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Your Take: Remember To Tip Your Servers

Ahhh, this is the second article in the Your Take series [3] and it piggybacks an article I wrote earlier that was linked to by Consumerist. Well, when Consumerist linked to my post [4] on ridiculous money saving ideas [5], it touched off a firestorm in the comments about washing clothes in hot or cold water and tipping. Today, we’ll hit on the idea of tipping, which apparently polarizes the readership more that one would probably expect. In fact, RDM7234 got so fired up that he/she totally missed the point of my post (that it was a tongue in cheek and pointing out ridiculous ways of saving money), and called me an asshole for trying to save money by tipping less. I wasn’t really fazed by the affront because I know I tip on the generous side (my benchmark starts at 20%, not 15%, simply because it makes the math easier) and because I used to be a banquet waiter; I know the crap the wait staff has to take so I don’t mind throwing a few extra dollars their way as long as the service is good (I’m easy to please).

Now, fundamentally I don’t agree with how the compensation structure for the wait staff works but that doesn’t mean I tip less, why punish the victims in the scheme? I don’t think they should get such sub-minimum wage hourly wages and then have to depend on tips to bring that up to or above minimum wages. Now at places like a Ruth Chris Steakhouse, it’s really a non-issue… even a crappy tip can keep someone fed. But what about all the folks working your local diners? We’re not talking $50 entrees there, we’re talking $5 Reubens and $6 BLTs; making up the difference there is significantly harder.

What’s your take on tipping? Do you protest the system and tip a little less? Do you honestly not care and tip a little less? Do you tip more because of the system?

Oh, and to add to it, what do you think of all the random tip jars that have been appearing everywhere? Does that cashier at Starbucks really need a tip? What about the kid singing as he makes your ice cream cone at Coldstone Creamery? I don’t know about that.