Social Question

tranquilsea's avatar

What do you think of waiters outing bad tippers via a blog like this guy?

Asked by tranquilsea (17655points) May 2nd, 2011

He has, in the past, posted customers names and addresses too.

Is this good form? Is it needed? Is it an invasion of privacy? (I think it is!)

Here’s the blog: http://15percent.tumblr.com/

I think that this is just part of the job: some people are great tippers and some are not. Some people can’t afford to leave a tip (and I don’t know that I agree with the argument that they shouldn’t go out for dinner if they can’t leave a decent tip).

I wouldn’t want to eat at this guy’s restaurant.

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37 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Some people are just bitter and they are too stupid to know how to sell an idea rather than shaming people into behaving some way. Shaming may work for a second, but as soon as the pressure is off, people go back to what they are comfortable doing.

diavolobella's avatar

I think that this guy seems like a major tool. If he is that big of a tool with his customers, that might explain why he’s not getting tipped. Also, if he’s got so many customers who don’t tip him that he’s angry enough to start a blog about it – well, that sort of confirms my initial suspicion about his toolishness. If you feel that you meet 20 assholes every day, you might ask yourself what it is that they have in common.

Publishing people’s names and addresses is a dangerous proposition – for them and for him. They may very well remember where they recently ate and which guy was their waiter. He might find himself getting his butt kicked one day after work.

FutureMemory's avatar

Is this good form? Is it needed? Is it an invasion of privacy?

No, no, and yes.

What a total asshole. I can’t stand servers that act like they’re entitled to a constant stream of great tips. I always tip, but it’s a choice, not an obligation. How hard is it to carry food? They act like they’re out there curing cancer or some shit.

And tipping the people at Starbucks? It would never even occur to me. They don’t even leave the damn counter!

JilltheTooth's avatar

Actually, @FutureMemory , it is hard to carry food. But, whether right or wrong, tipping is still voluntary so the servers who act entitled are just shooting themselves in the foot, so to speak.

FutureMemory's avatar

I guess I still think back to my server friend genuinely getting angry with me for not leaving a 5 dollar tip the time we went out together and the bill was all of 9 bucks…the entitlement some servers feel is just way over the top.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Well, I’ll edit mine, too, then.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Waiting on you involves so much more than just taking your order and bringing you food. Which, if you’d ever tried it, you would know and subsequently not be so entitled about tipping (or not tipping). Sore subject for me.

WasCy's avatar

Personally I think the idea that people’s income should depend on tipping is a relic. I wouldn’t work at a place or a job where my income was based on someone’s whim, mood, generosity, etc. from day to day, meal to meal, one delivery to another. Even when I delivered newspapers in the days when I was paid in silver (real silver) I looked at tips as a ‘nice to have’, not ‘have to have’. And in those days a decent tip was a quarter… for a week’s worth of to-the-door delivery.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@WasCy – That is precisely the reason I moved up from restaurants to banquets. No whims, no assholes, just a cut of what was spent on the event, straight-up.

plethora's avatar

I have never been a server, but I agree totally with @MissAnthrope. The American public is CHEAP in capital letters when it comes to getting something for nothing. The fact is that in the US, employers do not pay a living wage to servers and expect you and me to belly up to the bar and pay what they (the employer) should be paying. I also agree with @WasCy For me 20% is the minimum, and I eat out a lot, because most servers deserve it. If I have a sorry server, I have no qualms about asking management for another server.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@WasCy : “Relic” though it may be, it’s still a basic truth. Any restaurant patrons should realize that, as much as any server needs to realize that it is sometimes “whim” based, and act accordingly. Fortunately, when I was still waiting tables (granted, a long time ago) I worked hard to earn my tips, even though it’s difficult to be relentlessly pleasant to assholes.

Aethelwine's avatar

What an invasion of privacy. If he wants to bitch and write a blog, fine, but to mention names and addresses? You never know why a person might not leave a good tip or no tip at all, and just because someone leaves no tip on one occasion doesn’t mean they never give good tips.

I laughed when I read this question because my husband and I just returned from a small diner and we didn’t leave a tip. This is so out of the norm for us. The diner didn’t accept credit/debit cards and we only had enough cash on hand for the bill. I felt bad at first for not leaving a tip, but to tell you the truth the food was awful (my sausage links were rock hard and tasted terrible, and I’m now hoping I don’t end up puking in an hour) and our waitress couldn’t even fake a smile the entire time she served us. We’ll never go back there.

We always leave a tip, sometimes more than is necessary, but this time we just couldn’t.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

christine215's avatar

What do I think? I think this guys’ a douche-bag, that’s what I think~
People like this guy give servers a bad name too!

I’ve worked in Pubs with live bands, where I’d serve burgers and cheese steaks and then switch out to a t-shirt and shorts after dinner to go sell shots after 10pm and I’ve worked at high end, white glove dining restaurants frequented by the “local rich and famous” and pretty much everything in between, so my experience runs the gamut.

