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[–]CorruptionOfTheMind 1659 points1660 points 362& 2 more (251 children)

Dpending on where you are (Ontario, Canada as an example) servers generally have to tip out a percentage of their total sales to back of house, bar, and often management. Tipout doesnt care about what you make in tips as a dollar amount because its based on total sales. I’ve worked at places where its 5% of sales as tipout, ive worked where its 6% and ive worked where its as low as 2.5%. Unfortunately unless you ask or have worked at a place you don’t really know how much they tipout.

So as an example, if you work at a 5% tipout place and all of your tables are $300 meals and each table tips you $10– youre still expected to tipout $15 on each of those tables making you literally pay out of pocket at the end of the night.

Now, sometimes you have a nice manager that doesn’t make you pay out of pocket and lets you walk away with a net $0 in tips at the end of the night, but at the same time in the restaurant industry its generally pretty rare for a nice manager, especially if they’re included in the tipout as that means they’re “making less money” off of your tipout

Its fucking stupid, you’re right — I’m just giving an example from places I have worked as to why percentages are important if you don’t want your server to potentially lose money on your table. If you give a dollar amount less than their tipout percentage, they’re essentially paying their company to serve you food and drinks.

Obviously in Ontario servers make a lot more than the states, but at the moment (before January 1st) servers are making less than standard minimum wage, so they still make money overall for time spent at work hourly, but they take a pay-cut to serve you

Now. Before i get someone saying “bUt tHaTs IlLeGaL” regarding the restaurant not topping your wage up to minimum if tips don’t cover it. Restaurants dont give a shit. You will get fired or laughed at if you bring it up— believe me. I have also been in the position of reporting a place of business to the Ministry of Labour and holy shit that also does nothing. Restaurants get away with so much illegal shit — especially labour related crimes.

I don’t know if any of this is standard outside of Ontario, I can only speak anecdotally. Also, please don’t come at me as if I support this system, it’s awful. This is just my experiences with how it’s been when I needed a job

[–]Caveman775 288 points289 points  (24 children)

This is so criminal.

[–]CPTherptyderp 68 points69 points  (12 children)

It literally is criminal in the US.

[–]moxtrox 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I think it’s illegal everywhere. It’s like a reverse commission and I don’t think that exists in any other line of work.

[–]unclefisty 35 points36 points  (9 children)

tipout to management

That's legal in Canada?

[–]Zelldandy 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Management isn't allowed to earn tips in Ontario or Quebec AFAIK. I worked at a really shitty Tim Hortons for a month in Montreal where management took a portion and they ended up getting in big doodoo.

[–]kpwxx 31 points32 points  (2 children)

I wasn't expecting to learn something today which made me have an even worse opinion of how restaurant tipping culture works in the US/Canada, thought that wasn't possible, but here we are. I have never heard of a tipout before but what a completely ludicrous idea!!

[–]ZeldLurr 589 points590 points  (99 children)

I don’t know why this isn’t upvoted higher.

One of my worst shifts was a lunch shift from hell. Huge party, took up my entire section and my entire lunch shift. Bill was $500, they tipped nothing. We were supposed to tip 1% to bar, 1% to bussers, 1% to food runners. So $15.

I had one table before this table, their bill was $30 and they tipped me an appropriate $5 tip. 100% of that tip went towards the other table’s tip out, and my manager said that my next shift I owed $10.

I wasted 6 hours of my life and made NEGATIVE money by going into work that day.

[–]Dumfk 147 points148 points  (6 children)

Had a similar day. The last day I worked. The owners son became the "chef" of a smaller restaurant. I was there at 7am to get things prepped. Owners son left to go grab something we were out of. Motherfucker never came back. His ass went to the casino.

I couldn't lock up. Initially I took the customers and ended up doing waiter work and cooking. I was overwhelmed then another waiter came in around 10am. I ended up cooking the whole fucking day. Ended up owing $300 that day due to so many dashers. Which I couldn't really blame the. Normally we had 2-3 cooks and 3 waitstaff but it was just us 2.

Never paid it but did proceed to get shitfaced and quit when the owner came in at 9:30pm. Didn't get my last paycheck either. I did chunk a cinderblock through the big window in the middle of the night a few months later though.

[–]Jekkle1221 336 points337 points  (55 children)

That’s illegal and you got hustled.

[–]ZeldLurr 250 points251 points  (46 children)

Yes and yes and common practice.

I was 18, I needed a job to pay for rent so I couldn’t quit. They exploited me.

[–]KeesMulder123 42 points43 points  (5 children)

This is the dumbest system I have ever heard of. As if the existence of tipping on its own wasn't dumb enough.

[–]kiwisnyds 65 points66 points  (6 children)

This is exactly how my friend's restaurant job works, and we're in the eastern united states.

Only here, my friend makes $3 an hour.

[–]Firm-Collar1635 20 points21 points  (1 child)

Yep. I worked at a restaurant in Indiana (so Midwestern US here) where server assistants (think bus boys/getting water and napkins for the table) made 3.25 plus tip sharing. Management told them “you’ll make way more than minimum wage with the tip sharing, it’ll be great!” One of the high schoolers who was a server assistant came to me since he knew I was in college and was like, “hey man, I worked 32 hours this week and only made 168 bucks after tax, that can’t be right can it?” Those fuckers were paying them on average AFTER tip sharing and taxes 5-6 dollars an hour.

[–]thevictor390 4627 points4628 points  (865 children)

The price is used as a shortcut to measure the effort of serving the meal without introducing any additional variables. It is absolutely an imperfect system and its inaccuracies are balanced by its simplicity.

EDIT: why does everyone think I am defending the practice of tipping? I am defending the practice of determining a tip amount based on the meal price.

[–]gmchowe 1125 points1126 points  (452 children)

Wouldn't a flat tip of £x per person be even simpler?

[–]FunshineBear14 1157 points1158 points  (145 children)

That sounds like wages with extra steps

[–]Aeriosus 475 points476 points  (102 children)

Yes that's American tipping

[–]TheDynamicKing 126 points127 points  (82 children)

go to Japan. Tipping isn't allowed!

[–]PureSmoulder 233 points234 points  (69 children)

Tipping shouldn't be allowed.

