If You Can't Leave a Decent Tip, Stay Home & Cook Your Own Damn Food

Rant 86

tip restaurantIs it fair for a restaurant to add a mandatory tip to the bills of patrons with French accents? No, of course not -- no matter how many restaurant workers in  Burlington, Vermont claim to have been stiffed by visitors from Quebec. An additional 18% pour vous!! Now, that said, is it fair for restaurants to add mandatory tips to the bills of all patrons, across the board? Yes, it's fair -- and it would make everybody's lives a lot simpler, too.

Before you start in on a rant about terrible service and why should you have to tip a waiter who forgot the bread basket and blah blah blah, hear me out.

Ever notice that former restaurant workers tend to be generous tippers? That's because if you've ever been a waitress/waiter whatever you want to call it, you how hard that woman/man carrying your tray really works. Which is to say, she/he works hard for the money, so ... you know the rest.

More from The Stir: Struggling Waitress Deserves to Keep $12,000 Tip

My brief stint spent waitressing years ago was such a spectacular failure that I've always looked at skilled waitstaff with a mix of admiration, pity, and fear: Wow, I'm incapable of doing what you do/Wow, I never want to try to do what you do again/Wow, if you can do THAT you are one tough individual.

Make no mistake, they earn the hell out of every dime. Now, I'm not implying that terrible waitresses/waiters/bartenders, etc. don't exist. Every profession has its share of bad apples. But taking the guesswork, judgment and potential mean-spiritedness away from the dining-out equation can't hurt.

If you can't afford to leave a decent tip, don't go out to eat in the first place. Simple as that.

Do you think mandatory gratuities would save a lot of frustration on both sides?


Image via Tzuhsun Hsu/Flickr

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AniAngel AniAngel

I wouldn't mind, if you have a service issue take it up with the manager. Wait staff often pay for kitchen/manager errors with reduced tips.

Rachel Schiller

I already pay for the food and the tax on it. I try to tip fairly but sometimes the service is just bad and I should not be made to tip a bad server.

butte... buttercup627

Sometimes its not "affording" thats the issues its whether the staff deserves the gratuity. If I have a bad server im not going to give them extras

MMbales MMbales

I think they should just pay wait staff a decent wage and do away with tipping. 

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

I agree with MMbales- pay the staff a regular wage, then tips can be just that- TIPS. Additional amounts that you get for going above and beyond the norm. I do not give a whole lot to those who do not do the same- I tip based upon performance. You suck? So does your tip.


I don't think my gratuity should be added to the bill. If I chose to add it, it should be up to me. I'm the one already paying for a service. If I get lousy service I'll leave a much less generous tip. It's not my problem if the waitstaff doesn't make good money. If you can't make ends meet on your job, how is it up to me to make that up for you?

PS. I always tip and am a very good tipper.

Another really sucky title for a post. It has nothing to do with the content. Where did anything about "if you can't afford a decent tip, stay home" appear?

twili... twilightsbella

Why should anyone have to tip? Wow u took our order and brought us our food. If anyone deserves a tip its the cooks who are cooking our food the way we ask for it

cocob... cocobeannns

I tip based on the service. Sometimes I don't tip at all. I shouldn't be obligated to do so.


I generally get better service at places where they're not guaranteed a tip. I've found the service in places that have a mandatory grat. to be worse overall. Because they know they don't have to try. Personally I'm also less likely to be generous with the tip, so they only get what's mandatory.

  The best serveice I got was from a guy working a Denny's who was Host, Cook, waiter, and bus boy. It was DH, a good friend, and I. It was late. We tipped him $30. I still remember how good his service was.

early... earlybird11

Well the cooks generally make a fair wage that's why they don't get tipped. The wait staff does have to tip out at most places to bussers etc so I try to tip fair or beyond but when they give crap service and still expect 20% + its a little bit of a shame. Ruins the experience and I'm not in to paying extra for that

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