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?