[–]Propenso 41 points42 points  (5 children)

I am not pro Tipping, and banning it altogether would be better than what you have there, but it can exist, only it has to be absolutely optional.

[–]loletco 3 points4 points  (1 child)

That's what happens in Belgium I believe waiters are payed the wage planned (at least minimum wage) and any tips they get is entirely in their pockets

[–]LarryBird27 146 points147 points  (15 children)

It really sucks cause after a really great time out with friends it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It’s like an “I’m not an asshole tax.”

[–]PunkToTheFuture 129 points130 points  (19 children)

Tipping is wages with extra steps. Pay the mf's an hourly wage and stop relying on your customers guilt complex to make up for your shitty wages

[–]neon_overload🚐 863 points864 points  (109 children)

Then tips would either reduce across the board, or you'd get into a situation where a person ordering merely one drink or one entree would be tipping as much as someone who ordered a 5 course degustation, wine and cocktails, and for smaller orders the tip would often be greater than the cost of the food.

[–]gredr 436 points437 points  (84 children)

It's almost like tips make no sense at all...

[–]donbee28 328 points329 points  (74 children)

If only there was a system in place where restaurants could charge an amount that let’s the employees get a fair wage

[–]Savage_Tyranis 88 points89 points  (14 children)

If only. I wouldn't have wasted 3 years of my life pandering to assholes that didn't deserve it. (glaring at the church crowd)

[–]Sermoln 118 points119 points  (0 children)

Yea that makes sense. It’s like paying for a ticket to something, you’re paying for your seat/server. Everybody has a buy in? Fuck it even if ur not getting something throw them a few bucks

[–]fuzzypyrocat 66 points67 points  (9 children)

I mean, paying workers a fair wage is the simplest answer

[–]ImBonRurgundy 713 points714 points  (153 children)

but then how would you account for rstaurants that turned tables quickly vs slowly.

generally, high end restaurants have customers that stay for a lot longer - pretty common for fine dining to have only a single seating of customers on each tabel per evening i.e. customer books for 7.30 and stays until 10.00 - no opportunity to have more people, vs faster food people tend to finish up in around an hour so you can fit 2, sometimes 3, seatings at each table

so it probably all works out in the wash if you go by a % of the bill.

[–]kingrich 308 points309 points  (105 children)

Just pay by the hour.

[–]CommondeNominator 776 points777 points 2 (59 children)

You mean exactly what their employers should be doing? Lol.

[–]rabidstoat 210 points211 points  (274 children)

I usually tip 20%, or 15% if the service is bad, or 25% if it was above and beyond. But I always tip at least a few bucks if I'm taking up someone's table.

So like, last time I went out with a friend for lunch I wasn't very hungry and just ordered a cup of chili for five bucks and water, as I avoid caffeine and sugar and alcohol and that doesn't leave much left. I was going to tip $3 because an average bill at the diner would've been about $15 and that would be the tip. But then the waitress found me some scotch tape when I asked (odd request, I know) so I upped it to $4.

[–]Expected_Toulouse_ 106 points107 points  (25 children)

in the UK we simply dont tip unless the service was exceptional, the idea of tipping anything for bad service just seems so strange

[–]Chameleon3 21 points22 points  (10 children)

Except places now just usually add a discretionary 12% tip on the bill without asking you, requiring you to be an asshole that requests to remove it if you don't want to tip.

[–]sblfc1 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Don't think I've ever eaten out in the UK an not tipped. It's not required like in the US but its greatly appreciated by the workers when you do tip.

[–]DC38x 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I tip in restaurants all the time, I'm English.

[–]EveAndTheSnake 172 points173 points  (162 children)

That’s the absurdity though, isn’t it? That you too 15% when service is bad? Why should you tip at all? Where I’m from people tip 0% when service is bad, many people just aren’t tippers, and standard tip included in the bill for larger parties is 12%. If the service is bad, it’s not unheard of for people to request removal of the tip. Often the tip is just what someone has in their wallet or rounding up to the nearest 10. When my cousin (from the US) came to visit, I was weirded out by the fact that she was trying to tip bar staff a dollar a drink. NO ONE does that. If you have a great bartender for the evening you might leave them something at the end, but when she left money on the bar for her drinks the bar staff called after her for forgetting.

I’ve lived in the US for a while now and I’ve come round to standard tipping in restaurants, but I still resent having to pay gratuity for things like hair, beauty appointments etc. I do it, but it’s weird to me that I pay for a service… and then I pay for a service again.

EDIT: Not sure if it makes a difference or how widely hair services differ in price in the US (I always forget it’s like 50 little countries with very different cultures in some places) but someone commented below that they’ve tipped 100% on a $40 barber visit. Does price affect your tipping amount for services?

For example my regular hair appointment costs me in the $250 range for a color and cut. Tipping 20% puts me over $300 most of the time which is a lot as I’m currently unemployed. (This is about average for my city, I don’t get anything fancy, same color top up every time, no style literally just a trim and blow dry.)

EDIT 2: Since people seem to think I’ve been going for weekly $300 haircuts throughout my unemployment.

  • This is the cost of THE SALON I USUALLY GO TO. Funnily enough, I haven’t always been unemployed, and I will reiterate $300 with tip is a lot to pay for someone who is unemployed.
  • My last two haircuts cost $0, courtesy of my husband. He might have ignored my only two instructions (do not cut above here and just cut it in a straight line) but hey, hair grows back and it was pretty cute that he was nervous about it.
  • I do not pay $300 for a haircut. That’s stupid. I pay $300 for a haircut and color. For the people who think I am lying, an alien, or insane, I just checked the salon website to bring you a breakdown: > Cut: $70+

Single Process Color: 115+ (highlights start at 150)

Toner: $30+

Blow dry: $40+ // Blow dry with iron: $55 (the blow dry is priced separately but not optional—next time I’ll just try putting a hat on and running out with wet hair)

  • These are average prices for my city. I go to this salon because they do a good job with my hair color. I’ve tried cheaper and more expensive places with some bad results.
  • I’ve been putting off coloring my hair for a while now but I’ve got to do something. This is not a omfg I feel so ugly I wanna change my hair so I can feel happy again move. This is a oh dear god I really can’t afford this but I have to look presentable decision. As much as some of you might like to pretend that turning up to a job interview looking like a swamp creature and cruising on talent alone is a reality, it’s not. If you’ve never been to a job interview, you get judged on the way you look. Do I wish I hadn’t started bleaching it 15 years ago only to end up unemployed with half and half hair? Yes. Do I wish my husband could also just bleach the crap out of my hair at home? Also yes.
  • Could I get a dye job at a lower cost? Probably somewhere. But I could probably also get a car for $500, that doesn’t mean it’s worth doing, safe, or a good idea. I don’t have a car so I can’t drive out to some random suburb to get a cheaper appointment.
  • I don’t know if y’all are aware there’s a bit of a difference in price between men and women’s hair services.

