For as long as I can remember, I have always been told to tip my servers every time I go out. It's a mindset I was raised with.
Less than 10 percent of the time have I found reasons to not tip, but if you don't receive a tip from me, you did something wrong and probably pissed me off.
I've worked in over 10 restaurants since I was 15 years old, and every time but three of those times, I've been a server. Over time, I've managed to make really good money at more than 80 percent of these establishments.
I've worked everywhere — from Buffalo Wild Wings, McDonald's, Joe's Crab Shack and Red Robin all the way to Romano's Macaroni Grill. I've served the "rich," the "poor" and everyone in between.
If you go into a restaurant and you "look like you're not going to tip" or "like you're not going to be a good table," unfortunately, some servers won't even want to take you. And oftentimes, behind your back, they'll switch with someone else in a section close by.
In my experience, more times than not, that table they didn't want to take always tipped fat. I've done it about two times, and if I can remember correctly, it was because I was closing and had already worked over nine hours with one 15 minute break.
I love my money, and I'm not about to mess around with it — especially with how many bills I have.
Yesterday, I read an article from another creator, talking about not having to tip. They wrote that just because they go out to eat, that doesn't mean they need to tip.
I'm sorry, what?
If you're going out to eat because you don't want to cook or eat at home, and someone is waiting on you — refilling your drinks, grabbing all the sides and condiments you need, while you're sitting there talking and hanging out or playing on your phone — I really hope the reason you don't tip is valid.
I'm not saying any reason someone doesn't tip is invalid, but what makes you not tip? Why do you go out to eat if you can't afford to spend more than what your food costs?
Unless your server spat in your food in front of you, or tossed profanities at you, why aren't you going to tip?
They were taking too long? They don't have just you.
And if it doesn't look like they have any tables beside yours? It's called side-work, helping other servers around us and running food for other servers to other tables.
We're probably restocking.
We're probably trying to box up another table's food in the back.
We're probably looking for someone else to sing "Happy Birthday" for us.
There is so much that goes into being a server, especially when it comes to being the most successful one you can be. I feel like no one truly understands it unless they've been a server before.
If you're not tipping your server, and your bill is $30 for your family of three, your server is paying for your food and is even leaving with less money then they had before. Not only are they paying for your food because of the taxes, but they're forced to tip out to their bartender, their bussers, their food runners and whoever else is on shift with them.
It's an endless cycle of taxes and money, and if you're not tipping them, then the money they're tipping out is coming from their own pocket.
Sure, you're probably thinking, "Well, get another job" or "That's not my fault," or whatever other close-minded thoughts you have. But the truth of the matter is that almost every person who is working in that restaurant you're eating at has another job, and that job is probably a full-time job.
Hell, they might even have another serving job, but they're there for a reason. And you're not helping the stigma behind bad tippers.
This isn't Europe. Just because they don't tip doesn't mean you don't need to tip.
By no means am I telling you what to do, but if you can't afford it, don't go out to eat. It's not that difficult.