will say it’s stupid and so would a good number of North Americans.  It is a bit of a pain in the ass sometimes cause of the extra cost to the bill and also having to assess how much you should tip.

The general rule is 15% of the bill before tax.  But what if your server was sub-par or just sort of so-so or just sucked?  Maybe you don’t feel 15% is what they deserve.  Your choices are to give 15% and feel ripped off or give less and walk out possibly feeling like a dickhead.

I know people who have lived in Canada all their lives and don’t think 15% is expected anywhere they go.  They are cheap Chinamen though who were raised by cheap Chinamen.  They give a maximum of 10% like it’s their uncle’s Chinese restaurant.

Me: Most places besides inexpensive Asian restaurants expect 15%

Friend: No they don’t.  Where did you get this information?  The internet?

Me:  You can find this info on the internet but it’s kind of common knowledge unless if you are a cheap Chinaman

Tipping is part of the North American culture but it has something to do with economics as well.  It’s like a win win situation for the boss and the employee.  The boss can pay the servers minimum wage and the customers tips make up the rest of the server’s pay which is too high in my opinion.  Some of these servers make a killing off tips working a 4 hour shift.  It’s almost not fair.  They don’t even pay tax on their tips.

Friend: I’m just going to keep tipping 10%

Me: They’re going to think you’re a cheap fuck and you’re Chinese which will make you look like a double cheap fuck

Friend: I don’t think so

Me:  Cause you’re a cheap Chinaman.  I guess times are rough though cause you only make $70,000 a year and you live at home

The theory is that you can tip what ever you want cause it’s a tip and you don’t have to leave anything.  I guess so but it can be disrespectful.  If you walk into a place and you know they expect 15% and you give less for no good reason then you shouldn’t be eating there.  It’s like agreeing to buy something from someone off Craigslist for $10 but only giving them $9.50 and then running away.  It’s easier to scrooge the tip though cause you can weasel your way out without worrying about someone chasing you or even saying anything.

The stupid thing about tipping is that it’s based on the price of the bill.  Why should you have to tip more for a $60 bottle of wine than a $20?  The $60 bottle doesn’t require a special method to open or to pour it.

The only plus side for customers when it comes to tipping is that maybe the server will be nice and work harder.  If the server knew there was no tip at the end there’s a better chance of them slacking off and only being as nice as they have to without getting fired.

I wonder how the restaurant scene would be without tipping.  My guess is they would have to charge more on the menu and pay the servers more.  The other possibility is that they would charge more and not pay the servers more than they do now.  I guess that would mean impoverished immigrants would be taking more of those jobs and you would never see another good looking female serving you her cleavage again.


2 comments on “Tipping at Restaurants

  1. I don’t like the tipping culture and wish everything just had its price. Do your job, get paid whatever the going rate is (more than minimum wage) and if you suck at it, you get fired like any other job. Yes why should a server get $9 to open a bottle of $60 wine but $3 to open a $20 bottle of wine. I guess it’s based on the assumption that if you can afford $60 for a bottle of wine then you can afford the tip as well. Not a very rationally-structured system, is it.

    What you make depends on where you work, how busy it is, etc., type of clientele, too. I worked in restaurants for a couple years, some are incredibly stressful, some laid back. But customers who were known as bad tippers were universally treated like shit by the servers.

    Tipping hairdressers is very awkward—are they gonna give you a lousy haircut next time if you don’t tip them? Then you’re supposed to tip the person who washed your hair, the person who cut it, the person who colored it–whatever. It’s expensive. That’s why I use L’Oreal, $7 a box. I briefly visited hairdressers many years ago but never once got a haircut I liked, ever. But you still have to tip them. Why not just pay a hairdresser according to their skill. If they acquire a following, they get a raise.

    You’re supposed to tip movers, people who carry groceries to your car, hotel maids, bartenders, the girl behind the counter who gets you a coffee, delivery guys. As a housecleaner who busts butt all year, I appreciate a tip at Christmas but get very little or nothing, especially in cheap-ass AZ. But this in no way means I would do a lesser job.

    It’s kind of a primitive custom isn’t it. A lot of people tip out of guilt or fear, not because they were all impressed by the service. I’d never not leave a tip unless someone personally insulted me or whatever.


    • MrJohnson says:

      Yes, the weird thing about tipping is that only certain industries get tips because of our culture. I deliver and pick up from 50 different places a day and I get maybe 1 tip a month. If I get $2 that is on the high end. Sometimes I’ll move 10 heavy boxes from my truck to the inside of someone’s house and get nothing while the pizza boy gets tips every time whether he smiles or not. But no one is considered an asshole if they don’t tip the courier under any circumstances. I think the only people who deserve a tip are the ones who do something that is not required of them or if they are going above and beyond. Why should the server get $3 to open and pour my wine? That’s their job and it’s not very difficult. I do it all the time..haha. If I made $3 every time I would drink more. What’s their wage for? Just for them to show up?

      I tip everyone cause I’m an idiot and often I tip too much. I just like to make people happy as gay as it sounds.

      It’s true, it’s not a very rational system. I don’t think anything that is based on culture ever is. Tipping is almost a law though and you can’t opt out like you can with Christmas.

      When you are the only continent that has a system in place and no other part of the world will ever adopt the same system, it’s probably a shitty way of doing things.


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