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    Why You Should Always Tip 20 Percent

    Published October 1, 2014. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    I’ve seen a lot of stuff out there lately (like when Eagles football player LeSean McCoy left a $0.20 tip) about people leaving really bad tips for servers at restaurants because of the service.  I’ve even heard some of my friends say they leave bad tips when the service is poor.  Well I’m hear to tell you why you should always tip 20 percent, no matter what.

    Servers and bartenders make all of their money on tips, there is no paycheck.   Servers make $2.13 an hour, which always goes to Uncle Sam for taxes every two weeks.  Tips are their lifeline and many of them do it professionally, not just while they’re in college.  What if your corporate America gig was based on service and performance with every single little detail you carry out?

    I’m sure your corporate job in your office is a great one.  Great benefits, good money, not too many bosses, a good gig.  While all jobs are based on performance I doubt very seriously that your job would pay you based on every little thing you do, it’s all encompassing.   Whether you mess up, whether you do a good job, whether you’re late every day or stay late at work, your check is most likely guaranteed to be the same every two weeks.  Now let’s just say you were paid based on every detail you carry out like: assembling a power point presentation, communicating with co-workers and clients, Making sure to send an email on time, being on time to meetings, etc.  Oh yeah and by the way you only get 1 shot to get it right, there is no going back to fix the power point, or rescheduling time so that you aren’t late on that email or meeting.  One shot, that’s it.  Taking all that into consideration, should you make the money you do?  Everyone has bad days, bad weeks, heck even bad months, but most likely that won’t jeopardize your income.

    When you’re a waiter or bartender you are responsible for providing excellent service to your guests.  From making sure drinks are always full, recommending a great bottle of wine, to taking orders from those “add this, take that off, could you put more of this on there” type of people, all while having a smile on your face.  Oh yeah, not too mention you get 1 shot at doing this for up to 15 people at a time.  If you mess up on taking an order, or are 15 seconds late on that Pepsi refill, most likely people look at that as bad service.  What if some of these servers or bartenders are new at the restaurant, or perhaps are having a bad day just like you and I do?  Really what it comes down to is having a little patience and graciousness for these folks who are on there feet 12 hours a day every weekend and holiday of the year.  And just like you at your job accidents happen, only when they happen in the restaurant industry it affects their income.  I do want to preface that there are circumstances for you to question like when you are neglected service on purpose, or servers using foul language, or even them yelling at you, but at that point don’t worry about tipping poorly, get a manager involved and get a new server who would love to provide you with great service.

    In the end we’re all humans and always make mistakes, I’m just asking you to reconsider when you think of tipping poorly.  These people depend on your tips.  They have families to feed, college to pay for, and sometimes just like us, need a little grace.

    Tip Away!