"I Give God 10%. Why Do You Get 18"


262 Responses to “"I Give God 10%. Why Do You Get 18"”

  1. mappo says:

    I give god 10% why do you get 18″
    Because I exist?

  2. allgood says:

    He gives God 10% of every financial transaction he makes?  I could be wrong, but I think he’d be better off just giving 10% of his earnings like everyone else (who tithes in the traditional sense)

  3. Hamish Grant says:

    also, mandatory 18% tip on a $35 bill?

     …and a line for “additional” tip?  More than a bit presumptuous.  

    • blueelm says:

      Guessing here but a lot of places put a tip like that when they split up the bill of a party above a certain number. So if this person was at lunch with 10 people, and 35 was this person’s part you’d see a mandatory tip on the bill without the order being that expensive.

      Not that I was there. Oh man, I would hate to find out one of my coworkers left an annoying note like that :(

      • bobby says:

        I’ve actually told a co-worker to chill TFO when being rude to waitstaff – I hate that.

        the worst was a friend-of-a-friend who when we were out to eat took all the cash and put the bill on his credit card. When we left the waiter ran after us us and asked if there was something wrong with the service. The dude tried to stiff the waiter on the tip, that we all paid him for! Completely mortfiying. I told him that I would never eat with him again and told the common friend to never bring him anywhere I would be. These people are not worth having in your life. Cut them loose.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          Find myself occasionally having to leave additional tip money when certain friends want to pay this way. It’s kind of embarrassing because I’m sort of outing them as cheap and kind of thoughtless, but I refuse to stiff a decent server. I usually try to sneak a buck or two on the table, but sometimes it’s impossible to do without them seeing.

          • bobby says:

             Screw them, they have outed themselves as cheap, not your responsibility to ‘protect’ them. 

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            I’m talking about under-tipping by like a buck or two, nothing as severe as your example of tipping nothing. I’m at least 20% if the service was good. I’m covering for an “acceptable”, but not very good tip…if you get me..

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            I’d be more likely to bellow, “Is that all you’re leaving,” and then slap some cash on the table. But then I tend to say things like, “Are you really going to wear that out of the house?”

        • redesigned says:

          woah…that person essentially stole from the waitstaff and everyone else at that table.  real classy.  you did the right thing.

          • bobby says:

            And that is exactly how I felt about it.  If someone is going to be an asshole – there isn’t a lot I can do about that but I’m not going to let you drag me into it.

      • invictus says:

        The flip side is when a place has terrible service but has a mandatory “tip” on the bill. This can be due to party size (which is dumb; studies show that split cheques actually result in *higher* tips overall) or just because they feel like it. Kind of misses the point of a “tip” — and makes sure I don’t return.

        • Petzl says:

          I don’t know what your studies are.  I think intuitively, it seems the larger the party, the greater the possibility for skimping on tip, because no one person is responsible (as exemplified in @bobby’s comment above).

    • Bashtarle says:

      Yeah I’ll happily tip someone but the one thing you can do to vex me is integrate my tip into your receipt and when did the standard gratuity become 18%? I seem to recall it being 15% unless service dictated otherwise.

      So I can sorta sympathies with the person going off.

      I’m really not sure how the service was so I can’t say one way or another if the waitstaff truly deserved no tip or if the person is just being OMGWTFBBQ cheap.

      • anansi133 says:

        If the reason for not tipping had to do with the service, I’d expect to see that mentioned in the note.

      •  In large cities with high cost of living, 20% is more standard, with 25% for good service.

        In any case, don’t blame the waitstaff for the included tip; that’s down to the restaurant’s policies, right along with our weird continuation of tipping as a social convention for restaurants after we’ve phased it out of most of modern society.

        • In the UK it’s more like 10%.

          25% is where you start to pay other peoples wages – that’s not a tip.

          • wysinwyg says:

             Exactly.  In the US, tips are really wages, not gratuities.

          • invictus says:

            That has a mild whiff of bullshit about it. US law requires employers to pay at least minimum wage. The likelihood of tips does not override this — if the waitstaff don’t make enough in tips to hit at least minimum wage, the business is legally obligated to make up the difference.

            Of course many people don’t know this, and businesses abuse this to their shrivelled hearts’ content.

            But don’t kid yourself: tips aren’t meant to be wages, and at chain restaurants they certainly aren’t — they’re just added revenue for the franchisee.

          • wysinwyg says:

            @boingboing-2f364281f619584f24f63a794a12e354:disqus Not in the least bullshit.  Here’s the only relevant part of your comment:

            Of course many people don’t know this, and businesses abuse this to their shrivelled hearts’ content.

            When you don’t tip you are depriving the server of the money they need for rent and food.  Yes, even at Applebees.  If you have any doubts befriend a few servers and ask how they’re doing financially once in a while.

          • C W says:

            “US law requires employers to pay at least minimum wage.”

            With food service, such a requirement is not made.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            @boingboing-2f364281f619584f24f63a794a12e354:disqus  if the waitstaff don’t make enough in tips to hit at least minimum wage, the business is legally obligated to make up the difference.

            And that matters not. The tips over minimum wage are the true wages. Otherwise, a good server might as well run the drive-through at McDonalds.

          • eeyore says:

            ” US law requires employers to pay at least minimum wage”
            ABSOUTLEY FALSE!!!!!!!  

            Miniumum wage for waiters, servers and certain other classes of tipped restaurant employees is $2.75!  Restaurant owners are ABSOLUTELY NOT REQUIRED to make up any short fall. 

            It is better in other states/cities, but nearly all of them allow restaurant owners to pay LESS than the prevailing minimum wage to front of house employees that get tips.  

            It IS a wage not a gratuity.

          • invictus says:

            “With food service, such a requirement is not made.”

            You are ignorant of the facts on this subject. Educate yourself.

          • invictus says:

            wow, you sure use a lot of exclamation points for someone whose position is counterfactual.


            I’ll even quote the relevant part for you.
            “Where an employee does not receive sufficient tips to make up the difference between the direct (or cash) wage payment (which must be at least $2.13 per hour) and the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.”

            This is *federal* law.

            But hey, I guess they were just making shit up.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            This is *federal* law.

            It’s an at-will job. You get shifts based on how much the manager/ owner likes you. Do you really believe that a server has any way to enforce that without losing work?

