Why should you tip waitress 15 percent in US How much to Tip

Why NOT to tip less than 15% for Waitress in Restaurants in US ?

In Living in US by KumarUpdated : 295 Comments

I have so many American friends who work at restaurants just to pay bills or because they are in school and could not find an internship or part time job on campus.  As internationals, especially from Asian countries, some of you may not be used to the concept of tipping (leaving certain percent of money of your check or bill)  waitress in restaurants. It is very different in America. You have to tip at least 15% in restaurants; it is very bad on your part if you do not tip waitress less than 15% for even normal service. Let me share the reasons and logic for tipping in America.

How much does waitresses make per hour in Restaurants in US ?

Many of you might not know the truth how much exactly waitress make in restaurants in US…it might be shocking to know the facts (at least that’s how I felt ). In US, the federal minimum wage for waitress (tipped) is just $2.13 (two dollars 13 cents).  In states like Wisconsin, Wyoming, New Mexico, New Jersey, etc, the minimum wage for waitress is just  $2.33 per hour. Because they are tipped employees, if no customers show up, they do not make any money.  Of course, it varies by state, in some of the west coast states like California,  they have mandatory minimum wages of $10. Check this Department of Labor Minimum wage site, that has listing of minimum wage by state.  Majority of the income waitress make is from the tips that customers pay or leave on their table.

Why should you tip at least 15% for waitress in US?

As you have just read above, how much waitresses make, you should tip a certain minimum so that the waitress can make a living. The normal standard or practice for tipping waitress is about 15% for normal service and around 20% for very good service.  Just to clarify by example, if you spend $100 USD on food, you should at least tip $15 or more.  Just do not give a common tip like $5 for whatever you bill for food. Please do NOT be stingy or try to act cheap at restaurants by NOT tipping properly. Most the waitresses are either students who are in school or someone who could not find a job. You do not want to hurt them and get bad karma. If the service is bad, people tend to tip around 10% and tell openly that they did not like the service. If you tip like 10% it means that you did not like the service and directly stating that by tipping less. Also, you can check the bill, some big restaurants include certain percentage like 12% to 15% as service charge, if they already have it,  then no need to include any tip., but you can still leave some tip for them..

Do NOT tip less and create wrong impression about your people from your country, race or religion.

Waitress think people from certain countries or of certain religion tip less, they just stereotype.  In all honesty, you do not want to create that bad impression about people from your country or race. Many people do not tip properly just because they do NOT know the truth how much waitress make and the culture of tipping in US. If a friend of you do not tip properly, just tell him the truth and teach proper tipping standards.

Read this CNN article on How much to tip in US for more info on how much to tip in other places.

What is your experience on tipping waitress ? Did you tip properly ? or not ? share your thoughts.

Image Credits: http://rlv.zcache.com/tip_your_waitress_card-p137655962504630568q0yk_400.jpg


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Comments ( 295 )

  1. Tyler Johnson

    That’s good to know that the standard for tipping is 15%. I could see why you would want to tip some more or less in certain situations, but that would be a good standard. I’ll have to remember that if I start to eat at restaurants with waiters more often so I can help them make a proper wage.

    1. Roy

      The author is only partially correct. Waiters and waitresses only make the $2+ wage and rely on tips to make up the difference but, federal wage and hour laws state that if the waiter or waitress does not make enough in tips to bridge the gap between waitress wage and minimum wage then the restaurant has to pay that difference. That is why reataurants require the wait staff to record their tips each night. At the end of the work week the employer will figure up their hours and how much they recorded in tips and if the average is more than what they waould have made working for the state minimum wage then he issues a pay check for the $2+ pay. If they average less than the state minimum wage then the wmployer has to pay the difference. As long as the employer doesn’t have to pay out of pocket then it doesn’t matter how much they make. It’s up to the waiter/waitres to report their income on their taxes.

  2. Eric

    Riddle me this, do I tip differently if I visit one of the 7 states paying state minimum wage($11-7.75) vrs the ones that don’t? I thought the idea behind tipping was, mostly, to make up the gap in minimum wage.

    1. Kaity

      One of the issues here is that state minimum wage is often not livable in that state. In Los Angeles, for example, a livable wage for a single person is $12.44/hr working full time. That doesn’t include a phone bill, entertainment, unexpected medical expenses, or ANY savings, and waitstaff generally aren’t able to get full time hours anyway. However, the minimum wage in Los Angeles county is currently $11.
      So you should still tip something to make up that gap there because even if that waitperson is making ~$12.44/hr on other table’s tips, they’re likely still not making enough money to live a decent life.

      1. Scott

        So are you saying that you tip every worker that happens to help you? As in, if you go to the grocery store, do you tip the guy who bags your groceries, your cashier, or the guy who checked to see if they had the product in the back? If not, why not? They all get paid lower than a livable wage, so by your standards, you shouldn’t treat them any differently.

      2. Jane

        but if that restaurant gets 1000s of people every day because it is a touist spot then the wait staff would not lose any money if someone tipped less than %15.

    2. $Bill

      You are reading the chart wrong Every state pays minimum-wage or federal minimum-wage whichever is higher with or without tips.
      There is no reason to ever tip now

    3. Jess

      I was a waitress for 4 years while in college in Texas. I worked at a well respected local restaurant on an island so therefore most of our business was during the spring to summer months. It is a myth that servers only get paid ~$2 and some change an hour. WE GET PAID FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE. Our base pay is somewhere around $2/hr, but if our tips do not equal the federal minimum wage, then the restaurant is required to make up the difference. It’s a good thing as a server to receive a paycheck that equals $0.0. It means you made over the minimum wage/hour for that pay period and your restaurant was not required to make up the difference. However, I still believe in the tipping system and I tip ~25% when eating out. Providing excellent service in a “sit down” restaurant deserves an excellent tip. It’s not as easy at it looks. Think about how you’re treated at places that provide food service but do not accept tips. They have little incentive to provide more than mediocre service.

