I want to address a comment left by a reader on Tips. Why is it that a server feels like they were ‘screwed’ when they get paid $50 for what represents an hour’s worth of their time? Servers get their noses out of joint when they get a $10 tip on an $80 dinner bill. Who decided that you should get 15%? I went out to eat for fathers’ day, and the three of us were there for an hour, and the bill came to $84. We were just one of four tables assigned to that server. Assuming that the $84 was representative of the checks for those four tables, a ten percent tip nets that server $38.77 an hour. I can’t see how that is ‘screwing’ anyone.

Sorry, but being a waitress is not a high tech job that requires any special knowledge or education.

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Bob S. · June 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

My daughter, and many of her friends that visited our house, worked as wait staff for many years.

Part of the idea behind 15% is based on a known fact; some people will not tip at all.
So that 15% is thrown out there to try to make sure they get enough at the end of the day.

Wait staff knows some people won't tip just like they know some people will over tip. That is the gamble they are taking each day; one they willingly do.

In your example, even if one table didn't tip; at 15% that is 37.80 and at 10% that is 25.20 per hour. Far more then I make an hour.

Dan · June 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm

The other thing is that in most restaurants, servers have to share their tips with the busboys, bartenders, and other front-of-the-house staff.

Divemedic · June 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Even if they split tips 50/50, they are still making over $12 an hour at the low end.
In this area, that is a very high wage for unskilled labor. Most are making less than $9 an hour.
I just get tired of hearing tipped employees cry about only getting 10% when they are making $100 a day or more in tips.
My daughter and my sister both work in tipped jobs. My sister works at TGI Fridays, and makes $50-100 or more a night in tips, which works out to 6-12 an hour, in addition to the $5 an hour she gets from her employer.
I know people who work at Red Lobster as servers that get $800 a week in tips when it is busy.
I just can't feel sorry for them.

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