          • Christopher Houser says:

            I’d like to reply to Invictus on this, but Invictus is right. I’ve had people argue with me on this but you can do the research, it ABSOLUTELY is federal law that servers be paid the federal standard minimum wage should their tips not bring them above that amount. The current minimum for waitstaff is 2.13 an hour as found here:

            Also noted, the current minimum wage is 7.25.

            The law says that, should the waiter not make at least 5.12 an hour in tips, their employer is required to reimburse them for every cent under that number that they are, such that they are making 7.25 an hour.

            Information can be found here. 

            There seems to be a LOT of people on this page that are unaware of this law. But feel free not to tip your waiters when they give shit service because they are absolutely not relying on you for their income. The crap ones should be working at McDonalds anyway. The good ones should never be stiffed, though. Everyone seems to be claiming that it’s a wage, not a gratuity. I disagree, a tip is a message in the form of money to inform your waiter what you thought of their service. It is a tool of encouragement for waiters to do what they can, and always has been. Slip a 20 when getting to your hotel and suddenly your service is better. But I’ve had waiters that slam down drinks, screw up every order, show absolutely no interest in their job, and come around 2-3 (get order, drop off order, leave check) times total from entering the restaurant. But on the other side, I’ve tipped up to 45% for absurdly good service. Again, feel free to use the whole range of percentages available to you, most people don’t and for faulty reasoning.

            Also, I agree with one of the other posters, mandatory gratuity is bullshit and I will never add on top of mandatory gratuity, even if I would have tipped 20%+ otherwise. It’s my message, not the restaurant’s.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            But feel free not to tip your waiters when they give shit service because they are absolutely not relying on you for their income.

            Do you live on minimum wage, Christopher?

          • wysinwyg says:

            @google-9e1d029bc3e0fb50a25717f4531e7e1f:disqus The law is the law.  What restaurants do is something else entirely.  As Invictus concedes, restaurants routinely flout this law.

            You may be right that according to law tips are not wages but this does not get reflected in the real world.  When you fail to tip you are screwing over living, breathing human beings.  If you’re OK with that then go ahead, but stop making excuses and acknowledge that’s what you’re doing.

          • chgoliz says:

            replying to Invictus:

            I’ve worked many wait staff positions in numerous different establishments over the years. I have NEVER seen a restaurant manager check to make sure the waiter made enough in tips that shift to hit minimum wage.  EVER.  It might be federal law in theory, but in reality it is entirely ignored by restaurants.

          • C W says:

            “You are ignorant of the facts on this subject.”

            The problem here is that employers are not FORCED to do so, so they routinely skirt this requirement, requiring that employees beg to recoup their minimum wage.

          • Petzl says:

            referring to invinctus’ “mild whiff of bullshit” in relation to employees not earning minimum wage.

            you obviously know nothing about how waitstaff earn their money and what can happen when tips fall short of projections.

            you are not paid minimum wage at Applebee’s.  you are paid LESS than minimum, and it is assumed you will recover the rest in tips.  tips are absolutely meant to be a significant part of a server’s wages. fact, no shit. this has been the case for decades.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            The US is not the UK in this respect. What’s so tough to understand? Until the system is completely changed don’t stiff employees.

          • It wouldn’t make for a very good comparison if it were :)

          • In fact, that is exactly the case. Waitstaff are paid a tiny fraction of minimum wage based on this expectation.

          • Which sucks. Something should be done about it.

          • C W says:

            “Something should be done about it.”


          • AnotherDave says:


            Like their employer paying them a liveable wage, and charging customers an appropriate amount in order to cover their expenses.

            In my country people don’t tip, and waitstaff still actually get paid. It’s like a miracle!

          • kringlebertfistyebuns says:

            @boingboing-f4fbcd703301c4ed420ca4f14c7fa49c:disqus  In my country people don’t tip, and waitstaff still actually get paid.

            This prompts a question – I have been *told* that service in many restaurants in cultures that don’t tip is frequently less than attentive.   Is this true?

            I ask because a counter to the argument that servers should be paid a standard wage is: Tipping reinforces a merit-based service ethos; that is, if you’re a terrible server in the States, you’ll go hungry and quit or be fired.  

            But elsewhere, where a server’s wages are independent of their actual service, no financial incentive exists to provide good service.

            Is this argument incorrect?

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Then shouldn’t everyone in every job work for tips?

          • kringlebertfistyebuns says:

            @Antinous_Moderator:disqus  I’m just trying to intellectually explore the notion here.  

            Seems to me that though the gratuity system sucks, it might suck less than the others.  But I don’t really know for sure.  (I think it’d really be impossible to tell, honestly.)

            I’m genuinely curious if providing the direct, customer-by-customer incentive of a tip results in a better experience for diners than a system of serves compensated by wages only.  
            If tip-only works better, then it should be stuck to.  If another system works better, then we should change.

            I will say that all of the servers and bartenders I’ve ever known did considerably better on tips than minimum wage.  

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            If tip-only works better, then it should be stuck to.

            I don’t see why people who serve food should be singled out. We should go to tip-only for everything. If you’re happy with the teller at your bank, you can tip her. She in turn, can tip out to the manager, and eventually the CEO will get a cut of all those tips instead of a salary or bonus.

          • AnotherDave says:

            RE tipping standards vs service.

            Unhappy customers are bad for business. So it is always going to be in a managers interest to weed out the staff who aren’t doing their job properly. So no I haven’t noticed any particular problem with service in my country. But I have also never eaten in the US, so I can’t comment on the comparison.

          • Jamie Craig says:

            I found this quite scary: http://www.dol.gov/whd/state/tipped.htmApparently the US minimum wage is $7.25 (£4.69) of which all bar $2.13 can be discounted as being paid by the tips! For comparison, UK minimum wage, which doesn’t get discounted for tips, is £6.19. 

          • Totally! Having seen a few responses I feel that my core point, which was obvious to me, wasn’t obvious to others – that the staff should be being paid more so that tips don’t have to cover the difference.

          • invictus says:

            The real problem here isn’t that wages can be discounted by tips. The problem is that minimum wage is $7.25. Grocery store baggers need to eat, too.

          • C W says:

            “The real problem here isn’t that wages can be discounted by tips. The problem is that minimum wage is $7.25.”

            They’re both problematic.