      1. Dallin Littlefield

        Great comment! I feel like so many people don’t understand how tipped employees (like waiters/waitresses) are paid. NO ONE, BY FEDERAL LAW, in the entire U.S. can legally MAKE BELOW $7.25 an hour (the federal minimum wage). Some states have different laws that require employers to pay tipped employees MORE than $7.25, but it is federally illegal to pay a tipped employee less than $7.25. If an employee paid $2.13 an hour does not make a total of $7.25/hr with tips included, the employer MUST MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE. I’m a law student studying this right now in an “employment law” course. The Department of Labor has laid out all of this information, including differences between state, here: https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm

  3. Hayden James

    Nice article, well I really hate it when my glass is empty and the waitress doesn’t pour wine/water while em coughing or eating, I am also moving my hands and signing them but they didn’t do anything and in the end they ask for tip, I just control my temper on that time

  4. Chinta

    Do not Tip if you are going to an Indian restaurant.

    Most of the indian restaurants employ Indian students. I am damn sure that the tips given are not passed to the waiters. Surprised? If you are paying by card, commonly a restaurant have the name of the waiter/supplier printed in the receipt. Indian restaurants wont do this. It doesn’t mean that they equally divide the tips among all. All the tip goes to the owners pocket. Even if you give by cash, there is a hidden protocol for them to give it to the owner.

    1. Visitor

      That is incredibly illegal in the United States. It’s called wage theft. Waitstaff must be paid gratuity and management is not allowed to take any one it ever, even if they help serve in the restaurant. If you know a place does this you may report them to the local labor board.

  5. Elizabeth II

    “Do NOT tip less and create wrong impression about your people from your country, race or religion.”
    NO – YOU don’t create wrong impression about YOUR country and people by serving me worse just because you weren’t fed extra GIFTED MONEY I AM NOT OBLIGED TO GIVE TO YOU

    1. Visitor

      You are thinking of it wrong. Your food should cost more to pay the waitstaff. They let you decide the extra amount, but the cost of the food is actually the price and gratuity. If you don’t pay the tip, you are not paying for your meal and service in full.

  6. PharmT

    unsurprisingly, the people who believe most in tipping are the ones being tipped and the people who are against tipping are the ones giving the tips. by this logic, i am against tipping as i work in a profession where tipping is not allowed, yet i still have to deal with the same idiotic general public every day and deal with the same bullshit that basically every single job involving “customer service” has to deal with daily. i go beyond my job requirements to ensure the customer is happy and i do it because i feel it is the right (and smart) thing to do and not for tips (which i dont get anyway). please forgive me for not wanting to assist in paying your wages, and if you feel like youre not being compensated enough i then suggest you speak with your employer and if your employer refuses to help you, then move onto something new. dont limit yourselves to being a waiter or waitress for the majority of your life (unless you truly enjoy it, of course)

  7. Liv

    That’s so rude post by tess !! You are asking people not to go to restaurant if a person can’t tip,I think you should find some other job, or me panhandle if you can’t accept the tips which come your way graciously! !!!

    1. Tyler

      YOU are the one who is rude!!!! coming into a place of business, where people’s livelihoods are dependents on customers adhering to the socially accepted norm of tipping good service at least % 15 of your bill. You coming in the restaurant with no intention of tipping properly hurts the server in many ways. 1. you occupy their section, preventing their table from being occupied with patrons who are going to tip properly. 2. you take away time from the server’s ability to give attention & time to the other tables that ARE tipping appropriately, causing the tipping tables to perhaps receive worse service than if you had not been there & possibly resulting in them tipping the server less!!!! 3. your server is taxed by the government for % 15 of your bill, NO-MATTER-WHAT!!!! so, you coming with the intention to tip inappropriately you literally damage their income!!!

      If everyone had the mentality you had of “just get another job” no one would want to take a serving job, & the industry would be FORCED to change. i.e. pay their waiting staff a base wage.

      guess what happens when that happens? your refill on your sweet tea is no longer free; that’ll be $4 for each extra glass of iced tea, please.

      oh, you really liked the chicken parm? great! that’ll be $30.

      & the most ironic thing about it all is your service/dining experience will PLUMMET, because ma’am, if I’m already getting $12 an hour no matter what, I promise I’m not gonna be all that concerned about making sure that modification to your order comes out just the way you asked for it. & that extra coke you ordered 5 minutes ago? yeah, I’ll get to it. just give me sec.

    2. Tim lopez

      Idaho falls is the worst places in the world for resturant waiter’s. …. $3 per hr……unbelievable! !!!

    3. Elaine

      If one can’t afford to tip one can go to a place that doesn’t have waitstaff .. go to penera . You are tipping to pay for a service, and dining experience.. if the food and service suck then don’t tip.. if a server does their job with grace and excellence then they deserve a tip

      1. Hiro

        Yeah, you are right, but last time I went to Philips, the waitress was not providing anything like silvers without noticing, she only brought up water and other stuff when we asked her to, so I signed for 10% tips before left, then she stopped me at the door when I left then asked for 20% tips, I thought maybe she really living on the edge, so I gave her 20% at the end… now I feel like I shouldn’t do that at that time, because it’s really rude to do that. I am the type who don’t want to accuse waitress at her face. I shouldn’t let her slipped away, that’s how I feel.

  8. Tessa

    WOW, I can’t believe the commenters saying that they know FOR SURE what ALL servers get payed…LOL you all know nothing. You are all brainwashed. I am a server, in America and I can prove to you, first hand how low MOST servers get payed. I can show you my check stubs, and those of my acquaintances who are also servers, to prove this. We certainly DO NOT make the federal minimum wage of 7.75/ hour (or whatever it is), we make $2.13/hr, and I have the checked stubs to prove it (I have worked in over sixteen restaurants). Perhaps in some places such as Washington state, they are payed fed minimum plus tips. If you know how to use google, you can look into for yourself. Most restaurants pay servers 2.13/hr across the board.

