I believe in tipping generously. I will tip anywhere from 20 to 50%. That’s right, I have tipped 50% on food bills because the service was exceptional. It is especially important to tip well in a place you go to frequently. If you get known as the person that tips well you will get service above and beyond.
I have seen a lot of people say that you should tip a server at least 20% no matter what because their entire paycheck relies on tips.
I call bullshit on that.
As I said before I am a generous tipper. But why should I automatically include a tip…a gratuity…even if the service is poor?
I’ll clarify here. I know if the food doesn’t taste good it is not the server’s fault. I know if it is cooked wrong it is not the server’s fault. I know that if the wait time for a table is long it is not the server’s fault. But if the service that the server is responsible for providing is poor then why do they automatically get a gratuity?
Now before you get all crazy and start yelling “fuck the server” while writing hateful messages on the table in ketchup let me point out there is a proper way to handle poor service in a restaurant.
If you are actually getting poor service then what you first need to do is calmly and politely tell the manager. Explain why you are not happy with the service and give them a chance to fix the situation. In a good restaurant the manager will also take care of the service issue properly even after you have left.
And sit back and try to see the situation from all angles. Is it truly poor service or are you just grumpy that day? Is it something that can slide, because maybe the server is having a shitty day.
After you speak to management, and I am sure a million or more people will disagree with me, I think it is perfectly fine to lower the amount of tip you give to the server. I would never leave off a tip completely, but if the service was poor enough to bring it to the manager’s attention then knock a few percentage points off the tip. The fact that you spoke to management will hopefully point out that you were truly displeased with your service and you aren’t just an asshole that tips poorly.
With all that being said, it does take a lot for me to deduct from a servers tip. I usually give at least 20% and can think of only one or two times in all of my life where the service was incredibly bad.
If you are constantly getting bad service you should take a good look in the mirror and ask why that might be.
And remind yourself…over tipping is just a good thing to do.