        • The odd thing about that claim is that in cities with high cost of living, the underlying food and drinks cost is already adjusted higher.  A higher tip rate is double-dipping.

      • SamSam says:

        18% is very standard now, and has been for years. I usually give 20% rounded down, because it makes the math easy.

        I’m not quite sure why it keeps going up, like inflation. My guess is because waiters’ pay hasn’t been going up with inflation.

      • Navin_Johnson says:

        So I can sorta sympathies with the person going off.

        Because the server was the one who thought up the billing scheme?

        Also, 18% is common now for large parties. Most restaurants state that in advance. If this was a surprise I can see getting upset, but not at the server. Ask to see the manager.

        It’s not so very hard to be decent…

        • Marc45 says:

          Why doesn’t the restaurant simply include the “tip” in with the meal prices?  It’s not a “tip” if it’s included in the bill.  It’s wages and they should call it as such.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Because it’s been a practice that goes back before any of us were born? Go ask every restaurant owner in the U.S. if you like…

            We all get that it’s bad.

      • gracchus says:

        The 18% is applied to large parties in this restaurant as a policy. The party split the check in an attempt to avoid it, but they still should have given 15% on each check for what was apparently good service.

        I usually do 15% as a standard tip, 20% for above-par service. Due to the fact that servers in the U.S. are usually paid at or below minimum wage, I don’t deliberately undertip for bad service, but I do have a talk with the manager when it happens.

      • C W says:

        “when did the standard gratuity become 18%? ”

        It’s the default practice with large tables of 8 and over, from what I recall.

      • kringlebertfistyebuns says:

        I don’t have anything to really add here, I just wanted to congratulate you on using “vex” in a sentence.

      • Petzl says:

        If you want to get annoyed, I think a more pressing issue is when there’s a line for Waiter AND Head Waiter on the bill.  (Head Waiter, the guy who does absolutely nothing and for all you know dips into the waiter pool, too.)

    • whuwhuwhu says:

      In addition to the large party thing, some places also put automatic tips during certain hours, usually late at night

    • EH says:

      It doesn’t appear mandatory, but if it actually is more than a suggested amount, I’d probably try to find a snarky way around it too.

      • C W says:

        The 18% mandatory for parties of 8 and over is always posted in the entryway of the restaurant, the “pastor” saw it but ignored it until it was his time to pay up.

    • Sekino says:

      The person who posted the receipt DOES mention it was a large party who split the bill.

    • A lot of places if the wait person sees indications a person will be a problem they’ll put the mandatory tip on the bill.

      If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to go to a restaurant.

      • invictus says:

        “mandatory” and “tip” should not be in the same fucking sentence. Simple as that. You want to have a mandatory charge, include it in the price of the menu items.

        • C W says:

          You are not ever forced to eat out and abide by their rules. Simple as that.

          “You want to have a mandatory charge, include it in the price of the menu items.”

          Welcome to the United States. This is how eating out works. If you want to rail against it, start up an eatery where everyone gets wages and tips are banned.

          • invictus says:

            Not all places mandate a tip. The ones that do? I don’t patronize them. So no, it’s not “how eating out works.”

            While we’re at it, you want to explain to me why some businesses — food establishments, even! — ask for tips while others don’t? Go get some takeout at Pizza Hut, and you’re expected to tip. Subway, no tip jar. I guess one is staffed by robots, in your universe.

            And this is before we get into other businesses where a service is clearly being provided but tips are neither mandated nor even asked for. When was the last time you tipped a grocery store checkout clerk?

            But really, your defence of the situation seems to be “that’s how things are, so we shouldn’t question them, much less object to them.”

            Pretty sad point of view, if you ask me.

          • wysinwyg says:

            While we’re at it, you want to explain to me why some businesses — food establishments, even! — ask for tips while others don’t? Go get some takeout at Pizza Hut, and you’re expected to tip. Subway, no tip jar. I guess one is staffed by robots, in your universe.

            Please.  We’re talking about table service jobs, not counter service jobs.

            But really, your defence of the situation seems to be “that’s how things are, so we shouldn’t question them, much less object to them.”

            No, no one is defending the situation.  No one likes these laws.  But while they’re in effect some of us would really appreciate it if you’d acknowledge the reality of the situation and just pay the fucking tips that wait staff need to afford basic necessities.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Go get some takeout at Pizza Hut, and you’re expected to tip. Subway, no tip jar. I guess one is staffed by robots, in your universe.

            Haha, one has waitstaff the other does not. Even so, I’ve never thought you were expected to tip for take out at Pizza Hut……

            You’re kind of showing your hand that all your really want to do is be cheap and not tip. You protest too much…

          • C W says:

            “Not all places mandate a tip.”

            So take your family out to fucking Pizza Hut and stop going to restaurants.

          • eeyore says:

            In ANY eat-in establishment with a server/waiter in the United States, tipping is de riguer – that’s why the SERVERS only make $2.70/hour instead of minimum wage or more. 

            YOU may CHOOSE not to tip, but it IS expected, and you are considered a douche by an place you frequent and fail to. 

            I can agree that it is a really shitty situation, irrational, illogical and wrong… but again, this is america, and  you know those are not sufficient reasons to prevent it. 

          • invictus says:

            “You’re kind of showing your hand that all your really want to do is be cheap and not tip. You protest too much…”
            I’ll wager I tip more generously than you do, Navin. But then, the reason I care about this is because the whole idea of tips as mandatory surcharge is an insult to the servers who care about the quality of their work. If you get the exact same tip as the guy next to you who screwed up the order, never came back to check on the table, and was outright insulting to the patrons, how good are you feeling about your job?

            Tips are supposed to reward good service, not acknowledge that the restaurant owners’ business model is broken.

          • C W says:

            “Tips are supposed to reward good service, not acknowledge that the restaurant owners’ business model is broken.”

            In the world that the rest of us live in, tips exist solely to supplant the less than minimum wage(s) that the server makes (varying on city and state.)

            You don’t get to make up an alternate reality than that practiced by restaurant owners. You can rail against this fictitious reality all you want, but all it makes you is cheap and petty.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

             I’ll wager I tip more generously than you do, Navin

            You just commented below that 18% was a pretty high tip, so clearly you don’t in ANY situation.

