Clint and I grabbed a pizza and a beverage at the Esquire tonight, watching and waiting for a booth. We ended up taking over a table in which 3 quarters were stacked. I made a flippant remark: "I hope they left more than that!"
I have strong opinions about tipping waiters and waitresses. I've never waited tables in my life, but I still remember what it was like unloading trucks and busting my hump for a fast food franchise when I was a teenager. I've never worked as hard.
Do you know that Women are the worst tippers? And do you know that therefore, they (we) often get worse service, as the waitstaff might assume it's not worth their while to break their necks for us?
I care not. I tip my waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and baristas. I leave at least $1 for every beverage, no matter a cup of coffee, import beer, or dirty martini.
Food not up to par? Slow service? Lipstick on my coffee mug? My waitress still gets 20 percent, minimum. The waiter at our mexican restaurant brings me unlimited refills on chips, salsa, and drinks, meal on one main platter, beans on another, and foil-wrapped tortillas on another. He clears and replaces plates throughout lunch, which costs $6.00. The "high-end" recommended tip for my meal is $1.20.
$1.20, bringing his wages up to a grand $5.80/hr. And that's "over"tipping! There's still the guy that left the standard 15%, and the guy that left a quarter on the table.
I don't think so. There's no way I'm leaving less than 50% for that service and that much food.
If I'm well off enough to pay $3.90 for a cup of chai, then I'm well off enough to toss an extra buck to the starving college kid that filled the tea bag, poured the honey, frothed the milk, and handed it to me with a smile.
On the days that I can afford $15 for the $3 of spaghetti, I'm going to compensate the heck out of the young mother that's going to go home and tuck in her kids when this gig is done.
If you're a grumpy, stingy tipper, I urge you to read "Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress" by Kathy Ginsberg. I can almost promise you that you're going to see yourself in some of the complaints this waitress has: Need a few more minutes to make your decision...and then just a few more? Don't need a refill now, but, oh, pshaw, you'll have one more when she brings your date's drink back?
If you can afford to eat out, I say, Knock Yourself Out on the tip. Best you can.
What's YOUR view on tipping? Have you worked in food service? Best Experience? Worst?