    Now that I have corrected all of you brainwashed individuals…I can move on. Much alike many others in my industry, I am very intelligent. The reason I have chosen to work in this business is because I have a passion for restaurants, and I am particularly good at serving. In fact, I can say that if you came into my restaurant, and sat in my section you wouldn’t be able to deny my skill level when it comes to service, as well as sales because any server knows that a big part of our job is UP-SELLING.

    Anyway, I’ll get back to speaking a language that you uneducated ones can understand:

    Tips=the servers wage
    Non-tippers=uneducated, insecure, selfish/greedy, insensitive, OR just plain uncaring
    Low Tippers/Shitty tippers=usually the same as I described non-tippers, but some of them don’t have the money to tip (this is NO excuse because, as a server, I absolutely DO NOT go out to eat if I can’t leave at least %20-the decent thing to do), OR you think that’s all they deserve because “the servers don’t have to do much work” (pfffdt, most people wouldn’t last one day with our workload). If you are going to tip two dollars, save yourself those two dollars because you obviously need it more than we do.

    If ALL SERVERS WENT TO GET A DIFFERENT JOB BECAUSE THEY DON’T MAKE HIGH ENOUGH WAGE, WHO WOULD DO EVERY LITTLE THING FOR YOU?!?! That’s right, you would have to do it yourself! I think it would serve you all right! Better start learning table numbers, oh, and I hope you don’t have much trouble teaching yourself how to change out the Dr. Pepper by yourself once it’s gone flat, careful those boxes are heavy!

    1. Anival

      This is so wrong in so many ways. You create a vacuum. Are you uneducated? You are making it so bigger restaurants do not have to pay their employees much of anything. Refuse to work in restaurants until their is a better system.

    2. Elaine

      Amen Tessa I’ve been serving since I was a teen and am 40 now. I make a decent living most of the time .. my regulars see to that. There was one sentence in the article I found offensive though.. it said that service staff is made up of students and adults that can’t find another job.. I have certifications and degrees .. I serve because I love the energy and the business..

    3. Scott

      Hello intelligent person. I posted this a while back but I’ll post it again just for you (and anyone else that doesn’t wish to scroll down…).

      So, I did some research.


      The first link shows that not all states pay the minimum tip wage and that some even pay the states min. wage as the tip wage. 7 states follow this policy. Which means that if you go to/ are in any of those 7 states, tipping is just extra money for them. Over half of the states have raised their min. tip wage. Some even up to $7.00 per hour.

      The second link says that if the waiters are mot tipped enough to put them to the minimum wage (that is $7.25 per hour), the employer must cover the difference. To take it straight from the linked web-page…

      The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires payment of at least the federal minimum wage to covered, nonexempt employees. An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.

      So, yay information.

      What this means is that whenever you leave a tip, you are paying them more than the min. wage (or at least putting them at the min. wage). I’ve seen many labor intensive jobs that pay the min. wage and that employee doesn’t get tipped. So I don’t see how this is quite fair tipping these people when other people are (almost literally) breaking their backs just to get paid min. wage.

      I’ll even repeat the important part for those that don’t want to read a wall of text…
      ” If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.”

      The difference mentioned at the end is that of what you made that week and the state’s non-tip minimum wage (times the hours you worked, obviously).

      If you don’t believe me, for one of your weeks, refuse all tips given to you and see what your paycheck comes out to. And if it isn’t what it should be, then your boss isn’t doing their job.

    4. Dallin Littlefield

      If you’ve been paid less than $2.13 an hour, your employer is doing something illegal and you should be paid at least $7.25 by federal law. I realize that’s probably something hard to enforce upon an employer from an employee, but it’s still illegal. You can likely file a complaint with a government agency, requiring your employer to make up the difference between whatever you were paid and the $7.25/hr minimum. Put simply, nearly every employee (tipped or not) in the U.S. is required, by law, to be paid at least $7.25/hr (sometimes more in some states). The fed. govt. lays it out all here: https://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htm

  9. Jack

    Wow, this is funny. I dont think anybody should tip the server at all. Yet if you feel the pressure to tip, because of the social pressure, do not tip more than 10%. Tips are really unfair, a lazy server ends up making at least $40 an hour because they get tips and the dishwasher in the back side is working for $12/ hr.

    Restaurant owners usually take the risk and they dont make as much as the servers. Average restaurant makes less than 20% and they take all the risk and put their money for investment.

  10. Alf

    So it’s my fault that they get payed so little? And I have to pay for the job they do. I’ll tip my waiter I’ve been going to for years because I like em. I’ve made a friendly relationship but this is not the case every where else. They should get a better job one that pays more better labor laws.

  11. Michael

    Federal minimum wage in the US is 7.25 and has been this way since 2009…not the 2.13 mentioned. And recently there is a push to make it even higher.

    No need to tip 15% everywhere you go. Was this written by a disgruntled server?

    I routinely tip what I think is fair for the service, anywhere from 5 to 20 %.


    1. Your Next Server

      For servers, minimum wage is $2.13 per hour. I suggest you do a little research. Or perhaps you should try being a server for one day, bet you’d love getting tipped so poorly. By the way, are you so ignorant as to not know that tipping your server so poorly might cause you too have poor service? After all, your little tiny tip isn’t worth anything. Or maybe you enjoy treating the last person to handle your food before it comes to your table so poorly…who knows what may happen to your food…

    2. Lyndsey

      Sorry but you are incorrect. Although the minimum wage for some workers is 7.25, ALL wait staff in restaurants only receive $2.13 because the rest is supposed to be made up with tips. If servers received $7.25 AND tips on top of that, they would be raking in the cash.. I am a waitress and have been at several restaurants and I sure as hell do not make more than $2.13 in hourly pay.

    3. Johnny Appleseed

      …We have more complicated laws here in the US. Maybe we should just ban foreigners from dining out, it would certainly improve the odor.

