Is Gratuity Just Extra Cash?

Some people who have never been a waiter or waitress think that tips are just extra money for the employee. Wrong. All employees get paid hourly, but normally, it’s only up to $4 an hour to start. That is not a living wage. But it’s not possible for wait staff to live off tips, either.

Megan Desrosiers, former waitress at Papa Gino’s, and Brittany Hill, former waitress at Colby College, both agreed that it’s not possible to live off tips. “It depends on what restaurant you work at, the kinds of customers there are and how respectful you are with the customer,” Desrosiers said. It does depend of the type of restaurant you work at. At restaurants such as Olive Garden, where there are many tasks for the waitress and expensive food, it’s possible to get larger tips as opposed to a restaurant like Denny’s, where the food is cheaper.

Some people may believe that a poor family that goes out once a month won’t tip well. Those same people believe that a rich family that goes out once a week would tip very well. That’s not the case all the time. “There are some who will and some who won’t, but they are a variety of people,” Hill said.

If you’re going out to a “sit-down restaurant,” then you should be able to have the money to tip an average amount. Chris Levesque and Jaden Gosselin, customers who pay gratuity, both agree that waiters and waitresses deserve to have a chance to be tipped if they provide good service. “I tip for the level of service. If someone does a good job, I’ll give them 20 percent. If they are busy and mess up a little, I give them 15 percent,” Levesque says.

Sometimes waiters and waitresses don’t deserve to get tipped. “Sometimes I want to say what I’m really thinking, but I can’t because it not only affects the tip, but also, the boss proceeds with disciplinary action. So the only thing to do is stay calm and polite no matter how rude the customers can get. Customers do not affect the way I talk to people because I treat everyone equally and I stay professional and polite to everyone,” Desrosiers said. “Even if the customer is screaming at you, it’s easy to stay calm. Customers don’t affect the way I talk to others because I don’t let people bother me,” Hill said. They both have great points. The only way to get through a bad work day is to fake it to make it.

Customers understand that everyone has bad days, but they also understand that it’s the employee’s job to pretend that they’re having a good time. “If they ignore me, mess up the order but don’t take responsibility or take way too long getting me my check, I don’t give them any tip,” Levesque said. That’s how most people judge how much the employee is going to get for a tip. Taking out anger on customers is also another way to avoid a tip. Gosselin explained that she didn’t give a tip one time because “the server was disrespectful.”

“I have always gotten tips, but some of my co-workers didn’t. They said it was because they didn’t keep checking on the customer and they took a while serving them,” Desrosiers said. Sometimes people might think that it’s the new servers who aren’t very good at their job, but it can also be the servers who have worked in the same business for a long time.

There are some people who never tip. Then there are some people who always tip. “Tipping is a habit,” Gosselin said. For some people, it is, and they feel rude if they don’t tip. But some people tip based on the service.

The normal tipping range is 15 to 20 percent of the bill. Some people tip more and some people tip less, but it usually depends on the service. Levesque explained that he tips 15 to 20 percent, but not always. “If they don’t ask if I want drink refills or ask how my food is, but they are trying hard, I’ll give them 10 percent,” he said.

“I tip 18 percent,” Gosselin said. “I’ve given more or less because I’ve done the math wrong a couple times.” It’s not wrong to tip more or less, but when tipping, you should make sure that the servers get exactly what they deserve.

“I’ve always gotten tips between 15 and 20 percent,” Hill said. If you don’t get tipped over 20 percent, then it’s not a bad thing. It just means that you’re doing a good enough job to get a tip, but you’re treating everyone equally.

It’s good to try to always tip, but it’s not a necessity. A lot of servers count on tips to get them through

rent and other payments. Sometimes if they’re in a bad mood and being disrespectful, it could be a good idea to give them a low tip. This will let the servers know that they need to change their attitude for the next customer. If people don’t give tips to servers who deserve them, then they are definitely disrupting the status quo. It’s a norm to be able to tip at a restaurant when you g