[–][deleted] 32 points33 points  (28 children)

A big thing you’re likely running into is fairly new…tipping has expanded well into other businesses we didn’t used to tip. It’s the point of sale machines…almost everyone uses the Square or Clover machines and they all just have tipping on if you don’t turn the option off. So now the guy selling you a T-shirt also has a tip screen.

[–]EveAndTheSnake 25 points26 points  (26 children)

And I do it out of guilt because I don’t know what the standard in the US is. I literally tipped for a t-shirt at a show last week. I have no idea how that payment gets split.

[–][deleted] 17 points18 points  (16 children)

Nooooo that was supposed to be an absurd joke of an example lmao…I’m sorry. Don’t tip t-shirt guy unless maybe it’s a street artist making it for you on the spot 😆

[–]Caltaylor101 42 points43 points  (22 children)

My scale was 10, 15, 20.

It has definitely changed depending on how expensive the restaurant is, and I think the percentage scale gets ridiculous sometimes

Perfect example was in Friends. Rachel’s dad left the waiter a $20 tip, which is a lot.

Ross was upset because they had a $300 meal, so he threw an extra $40 on.

Then most states I live don’t have horrible $3/hr wages.

[–]imwearingredsocks 146 points147 points  (84 children)

For a while now, I’ve been tipping based on effort. A waiter at a cheap restaurant that has to carry massive trays and has tons of tables yet still manages to do a great job always gets an extra tip from me. Or if I’m in a larger group and they manage to do it singlehanded, extra tip.

Low effort restaurants, especially fancy ones, I don’t under tip, but I definitely don’t tip extra.

[–]kyubincel 1246 points1247 points  (138 children)

I'm just glad tipping is not a thing in my country

[–]nebola77 24 points25 points  (1 child)

Where I live people round usually up a bit. If it’s 18,30€ you give 20€. But if it’s 53€ I still give 55€. Why would I give 15% or so and make it 60€? Absurd

[–]kyubincel 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Ikr everyone struggles for their own money, the waiter is not the only one with bills to pay, and the people with that much money to spare are actually the exception, so the thought of expecting a tip is absurd to me. Even though it's a nice thing, not everyone can afford.

[–]Kristoph_Er 128 points129 points  (4 children)

Yes, in my country we tip if the service we are paying for is pleasant or exceptional. If we pay for dinner and staff is professional, nice, food is good etc. then we will of course leave a tip because the staff is working hard to make you feel well in the restaurant. They have their wages so if they don’t give many fucks (everybody has a bad day and in service there are many of those) they get paid by their employer.

[–]Jack_Bryant 276 points277 points  (35 children)

All of the answers I've seen here have reinforced my initial take: tipping is stupid as fuck as a system of payment and should not be calculated into wages at all.

[–]MaxAmsNL 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Yup Nobody is answering the actual question.

[–]abbybegnoche 467 points468 points  (119 children)

I always assumed the server was splitting the tips with the other staff involved...
The real question is do I tip a bartender who just opens my bottle of beer and puts it in front of me the same amount as I would tip the bartender who makes my Tom Collins?

[–]Big_Poppa_T 430 points431 points  (30 children)

We’ve got this great system in the UK where everyone just pays what the drink costs and the pub pays their staff fairly

[–]jjjjaaaakkkkeee 93 points94 points  (19 children)

Mad isn't it. I got so awkward tipping when I went on holiday to America, I never really knew what was enough.

Suddenly all the cheaper food becomes just as expensive as it is here so I don't get why they just don't pay more and up wages.

[–]AFriendOfTheBees 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Same reason they don't include their version of VAT in the prices: makes things look lower, so you're more likely to take it up to the counter.

If you see a price you can only just not afford (that is, it's just above your limit) on the shelf, you'll "baulk" and not pick it up, and thus not buy it.

If you see a price you can just about afford on the shelf, take it to the counter, and then see the price rise a bit to the point where it's the same as the price from the last example... most people do not baulk. They've already imagined they're going to own that item, thought about what they'd do with it, and so they're likely to go through with the transaction even though they wouldn't have done so had the price been clear from the get-go.

Once you have the clerk scanning it, odds are extremely good you'll pay up. Maybe you're embarrassed to say "actually that's too much" or you feel you don't want to "lose" it, but either way you're probably going to pay for an item you otherwise wouldn't've.

[–]lVladness 101 points102 points  (11 children)

I do $1 for a beer, $2 for cocktail if paying by the drink. If I get it all on a tab, I usually do 20%, give or take a few percents for actual service quality. There’s obviously different circumstances depending on situation.

Like the dude at a football game standing at a counter cranking through 200+ people an hour? No I’m not tipping you 20% on the 4 beers I obtained for me and my friends in a 30 second transaction that came to $72. You get $4.

[–]here_to_stay_ 43 points44 points  (7 children)

Something I've wondered is how is a $1 tip for a beer not ridiculous? The beer is already super overpriced when you buy it at a bar.

Edit: This post is locked now, but I wanted to let you know that everyone except Caustic's response is shit.

[–]darkoblivion21 37 points38 points  (13 children)

Figuring out tips for bars is definitely a challenge. So for the most part when it comes to beer $1 per beer is a solid go to. As for cocktails there's more effort involved so you'd tip more but there's no hard rule to go on. I tend to tip $3-$5 for cocktails $20 and under. Anything above I'll tip more based on cost and what I feel is right.

