Almost twenty years ago I was a single mother of three. We didn’t eat out often but Fridays were and still are religiously observed as “Junk Food Night” in our family. My kids are third generation “Junk Food Night” devotees.
Usually we ordered out for pizza but one Friday night we went to a local sit-down Chinese restaurant. We ordered and ate and when the bill came I paid it and then left a ten dollar bill on the table. My youngest daughter, Rachael, asked why I was leaving extra money on the table-a fair question since we didn’t really have “extra” money just lying around. I explained that it was a tip for the waiter for his good service and that it was customary to leave money for the person who waits on you.
A few weeks later on Junk Food night, we called in our pizza order and when we went to pick it up we found there were no parking spaces, so I gave Rachael a couple twenties and she ran in to pick up our order while I drove around the block. When she gave me the change it seemed very light so I asked her how much the pizza order had cost. She said, “Well the pizza cost 22.95 but there was a jar for tips on the counter so I put in ten dollars.”
We had a conversation about percentages soon after but to this day Rachael is a generous tipper…
What do you guys think of the small but growing trend of paying servers a decent wage and doing away with tipping? If you are not familiar with the idea but are curious, here’s a link to a Washington Post article on the subject: Why Some Restaurants Are Doing Away With Tipping .
As a former bartender and server for years, I can say that the biggest inconvenience of the tipped lifestyle was the inability to predict my earnings. I was at the mercy of the public for the majority of my pay check and good service did not always equate to good tips just as bad service did not automatically equate to bad tips. It really all depended on who your customer was, where you worked and what shifts you pulled. But still, the reason I did this type of work was because in general the earnings were higher than the non-tipped positions I was qualified for. I wonder how today’s servers feel about earning an hourly wage and abolishing tips? Aren’t they concerned they will earn less on average? I’m in favor of paying higher menu prices in exchange for not tipping. It will save Rachael money.