We choose these jobs that has an income which is based on a tip, if they don’t like it, then go and get a regular 9–5 salary/hourly position. Otherwise quit your whining, you knew this would happen going into this job!

Servers who are professionals in high end restaurants can make REALLY good money, so don’t feel bad for people who make a living based off of tips

jca's avatar

I remember on here a few years ago,there was someone who wrote a question about when the restaurant puts an automatic tip on the bill, why some people don’t add more to it. There were so many good responses, and the person who asked the question seemed so entitled with her attitude. If I find it, I’ll tell you the question so you could search for it.

jca's avatar

Look for this in “search” – “Why don’t people tip extra when there’s an automatic gratuity added in their checks?”

Haleth's avatar

Posting people’s names and addresses is too much, but I understand where this guy’s coming from. Most people who work for tips, like delivery drivers and waiters, are paid a base wage of around $2— $4 per hour which mostly goes to taxes. Nearly all of your take-home pay comes from tips.

I’ve never been a delivery driver, but it looks tough. I worked at a restaurant that did delivery and these guys were always having really shitty things happen to them- parking tickets, getting rear-ended in traffic, people stiffing them on the bill- one of the guys had his car stolen twice, and then there’s always the fact that you take a risk by going up to a stranger’s front door.

Waiting tables is plenty tough, too. Most people who haven’t done it don’t understand how exhausting the work is, especially in a very busy restaurant. You’re on your feet for long hours with no break, constantly juggling a list of multiple tasks at a fast pace, and you have to remain calm and courteous to the customers no matter how badly they treat you. I think that’s what makes so many waiters resent some of their customers, the stacked, one-sided nature of the social interaction. Many people talk to waiters as if they’re servants, speaking to us in a dismissive manner or becoming angry with us about things that are not under our control, such as the prices on the menu or a mistake from the kitchen.

Most customers are very nice; they’re just there to have a nice time eating dinner out. I take pride in my work and strive to be kind and courteous at all times. It just feels good to be friendly. But a couple of bad interactions with customers can put me in this beleaguered, fight-or-flight mentality, and when you add that mindset to being on your feet for a ten-hour shift with a very fast pace of workload, things start to get difficult. When all that is going on, someone stiffing you on the tip just feels like shit. After a while I couldn’t wait tables anymore because the stress and tiredness were just too much.

I follow waiterrant.net and I like hearing what people have to say about the service industry. A response I hear a lot is “get a real job if you don’t like it.” I think most people in the service industry, especially waiters and waitresses, are probably students. Definitely, restaurant workers skew toward young people, and most of them are working toward bettering themselves.

This guy is over the line by posting people’s personal information, but stiffing someone on a tip is seriously a dick move. It takes work to get the food to your house or your table, and unless you tip the waiter or delivery person, they are doing that work for you for free.

breedmitch's avatar

For those who think we should abolish gratuity in favor of paying servers a higher wage:
Profit margins on food and drink are slim. Believe me, bar and restaurant owners aren’t becoming wealthy owning your average local joint. So be prepared to see prices on menus go up 25–30% if you have your way. Plus if the server is making the same money no matter what, there will be no incentive for them do do a better job. There will be no hustle, no incentive to turn tables. So be prepared to wait an hour or more at the bar while the folks at the table now just sit there lingering over the last drops of their coffee. And that doesn’t make any more money for the restaurant, so expect menu prices to go up even more. And forget about a buyback from the bartender…
Just tip. Tip well. Tip like you had to make a living on what you’re tipping.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I’ll definitely tip when I go to your restaurant.

breedmitch's avatar

you’re not welcome at my restaurant ~

WasCy's avatar

@breedmitch

That’s not entirely true, though. I’ve eaten at many places in the Netherlands where server pay is built into the price of the meal. Service there was generally excellent, but perhaps that was more a function of where we decided to eat; I wouldn’t say that it’s universally excellent.

At the time, guide books stated that a “one or two guilder” tip was a way to express appreciation to a server for a job well done. And at the time, in the late 90s, prior to the Euro, a guilder was the equivalent of a half-dollar US.

breedmitch's avatar

Oh I’m sorry WasCy. What restaurant do you own?

wundayatta's avatar

I know that studies have shown that customers tip the same no matter how the service is. The idea that servers work harder to get a bigger tip is, surely, a myth. The world already is as @WasCy suggests. There is no relationship between tip and service. Why would any server bother to change their behavior based on the uncertainty that they have no idea whether this customer is a good or bad tipper.

Servers provide good service because they take pride in their work. They enjoy providing customers with a good dining experience. They care about their customers. Even with regular customers, there’s no relationship. Once you set a tip level, it is extremely unlikely that you would ever change it depending on the waiter’s service. You wouldn’t dare.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Well, @wundayatta , it’s been quite a while since I waited tables and bartended but my demeanor did make a difference in those days. More cheerful and pleasant, bigger tips. Frankly, I wasn’t a very good waitress or bartender but on my cheerful days I could really clean up in the tip department. Most of the customers tipped based on quality of service, the dining experience is definitely enhanced or diminished by the behavior of the server.

tranquilsea's avatar

I make sure I tip big if the service warrants it. I love seeing people go the extra mile and like to acknowledge it.