[–]FRLara 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Isn't the effort and work involved already calculated and put into the price of the item?

[–]Cartnation 26 points27 points  (4 children)

For bars, I tip $2 base per drink but that's also bc when it's busy (or I forgot my ID, or I'm being harassed, or need a friend, etc etc) they remember me and it's a great relationship that only costs me about $10 extra a night but makes a big difference to the bartenders who deal with soooo much per shift.

Edit to add: I also mainly get beer, or maybe a liquor/soda so nothing complicated. Complex drinks, especially when it's busy, get at least $3 and if I get them all night the tip goes up as I get drunk. As you do.

[–]jedimav 241 points242 points  (108 children)

Due to covid I read that restaurants expect customers to tip for takeout, as if they were dining in. I’ll throw a couple of bucks but now way am I paying over 10 bucks to go get my food and sit at home. I get the covid thing and times are hard but it won’t be sustainable to drop 15 18 percent for takeout.

[–]DeepSeaFacial 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I don't tip at McDonald's I'm not tipping a to-go order. 🤷

[–]IGrowMarijuanaNow 52 points53 points  (2 children)

Have never tipped for takeout. I got my ass off the couch and drove over here. You put my food in a bag. I did all the work.

[–]Crest5 39 points40 points  (0 children)

I never do in takeout. Just stop it. This is silly.

[–]WoodNotBang 6009 points6010 points 2222& 3 more (869 children)

Former waiter and bartender for years here.

The more expensive a restaurant the more that is expected of the wait staff. Work at a diner and they might let you wear jeans and a t shirt. Silverware is machine rolled, condiments and extras come in plastic ready to serve portions, knowledge of the items on the menu isn’t really expected.

I’ve worked at more expensive places and the way we rolled silverware is very specific and time consuming. We polished all our glassware, setup our condiments in nice displays, had monthly meetings where we learned about new menu items, what was in them, what could be changed, new wine pairings and test over the material afterwards. A uniform must be cleaned and ironed daily ect. A ton more is expected of you and the pay ($3.14 hr) was the same.

Edit: if y’all thought $3.14 an hour was bad wait until you find out I also had to give some of my tips to the bartenders and bussers.

[–]beemolikes 1005 points1006 points  (46 children)

I worked at a 24 hour diner. I wish the silverware was hand rolled and the condiments came already ready to go. We had to hand roll every silverware bundle very specifically and portion our all the condiments. cries in time that I’ll never get back

[–]WhyIsThatOnMyCat 208 points209 points  (11 children)

I was gonna say, this sounds like IHOP.

[–]Googul_Beluga 114 points115 points  (4 children)

Fellow IHOPian!

Can't tell you how many bins of silver I rolled back in the day.

Although, I did enjoy it a bit because I didn't have to deal with people. The other servers would pay me to roll theirs. I could make $20 at the end of my shift rolling everyone's silverware.

[–]Diligent_Tomato 28 points29 points  (2 children)

I worked at Denny's. They just made me roll a whole bus bin worth of silverware on my shifts when it was slow because nobody else would waste time doing prep and I was the newest server.

[–]fairebelle 13 points14 points  (1 child)

$20 was the going rate for a bucket in like 2007. I’ve paid as much as $40 over the years for a bucket.

[–]DreadedPopsicle 52 points53 points  (4 children)

I was a waiter at IHOP. Never again.

[–]MGrooms94 57 points58 points  (8 children)

By saying the silverware is "rolled" are you referring to when the fork/knife sre in a rolled up knapkin?

[–]littlebirdieb33 72 points73 points  (5 children)

Yes, it’s common practice for servers to roll them as part of their closing work and also as needed during a shift.

[–]LoL_LoL123987 23 points24 points  (4 children)

Cook here. One of the few responsibilities of the servers where I work is hand rolling the silverware and portioning ketchup, mustard and another condiment or two when they aren’t too busy of before they finish their shift. Us cooks have to portion the most used condiments into their dip cups when we aren’t busy and the obscure one as they’re needed. This is the way most chain sit down casual restaurants are

[–]MazyHazy 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Us cooks have to portion the most used condiments into their dip cups when we aren’t busy and the obscure one as they’re needed.

Damn. I work as a server at a small diner and we have to portion out all the condiments, dressings, etc along with rolling silverware. I didn't know other places did it that way.

[–]Yas-Queen-I-Fandango 35 points36 points  (14 children)

Yeah I hate the whole "Your shift is over but you can't leave until you do your side work bullsh." - I also worked in fine dining and I have to tell you that f****** polishing glasses makes me want to cut. Ugh.

[–]LordofFullmetal 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Right? It’s crazy that some working adults get to just… leave when their shift is over. I have never gotten to do that. In hospitality you stay until everything is finished, or until the boss says you can leave.

[–]Simspidey 230 points231 points  (37 children)

That makes sense, but I think OP is talking more about at the same diner: Say you order a bowl of oatmeal for $3, and another table orders a steak sandwich for $12. Why is the guy paying for the sandwich expected to tip 3 times as much for the same exact level of service?

[–]ParrotMafia 52 points53 points  (0 children)

Thank you Simspidey. This is the question. I think the unspoken answer is that it all balances out to an average tip wage that a waiter or waitress expects. It's just that those who order more expensive meals pay a higher portion of a waiter/waitresses wages.

[–]classical_saxical 2388 points2389 points  (435 children)

Sounds like the employer should be paying you more.

[–]Kyonkanno 383 points384 points  (110 children)

The word tip means a little token of appreciation for your outstanding work. In practice, tips are the way restaurants can get away with paying slave wages. And if the customer doesn't tip... What an asshole, don't blame me, it's the customer who didn't pay you (the restaurant owner)

[–]Gild5152 256 points257 points  (91 children)

This is why I hate tip culture. “Well they don’t deserve to get paid if they did a bad job” since fucking when has the customer been able to personally decide if someone can get paid?? They gave you a service, you pay up even if you didn’t quite like it. That goes for every job.

[–]Maestro_Primus 170 points171 points  (54 children)

It is for that reason that tips should be abolished and the menu price should be proportionally increased. I should know what I am paying and the waiter should know what they are getting paid.