  12. Jeff

    I very often OVER tip, but if the service or overall experience is sub-standard, it will directly impact my generosity. There is a significant (to me) reason for this perspective.
    When I got my first tip-based job, my Dad gave me the BEST understanding of a tip. He told me, “Son, if you want good tips then treat EVERY customer like a superstar. Getting a tip for your work means you’re getting T.I.P.S.: T.hanks for your I.mpressive and P.remier S.ervice. If you don’t deliver better service than expected, don’t EXPECT better rewards!”
    …and don’t tell me I haven’t worked in the industry. I’ve had FOUR tipped-employee jobs and I am well aware of how unjust the pay rules are to them. In spite of that, it’s NOT the consumer’s job to compensate the wait staff’s poor pay…it is a LEGAL issue that requires LEGISLATION, NOT a social problem that makes a consumer accountable for under-handed business practices!

  13. Britishchef

    Right I am either stupid or don’t quite understand the system in the U.S. In England we pay our staff a living wage in the restaurant industry and they also get discretionary tips, why are the owners of the restaurants not paying their staff what they deserve and why is it up to the customers to have to subsidise the employers, so they get richer from your stupidity in the U.S. If you pay your staff peanuts you get monkeys, pay more to your staff and respect that it’s a profession not a hobby, in the UK it’s a respected profession and rewarded accordingly, why oh why should the customer have to pay their wages, wake up America…….

    1. Jeff

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I just had a SCATHING discussion with a couple of former service industry workrs who were appalled at my perspective that it is NOT the CUSTOMER’S responsibility to compensate the service staff for piss-poor laws supported by the U.S. Department of Labor! As an American, I actually RESENT the fact that our service industry workers are so poorly compensated and yet, if a customer doesn’t leave a substantial enough gratuity (especially when the overall service at a service location is average or poor), then it automatically becomes the fault of the CONSUMER that the service staff (a.k.a. tipped employees) is treated so unjustly! It is my opinion that tipped-employees are not ENTITLED to a tip, particularly when the service is sub-standard. Unfortunately, the attitude is SO pervasive in the U.S. that we end up getting news stories about bad tippers that are widely-received by a sympathetic audience. For example: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/08/25/new-jersey-waitress-receives-lol-instead-tip-on-receipt/.
      Until the Department of Labor seeks legislation for our tipped employees to be treted more fairly, service staff will NEVER be viewed as ‘professional’ workers in our country! Bravo to th U.K. for gtting this one right!

  14. Chris

    A lot of jerks on here it seems. I truly hope some of you lose your jobs and have no where else to turn for an income. We’ll see how you think about it then.

    1. Jess

      They’re just being honest and not out of line at all. Do you feel that it is your job to pay the restaurant for your food AND pay the waiter/ress their wages? That’s pretty much what the consumer is subjected to. I don’t feel like I HAVE to do the aforementioned. There are non-tipping jobs out there with fair wages, find one. However, that must make me a jerk because I leave other people’s choices as just that…their own choice.

      1. Your Next Server

        Well, don’t expect good service. Perhaps you’d be better off getting your own food and soda at McDonald’s. You are all ignorant, cheap, FOOLS. Ever heard the saying “Don’t piss off the cook?” Well, don’t piss off your server either…

  15. Jon

    Been a server worked every area in a restaurant. If anyone deserves better tips it is the buss boy. Servers write down orders, wait on food, deliver food and make sure their table has what it needs. It’s not that complicated and my wife does it every day for FREE. Any server on here who says that it is a hard job just because some nights it gets busy or some customers are rude should go try roofing and/or being a mom. Let’s be honest for a job you need no qualifications for other than looks you shouldn’t be expecting tons of pay.

    2nd clear up. Like some other people said that minimum wage $2 crap is just what they get because MOST nights servers walk out with much more in tips. On Fridays at Texas Roadhouse I know people walking out complaining about only $500 that they got. IF they do not make in a 7 hour shift what is the equivalent of minimum wage, the employer HAS to give them the minimum wage governed by that state/law. No server is making $2 a night, and any employer cheating his employees out of money by doing this is a criminal and he/she should be slapped. On the other hand any server only getting paid that amount and not questioning it isn’t very smart to begin with and only further questions how he/she could do their job effectively with that level of intelligence.

    But seriously leave a tip for the guys cleaning off your nasty plates and cleaning up the restaurant. They get no time to talk to customers, and usually area treated pretty poorly by the staff and especially eager servers looking to turn a table so they can leech more tips. It’ll brighten up their day, seeing as how they only make normally 3% of the tips the servers make.

    1. Jon

      Oh and maybe if they cooked the food I would feel like the 15%+ tip justification makes sense. But I tip my mechanic because he fixes my car, not the secretary who tells me its ready.

      1. Sadie

        I’m a server and we have to bus our own tables, bring out your food, make sure the cooks didn’t mess up your 12 modifications, bring out drinks every 10 minutes, listen to you while you complain about mixed drinks that we didn’t even make, apologize profusely while something so small goes wrong to insure we can still pay our rent and go to school. But yeah I guess that’s the same thing as sitting at a desk and calling you to let you know your car is ready

      2. Johnny Appleseed

        Then get your food yourself the next time you dine out. If you wanna be cheap then behave like it and embarrass yourself in front of your friends.

  16. cate

    i Have worked in the hospitality biz since 1977. I worked in lots of Places. Dishwasher, bus, kitchen,gril chef , short order, salad bar, waitress, bartender, etc..and i NEVER KNEW ANYONE WHO WOULD EVER SERVE SOMEONE ANYTHING THEY WOULDNT EAT THEMSELVES! Spit in food? Thats sick. This is old school but, u dont get a tip unless the service is beyond the basics, if a tip is required for basic service, then its not a tip its payment. I went for ‘breakfast special’ & got crap service , & when i paid my $15 bill WAITRESS ASKED IF I WANTED MY CHANGE!!! (Sunnyside grill st.clair w. ,toronto) good breky, coffee /tea rip off, service crap, if u gona serve bottonless cup, u gotta make a round dear!

