May 24, 2012 at 10:51 am
It’s obvious from several posts, that some of you have never been on both sides of the fence – I have. I have been a server and there are a few actual facts you should know.
Did you know that most, if not all servers in the country work for $2.13 an hour plus tips? If they don’t make minimum wage in an hour (with tips), then the restaurant is required to augment their pay to reach the minimum wage.
And for that paltry sum, we have to:
– Put up with customers that can’t seem to get off their cell phone to actually order and just leave us standing there waiting, like we’re invisible.
– Put up with your kids asking for refills on their drinks about 50 times, and then of course something to play with or color with because God forbid you would take care of your own children while you’re here, nope – we’re responsible for that also.
– Having you order your meal with this, without that, with this on the side, extra that. Good grief, if you don’t want or like it the way it comes, then why are you at THIS restaurant?
– Have you complain that you have “decided” you don’t like what you ordered. I didn’t know it came with onions—can you read? The menu clearly states what is in each dish we carry. That’s sort of like going to Mom’s for Sunday dinner and sending back your plate—you wouldn’t do it to Mom, why do you do it to us?
– Since drinks are free refills, you chug down your drink like you just got off the Sahara and want us to refill it at least as many times as we filled your kids.
– If we sell chips/salsa—then that’s another 10 trips to keep refilling that basket.
– And then of course we have to get your final bill, make trips for those to go containers, process your payment and THEN clean up all the chips, straws, napkins, etc., that you and your lovely kids left everywhere (including the floor and under the table).
And all that for $2.13 an hour. No wonder we might be grumpy, we’ve served 10 families just like yours before you walked in the door.
We deserve every penny of that “autograt” and more. There are a lot of extremely “stingy” diners out there who do not want to pay for the service we provide. No problem—go to a cafeteria where you get your own food/drinks, clean up after yourself and refill your own chip basket. But if you come to a restaurant where you have an individual server, then treat them like a person, not like a doormat and then reward them as such. While you may actually think your server was lousy – news for you – a lousy server usually means you were a lousy, demanding, rude guest. They go hand-in-hand.
And for those of you who penalize your server with a lower tip because the restaurant they happen to work at “autograts.” Shame on you—it’s not the servers fault. You’re punishing the server for someone else’s policy. And this is why “autograts” exist. You have diners that come in with a bad attitude, bad mood, spouse yelled at them that morning—any reason to take it out on someone else and they usually take it out on their server.
If I take your order, serve your drinks, deliver your food, pick up your dishes and deliver/process your bill – you don’t think that deserves at least minimum wage? Come on…most of you think serving is beneath you…it’s why you’ve never worked as one and probably never will.
You don’t want to pay for me to bring you your food/drinks—no problem–eat at home, will save us both a lot of aggravation.
-The above comment was taken from an article posted on CNN about a family refusing to pay the automatic gratuity added to their tab.
I thought the comment was wonderful. Nearly all of the other commenters claimed to always tip 20-25%. Sure, and pigs fly.
I don’t understand why people get offended over gratuity. If it is added to your tab it is likely because it is mandatory and the policy is clearly outlined in the menu. Your server isn’t punishing you or trying to say that you look like a cheap jerk that won’t tip, they are merely doing their job and following the company policy.
It is the restaurants policy to charge gratuity, not the servers. They could actually lose their job for not following company policy as it is one of their obligations as an employee.
And, if you normally tip 20% and the gratuity is only 15%, OF COURSE you may always tip on top of the gratuity to make up the difference. I never understood why people get so angry and resentful over gratuity, complain loudly about it, claim to tip more than the gratuity and then never do. If you want to “stick it to the man” over gratuity, punishing the server is not the way to do so. If there’s an issue, talk to the manager instead of docking your servers pay.
Also, I love the common misconception that servers make ridiculous amounts of money and shouldn’t be tipped. Oh yes, because 2.13 an hour TOTALLY pays all my bills! Newsflash: Most full time servers make considerably less than $20,000 a year. I made in the ballpark of $17,000 last year. And as an independent student trying to pay for nursing school, that money doesn’t stretch very far.
When you go to a restaurant, be aware of your surroundings. It’s extremely unlikely that you are the only table in the entire establishment, so have a little humanity and don’t act like you are. Treat your server with the respect that you would want to be treated with. They are SERVERS which is very different from SERVANTS.
Be polite. If you need a refill, be patient and bring it to your servers attention nicely. Typically servers can be responsible for 20-50+ people at one time by themselves. I cannot stress that enough. That means they can be responsible for 49 other drinks and 49 other plates of food in some cases. They are often over-worked and stressed out. Remembering a side of ranch for 32, an extra side of fries for 41, to go boxes for 45, the tab for 56, another beer for 53 and any number of other things at the same time is a lot.
Lastly, do not ever call your server to the table with a whistle or by snapping your fingers. That is downright rude, demeaning and disrespectful. They are a human being and not a dog. Use their name. If you don’t know it, ask them instead of hollering, “Hey you!” across the dining room.