Tipping is Not Just a City in China

The restaurant scene is a battlefield between the customer and the employee. There are several different ways to serve a customer, efficiency and sociability are the two routes good servers take. Let me ask you a question though, do you only tip at restaurants? What about fast food places (IE Hawaiin fast food, sandwich shops, etc.) where they ask for a tip on the credit/debit receipt, but they didn’t serve you? Are you supposed to tip them? I sometimes don’t know, but what I do know is there is a restaurant I go to near work where I run into this predicament, I usually tip because I feel like they might expect it. Yes, I’m that guy.

Anyway, when it comes to tipping, there are different types of people at every restaurant. I worked at a couple restaurants previously, so I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. You can define yourself, so by all means please don’t let me think I’m trying to analyze you. Allow me to express my perspective on the different types of tippers at restaurants:

The generous tipper – The generous tipper will often be very sympathetic towards servers at restaurants. As a matter of fact, servers are very often generous tippers towards other servers because they understand the ins and outs of the restaurant business. I have personally been a fairly generous tipper – although I was more generous as a server than I am now – but I have an ex-girlfriend who insisted on leaving charitable tips habitually, no matter the service. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but I also believe there’s a line you should draw sometimes. Don’t let me make up your mind for you though, if you’re generous and enjoy being generous, then stay generous.

The tightfisted tipper – The tightfisted tipper is the tipper that can tip well, but makes the server work for their tip. There can be different two different types of tightfisted tippers: the loud customer and the “I’ll take it off their tip” customer. The loud customer will be incredibly expressive of their opinions. These are the types of people that will complain to management for miniscule mistakes (granted, no matter who you are, sometimes you need to speak with management regardless for terrible service). Everybody working at restaurants despise these people.

As somebody with some experience with restaurants, let me explain the usual employee mindset when they encounter somebody like this.

First, the customer complains. The employee responds kindly with a warm smile (unless of course they’re not willing to take your crap, which can happen) or sarcastically. The employee proceeds to the kitchen where they can explain the issue with a lot of adjectives that describes the customer (LOL, I’m not lying about this one either). These adjectives usually range from something about your personality or the way you look. Regardless of how you act or talk to the server, they usually have something to say about you anyway, it’s the way of the server.

Finally, the server (or manager) will come back out to explain the solution they intend on taking, thus finally solving your problem. Contrary to popular belief, it is a rare occurrence for a server to spit in your food – I’ve never seen it anyway.

The evaluator – The next type of tipper is the evaluator. The evaluator often comes on some sort of point system that they created in their minds. Some people will start on a 5 – 10 point scale and dock points for mistakes. I personally do this with haircuts, but not restaurants although I do know a few individuals who are infamous for this type of tipping every time. Some evaluators are stricter than others, but regardless of how the server performs, they’ll find any way to reduce the tip. Other evaluators will start at 0 and add points for good service, some people might do this even if they aren’t aware that they’re doing so. The evaluator often leaves a regular tip between 12 – 15% usually, unless the service is noticeably good or bad.

The cheapskate – Finally, the infamous cheapskate is the last tipper to be examined. The cheapskate could be a cheapskate for one of two reasons: they’re broke or they’re cheap. Sometimes, being cheap has to be understandable, but other times there is no excuse for tipping so poorly.

Feel like ruining a server’s day more than it already is? Tip poorly. I find a one cent tip more offensive than no tip at all. I have received a tip of one penny, and I was insulted (although I understood). What happened was that I actually approached somebody from behind and began the sentence with, “How are you ladies doing tonight?” Turns out one of those “ladies” was a man with long hair and I only saw the back of his head. I can kind of understand why he’d tip me one cent… LOL.

Back to the story, a cheapskate usually comes off as a cheapskate. You can tell because they’ll order things like water with many lemons and sugar packets (their alternative for lemonade). Regardless of how good the server’s service really is, the tip will be poor.

In conclusion, if you ever work at a restaurant, you’ll learn that servers prejudge their customers. They’ll do so by stereotyping based on age, ethnicity, and attitude. Ask any server, and they’ll probably tell you how correct I am. So do you want good service? You can do one of a few things, either hint that you’re a good tipper by expressing it in your attitude, or be one of the few stereotypes that fits the criteria for somebody that tips well (often a middle aged individual on a date).

Anyway, if you’re in the area, try an Ameci’s coupon. They have great fettuccini alfredo, that go incredibly well with their breadsticks.

Thanks for reading,

Shan Mahmood

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