And before you try to crucify me, you should know I'm a server myself. I've been waiting tables for almost two years, working my way through college, paying my bills and saving for my wedding.
Lately, I've been seeing all over Facebook that if you aren't prepared to tip 20% then don't go out to eat at all. And I get it, bad tips and getting stiffed sucks. But tipping is supposed to be based on service. Crazy to hear from a server, right? Except that's exactly how I learned to become a good server. If I wanted to make good money, I had to give good service.
When I first moved from hosting to serving, my old manager told me that if I ever got a bad tip or stiffed entirely for that matter, the first thing I should ask myself is was there anything I could've done better. Sometimes the answer is honestly no. There are some people in the world who feel like they shouldn't have to be the one to pay a server's wages, and there are others that think a few dollars is all they should have to leave regardless of the bill.
We don't have to like it or agree with it, and it is frustrating to feel like you did everything you could to make sure they had a good meal and get nothing for it. It sucks, and it's upsetting, and some people just can't be pleased. But those people aren't the ones I'm talking about.
Because there are other times yes, I could've done something better. I could've gotten their refills out quicker, checked on them more often, smiled more. I honestly could've given better service. The best servers have off days or get weeded. If I'm having one of those days or if I'm running around like a mad woman, I'm not mad if I don't get the best tip in the world because chances are they didn't get the best service in the world.
I never walk up to a table and expect them to automatically leave me a certain amount; I just do what I can to make them happy and hope for the best. Most of the time it ends in my favor. If it doesn't, I remind myself that something is better than nothing and move on to the next table.
Thankfully the bad days don't happen to me nearly as often as it did when I first became a server. Over time I've learned how to balance all the craziness and smile while I do it. And because of that, I make pretty good money, and I'm very thankful for it
But I'm so over entitled servers who think that doing the bare minimum means they should get that 20% every time. Honestly, they make the servers who work hard for their living look bad. They're the ones who make guests think all servers are entitled and don't deserve the money.
There's a big difference between a bad tip from someone can never please, and a bad tip because of bad service. If you want the good tip, then give good service. From someone who does it themselves, I promise it's not that hard.