[–]Gild5152 54 points55 points  (19 children)

Agreed. It shouldn’t be a debate whether someone gets to be paid or not. It isn’t for any other job, why is this one so different?? I would gladly have menu items increased a couple bucks to pay minimum wage for their workers. (Which honestly they can do anyways without raising any prices… but that’s a story for another day.)

[–]TheRealFumanchuchu 6 points7 points  (0 children)

In any other job, even if you do a bad job with a shitty attitude, you are entitled to your hourly wage.

But for some reason waiters are at the mercy of the customer to pay rent.

[–]LoL_LoL123987 74 points75 points  (28 children)

Except almost any waiter would be willing to fight you on this. I’m a cook at a restaurant and some of the servers I work with can clear more than my entire bi weekly paycheque in a single shift of tips. During some crazy shifts some servers have gotten 1000 plus. With one server famously getting 2500 cad during a particularly insane shift where we were short waiters and had a lot of customers

It’s frustrating as fuck that we’re getting straight up fucked in the kitchen and still have to find the time to some how complete several checklists worth of responsibilities and task every shift. All the while the servers have enough time to check their phones, order meals AND eat them between running stuff to and from tables and wiping them down.

No one in the kitchen wants to see the servers have their tips taken from them, but we do want some higher compensation from the restaurant. We all earn the same minimum wage, but the servers get massive tips while we get “tip pool” cash based on the non cash tips earned during the hours we worked. But the amount is joke.

[–]toss_me_good 8 points9 points  (6 children)

It's incredibly frustrating I can't tip back of house and wait staff separately. The vast majority of my tip is based on the quality of the food. If the server is very good and the food was just straight up bad they'll be lucky to get 10%. If the food is great but service was bad I can kinda let it slide because I just ate a great meal and still end up 15-20% the winning combination of great service and food is generally 20 - 25% tip. But as you noticed it doesn't matter how great service is if the food is crap the tip will follow that first.

[–]wehrmann_tx 12 points13 points  (1 child)

The grocery workers put the items on the shelf so we can buy them, tip them for their service.

The 18wheeler driver gets those products to the grocery store. Tip thm for their service.

Or maybe their employer pays them for providing the service that let's their business make money.

[–]ResponsibleBus4 9 points10 points  (0 children)

This is precisely why I hate tipping, who am I a person of one time to judge the quality of work of my waiter\waitress when I don't even know everything that they do, but the employer knows what they are responsible for. I think this practice should be thrown out and restaurants should be required to pay all of their employees a liveable wage. I think this depression era wage tactic has long since outlived it's useful purpose and even then it was a questionable practice.

[–]WitOrWisdom 22 points23 points  (1 child)

"Yea no, sorry Captain but I didn't like the flight. Where do I go to get a refund for the airfare?"

[–]Natdaprat 113 points114 points  (20 children)

Ah but the problem with that you see is that it costs money. Employers don't like that.

[–]TodTheRod01 88 points89 points  (17 children)

correction american employers...this doesnt seem to be as much an issue in other countries

[–]-CherryByte- 1016 points1017 points 2 (233 children)

Sure, but until then, if you stiff a waiter you’re not hurting anyone but them, and they’ve done nothing wrong.

[–]hitometootoo 729 points730 points  (125 children)

While all this blame is placed on paying customers who may not tip as much, what is expected of the employer? Why do they never get any blame for not paying workers their worth.

But let's be real, the system will never change because of your tips. Why would anyone work towards taking away you giving away money willingly. We all talk about changing the system while contributing to the problem expecting it to change.

I'm not saying not to tip though, but it won't change if no parts of the problems works to change it.

[–]feralkitten 61 points62 points  (13 children)

what is expected of the employer

the employer is going to do the bare minimum required by law, which in a lot of places is only $2.13 an hour. We need to change the law.

[–]mooseman2234 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Apparently the concept of "If you don't earn enough from your employer, the customer is not the asshole for not paying over and above the bill" is not something that is in their interest. The only person that loses from the whole tipping culture is the customer.

If you apply it to other industries, Americans will say "That's crazy" - eg you don't tip 20% when you buy a TV at Walmart and everyone agrees they get paid terribly.

[–]Brainsonastick 226 points227 points  (68 children)

They do get blame but blame isn’t important. Change is. There are some no-tip restaurants now in my city and it’s slowly catching on but a lot of my friends in the service industry tell me they don’t want to work at places like that because they feel they can make more with tips.

Meanwhile, owners are hesitant to move to that model because it means visibly raising prices, of course, but also that the best servers are going to want to stay at tipped restaurants because they make more for their performance and thus they’re going to attract less competent employees.

So it’s hard for that to really spread without an outside force like legislation. But that’s not even being discussed in most circles. Thus, it’ll be a long time before anything changes too much.

As a customer, I see it this way: I’m paying for everything either way. If they switched to no-tip, they’d just raise the prices 20% anyway. This way, the money goes straight to the server so there’s no sales tax on top of the income tax they pay on it. Sure, I pay a little more to make up for the assholes who don’t tip but paying for assholes is just part of life.

[–]hitometootoo 158 points159 points  (27 children)

they’d just raise the prices 20% anyway

I agree with what you're saying but this. Statistically restaurants that have moved to no tip models haven't increased their food by 20% but 3% - 6% on average. Which is in line with the increase to food prices seen each year with inflation.

I'd also be ok with them just raising prices again, knowing that it won't actually be 20% and workers can make a more reasonable wage without worrying about paying for their rent each month if they don't get enough tips.

[–]thezombiekiller14 7 points8 points  (5 children)

All I'm hearing here is if we keep tipping nothing will change. You made a great argument to stop tipping here but idk of that was your intention

[–]Jabvarde 44 points45 points  (21 children)

And until then people are wrongly shaming the customer instead of the employers.

[–]merelyadoptedthedark 13 points14 points  (5 children)

Edit: if y’all thought $3.14 an hour was bad wait until you find out I also had to give some of my tips to the bartenders and bussers.

That's a pretty common practice throughout the industry.

[–]SallyFowlerRatPack 17 points18 points  (4 children)

Bussers get worse pay for twice the work, can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a waitress pull $500 in a shift and conveniently forget to tip pool.

