Saturday, June 11, 2011

It Sucks to Get Stiffed

Anyone who's been in the restaurant business knows: it sucks to get stiffed.

When someone leaves your table after you've catered to their every need during a lunch or dinner, it's a pretty heartbreaking thing when you don't get the tip. It's hard because that's how you make your money. When it comes to the restaurant biz, tips are what make your night... and not getting one can really hurt.

Last night I started my first official shift at Bahama Breeze, a restaurant 10 minutes from my home. After going through training for two weeks, I'd finally passed my validation test and had my first server shift on Friday night. I was a little nervous because I've been out of the restaurant business for over 3 years now, but I was also excited because I remembered working as a server fondly, despite all the ridiculousness that comes with the job.

And then I remembered the part that sucks. Not getting a tip on a check. Unfortunately for me, it was a check that fairly large.

At first, I was pretty pissed. I'd made sure the table had what it needed. I'd gotten them their drinks and meals quickly. I'd connected with them and made sure they were happy. At least, I thought I did. But their $0.00 tip on their $50.00 check made me believe otherwise.

The reason for this rant is simple. Tip your servers. Because it's our work. We make $2.13 an hour, and without tips, we essentially make nothing. So tip your servers and tip them well. Sometimes we may screw up or make mistakes or not work up to your standards, but serving is a tough job--just as your job probably is tough on you. So next time you're out at a restaurant and think about tipping 10% or 15%, throw in a couple extra bucks and make it 18-20%. I promise you, your server will appreciate it and you'll have good karma for the night.

Do you have any horror stories from working in the restaurant business? Have you ever not been tipped?


  1. I'm a firm believer in tipping well for good service! Unfortunately, I'm sure there are many out there that don't realize how important it is.

  2. My hubby and I are always sure to tip great service well! I believe its very important to tip a great server well. We also tell the manager how great they were. We even tip the not-so-great waiters/waitresses. But if the service is absolutely TERRIBLE, we leave them nothing, hoping that they will get the "tip" to do a better job next time.

    But tips are very important! I hope that many great tips come your way Hayley, you're a great person and I'm sure that you do an awesome job!

    I hope you're weekend is going great!

    XO Shar

  3. I can't think of a time when I didn't leave a tip, and I'm a generous tipper when I'm pleased with the service (or in the case of my dinner last Thursday if the server is cute.) He got a very nice tip.

    Sorry you got stiffed. :-( That's just not classy.

  4. @Dale - I think you're right. Many people don't realize how important it is to their servers that they get higher tips. Even when I have a server who doesn't do a GREAT job, I still always try to leave 15% or more.

    @Shar - I've had a couple bad servers in my life, but having been in their shoes I know that sometimes you just have a bad day, or you can't control the fact that the kitchen is behind and your food doesn't come out quickly enough, or you have something else going on in your life that is bothering you and so you aren't as on the ball as usual. I think it's important to ALWAYS leave a tip, even if they don't work up to your standards and they're bad... because it could just be that one night and if everyone left no tip, they'd be stuck with $2.13 an hour... but probably not even that because of taxes :-/

    @C - It's good to hear you're a generous tipper! I have to say, it always makes my night whenever someone leaves even a dollar more than they should.

  5. Yikes I can't believe someone wouldn't tip on a $50 bill. That's just cheap! It's one thing if you don't get good service, but if your service is good you should tip. Period. And I always try to tip 20% for good service. And furthermore, give your server a break! Sometimes you may get something a bit later than you would like or they might forget something, but it's not the end of the world or an excuse to throw a tantrum. They are human, and are running around trying to do 3 things at once, usually, so if they are nice and make up for it, be nice! People piss me off sometimes lol

  6. Haha, Kim... it's like you're reading my mind. I ALWAYS feel like I'm doing at least 3 things at once when I serve... and it's tough sometimes and you forget to do some things or mess up... so it's nice when people understand and still tip you well even if you make one mistake.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...