  17. Mars

    I know a great way to make up for the racism and prejudice of your waiter/waitress. Tip them! NO. BOO. WRONG. TRY AGAIN. That’s not how it works. Most minority customers get treated like dogs by wait staff. So, if you want to fulfill your own prejudiced, bigoted prophecy of not being tipped by minorities – treat them like they won’t tip you. Never tell an oppressed person to “act right” to get treated equally. This post is an embarrassment to service people. Also, the best way to be a star at service is to treat the worst dressed to the best dressed the same. Oftentimes the biggest wallet is in the smallest purse. Besides that, this post reeks of entitlement. I have worked in service tip & nontip many years and the WORST servers are the ones that think they should be tipped just because they picked the waitress profession to be mediocre at. I really think folks who love service tip industry but hate not getting tips need to talk to the industry or stop complaining to people who aren’t going to change anyways. There are tippers and nontippers. There are waiters who spit and those who don’t. You have to live with yourself at the end of the day. People who don’t tip do not deserve to be poisoned. I refuse to feel sympathy for bigots and spitters. I refuse to feel sympathy for people who repeatedly eat out if tipping and the restaurant industry is abhorrent to them. I do not care about anyone who tries to argue with me, because this is a comments section and nobody’s mind gets changed here.

    1. Ya

      Who is oppressed? You? You don’t sound oppressed. You sound angry and like a victim. Pull your pants up, learn to act like a civilized human being, learn the proper English, stop mindlessly procreating and then beating and constantly yelling at your kids, get edumacation, stop worrying so much about the whitey – in other words pull yourself up by the bootstraps – and Black lives will matter. Until your Black life matters to you, it sure does not matter to me.

    2. Jeff

      That was AWESOME! I applaud your perspective and the value of your experience on the topic! Bravo for such a well-stated opinion and I hope you NEVER change your mind…at least on this topic! Wishing you all the best!

  18. Pauline

    When I leave a tip it is relevant to the service I am given and I resent being told how much I should give after all it is a gift. I think it is disgusting that employers are passing the buck to us customers and not paying a decent wage, where would they be without their staff they obviously do not value them. I understand that a servers role consists of many aspects but so do a lot of other jobs of people who do not get or even expect a tip and are also on a low wage. As for servers not giving good service if they know the customers isn,t a good tipper then they should look to the European countries where most people take a pride in their job and give good service regardless. It seems to all boil down to employers self greed.

  19. Brosky

    I think the concept of “mandatory” tipping is ridiculous. In places like Germany, they do not have a tipping culture and surprise, the food is not 15-20% more. Seriously, WTF do servers do that justifies 15, 20, 25 or even 30%? Is it being nice, taking my order (which usually gets f’d up), bringing our meal (real tough btw), bringing a water and drinks? Is that what service is? If I order a $60 steak versus a $10 hamburger, why should I give you, the server, more money? You didn’t cook it, you just take it from the kitchen to my table and say how is everything. What really ticks me off is when I go to a place without servers, pay with a credit card, the receipt has a line item for a tip and if I don’t leave one I get a bad look from the person behind the register. Seriously? Go F#$% yourself you piece of S&%^, because I am not giving you one F%^& dime for you to go fill up your piece of S#%& Toyota Turcel. If your response is “If you don’t want to tip, don’t eat” Well I’ve got news for you, you minority F#%$, I am the reason the restaurant you work at is still in business, because I eat out every night of the week. A tip/gratuity isn’t just for you existing and me giving you money so you can pay the bills, because I don’t give a flying f%$# about you, you bills, your problems, your baby, your baby daddy, your baby moma, your broke car. If you do a great job, then yes you get a tip and I don’t mind giving 15% when someone does a great job. If you don’t I don’t give you a thing. I remember I wen’t to a Steak & Shake and this f&%$ of a “server” said “welcome to the big tipping table.” I almost got up and drop kicked that f&%# ball in the throat! News flash I don’t go to a place just to give you a hand out, you F#%^ing F#%^. Don’t say anything like that to a customer unless you want them to take a S#%& in a napkin and throw it at your face!

  20. George

    I don’t care about the “Standard” of 15%. What the Federal Government is doing by making such a low minimum wage for servers is just passing the buck onto us. If my server does a great job and tends to my needs I will give them a gracious tip for the time I am there. If I sit down and enjoy a meal for an hour with some colleagues I will leave 15 dollars regardless because that person spent an hour tending to my needs. 15 dollars is plenty per hour for what they are doing regardless of how much I’m paying to the restaurant.

  21. Scott

    I don’t tip because nothing a waitress does is worthy of a tip. Bringing me my food from the kitchen is nothing special. They make two dollars an hour because they’re on the skilled this is not my problem. I am willing to pay for my meal and that’s it

    1. Robin

      I agree tipping is stupid. I go to a restaurant for the food not to support the wages of a waitress. If you don’t leave a tip the employer has to pay at least minimum wage. Talk about being overpaid for such an unskilled job.

      1. Beccah

        You’ve never worked As a server, obviously, because if you did, you would know that it is NOT that easy and in fact most restaurants will not hire someone as a server if they have less than a year experience for this reason. You have to tend to several tables at once, knowing at any time what the people need from any table and bringing it to them without them having to ask, you must bring their food as soon as it’s cooked so it doesn’t get cold, make sure they have plenty to drink, condiments they need, you must think of all this before they do or they get annoyed.
        Also consider that if you do not tip, why would the server bother to give you good service? Once you go into a restaurant, order food, spend time at that table which normally makes them 5-15$ an hour and DON’T leave a tip, next time you come in, all the servers will know that you don’t tip and they will give you a shifty table and not pay any attention to you. If you’re getting the same service at a sit down restaurant that you get in a fast food place, it’s quite obviously BECAUSE you don’t tip! Leave a good tip and watch how your service improves.