            My bottom threshold is 20% and then round up the difference, and higher in other situations. That’s cabs, dining, everything except my haircuts which I actually do 40%, and drinks which are closer to 30/35% or more depending on how many, and how difficult they are to make: cocktail vs. beer.

            I’m pretty working class, and I have very modest means. It’s simple though, if I can’t afford to go out and tip decently, then I just won’t go out.

    • wysinwyg says:

       A friend of mine is a waitress.  She makes $2.50 an hour after taxes.  My city has a rather high cost of living.

      Restaurants (in the USA) are affordable because they don’t pay their wait staff.  Tips are literally the bulk of the wait staff’s salary.

      You have a problem paying 18%?  Don’t eat out.

      • antabaka says:

        It was mentioned several times in the comments above that federal law requires the employer to make up the amount between the $2.50 and the minimum wage, thus your friend should make $7.25, unless the employer is violating federal law.

        • wysinwyg says:

          It’s also been mentioned several times that the law in question is routinely flouted.  The question of what the law says is an abstract question removed from the reality of whether servers actually get the money they need to survive.  Personally, I’m much more worried about the survival of human beings in the real world than the abstract web of obligations dictated by law.

          Does that make me a pragmatist or an idealist?

          Edit: If it became widespread to forgo tipping and restaurants were forced to make up the shortfall restaurants would have to charge more than they do now or go out of business. And this should be pretty obvious.

          • antabaka says:

            “Edit: If it became widespread to forgo tipping and restaurants were forced to make up the shortfall restaurants would have to charge more than they do now or go out of business.”

            You mean like in other countries, where – despite of the fact of tipping only, say, 5-10% – waiters can actually live off their wages and yet there are restaurants galore?

            Also, why should I subsidize the unlawful behavior of restaurant owners?

            And I would go with “idealist”.

          • AnotherDave says:

            In NZ its 0%. Tipping is extremely uncommon, and in many places it would actually be complicated even if you wished to do so.

            But then our employers are required to pay at least minimum wage which is NZD13.50 ~= USD11.28. With none of this funny business about deducting potential tips.

            EDIT: I forgot to mention, but seriously, yes you should subsidize the unlawful behaviour of those restaurant owners. Petition for a law change if you feel strongly about it, don’t take it out on the people who can’t fight back and still need to eat and pay rent.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          The goal of the job is not to make minimum wage though, and most servers are counting on making well more than minimum wage. I’m not sure why this is so difficult to understand. Because there’s a law in this case doesn’t even matter. The server *needs*, and is counting on making more than minimum wage to get by. When you stiff them out of selfishness you are literally chipping away at the salary they need to live on.

          I’m sure you probably require a salary above minimum wage to meet your bills etc. I would imagine it would be of little comfort to you to know that the least your boss could pay you would be $7.25

          • antabaka says:

            I’m not sure why you struggle to grasp the concept of “employer pays minimum wage, waiter get’s tip on top”. That should be the goal here.

            With the current system, even with tips, the waiter will often come up short.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Yes, and you want to stiff the waitstaff in order to somehow punish the owner, which it obviously doesn’t ……

          • antabaka says:

             (this is in reply to Navin_Johnson’s reply below, but the system wont offer a reply button…)

            So whatever happened to the free market idea, invisible hand etc? Shouldn’t the problem correct itself after a while? Are we purposely trying to breed a caste of waitstaffservants that can only survive if subsidized? I am willing to pay more for food if the waitstaff is paid at least minimum wage. For me as a customer it would not change much, since the end-amount would probably be about the same. And then my “tip” would actually express my feeling about the quality of the service and not just be a monetary compensation for the service to exist.

            That steak does not cost $20 as it says on the menu. It costs about $24. Let’s not sugarcoat that fact.

            Also, I am intrinsically opposed to the argument of “let’s continue to do this thing because we have always been doing it like this”, because that is really not a strong argument for anything. Especially cosidering that the “tip” percentage has gone up quite substantially.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            So whatever happened to the free market idea, invisible hand etc?

            So incredibly NOT surprised that you went there.

          • kringlebertfistyebuns says:

            You’re not really “subsidizing” the waitstaff.  More accurately, you’re subsidizing the restaurant owner.

            What’s really happening is you’re  paying the waitstaff directly for their work, instead of indirectly via the restaurant who then pay the staff.

            I gather that eating out elsewhere in the world does not require tips, but a meal will cost you rather more up-front.

            Whether it’s the current system, minimum-wage-plus-tips, or well-paid-and-no tips, it’s really probably a wash in the end.

          • Christopher Houser says:

            What you’re complaining about here is not tips, but the federal standard minimum wage. If you don’t think someone can live off of minimum wage, then maybe minimum wage is too low.

            And really, it is. But if a waiter provides less service for me than a McDonalds server, you can bet that I feel that person deserves McDonalds wages. I haven’t seen anyone on here advocate not tipping. I’ve only seen people (such as Invictus) advocating not tipping for shitty service and that mandatory gratuity is not gratuity but a surcharge.

            I once ate at this place here in Houston called Avalon Diner. When my date and I got there, the place was relatively empty. We started with this one younger girl who seemed to not care at all. When my date asked about where the milkshakes were in the menu, she pointed to some crappy clipart on the menu. The milkshakes were actually a few pages over. Very little talking occurred. When she came to drop off the milk shake, it was anything but delicate (I’d say she almost slammed the thing) without a word. After that, another waitress started serving us without any explanation. She too didn’t seem to care, and screwed up the order. Never come to check to see how things were, and the food was between par and subpar. We both agreed that this place was not worth tipping for. We left with the intention of never coming back, and I left a negative review on a website. To show even further that she didn’t deserve a tip, she looked at the tip amount immediately while we were still there, and scowled. That’s just poor etiquette for a waitress. This is one of the possible 3 or 4 times in my life that I have not tipped.

            Sometimes the service is so terrible that the person really should be making only minimum wage. I mean, it’s not like they’re doing their job. A waiter/waitress should be courteous and should be there to provide a service. If I don’t get these things, they were not doing their job. If I feel like I’d have been better off going to the kitchen, giving them my order, and picking it up all myself, then they didn’t do their job.No one is advocating never to tip. Only not to tip in situations like the above.

      • Jonathan Roberts says:

        You have a problem as a restaurant manager paying your staff? Don’t run a restaurant.

