Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Why You Should Tip Your Server Extra This Holiday Season

Even though people who have never worked as waiters declare it’s an easy job, it truly isn’t. Having to satisfy people's most foolish requests, all while taking orders, placing them in, getting beverages, running food, and a variety of other side jobs, serving people takes its toll. During a worldwide pandemic, I’d have thought that people would be a little more compassionate with their servers, but I was wrong. What I’ve heard from servers who have had to go back to work has shown me that people seriously need to sit down and reconsider their behavior before going out to eat. And, even more, they should acknowledge why it’s important to tip their servers now more than ever. 

Even though you don’t see it, your server is putting in the work

In some restaurants, servers typically perform a variety of tasks when the shift is short staffed. Now, with less employees allowed on a shift, you can bet your bottom dollar servers still have to multi-task. I mean, who do you think prepares your to-go order? Most likely than not, it’s a server. They make sure everything you asked for is inside the bag you’re taking home with you, they deliver the bag to your car, and, meanwhile, they make sure their tables are cared for and content. And while they do all these things, not only do they have to do their side jobs, they also have to make sure they follow the new Covid-19 protocols. It’s a multi-tasking frenzy that, sadly, cannot be fixed by getting more staff. 

They’re handling more stress than you think

On top of having to juggle with the stress of their own work, they also have to be extra vigilant of customers not following the Covid-19 safety precautions. I've heard many servers (and I mean MANY) criticize one particular thing: customers are not following the rules. Although a lot of companies ignorantly approve of the “the customer is always right” slogan, this is a blatant lie. No, the customer is not always right. Yes, you should receive a top-notch service, and, of course, you should enjoy your meal just as you asked for it. This, however, does not mean you can impose yourself over the restaurant staff. Rules are rules. And, amid a pandemic, I think we can all agree it’s important that we all follow them. Like it or not, we all have to wear masks and we all have to remain six feet apart. And servers have to make sure their customers are abiding by the rules, not only to protect themselves, but to protect their place of employment. If they “let it slide” with all of their tables, they risk having their restaurant closed or fined for failure to comply with protocol. Don’t take it personally if a server asks you to put on your mask, or splits your party of ten in two separate tables― it’s their job. 

Servers rely on tips to make a living

Did you know that in 1966 the U.S. Congress declared $2.13 the federal minimum wage for tipped workers? Back in the 60s, that was only 50 percent of the minimum wage for non-tipped employees. However, in 2020, $2.13 only makes up for less than 30 percent of the standard minimum wage of $7.25. And yet, some restaurants still pay their servers $2.13 an hour. After reporting tips (which can sometimes be a mere $60), some servers can receive zero-sum paychecks. This literally means they depend on tips to survive. And, with new restrictions in the way, restaurants are only allowed a 25 to 30 percent capacity. Fewer guests mean fewer tables, which translates to fewer tips. It’s important that you leave and allow others to enjoy their meal as soon as you’ve finished yours. Servers miss out on tips when you decide to stay for more time than you should, so don’t get mad at them if they kindly ask you to leave. 

Your server is considered an essential worker

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, an essential worker includes anyone who provides a service that is vital for continuing infrastructure operations. Because servers work in the food service industry, they fall into this category. And, because the government has done so little to help this industry, your server doesn’t really have a choice but to expose themselves to the virus just to make a living. The least you could do is leave them a decent tip.

After a difficult year, it shouldn’t be hard to be considerate with others, including our servers. They’re out there exposing themselves and their loved ones to ensure you have a pleasant dining experience and to make their living. They appreciate your feedback for their great service; but, sadly, they cannot buy their daily bread with that. So, if you decide to go out to eat with your loved ones during the holiday season, be respectful to your server and leave them a gracious tip. 

Andrea is currently majoring in Journalism at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. She’s an introverted empath who enjoys long drives while listening to good music. When it’s time to sit down and write, coffee and Led Zeppelin serve as her inspiration.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️