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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Teach Your Kids To Tip Properly, Ya Cheap Bastards

Nicole and her $12 tip for 15 people. They left a mess.
I'm upset. No, that's too light. I'm steaming. Disgusted. And a bit in shock. I spend the majority of my days and nights in coffee shops and restaurants using their FREE WiFi. Lately, I've spent the most time at Denny's because it is 24/7, the Diet Cokes are unlimited and they have so many tables, I'm not hurting a server by taking up a valuable table in their section. I see a lot of behavior that is not suitable for public behavior, but that is another post. Today, I'm fuming about tipping. And I'm focusing on young people who go out in large groups to restaurants. My guess is they don't know how to tip. So, this is directed at the parents - Teach your kids to tip properly, ya cheap bastards.


The other day, I watched a group of 15 high school kids come in on a Saturday morning, after some event or practice. They were all wearing gym style clothing - boys and girls.

Everyone in the group ordered food and the average check was about $10 per person.

This is to test your skill at proper tipping. How much should the tip have been?

I'll repeat the numbers - 15 kids. Average check $10. That would make about $150 the total for the group.

If you're a really cheap bastard, you leave 10% - $15. If you're a "go by the book" tipper, you leave 15% - $22-23. If you tip like you have some class, you tip 20% - $30. If you're someone special, you go higher.

I watched Nicole hustle her butt off, shuffling pancakes and eggs to this table for an hour. Drink refills alone kept her running. And she was dead tired to begin with.

Unfortunately, Denny's does not have a policy of adding a tip into the bill, like most restaurants do for groups of six or more. Usually, they add in 18% for a large group - right on the bill. If you want to leave more, you can. 

After the commotion and the kids left, she started clearing the table and accumulated change and dollar bills that added up to $12. TWELVE DOLLARS? That wasn't even a dollar a person.

At a buffet or smorgasbord, it is customary to tip at least a $1 per person, even though you are getting your own food. But those drinks don't magically appear; and the table has to be cleared so you can sit your butt down. There are several people that get a cut of the tip you leave. You're not making the server rich with your tip.

Servers get less than minimum wage. They rely on tips for their income. Even if they do a mediocre job, you should tip at least 15%. Don't try to make a statement by withholding 50¢ or a dollar from your tip, just to prove a point - you won't make any, except that you're a cheap bastard.

You don't know that person's situation. They may be new, have had a bad day, couldn't pay a bill they need to and their mind was in another place. Servers at chain restaurants and small restaurants are not rich people. They get by. Lots of them don't even have cars; they rely on public transportation, bikes, rides from friends, borrowing cars, etc. Every dollar counts. So, don't be cheap on them.

The food arrived. You ate. So what if the hash browns were overdone - that's the cook's fault. So what if you had to wait for coffee refills. There are much bigger things in the world to worry about. But I'll guarantee you that the server has a lot of financial issues to worry about that are far greater than you getting your toast on time.

Maybe you're a lousy tipper. Now is your chance to start a new lease on life. But if you are a good or decent tipper, teach your children what is reasonable and customary.

That's right, teach your children to tip properly, ya cheap bastards. ;)>

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