    • In the orignal Reddit post, I believe the OP said that it was a large party (something like 20 people or so).  They all asked for separate checks so as to avoid the “large party” tip thing, I guess.

      • C W says:

        “They all asked for separate checks so as to avoid the “large party” tip thing, I guess.”

        Tips aren’t calculated per check but by the table, so they dumb.

    • chgoliz says:

      It was a party of twenty who then asked for the bill to be broken up for individual payment, but the register still computed the mandatory 18% for large parties.

      So, on top of everything else, we’re looking at a party of 20 who asked for (and got) individual bills to be rung up.

    • MissCellania says:

      According to the reddit thread, it was a group of 20. Yet they asked to split the bills, then put them all on one credit card, rung up separately. The waitress thinks that this was to get out of the mandatory gratuity for large groups. 

  4. Robert Drop says:

    Hey now, I’m sure the wait-person would have been quite happy to only get 10% of the guy’s income.

  5. BookGuy says:

    I thought tithes traditionally went to a church, not God Himself.  Who does He send to collect?

    • 10xor01 says:

      I believe that would be Jules Winnfield.

    • anansi133 says:

      Apparently, you give money to the church like an emmisions trading or carbon offset scheme, only in the moral dimension. Being a good person in church thus allows to to be an asshole everywhere else – and still go to heaven!

      • Prof Philander says:

        tithes were meant to support the church as its the only way they were to gain funding. It has nothing to do with being a good person (or at least thats what it is not for, but people often forget the real meaning behind rituals.). it is simply you like the church to go to and you wish to see it continue you support it. They had no goods to sell. At least at first, but as we know the church fixed that later.

    • Christopher says:

      Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A priest, a minister, and a rabbi are trying to decide how much money to give to charity…

    • FatalException says:

      Right.  Because a tithe is just like gratuity, *on life.*   And you bump the tithe up if God is friendly and cute and doesn’t screw up your order.  

      Whatever.  The Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn’t hit me up for 10%, and he’s already food, for Christsake. 

  6. TheOven says:

    I don’t understand TIPS – it’s a messed up sometimes-only system. I had always considered them a bonus, to be added to the bill when and if the service was above par.

    Then I lived in NYC where they actually have a below-minimum-wage wage for waitstaff, so not tipping is taking their wage away. (This is just asinine)

    And yet in places like the Czech Republic, it’s an insult to tip. By tipping you’re implying the owner can’t/doesn’t pay his staff enough.

    I say, let’s put a price on the bill and be done with it.

    Also, Christians can be 18%holes.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      That is commonly the case for the entire United States, not just NYC. It’s not that hard to figure out. It’s a basic cultural norm/practice that visitors should adjust to, just as any American tourists should try to adjust to any typical customs outside their own country.

      • Point being that as customers you’re paying a mark-up on your food to cover the cost of paying the staff, and you’re paying the staff.

        It’s not cultural sensitivity, you’re just getting stiffed.

        • hymenopterid says:

          Whether you’re getting stiffed in a restaurant is sort of subjective.  It depends on how the customer values the experience.  My grandpa used to judge a restaurant based solely on how hot the coffee was.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            People mostly stiff or tip badly due to things over which the server has no control, like the quality, quantity and arrival time of the food from the kitchen.

        • wysinwyg says:

           Restaurant meals are considerably less expensive in the US than elsewhere.  No one’s getting stiffed — except the wait staff when someone doesn’t leave a tip.

          • “Restaurant meals are considerably less expensive in the US than elsewhere.” Really? I hadn’t thought this the case. Cost of living is higher where I live, so it’s hard to do a like-for-like, but the prices aren’t that far off.

          • wysinwyg says:

            I haven’t ever been to the UK but everyone I know who has comments on how expensive it is there, especially to eat out.  A friend is in Australia right now and his mind was blown by how expensive meals at restaurants are.

            Restaurants in the US aren’t making out like bandits.  Restaurants usually operate on thin margins despite not really paying servers.

            If it’s any indication, the prices in dollars at Wagamama in Boston are about the same as the prices in pounds in Wagamama in Brighton (UK).  And Wagamama is considered pricy.

          • Admittedly I’d class wagamama as pretty average price wise.

          • C W says:

            “Really? I hadn’t thought this the case. ”

            Being wrong doesn’t change reality in your favor.

          • I wasn’t suggesting it did – it’s open for discussion, feel free to partake.

          • wysinwyg says:

            Admittedly I’d class wagamama as pretty average price wise.

            Right.  So scale those prices down 40% and imagine that’s considered expensive.

            The savings on labor costs go to the consumers, not the restaurants.

          • Ye I got it, I was conceding!

          • blueelm says:

            Meh.. I have lived in US, traveled and worked in UK extensively, staying there long enough that I could say I was living on basically what amounts to a UK salary in USD. I actually do *not* find food more expensive in England than in major US cities. Food in London is about the same as food in NYC. Food in Bilston is freaking cheap. I lived in Dallas for a long time, where food *is* a bit cheaper. This has everything to do with location and proximity to resources.

            In Europe the food is cheapest and best in the Czech Republic IMO, even when adjusted for currency. You can still eat for not very much there. The worst, by far, is Belgium. 

            And yes, the cost of employing decent waitstaff *is* passed to the customer n the US. But you are not being stiffed. You’re just having the cost of eating in a restaurant hidden from you with the option of lowering it by screwing a waitperson over.

            * I’d also add that the culture is rather different. Are we talking a meal in a nice restaurant or some potatoes and god-knows-what-don’t-ask in the pub across the street for instance?

          • This was my understanding, but it’s a bit anecdotal it seems. Important to remember of course that the US is big, and I imagine that things are different state-to-state anyway – something that’s easy to forget when comparing UK/US.

          • wysinwyg says:

            You’re just having the cost of eating in a restaurant hidden from you
            with the option of lowering it by screwing a waitperson over.

            Yes, this is exactly correct.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          So sick of hearing this. It’s a different system than in Europe, and not even a good system. That does not matter. If you don’t tip, or tip as you do at home, you are a jerk who’s stiffing working people. If you can’t figure it out, or refuse to play along on some kind of bogus set of “principles” then you are hurting working people simply because you are too lazy or stubborn to adjust to customary practices.

          Every guide book deals with it, every phone has a calculator now. No excuses. Figure it out.

