Waitressing Woes: Tipping Your Server

As many of you know, I’m currently waiting tables while I look for something more permanent. It’s not the best job right now, but it’s something.

I’d like to share a few things with you guys. Especially if you’ve never worked in food service before.

Most servers make around $2.34 hourly (that’s actually what I make). This means we live off of our tips. Literally. Maybe tipping 15% was acceptable 20 years ago, but it’s really rather insulting today. If you can afford to go out to eat, you should be tipping your server at least 18%, if not 20%.

We are on our feet all day, running around to make sure that you have a wonderful dining experience. I do not get a break during my shift, even if I work a double. If it’s busy and I order food, I usually have to wait at least 30 minutes to take my first bite and then periodically nibble while I check on my tables.

Today, I had a $117 table and a $70 table both stiff me completely. That is not okay. I went home with $40 in my pocket when it should have been closer to $75. This is the money that is paying my loans, my car insurance, putting gas in my car, and any other expenses I may have right now. Some days, I actually go home with less than that.

When you stiff a server, you are the person we talk about negatively for the rest of our shift. While this job will not be my career, it is for many others. People with families and expenses just like you. In America, we tip our servers. If you’d prefer not to, we’d prefer if you stayed home and cooked for yourself.

Does anyone have any server stories to share?


7 thoughts on “Waitressing Woes: Tipping Your Server

  1. Susan says:

    Hi Tia- Both of my daughters were servers during their college days, and both have similar stories-and worse, where people were just completely obnoxious and rude. But- there also were the really good stories when people were very generous. It’s a very tough job. I always think back to my girls’ serving days whenever I’m in a restaurant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s just so hard to wrap my head around the fact that some people eat out and think it’s acceptable to not tip their server. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant and not tipped. Guess I can’t do anything about it, though. Just blog!


  2. Christina says:

    I have tons of sever stories as I was a waitress and bartender for the better part of 8 years. I paid off out of state college, bought a car, paid my way and put a down payment on a house. It is possible to make a living from being a server…location is key. My suggestion seeing that the summer is approaching: Move to LBI for the summer…rent a cheap room in someone’s home or get a roommate your age and share rent somewhere and enjoy lbi. Take advantage of all the money the tourists have to spend and enjoy the beaches and fun. You’ll never forget the experience and if you choose the right restaurant and work hard, you will reap many benefits. Always say sorry if you screw up and smile when you can. Be genuine. And yes, some people suck but most don’t. Don’t give up. Good Luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tell me about it… I used to be a server and it was the most financially horrific period of my life. I’ll never forget one day, I had a 6 top full of lunching and imbibing nurses who stayed and stayed and stayed for hours after my shift had ended. What did they leave on the table in return? About 36 cents. I wanted to throw it at them!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hang in there. There are good days and bad. You just have to expect that the bad will be there and try to prepare yourself for it. And remember, the world is full of former servers who refuse to tip less than 20%. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What are your thoughts about restaurants paying their workers more and eliminating tipping? I’ve heard some interesting debates on this issue. I’d be in favor but a lot of waiters and waitresses were against it feeling like they’d be losing money.


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