by Ashley Murphy
I've made my arguments before about screaming unruly kids in restaurants and annoying, gross, disgusting slobs in retail stores. As I was sitting here, at the last minute, trying to get past this block, I started thinking of my time as a waitress and how inconsiderate people are. Then, I started thinking of sit-down restaurants vs. fast food vs. standard take-out or to-go orders. Should they all receive a tip?
When I was working at a local restaurant, about 8 years ago, I only made $2.13 per hour, which meant 90% of my income relied on the tips left by my customers. I do understand that 8 years is a long time and the minimum wage of a waiter has since gone up, but I guarantee it isn't enough for one to support themselves. These people are basically waiting on you hand and foot. They take your order, bring your drinks, refill your drinks, bring you your food and anything else you may need in the time you're at their table. If they do a good job of it, shouldn't they get a good tip for having to put up with you and your demands?
I believe that a good waiter or waitress should receive, at minimum, 20% of the bill cost. With the price of everything going up in the world, why not help out the people who have to run back and forth "fetching" things for you in order to make you happy. If they're mediocre, leave about 15%. Even if they are downright awful, still leave at least 10%.
Now, don't get me wrong, when the awfulness is due to the waiter's lack of kindness, I absolutely wouldn't leave a dime. I can't help it if you hate your job and feel the need to be rude and nasty to me and take your sweet, precious time on your smoke breaks because you don't feel I'm important enough. Don't come to work! Get another job. Treat me like crap, you're gonna get crap for a tip. Remember that.
But how do you feel about to-go orders? The cook prepares the food and a hostess will pack it up and bring it to you. However, you had to take the time to drive from wherever you may be at the time and go pick up the food yourself and everything from then on out will be your responsibility. Do you tip?
I know when I walk in to places like Cracker Barrel to pick up my orders, they'll run my card, then ask in front of everyone if I want to leave a tip. It feels kind of awkward wondering what these people are thinking when I say, "No." I don't tip on to-go orders. That may make some of you in the restaurant business angry, but I'm not taking up a table for an hour and making you run back and forth to take care of me.
What about fast food? They make minimum wage. Which keeps going up every year. It's not an ideal job, but it's better than making half of the amount to go wait on someone in a sit down restaurant and possibly not earning a tip. You'd come out worse in the end. I still wouldn't recommend you tick off the person taking your fast food order. Ever read horror stories about health inspectors?
Just remember to treat those waiting on you with some respect. No matter if it's retail, restaurants or any other public service, don't be a goober. You're no better than any other person that walks this earth.