          • Navin (I can’t have a serious argue with that persona), I think we’re crossing wires here.

            I’m not saying don’t tip them. I’m saying reform your crappy minimum wage laws so that a tip is a tip, and not a subsidy.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Nobody is arguing that it’s a good system. Everybody knows that. But, it IS the system. And you hurt working people when you blame workers for it.

            I’ll also add that service workers are currently marching in the streets to reform minimum wage laws:


          • In which case I’m with you – we appear to be in full agreement!

            What do we do now?

          • wysinwyg says:

            Consider the fact that the gentleman who left the note in the OP has at least as much say on minimum wage laws as I do.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Sorry @NathanHornby:disqus ,

            I thought you were splitting hairs with the “cultural sensitivity” objection. I know we’re in agreement. In these arguments you do see a lot of Europeans using “It’s a bad system” as an excuse to not tip, or suggest that workers are at fault, or that servers are defending the system. I see that you weren’t doing that though.

          • I’d tip, I’d just grumble about it. I am British after all.

          • Jonathan Roberts says:

            I get the same feeling about stating prices without VAT. You get used to it after a while, but it’s kind of annoying when you think you have enough money and a then further percentage gets added on at the till. Having the restaurant make up its mind what percentage to add on as tip (and then pretend it’s not actually a tip, so you still need to give them more money in order to avoid being cheap) seems kind of lame. Just because everyone agrees something’s broken doesn’t mean we should stop talking about it.

            The best way I’ve found to deal with it is to assume that if a price tag says 10 dollars, you’ll be paying the equivalent of 10 euros / pounds for that item after everything has been added on.

          • Everywhere does include VAT though, it’s a cultural norm – except for places that cater primarily to businesses (who claim back VAT so prefer to see prices without).

            Sounds more like you’re describing US sales tax.

          • fakefighter says:

            I think you’re misinterpreting the OP. For me, it’s not that I don’t *want* to pay the tip or because I feel insulted doing so, but because I feel that restaurants are essentially stiffing their staff using something that used to be a courtesy. I’ll tip in the US because I definitely know they’re not earning much, no problem. I just don’t feel it’s fair to the staff, and I’m not sure that’s a bogus principle. It seems rather obvious that being ensured that money in the end of the month is superior to relying on social pressure (which you’re trying to enforce here) to be ensured a good wage.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            Thing is, everybody knows it’s a bad system. You aren’t telling people who ask you to tip anything new…

          • duncancreamer says:

            Um, I’m not the jerk. The jerk is the business that’s allowed to pay employees less than minimum wage.

            Don’t blame the customer. 

          • Navin_Johnson says:

            No, you’re most definitely the jerk if you don’t tip reasonably. That is without question. You’re blaming and punishing workers for a system they have almost no control over, and in a country where labor rights and wages are constantly under attack by the wealthy and powerful.

        • C W says:

          So eat at home. Nobody’s forcing you to eat where you don’t want to be.

      • TheOven says:

        “…just as any American tourists should try to adjust to any typical customs outside their own country.:

        When that happens it’ll have it’s own post here on the BB.

        Joking aside, what bothered me about this was that A) It was assumed I knew and thus, I was under-tipping my local waitress until she asked what was up – weeks later. I WAY over tipped once I realized what an ass their system made me. (Silly me, I just paid the bill as presented) B) Who sets up a system of “Minimium” wage – and then pays people below that? An evil one founded on slavery I guess.

        “America is not a young land. It is old and dirty, evil. Before the settlers, before the Indians, the evil is there, waiting.”

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          When that happens it’ll have it’s own post here on the BB.

          Haha. I guess respectful, low key Americans probably just aren’t noticed..

    • C W says:

      “I don’t understand TIPS ”

      Probably because you’re using the retconned, silly acronym.

    • Ashley Yakeley says:

      Having lived in the UK, US and visited Japan, I have a theory that the more extraverted people in a society are, the greater the (theoretically) discretionary tip and the worse the service are.

      Being an introvert I absolutely hate the tipping thing, and always tip 15%-ish (divide by six in my head) in the U.S. regardless of how good or bad the service is. In the U.K. it’s 10%. In Japan it’s 0% (easiest to calculate) and people take pride in doing their job properly. Haven’t there been some studies done that show that people can become less motivated when they’re being more directly rewarded, or something?

      It’s not the money: I don’t mind paying enough that the waitstaff get paid properly. It’s the bait-and-switch advertised prices, and the awkwardness of the socially-expected gift. TBH I think the bill above could take care of the second issue by calling it an 18% service charge and not having a line for additional tip.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        I would guess just the opposite. Introverts are more likely to empathize with the server and thus, leave a larger tip.

    • Marc45 says:

      Yes, when traveling I find it quite nice to be able to pay the bill as presented without having to make a moral decision about someone’s livelihood.

      The whole “tip” thing is a scam perpetrated by the restaurant industry.  It allows them to pay below average wages and then put the blame on the customer if the customer doesn’t pay the difference.  I’m all in favor of generous tipping but this is extortion.

  7. anansi133 says:

    My brother’s a contractor mostly working with homeowners. He tells me that his problem customers are much more likely to be loud Christians. 

  8. Snig says:

    Next time just ask God for a sandwich, and see what happens.

    Also, it should be remembered that the money is given to an institution claiming to represent God. After administrative costs, God often gets bupkis.

    • Wreckrob8 says:

      When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities. And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. † He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

      God even does free delivery.

      • Snig says:

        “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s” has been translated in many texts as “pay your taxes and tip your waiters”.  

      • Navin_Johnson says:

         God even does free delivery.

        Unfortunately you have to travel a few thousand years back in time to a fantasy world in order to finally get your chow. Now that is service I wouldn’t leave a tip for…

        • chgoliz says:

          Personally, I’d love the chance to travel a few thousand years back in time to a fantasy world!  As long as I could get back, of course….being female, and all.

  9. eee says:

    Dick move. The God defense. Awesme.

    But anyone that is using God to explain their cheapness wouldn’t be able to understand their own dickishness.

    Side note:

    There is a bar that I stopped going to because they automatically include a tip – not a suggestion, it is automatically added to the bill. Party size plays no part so if you go by yourself and have one beer at the bar they add 18%. Sit in the restaurant side, automatic 18%. They also had a spot labeled “tip” on the bill to add your own in case you missed the automatic tip – so tipping on top of the tip…

    That is BS and we stopped going. Granted, their customers are probably cheap as it isn’t the most upscale place, but since they started doing it the service went down the shitter. Only two waitresses and two barkeeps for a place that seats roughly 150 people.