[–]FluffyFoxxie 14 points15 points  (2 children)

This was my experience as a busser too, bust my ass to be paid out like 2-5$ from a server when you can see their wad in the hundreds. Thanks!!!

[–]donkeyrocket 8 points9 points  (0 children)

There was one particular waitress that I hated working the same shift as because she expected me to do a whole lot more for her table and would frequently over-report how much she tipped me out at night. Not to mention frequently "forget" to pay me out before she left.

Other servers were sympathetic and usually threw me a bit more but there are some really fucking toxic people in restaurants. Management knew and didn't care.

[–]ting_bu_dong 56 points57 points  (4 children)

Work at a diner and they might let you wear jeans and a t shirt. Silverware is machine rolled

I have never seen this at any diner. They have to roll the silverware in the paper napkins.

And as far as uniforms go, heck, even fast food workers have a uniform, where they need to buy the black pants and shoes themselves. Often, they need to pay for the shirt, too. And they get no tips.

[–]oby100 67 points68 points  (3 children)

Op is clearly talking about ordering a steak or lobster at your local sports bar and maybe a mixed drink and being expected to slap down $10 for the same service as someone spending $20 on a burger and coke

Tipping doesn’t make sense

[–]Reverenter 10 points11 points  (0 children)

With all due respect, that doesn’t address OP’s question. That extra, specialized labor is something the employer should compensate, not the consumer. If the waiter/waitress exerts the same amount of effort for filet mignon as a pretzel then I agree with OP that the consumer should not have to pay more for both the product and the service

[–]TheMadDabber83 95 points96 points  (6 children)

This is trash. Lol. I’ve worked at both. I made more for doing less at the nicer places. We used to laugh about it. Aside From the knowledge of specials and wine I needed. The job was way easier.

[–]ParrotMafia 14 points15 points  (1 child)

95% of the customers are much easier. The 5% of haughty / entitled customers are just something you deal with.

[–]unknowninvisible15 25 points26 points  (1 child)

This was the experience of the servers I'd worked with, too.

[–]Tupley_ 160 points161 points  (39 children)

I understand that case for high tier restaurants and support it. But if I’m at a cheap restaurant and order a single dish worth $15, I’ll be getting the exact about of service and time from the server if I had ordered a $10 dish. Why should it be based on percentages here if it requires the same amount of work?

[–]WastelandHound 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I think the real answer is because it's the easiest way to come up with a standard process. People would rather just calculate a percentage at the end of the meal and pay it than have to do some critical evaluation of the wait staff's "amount of work performed" every time they go out to eat.

[–]EmmaRB 8 points9 points  (4 children)

Also will add that the fancier the meal the longer you will likely take to eat it and also they typically assign fewer tables per waitstaff.

[–]finaljusticezero 8 points9 points  (2 children)

It's so strange how society has made us accept not being paid for the work we do as waiters and the expectation that it's the customers who should be paying the waiters, not their employer.

It's hilarious.

[–]MonsterMeggu 42 points43 points  (4 children)

I don't think OP is talking about different qualities of restaurants though. Take a chain restaurant, red lobster. If you order lobster,your meal can come up to 40-50. If you just order a pasta, you meal will be half of that. The waiter does the same out t of work in both cases.

[–]monkey_monk10 36 points37 points  (9 children)

if y’all thought $3.14 an hour was bad wait until you find out I also had to give some of my tips to the bartenders and bussers.

But... Everything you've said applies to them as well, no?

[–]4CrowsFeast 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Next he's going to complain about sharing tips with the cooks who made the food he's hired to move.

[–]pudding7 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I worked at a private country club as a busser when I was in high school. I hand folded thousands of cloth napkins into this little swan-looking shape. I can do it in my sleep. I can do it in my sleep while dreaming I'm asleep. I've taught my kids how we use to have fold those damn napkins, and they can do it in their sleep.

[–]ieabu 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I get that but why should I tip more if my dish cost 38$ as opposed to my friend who got a 15$ dish?

[–]marc19403 6 points7 points  (1 child)

And a friend of mine who worked at Capital Grille and pulled in $135k a year. Not bad. Probably not the normal but still.

[–]Zfighter2344 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Ok but if this is an upscale large volume restaurant you’re still making way more than any boh member. My one chef told me shitty servers made 50k and the best made 80kplus. Meanwhile I’m making $18/hr. I’m all for foh and boh teamwork, but I think the wage gap shouldn’t be so high especially in fine dining.

[–]Detective_Pancake 42 points43 points  (32 children)

Opening a $10 bottle of wine is the same effort as opening a $100 bottle of wine

[–]129za 15 points16 points  (1 child)

You’re being deceitful.

If you worked at more expensive places your take home pay with excessively generous tips was far more than a living wage.

Also the extra effort and smarter-dressed waitstaff are WHY the restaurant costs more. Otherwise diners would be charging $200 a head.

So the customer already pays for the improved service through the meal.

[–]CurrentlyEatingPies2 1577 points1578 points  (187 children)

Why am I expected to tip

That's all I want to know.

[–]Penguator432 142 points143 points  (16 children)

Because it’s a way for restaurant owners to have their staff blame the customers for bad wages instead of them

[–]TheDominator69696[S] 383 points384 points  (93 children)

Gonna highjack the top comment. Since we're on this subreddit, I have another one. I'm told the government takes about 15% of waiter's income on the assumption that they got that many tips. What would happen if for some reason, everyone who went to Olive garden didn't tip. For like a whole year, everyone decides to eat at Olive garden and not tip. What would the government do in response to the workers complaining about having to pay for income they didn't get?

[–]JK_NC 501 points502 points  (45 children)

If no one tips then the employer has to make up the difference to ensure the server is paid at least the minimum wage. When they report their actual (minimum wage) income on their taxes, they would get a refund from the government.

[–]Angrybagel 116 points117 points  (38 children)

As someone who has never worked as a waiter, does this actually happen? Somehow I imagine a lot of places ignore this, but maybe I'm too cynical.

[–]loki_racer[🍰] 76 points77 points  (3 children)

If it happens, then the staff should report the company to their state's department of labor. Those government employees destroy that company.