        1. schrodie

          And many times you as a server have to do all of this while trying to dodge undisciplined little rug rats who are running around the restaurant… hoping to God you don’t trip over one of them while you are carrying a tray of food and drinks or a hot coffee pot. Sometimes you do all of this perfectly and still get no tip from some self-entitled little ass who thinks there is no reason for a tip.

          Yeah, here’s an idea. You know what you want for dinner. You want that nice juicy steak, baked potato and a salad. Go out to the store and buy everything you need. Then come home and spend the time firing up your grill and your oven, and cook that food yourself. Set your own table, pour your own beverages. Does everyone at the table have everything they want for their steak– sauces, salt and pepper, salad dressing, condiments for the potato (sour cream and butter and the like)? How about the steaks– cooked to perfection? Good, enjoy… but don’t forget to clear and wipe down the table, put away the leftovers and the condiments, wash the dishes, toss the trash… now, factoring in EVERYTHING from the cost of the food to the time spent in prep work/cooking/clean-up (figure Federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for the work), how much did you spend in money and equivalent labor cost for your simple home-cooked meal that you had to clean up afterwards? Compare that to a restaurant meal where all of the work is done for you and you don’t have to deal with the clean-up. You will soon see that you’re not just paying for food. You’re paying someone to cook it as you like it and even clean up your mess. Oh, and would you let YOUR KIDS make the same kind of mess at your dining room table that they make in a restaurant? NO? Why not… because YOU would have to clean it up yourself? Poor baby. Teach your kids some manners, or tip your wait staff properly for cleaning up after your little hellions. And bear in mind that your wait person probably has to share that tip with the bus person who is probably the one who really has to clean up the pigpen that your party left behind. Sometimes there is no bus person and the server is the one who cleans the mess. Perhaps you ought to tip more for that, since you don’t have to do it yourself and you’d probably never let your kids trash out the dinner table that badly at home.

          If you don’t like tipping for a service that you do not have to do yourself, then perhaps you should just stay home and cook your own meals and wash and put away your own dishes.

      1. Jez

        It’s not about not being able to afford (I am confident I can afford more than you), its about principles and not expectations. The whole grounds for a tip is to reward someone or a service for being above and beyond expectation not just because they expect it…

        Also why don’t you tip ppl in macdonalds, they are serving food just the same yet society says you don’t tip it’s ludicrous.

        1. Eric

          A server does more than an employee at mcdonalds though. They take your order and communicate every little thing you ask to the cooks. They give you information about the food and will answer any questions you have. They take care of whatever you need while you’re there. That’s worth a couple bucks a person I’d think. Also, their decreased wages make a difference in how much you pay. On average I would imagine that the customer pays less because of a tip and the restaurant doesn’t double dip you because they pay servers less.

          1. Jane

            I just have a question about tipping. If a person goes to a restaurant that has hundreds or maybe even thousands of people go there every day because it is a tourist city if say a few of the people that go there do not tip %15 but a little less that waitress or waiter is not going to lose money right?

          2. administrator

            Jane, they would not make any additional money than the minimum pay, if there is no tipping. If it is a large touristy place, there will be more work and more people…also, waiters also share the tips…

    2. kel

      Firstly, there is very little about what you wrote that made sence. Secondly, so you know, servers do not just bring food out from the kitchen. We make sure that your table and chairs, or booth, is clean. We check every piece of flatware, every cup and anything else that you may put up to your lips for cleanliness as well. We get your drink and make sure it stays full. We clean up after your disgusting mess. We let you speak to us with no care of how your phrase what you’d like to express. I could go on. I would rather let you in on something far more important than the physical tasks that we are responible for. It is that we care. We care about your time and money, and want you to enjoy yourself. We put our heart into what we do, and take so much pride in a job well done. We care about providing you with an opportunity to make memories with your loved ones, while enjoying a night out. This is how so many of us make our living, and besides careless and cruel people whom don’t find it necessary to tip, our guests make us feel pride in what we do. Many of us have cultivated wonderful bonds with our regular guests and have gotten to know and care for them. We have to rely on our tips to support ourselves and our families. Yes, we could do something else, but many of us are drawn to serving because we sincerely enjoy making our guests feel important and cared about. Someone has to do it, so please help create happy and possionate servers by doing, what you know deep down in your cold heart, is the right thing. Have you any idea how hard and sad it is to let people like you to be emotionally abusive to us while we can only just keep smiling and be treated like a servant. Then, after everything we do for you, to try with everything we have to make you happy, get nothing in return? Be loving and kind to your fellow human. Isn’t the world harsh enough already?

      1. Ya

        I totally agree and I respect every profession or occupation or craft if the person takes pride in their job and tries to do it well. I have absolutely no qualms about tipping 15% or more. What I resent is the expectation of a tip for an obviously crappy service, the one where the waiter obviously did it half-ass, when it went beyond what you’d expect from a person who is just tired or has something on their mind. A careless, condescending or deliberately slow service is what I don’t want to tip, but I still do (10%) because it’s the societal expectation.

  22. jesse jinkins

    This article says I should still tip well for average service. I think there is simply a misunderstanding between the server and customer. I don’t know what defines excellent service. Good service is just doing what you’re supposed to. If you do extra things you should understand that maybe your customer might not have wanted you to do those extra things you did without being asked. It’s highly possible that you may end up doing more work for someone that they didn’t want you to do. All you are expected to do is bring the right order with condiments if needed and refills. If you entertain, compliment, flirt, and join the party you are probably doing things people don’t want you to do. It’s also obvious that you are only doing these things to make more money. I only pay for results.

  23. jesse jinkins

    Surprise I have worked as a server. Instead of having sympathy I know the game. I’m fresh out of sympathy. While it’s true that servers are paid less than minimum wage by their employer most make more when you count their tips. The ones that don’t aren’t good as servers. It’s not my fault they can’t do the job.