    Larry David said it best, “I don’t do math at dinner”. So they got my 18% about three times instead of the usual 20% and then got zero.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      There is a bar that I stopped going to because they automatically include a tip – not a suggestion

      Paying for service is part of the price of the meal. Good for the restaurant for codifying it instead of leaving it to your whim.

    • sftochch says:

      I think the system you describe at this bar may actually be an improvement on the current US “tipping” system. Think of it as a “service charge” rather than a tip. You know exactly what you’ll be paying (eliminating the “bait and switch” aspect of tipping that some have lamented in these comments). No servers are getting stiffed. People who claim they are unfamiliar with the customary amount to tip (who are these people, btw?) don’t need to guess. I think I like what you’ve described here.

  10. Without knowing the story, this *could* be a entire reasonable response, if:

    1) The service was bad/not deserving of 18%
    2) The gratuity was added to the check without reason/store policy (e.g.,,on a 35 dollar check it’s likely not because s/he has a large party size…)
    3) The note was written with the irony/humor I get from it

    • Ramone says:

      I’m sure the server appreciated all $0 of irony.

    • Benjamin Palmer says:

      Reddit thread poster said: It was a party of 20, they asked for split checks hoping to avoid the auto tip, and had ran up over $200 bill. They specifically said they enjoyed his service, but did not want to pay a tip. So 1 and 2 are a no. 

    • gracchus says:

      If the jerk had wanted to leave the traditional (in the U.S.) 15% he could have just crossed out the suggested tip on his portion of the total check and re-calculated it without all the hoo-hah. If the service was awful (which it apparently was not) he could have crossed out the suggested tip and written in one lower than 15%.

      In any case, a grown-up writes a brief explanation for a low tip on the store receipt and usually has a word with the manager. There is nothing funny or clever about stiffing an underpaid server and leaving a “joke” explanation like this.

      • Agreed, except, I think, in a very particular cases where the server is actively rude/belligerent AND the general environment communicates a disdain for the customer (you know these places when you see them).  Then, one should feel free to write whatever s/he wishes on the receipt and leave no tip.

  11. pspargur says:

    because God helps those who help themselves but this poor waiter had to help you. 

  12. rrot says:

    I give God 10%???

    Just name your bullsh!t church — don’t pretend you give cash to God.

  13. xzzy says:

    I follow the suggestion as put forth by the band Live, and leave a bottle of aspirin on the money tray.

  14. Alan says:

    So, instead of a tip based on percentage, would a service fee of $6.29 have been okay?

  15. doesn’t that say Pastor above his name?  Does that mean the 10% eventually gets back to him anyway?

  16. scav says:

    Tipping as a percentage of the bill makes no sense.

    If you’re supplementing a crappy minimum wage, tip an amount (not a percentage) based on the approximate time you are there. Add a few quid if the service was particularly good. I generally round up the bill to some number that makes the change easy, more for my convenience than theirs.

    Above all, don’t over think it. If you find yourself doing multiplication when addition would suffice, you’re using an inefficient algorithm, which is to me a more offensive thing than violating social expectations.

    • IronEdithKidd says:

      If you’re in the US, the IRS taxes waitstaff based on the gross sale.  Say your meal cost $50, but you only sat at the table for an hour, and assume regular minimum wage is $8.00, but waiting wage is $2.50 ($5.50 difference for the hour you sat).  The IRS taxes the server on a $9 tip, but you only leave a $5.50 tip.  You have just cost the server taxes on $4.50 that s/he did not ever once recieve. 

      tl;dr – your math is a dick move in the US.  Don’t do it anymore  

      • Navin_Johnson says:

        Yep, and this “automatic gratuity” is considered part of a server’s wages/salary now.

      • scav says:

        Well I try to avoid spending time in the US a.k.a. bizarro world if I can help it.

        But anyway:

        1 – [citation needed] on the idea that the IRS goes through the paperwork for every meal you served and taxes you on the tips they would guess you got instead of the record of your actual income for the year. If so, you guys desperately need a proper minimum wage and tax system. I suppose you’ve only just nearly got universal healthcare, so maybe you’ll catch up eventually.

        2 – It’s not a dick move to decline to collaborate in an irrational system that everyone admits to being unjust, when somehow responsibility for fixing it has been shrugged off and replaced with diffuse guilt-driven social pressure to prop it up.

        • chgoliz says:

          1- The restaurant provides that info to the IRS when they file the W-2 forms for their employees.

          2- It’s an asshole move when you shrug off the responsibility for fixing it by stiffing the person with no clout in the situation.

        • wysinwyg says:

           It’s a dick move to deprive someone of money that they need and have already earned for the sake of making a political point.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

          2 – It’s not a dick move to decline to collaborate in an irrational system that everyone admits to being unjust, when somehow responsibility for fixing it has been shrugged off and replaced with diffuse guilt-driven social pressure to prop it up.

          It absolutely is a dick move. Don’t go to restaurants if you refuse to tip, or go join up with people struggling for a living wage. You aren’t protesting anything (or fooling anybody) by not tipping upon principal. What you are doing is possibly making a server’s life miserable by making it difficult for them to pay their bills.

          “[citation needed]”

          You are supposed to report them to your employer, how rigidly this is adhered to and to what degree depends upon the business:


          Well I try to avoid spending time in the US a.k.a. bizarro world if I can help it.

          Thank you.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Well I try to avoid spending time in the US a.k.a. bizarro world if I can help it.

          Because Europe is a veritable utopian paradise, amirite?

          It’s not a dick move to decline to collaborate in an irrational system that everyone admits to being unjust

          Yes it is. You’re no different than some sovereign citizen freak who refuses to pay taxes to support the NHS except there’s not a government agency to prosecute you for causing someone who provided you a service to lose money.

          So, please continue to avoid spending time here.

    • C W says:

      Ah yes, replace an “inefficient algorithm” with something even more stupid. The amount of money is representative (barely) of the amount of service they do for your party, not the amount of time. Do you seriously want worse service so they can draw out their tip? No, you want it fast, and you want it accurate.