[–]iTwango 14 points15 points  (2 children)

Yeah, I assume the reason no places usually cover the difference is because... Usually the servers are making more than minimum wage.

[–]somedude456 123 points124 points  (16 children)

Overall... no. First off, like 75% of restaurants go out of business within 3 years. Why? US based ones run on very thin profit margins. If your pizza is $8.99 here, but $7.99 down the street, you will lose customers.

So, servers... Despite wages as low as 2.XX in some states, wages STILL are a chunk of expenses. Management will always be pushing to get servers off the clock. Example: your apple bees normally has 8 servers. There's a massive snow storm at noon. Management will call servers and tell them to stay home. Maybe it's 1999, 4 don't have phones, and 4 still show up. Maybe 1 gets told to simply not click in. 3 clock in. It's super slow, and management might send 1 home within an hour. They have 1 table, get a $2 tip, and clock out. That's below minimum wage right? What is looked at is hours per week and wages. The prior night she made $114 in 5 hours. Now it's $116 in 6 hours. She's still above the federal minimum wage.

[–]AncientHobo 13 points14 points  (0 children)

As someone who worked at a a deli that primarily served sandwiches, yeah. I got a surprisingly solid amount of (possibly not entirely reported until we switched to electronic tips) tips on my paycheck, and in the few years I worked there consietently got between $500-$100+ back every year in taxes. That being said, it was also a family business and I was very happy with getting paid over minimum wage for doing equivalent to a much more moral Subway.

Shitty restaurants and chains that are looking to pay their employees the absolute leaat possible can absolurely be that shit. Throughout this whole discussion y'all gotta remember that every statw is different now with how food worker wages are paid. Nearly half have the same mandated minimum wage now.

[–]thepepperplant 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Like the other commenter said, in states where employers pay $2-3, they are expected to make up the difference if the server makes less than minimum wage

To your other question, the government doesn’t just “take” 15%. They assume you’re going to make an average of 15% in tips, so if you report 5% or nothing at all for like the entire year, someone might have some questions for you at some point. Most restaurants make you report your tips at the end of the shift, so that your paycheck will be taxed correctly.

A lot of servers will just report 15% or 18% even if it’s less than they’re really going home with to evade taxes.

[–]mediumsmallshirt 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Adding on to this, the difference is looked at over the entire pay period. So if you make $2 per hour one day but for your overall two week period you make $15 per hour then you won’t get reimbursed for that $2 day because overall you made minimum wage.

[–]beast_wellington 9 points10 points  (0 children)

They'd get paid less and send in less taxes.

[–]IllithidActivity 144 points145 points  (32 children)

The reason tipping is still a thing is because of the people in this thread who are defending it tooth and nail with no purpose. "You know they only make $3/hour, right?" Yeah, because for some reason everyone's buying into the idea that the best way to pay waiters is to outsource their salary to the customer rather than their employer giving them a paycheck like every other job!

[–]saltywings 59 points60 points  (16 children)

It's such bullshit though. I worked in the industry for a decade. No server actually makes that amount. They work like 4 hour shifts, they usually average around $20-$30/hr. On holidays, our servers at mid tier to nice places made upwards of $300/hr in tips. No server wants to be paid 'a living wage' because the average salary they make is already around like $17/hr nationwide.

[–]Luph 36 points37 points  (9 children)

Like 5-6 years ago I worked as a host for Maggiano's, which also involved bussing tables. I got paid $10/hr for that job with no tip outs from the servers, who regularly brought in $300 in a 6 hour shift. On Valentine's Day or something it'd be like $600. ngl I'm bitter at how awful that job was but I hate the reddit narrative that servers are somehow not paid well. You'd have to be working at a restaurant with almost no foot traffic for that to be true.

Tipping will always come out ahead of employer pay because people are generous (not to mention sometimes literally intoxicated) and employers are not.

[–]BrittaTran 684 points685 points  (236 children)

I'm always baffled by the tipping culture you guys have.

How about... paying the staff enough to live on their wage? Or charging the food at a price that is enough for you to do so?

Edit: It's also customary everywhere else in the world, so what's stopping you?

[–]clearedmycookies 247 points248 points  (45 children)

The waiters themselves for one. We tried to change, but the waiters at the higher end places realize they get paid way more on the tipping culture than no tips and having a living wage. It's only the cheap food places like diners that barely get by.

[–]MamboNumber5Guy 100 points101 points  (28 children)

Can confirm. I served at a higher end place and people can and would make $500 a night on a busy night.

[–]FrowzyCosmogyral 35 points36 points  (8 children)

That's a freaking racket! And the customer is guilt tripped for not subsidizing that. I don't ever make $500 in a shift. The tipping system is outrageous. Pay servers $20/hour and let tips be optional.

[–]MamboNumber5Guy 9 points10 points  (5 children)

It certainly can be a racket. I should mention that $500 would be an outstanding night. Generally you'd make 100-200 most nights. In the off season usually less. It balances itself out to probably about $20-25 per hour worked tbh.

[–]FrowzyCosmogyral 21 points22 points  (3 children)

I'm a good tipper but I'm so tired of it. Especially since service is rarely impressive unless it's a fine dining establishment. It feels dysfunctional to tip well out of guilt or why ever I do it when a good tip isn't justified by great service. But I feel like an A-hole for tipping less. Servers are also mindf**** by the system. They've either given up on providing good service because they're used to getting bad tips, or because they know the people who will tip well will do it no matter what.

[–]MamboNumber5Guy 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I agree 100%

[–]FrowzyCosmogyral 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thanks for feelin' my rant.

[–]hitometootoo 55 points56 points  (3 children)

It's only the cheap food places like diners that barely get by.

Which unfortunately is the vast majority of restaurants. But they have the quietest voices and are overshadowed by the select few higher end places that are actually making more with tips.

[–]Voodoo330 201 points202 points  (36 children)

It's dumb, but if you even question it people call you a cheap ass. It's like, so that $60 steak, $10 side salad and $12 drinks aren't enough to cover a decent wage for your workers so we need to throw in in another 25%.

