An Open Letter To People Who Don't Tip Servers

Dear People Who Don’t Tip,

I first want to start off by giving you the benefit of the doubt. With that being said, I ask you why? Why do you go out to eat and sit down, have someone take your orders and bring you food and drinks, clean up after you and yet you choose not to tip? What are your reasons for not doing so? Because I highly doubt any of them are valid. Of course, there are those situations in which the server is clearly in the wrong such as yelling at the customer, using profane language or discriminating against a customer in which cases, I highly recommend you absolutely do NOT tip that server. However, these cases are rare and many servers are not getting the compensation they deserve.

Servers make around two dollars-and-something-cents an hour. What this basically means is that most of their income derives from tips from customers. Their income and means of living rely mostly on your consideration of this fact. No one is forcing you to give more money than you can. In fact, if you can only afford to get the food and nothing more, then you should order take out or not go out to eat at all. Servers work hard for their money and most will bend over backwards in order to satisfy you and your needs while at the restaurant.

People who don’t tip aren’t always aware that they are doing something wrong. You may believe that tipping is optional or that it’s not really a big deal. You may think that your sever wasn’t 100 percent on top of his/her game so therefore you don’t see the need to give a tip. However, this way of thinking is truly flawed. Servers are human beings who make mistakes just like you and are responsible for multitasking several duties at a time. They are required to cater to different tables, including yours, and to uphold a positive attitude and clean up after your mess. Their job is basically to make you feel happy and full—and to see a big fat zero written on the receipt you left them is heartbreaking. 

In order to fully understand what many servers go through, I highly recommend everyone to work in the restaurant industry at least once in their lives. There's truly no way to understand the stress they go through and the obligations they are expected to attend to unless you are in their shoes. Working in the restaurant industry is a truly humbling experience that provides context and adds perspective for those who may have no idea what working as a server is like. People are not always the most pleasant, and a lot of human beings like to take their anger out on others. Many customers feel like servers are below them and treat them as so by snapping and/or shouting at them, but not tipping is definitely the number one way to make a server feel degraded. 

So the next time you go out to eat and you wonder whether you should tip or not, just know that you should.


A server

Photo credit: 1