Haleth's avatar

@wundayatta Even if that’s true from the customer perspective, I doubt that most waiters would believe that. When you’re actually waiting tables, it feels as if every little interaction matters toward your tip. There’s always an incentive to work hard and be friendly. Many customers are new customers that you’ve never seen before, so there’s no prior basis for judging them and you want to make the best impression possible. If you have a friendly regular customer, you want to keep up the rapport that you’ve built with them by giving good service, hopefully in exchange for a good tip.

The only time I would not feel an incentive to work hard if if I had a regular customer who was an asshole. If someone is rude and a bad tipper once or twice, maybe they’re just having a bad day and I will still try to do my best for them. If they establish a pattern of being rude and a bad tipper, say, over several repeat visits, then I’ll direct my efforts toward other customers who will actually pay me for my work.

wundayatta's avatar

@Haleth Thank you for describing your experience. I was wondering about people who are not rude, but also don’t tip very much? How do you treat them the next time they come in?

I tip between 18 and 22 percent in general. That’s it. That’s what I give for a wide variety of wait staff service.

Only once in recent memory have I tried to send a message via tip. I gave ten percent. This waitress was unbelievably slow. Just didn’t seem to care about us at all.

You know, if you treat the low tippers worse, your service will be worth only ten percent, so you’ll get into a position where you don’t know what’s happening. Are they tipping you less because they think your service is lousy or are proving lousy service because they are lousy tippers?

Occasionally, I will give a big tip. Only once did that seem to motivate the server. She came running after me to tell me thank you. Of course, the next time I was there, she forgot who I was. What’s the point?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I think part of the problem with outing customers is that it’s very rare for a bad waiter to know about and admit to being a bad waiter. The customer might feel like they got really bad service – messed up order, long wait, rude, etc – but the waiter will probably feel like they did a good job, and that the customer is just cheap. So when names and addresses are published, they aren’t necessarily actually bad tippers or cheap people. And really, why would I want to have someone at all as a waiter if there’s a chance he’ll be so bitter and mean that he’ll try to start a campaign against me online if we disagree on how much he should have earned as a tip? I’ll almost never tip less than 18% – you have to really, truly be just god awful for me to tip you 15%. But if you act entitled, that’ll really, really piss me off, rather than if you realize that no matter how much I should tip you well, in the end, it is still my decision.

klutzaroo's avatar

@MyNewtBoobs People know when they screw up. Especially if there’s something as bad as a messed up order. Generally, however, a long wait has nothing to do with the wait staff and everything to do with the kitchen. Sometimes that’s the origin of the messed up order too.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@klutzaroo I haven’t found that people know when they screw up to be true in all other industries, why would it be true in this one? And there are lots of different types of long waits. Like the one where you walk in, and there’s one other table, and then it’s 15 minutes before they get your drink order.

jca's avatar

GA @MyNewtBoobs: Also, the wait when you eat your dinner and then sit there for ages before they come ask “Can I get you anything else?” or the wait when they serve the dinner and you need something else like a condiment or steak knife and they don’t come back to see how everything is, or the wait when the food takes a long time, it is definitely not the waiter’s fault but it is a good practice for the waiter to come and tell you why or go check on what the delay is and come let you know, instead of just leaving your table sitting there for ages and walking past you.

WasCy's avatar

In reading this thread I’ve been wondering, “Just when did 15% become ‘lousy tip’?” I know I’m not young any more, but when I was growing up and learning to order and pay for things as an adult, we were routinely taught that “15% is a rule of thumb for a good tip”. All of a sudden, this seems (in this thread, anyway, and in this forum, which I already know are not ‘mainstream’) this is presented as “cheap”.

When did it happen, and who set the bar, anyway?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@WasCy In the thread @JilltheTooth links to (which is an awesome read, thanks Jill/jca) it seems like 15% is standard. I’ve always been taught that 20% is standard, 15 was ok but sorta the bare minimum for a tip that wasn’t saying something about your service, but it seems to vary quite a bit by region and style.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jca Or when they take 45 minutes to figure out your cash change, at least in part because 20 of it is spent talking on their cell phone with their boyfriend, and then when they finally do bring you the change, it’s 23 cents off. Yeah, that’s not a hypothetical one.

klutzaroo's avatar

@WasCy The wage for servers is about 2.13 per hour. I think the norm became 20% when more people became aware of this fact. The idea is that with tips, the wage is at the standard minimum wage. Employers, if this doesn’t happen, are supposed to make up the lack. Some people do very well waiting tables. Some people barely get by. It depends a lot more on where you work rather than how good a server your are. 20% of 200 at a nice restaurant is good, 20% of 12 at Waffle House… not so much.

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