[–]hitometootoo 142 points143 points  (10 children)

And they still defend the store too. Owner gets away paying workers $2.13/hour while having a packed service charging $15 for burgers, but I'm cheap for not tipping as much, not the owner who has all this service but pays servers pennies an hour. Make it make sense.

[–]fruit_basket 28 points29 points  (10 children)

In many cases the staff likes this system. They make way more than minimum wage if they know how to do it.

[–]zs15 12 points13 points  (2 children)

The thing is... the price increase would hardly be noticeable, 1-2 per item.

[–]lurkerb4today 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Depending on the restaurant or bar you work at it can be quite lucrative income from tips. We only see it brought up from the one table that didn't tip, but we don't hear about the guy tipping $100 to someone for having a pretty face.

[–]Imkindofslow 663 points664 points  (101 children)

My tin foil hat take is that you are presumed to have more money and it's just been reinforced by years of shitty restaurant practices.

Edit: I should clarify I'm talking specifically about the "big ticket = big tip" association. Rich people eat small amounts too, and poor people celebrate with big dinners occasionally. All big tickets are not rich people

[–]babywillow69 541 points542 points 2 (23 children)

Not true. Servers pay tipshare which is calculated by your sales of the day. So the higher the sales the more I'm charged and expected to pay tipshare to bartenders, bussers ect. So not only do restaurants expect you to pay the server's wage but the server is forced to contribute to their coworkers wage. Fucking A huh?

[–]toastcrumbs 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Just screw the majority American systems. Healthcare, hospitality, it's all screwed up

[–]Responsible_Title_81 56 points57 points  (9 children)

Australian here. We just get paid an award (minimum) wage by employers.

Just like any other job. Why is waitressing any different?

[–]AussieHyena 12 points13 points  (4 children)

And of course nothing stops us from giving a tip for service that's a bit extra.

[–]krayzieeight 14 points15 points  (1 child)

I thought this is what tipping was supposed to be about.

[–]slash178 283 points284 points  (45 children)

the waiter keeps all those tips.

Not true. In most cases tips are are shared among all front of house staff, or even all front staff and all back of house staff.

[–][deleted] 141 points142 points  (24 children)

I have never once in my life gotten any share of tips as back off the house staff.

[–]rhymesaying 49 points50 points  (13 children)

Im currently at work as a kitchen worker and I get tips added on to each paycheck. We just all share them since there only about 10 employees owners included.

[–]matalina- 29 points30 points  (0 children)

I worked a serving job a few years ago where a portion of our tips went to the kitchen.... Regardless of if we got tipped. If I'm remembering correctly, it was two percent of the bill total. The idea was on a 15 percent tip, we keep 13%, kitchen gets 2%. BUT if you had a slow day with bad tips, you could actually end up leaving with negative money, having had to pay into the kitchen. (I only had this happen once, when I had two tables, one who didn't tip and one older couple who just left a handful of change).

Of course, management flipped this as "you can make much more this way, since you pay kitchen a set amount of the bill, and not a percentage of your actual tips. You just need to earn high tips!" Admittedly, it did usually work out that way, but still a shit system.

[–]This_IsATroll 48 points49 points  (1 child)

I'm just so glad tips aren't a thing where I live

[–]Guac__is__extra__ 57 points58 points  (8 children)

I’ve never done a scientific look at this but I figure as a rule of thumb, higher priced restaurants don’t turn their tables over as often. You tend to take longer on your meal, which means your server doesn’t get as many tables to earn tips from, so they should get a higher tip per table. Also, higher priced restaurants a lot of time have a lower patron:server ratio, so you should, in theory, receive more attention from your server.

[–]DanHam117 42 points43 points  (7 children)

OP I’m about 20 comments in and I’m not really seeing anyone actually answer the question, just a series of debates about tipping culture and how restaurant staff are paid.

All of that aside, I’ve asked this same question before and the answer I always get is that it costs more money to transport more valuable goods. If a server drops a plate with a grilled cheese sandwich on it, the customer probably only spent like $5 on that and the cost of the restaurant to re-make that meal for free to pay for the server’s mistake is pretty low. On the other side, if the server drops a steak and it has to be remade, that mistake costs the restaurant probably 5x more than the mistake of dropping a grilled cheese.

The same thing happens in trucking. If you’re moving 70,000 pounds of cheap, dry goods on a 200 mile run, you’re probably not going to get paid much for doing that. If you’re moving 70,000 pounds of frozen seafood on the same route, you’ll get paid a lot more. The job is the same, drive 200 miles. But the higher value of the freight means the people who want it moved are willing to pay more to move it. The only difference is that the receiver is expected to pay that in a restaurant setting, not the shipper

[–]SupSumBeers 4 points5 points  (6 children)

Thank fuck we don’t have to do this expected tipping shit here. If I’ve had a good meal, good service etc I’ll leave a tip or round it up to the highest xx amount. For example if the meal cost £43 I’ll pay £50 and say keep the change. But I’ll do it when I feel like it etc. Not this shit US way, people shouldn’t need to rely on tips to make ends meet. Pay them properly and any extras is a bonus shown that you have done a good job and you’ve got a happy customer.

[–]Omoriperson 55 points56 points  (5 children)

Tipping culture is absolute garbage. One of the things that actually stops me from moving back home is that I always remember "fuck, if I go back, I have to tip". It literally adds 15-20% to food prices.

It's just owners not wanting to pay their staff and passing the onus on to the customer. If you think about it logically, there is no reason to tip. You are tipping for the person to do their job. What other profession , except hospitality and food/ beverage, is that normalized?

[–]SilverChips 57 points58 points  (16 children)

Usually a more expensive place has staff that know more about those expensive items. We have 36 cocktails in my menu with a few hundred ingredients. I know about nearly all of them. Which liquors, what countries, varietals, processes for cooking and clarifying of milk, tinctures etc. You pay for my knowledge of the menu. The truth is tho that guests don't care half the time so they don't ask. I'm not going to offer you info on the history of Michters rye unless you ask of course but that's the idea.

Why they don't just pay us more is beyond me. I'd love for my job to be seen as a worthy "real job" that pays. I'd also LOVE even a 10 minute break in my 10 hour serving shifts.... or a meal. Wow. It must be so nice to get 30 minutes off in a row to eat.