  24. jesse

    What I don’t want.
    1 I don’t want you to work me for a bigger tip. So when you are trying to flirt with me in front of my wife I know what you trying to accomplish.
    2 ask one person at a the table if everything is alright and then rush off before anyone else can ask you for anything.
    3 trying to be part of the conversation. You weren’t invited and I feel like you are only trying to get a better tip. This isn’t the way to accomplish that.
    4 sit down at my table. Seriously you weren’t invited.
    5 ask me if You can get me anything while I’m unable to speak due to the fact that I’m trying to eat and could really use a refill.
    6 ask me if you can get me anything and rush off before I answer when there is an empty glass in front of me. Just fill it Einstein.
    7 constantly interrupt and ask how my food is.
    8 constantly interrupt and say you can get those dishes out of my way and then
    9 reach across my plate as though you are being polite and take them. They aren’t bothering me. You’re just trying to make your job easier. Btw DON’T REACH ACROSS MY PLATE.
    10 Put a lemon in my drink. If someone doesn’t ask for a lemon don’t give them one . If they ask for one give them one. Servers take turns at the station throughout a shift cutting lemon wedges in between they buss tables, throw napkins away people blow their noses in, handle money without washing their hands. No thanks.
    11 don’t pick my glass up by the rim.
    12 don’t fill my glass with 90% ice

    1. Blue

      If refills are not free, and they refill your cup with out asking, are you going to complain about that too? Or be happy about not having an empty cup which you complained about before.

  25. jesse

    Ok this is for all you servers out there. You are not working a job where you just get paid an hourly page. You are also in business for yourself. If you can’t make money doing this then quit and find a better job. Here is all I want from you. My order taken and my food and drink brought promptly and frequent refills. That’s it. If I don’t get this I don’t see why I should pay you for a service you didn’t provide.

  26. cal

    i follow tip laws because it customary and expected, but I dont understand the preset of in which jobs it is or isn’t, and while I have hard one waitress complain ever in aggreance wth some article, most of the ones ive known have made significantly more than someone in a standard hourly wage job.. I have worked in MANY types of jobs and trust me, i did not more work as a bartender than a cashier.. i mean, you generally get tipped(or tip) a dollar for handing someone a can of beer and flipping it open… thats about 3 seconds of ‘work.’
    -also 7.25 is the minimum set by federal. states have up to 9.32–some cities have more.
    -also, if your poor tip makes a waitress stereotip your people and she cant so much as consider it may be different where youre from, she is vapid and you shouldnt care hat she thinks.

  27. David

    You forgot to mention that the employer have to make up the differences if the tips the employee receives combine with the $2.13 paid wage does not equal the federal minimum wage of $7.25

    In the United State Department of Labor website. On the Wage and Hour Division section,http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/hrg.htm, it stated the following:
    “Tipped Employees
    Tipped employees are individuals engaged in occupations in which they customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. The employer may consider tips as part of wages, but the employer must pay at least $2.13 an hour in direct wages.
    The employer who elects to use the tip credit provision must inform the employee in advance and must be able to show that the employee receives at least the applicable minimum wage (see above) when direct wages and the tip credit allowance are combined. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference. Also, employees must retain all of their tips, except to the extent that they participate in a valid tip pooling or sharing arrangement.”

  28. Scott

    I don’t tip. Walking 50 feet and putting food on my table does not deserve a tip. It is a worthless stupid unskilled job. Two dollars an hour is what they are worth not a penny more.

    1. jane

      This is an ignorant comment. Do a servers job for a week and you are sure to change your mind. Carry multiple large meals on a tray back and fourth, running back and fourth. Taking the blame and picking up slack for every other position in the restaurant. Trying to keep multiple tables of people happy and accommodating everything they need at once. Don’t judge when you haven’t walked in there shoes

    2. josh

      dealing with assholes like you makes the job harder then what you make it out to be if you don’t like it go to a buffet and make you’re own plates but you’d probably find something to say about that also

      1. josh

        for the record have never been a waiter and while it is nowhere near the hardest job one can have dealing with people like you makes it stressful you seem like someone who thinks people should have to wait on him for 2$ a hr

    3. Selene

      I do not tip ! I’m also a college student and nobody is tipping me to run around a give service to people at my job ! It’s against the law to be paid anything under 9.00 in California . The company will make up for it and I don’t want to pay their salaries sorry

      1. Beccah

        If you don’t want to pay their salaries, then don’t go to their restaurant and sit down at their tables. Those tables are put there by the restaraunt to make money for them in exchange for service and if you don’t pay for it, you don’t deserve it.

    4. Christina

      Trust me servers remember the assholes that don’t tip and you might end up with spit in your food! Or even worse maybe you’ll end up with a HOT cup of coffee in your lap!

      1. yosafbridge

        No, we would not. No server I have ever met would screw with someone’s food or intentionally spill a drink on them (why would we? We would have to clean the mess! That would be idiotic)

        All a server does for someone he or she knows doesn’t tip is provide mediocre service. You get your food and your drink exactly as you want it. We won’t mess with it or passive aggressively take forever with it (an angry costumer reflects worse on us than just not receiving a tip, although that also could get us coached/fired if it happens enough).

        I’m just not going to bust ass to check on your table every 10 minutes because I’m going to end up paying for your time (I still have to tip the support staff for your bill even if I didn’t receive a tip from you) .

        I prioritize every other table before the non-tipper. Because I’m trying to make a living wage and there is no point to put effort in where it is not appreciated or rewarded.

    1. Scott

      Hey bro, read my comment. Too lazy to scroll down less than 10 posts from this one? Well then I shall re-post what I wrote.
      So, I did some research.


      The first link shows that not all states pay the minimum tip wage and that some even pay the states min. wage as the tip wage. 7 states follow this policy. Which means that if you go to/ are in any of those 7 states, tipping is just extra money for them. Over half of the states have raised their min. tip wage. Some even up to $7.00 per hour.

      The second link says that if the waiters are mot tipped enough to put them to the minimum wage (that is $7.25 per hour), the employer must cover the difference. To take it straight from the linked web-page…

      The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires payment of at least the federal minimum wage to covered, nonexempt employees. An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.

      So, yay information.

