Why You Should Always Tip Your Server

Sometimes people like to downgrade what it’s like to work in the hospitality industry as a whole. No one was ever promised that working a part-time hourly job was going to be easy regardless of their low wage, but I feel that’s how society perceives these kinds of positions, like serving. According to Google, a server is “a person or thing that provides a service or commodity, in particular.” That is exactly what serving is and if you have met some of the human beings on this planet, you know providing a service to some individuals is not always going to be all rainbows and butterflies.

I have argued with people on several occasions as to why I simply believe it is important to tip your server, even sometimes at a place that may not require it. Being served to is an option and a privilege. You are not required to dine in at a restaurant you desire ordering from. With this said I will simply state this as dumbed down as possible: TIP YOUR SERVER

Imagine being a college student with no financial assistance and many other bills to pay. You need a job desperately and you have always wanted to serve so you decide to apply as a server at a restaurant hiring 30 minutes from your apartment. It’s the only serving position available at that point in your area. You interview and get the position. You finally can have some financial stability and pay off the debt you’ve had for last few months.

You have now been working at this restaurant for a couple weeks and you think you finally have the hang of it. You notice the restaurant starts to get a little busy. You get a table of eight, all of which speak a language you are disappointingly unfamiliar with. Keyboard warriors, put your fingers down, I never said that was a negative thing. However, it doesn’t necessarily make your job any easier. If you speak one language like me and very minimally understand spanish, this is a nightmare for you. Of course you will do your best serving this table, but you know that no matter what there’s going to be a language barrier and you cannot provide them the full extent of quality service you know they are paying for. You know for a fact this could also affect your tip.

OH and look at that, you just got sat another table, this time it’s a table of four. You start to panic inside your head because you're still getting drink orders for this table of eight that is taking you twice as long because you don’t speak their language. You manage to take a few breaths and allow yourself to finish with this table. 

Eventually you get over to the table of four you were just sat and immediately get their drink orders. In the midst of all of this craziness your trying to recall what sidework you’re supposed to be keeping up with so that you don’t slow down the kitchen and other servers. Shoot. You realize you have to brew more iced tea.

Oh and you have a table on the other side of the restaurant because sometimes those kinds of things just happen. You then realize they’re waving at you for the bill. You have no idea how long they’ve been sitting there, but you hurry over with the bill and bus their table as much as you can while your there and - oh you still need to get the drinks for the table of eight AND the table four you were just sat. And you realize that table of three you were sat 25 minutes ago still hasn’t received there appetizers. At this point you are the verge of a breakdown because of how stressed and overwhelmed you are.

This is just the beginning of your shift folks. Yet for some reason people seem to claim it’s not their responsibility to tip you because it’s your job to provide them this service and not their job to pay your bills. What people forget is that in this industry it is a common courtesy to tip anyone that provides you a service that you would not receive otherwise.

You have the option to order takeout and eat in the comfort of your own home. The difference is you would be getting your own drinks and your own napkins and all the other weird things some of these individuals like to ask for. Me and every other server on this planet completely 100% understand if you cannot afford to tip your server, but with that said please stop dining in and leaving us to owe money rather than make money. My $5 an hour does not cover for the 15-20% I don’t get tipped within a shift. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do like my job quite a lot. At the end of the day, I’m pretty satisfied with the outcome. However in this position, there is no consistency as far as what you make in a shift. Some days you could walk out the door with $30 and others you may walk out with $200. The most we could ask from the individuals that we serve is to never leave a 0 in the tip space. AND be mindful that sometimes it happens multiple times in a shift. At most restaurants, servers are required to tip out to hosts and bussers so if you don’t tip us the bare minimum, we end up owing our own money to the restaurant. 

These are just a few things to consider when dining at a restaurant. I speak not only for myself, but many other frustrated servers. No one is forcing you to do it. Dining in is totally optional. If you do decide to do it, just remember these people serving you are human beings that have bills to pay and families to take care of. You are not paying their bills, but you are paying for the service that you have decided to take advantage of. 

If you are someone that doesn’t tip, remember why it’s even a thing in the first place. So just please make our jobs easier and your experience more pleasant by doing the ethical thing and tip your server. 


Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4