      What this means is that whenever you leave a tip, you are paying them more than the min. wage (or at least putting them at the min. wage). I’ve seen many labor intensive jobs that pay the min. wage and that employee doesn’t get tipped. So I don’t see how this is quite fair tipping these people when other people are (almost literally) breaking their backs just to get paid min. wage.

      That’s verbatim.

  29. jesse jinkins

    The only thing I want is for my order to be correct and that I get refills because I can’t consume my meal without enough to drink. I would prefer to leave 25% as a tip but I won’t pay for bad service at all. It’s pass or fail with me. If order to get any service I have to laugh at my waitress jokes and have some type of dialogue with her or she will think I’m cheap and not tip her. The truth is that I never come to a place for entertainment from the staff. I only want service. If I tip when I have bad service the message I’m sending is that you can give me bad service and still get paid. The result will be that the next time I come I will probably get a different waitress and she gets a chance to make 25% which isn’t great but better than the SUGGESTED gratuity and that is all I’m willing to pay for someone to bring me food and drink. When I can’t can’t get decent service from a place I simply quit going. I don’t want someone asking how everything is every few minutes interrupting my conversation. If there is a problem I will let you know. If I have an empty glass just fill it. Don’t ask if there is anything you can get me while my mouth is full and can’t answer, then hurry off leaving me with an empty glass, then feel as though I’m obligated to to pay you. Gratuity is paid when I have gratitude and should be extra but since your boss can’t pay you a decent wage you have to EARN it in tips. I don’t work for your cheap boss you do and like it or not you are working for me. As an employer I fire you and your boss because I don’t come back after a few bad expieriences. I don’t usually complain

    1. jesse jinkins

      I didn’t finish posting. I do usually complain but not to the manager. I tell the server directly. The best advice I can give is never ask how everything was. I’ve left more than one place with a bill that I prefer to simply pay than to hear an excuse as to why the staff isn’t capable of writing down an peer and bringing refills.I prefer to be silent and go away but at this point if you ask Mr how everything was, I’m going to let you know.

  30. randy

    10% is enough EVER!!!!!
    if the restaurant is high class the price is higher, if the cost of living raise the cost of food raise. 10% is 10%. A owner has profit margin of about 25% if everything works exclent. For this he make investment (he have to pay back) carry all the risk etc. A Server, has NO Risk and is ussualy a super lazy person. If they ever learn to organize their job half way efficient they could handle twice as much tables. But instead they are hanging 80% of the time bhind the door and in the kitch arroud and do What ??? I do not know.
    10 % again is the maximum EVER !!!!

  31. Alfatango1

    If you choose to work for tips you better not expect 15 to 20% from every customer. The only thing I owe is for the bill for the food and drink I order plus and taxes. I DO NOT OWE YOU A LIVING! Sometimes you will make $200 a night sometimes you make $30. I tip between 15 and 20% or more, usually bartenders get more because they can comp me a drink or two and that means something to me. I know if you’re a server you have no control over that but that’s reality. I worked in California when commission sales people did not get minimum wage at all. I’ve worked in insurance and securities where if I didn’t close a deal I was not paid. You could spend hours with a client and not make a dime, so don’t cry to me when you don’t get tipped. You chose this line of work, like I chose mine. I’ve made $30,000 a year and I’ve made $130,000 a year all on commission. My choice, no one owes me a thing.

  32. Scott

    So, I did some research.


    The first link shows that not all states pay the minimum tip wage and that some even pay the states min. wage as the tip wage. 7 states follow this policy. Which means that if you go to/ are in any of those 7 states, tipping is just extra money for them. Over half of the states have raised their min. tip wage. Some even up to $7.00 per hour.

    The second link says that if the waiters are mot tipped enough to put them to the minimum wage (that is $7.25 per hour), the employer must cover the difference. To take it straight from the linked web-page…

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires payment of at least the federal minimum wage to covered, nonexempt employees. An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.

    So, yay information.

    What this means is that whenever you leave a tip, you are paying them more than the min. wage (or at least putting them at the min. wage). I’ve seen many labor intensive jobs that pay the min. wage and that employee doesn’t get tipped. So I don’t see how this is quite fair tipping these people when other people are (almost literally) breaking their backs just to get paid min. wage.

  33. Michael

    The tipping tradition is complicated to tourists.

    Coming from Denmark where the posted prices includes everything(also taxes also service) I find it irritating and complicated to figure out what I’m really going to pay for fx. meals just looking at a menu card.

    I like the states, but the tradition of not having everything included in posted prices makes me wanna go elsewhere.

  34. Donna

    While I have worked in the industry for many years, but mostly bartended, I have seen countless servers as well as bartenders that shouldn’t have been in the business and I wouldn’t have tipped them myself. A customer has a right to expect good service and a helpful and pleasant attitude. IF these things are adhered to, there is no reason that a customer should not be tipping appropriately.

    I no longer work in the industry, but when I dine out, I fully expect what I am paying for…full service. I don’t want someone to come to my table, drop menus off, take forever to just get drinks to the table. I shouldn’t have to wait until almost the end of the meal when my glass is empty to get a refill because they forgot and are sorry. I should be able to get those extra napkins before the middle of the meal and especially before the end of the meal that I requested when I placed my order. If the order is not right, I don’t want to wait until everyone at my table has nearly finished eating for them to return and find out that my order was wrong. I could go on, but I suspect everyone gets the gist about the service part. Some things are just expected when dining. I am also not addressing when it is extremely busy and they are shorthanded. I am addressing a regular crowd or even minimal.

    Above all, I don’t find it pleasant or funny when the server is sullen or a smart aleck and thinks they are funny. There is a difference in being a wise guy and being funny than being offensive. As a business owner myself now, I say leave your attitude at home and act like the professional you want to be paid like or don’t complain. When people dine out, they want to relax and let someone else do the work they avoided at home. Make it pleasant. It doesn’t always guarantee that everyone is going to tip, but your chances of being tipped well are greater.

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