      • scav says:

        I thought I was clear.

        To the extent that you are tipping to compensate for poor wages, tip a reasonable amount based on the amount of the server’s time you have used up. Not the time you spend waiting for your order, that’s super dumb. And what on earth makes you think that every waiter telepathically knows your tipping algorithm so they can exploit it?To the extent that you are tipping to reward good service, give an amount that reflects that, which is just a personal judgement.In both case, the multiplication from the cost of the meal is a needless complication. I can hardly believe anyone finds this idea upsetting.

        • C W says:

          “tip a reasonable amount based on the amount of the server’s time you have used up”

          Again, you have no clue how much time is being managed for your meal(s) in the kitchen, your plan is even more arbitrary than the dollar value. 

  17. Nell Anvoid says:

    My guess is that this douchebag doesn’t REALLY tithe, either.  Someone needs to go back to Bible school and learn the difference between fundamental spiritual principals and pharisee-like dogma. Then again, I also get the sense they wouldn’t really be interested.

  18. cause God doesn’t need the money.

  19. dmc10 says:

    Correction… you give your tax free fraudulent organization… er… church, 10%. I don’t think Odin, Osiris, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, if they exist, actually needs cash. That said, you’re still a total asshat.

  20. C W says:

    Working Sundays at my college Bennigan’s gig meant that I was bound to get those fake twenty dollar bills with the GOOD NEWS photocopied on the back instead of tips whenever the besuited families came in. Some were pleasant, but some, just ungh.

  21. trwier says:

    Speaking as an American living overseas, I find American attitudes to tipping totally unreflective.  American service culture is WAY better than Western Europe (speed, accuracy, politeness, etc.), but its sole legitimate reason for being is to ensure that quality of service.  If you’re going to tip, it should to be to reward or punish service behavior, not out of the goodness of your heart.

    • wysinwyg says:

      No.  In the US you should tip because you’re paying the server’s wages.

      Yes, if you want to leave a little extra because the service was particularly good that’s fine.  If you want to leave a little less because the service was bad, well…that’s a little dick and the server is more likely to think “Christ, what an asshole,” than “Oh man, my service must not be very good, I should do better,” but I guess that’s your prerogative.

      But let’s not pretend the tip is just incentive for good service.  It is the money that server needs for rent, food, and probably for the clothes the restaurant requires the server to buy to work there.

    • C W says:

      “its sole legitimate reason for being is to ensure that quality of service”

      Tip values are generally unreflective of quality of service. Sometimes they’re bigger, but generous people tend to be generous in, er general, cheap people are always cheap.

  22. 10% seems like a lot…I only tip my creators 5%.

  23. BigHank53 says:

    I’m guessing God wants him to eat a lot of other people’s snot and spit, because it won’t take that long for waitrons to remember him.

  24. At least the waiter did somethign for their percentage…

  25. gt bear says:

    reddit has a policy against doxxing pastors. boingboing doesn’t, as far as i know. anybody know what church, so i can take out an ad in the bulliten with a copy of this receipt? pastors are service workers who depend on tips too. his sheep might want to know about his no-tipping policy.

    • C W says:

      “his sheep might want to know about his no-tipping policy.”

      What makes you think they’d complain? He doesn’t sound like the sort to mince words in the pulpit.

  26. gracchus says:

    Why am I not surprised that this arsehole waved the God flag to justify himself?

  27. grimc says:

    Seems like the real question is why is he so cheap when it comes to god?

  28. Eric Steeves says:

    On the other hand the average waitress makes more then a nurse.  0 is a little low but even 10 seems high.

    The logic is faulty though; you paid for your meal, was that more then you gave God?  By this logic you should never pay more for anything then what you dropped in the collection plate.  Hope your mortgage isn’t too steep.

  29. Hanglyman says:

    What does God need with a starship? I mean… with money?

  30. I pity anyone who thinks giving 10% to a church is anything remotely similar to actually giving 10% to God.

  31. Pliny_the_Elder says:

    It’s cute that he thinks crossing out the automatic gratuity will actually do anything. His card was already charged the full amount, and if he tries to fight the charges the credit card company will most likely laugh at him

  32. Oi says:

    In Ontario, you have to pay your employees minimum wage. Unfortunately it means that accounts need to be settled at the end of the day. Basically if your employee claimed to not get enough tips you must top them up to minimum wage. If they made minimum or better from tips, you don’t have to pay them.

    It is all sorts of weird and screwed up.

    • IronEdithKidd says:

      That’s actually the law in the US, too, but it’s not well enforced.  

      • antabaka says:

        I don’t see why I am supposed to subsidize that the waitstaffs  employer is not obeying the law. By tipping more, I would  actually enforce and perpetuate this unlawful behavior.

        • wysinwyg says:

          The law dictates abstract obligations that are only as valid as long as the law is enforced.

          On the other hand, the server is rendering you a concrete service — actually doing things in the real world to get your meal to you.

          My values tell me that paying the server for the service rendered is the moral thing to do regardless of what the law says about it.  And my values also tell me that screwing people over because “it’s somebody else’s problem!” is immoral.  After all, leaving a decent tip helps to ensure that the server has money for food and rent while not leaving a decent tip does fuck all to change the law.

          From my perspective, it sounds like you’re making excuses as to why you shouldn’t have to pay someone for services already rendered.

          • antabaka says:

            So let me get this straight: I can chose where I get my food, but I can’t chose who serves me that food? Because, frankly I would like to. I chose my lunch and dining table in restaurants with good food. I pay for food to the restaurant and then I pay the server separately?  Is the server a self-employed freelancer? Can I bring my own server?

            Enforcing the “tip” percentage to bridge the unlawful gap which the business owner does not want to cover is my responsibility? You expect me to perpetuate the status quo, which about everyone agrees is a piece of bull droppings?

            And the option that is called for – I find that so funny: “if you can’t afford to tip, you shouldn’t eat out”. Fine, then I won’t eat out (even though I can afford to tip). And the restaurant will not get my money for the food, and the waiter will not get any tip. That’s hardly improving the overall situation, I would say. Unless somehow having less customers will improve the salary of the waitstaff.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Fine, then I won’t eat out (even though I can afford to tip). And the restaurant will not get my money for the food, and the waiter will not get any tip.

            Trust me when I tell you that you won’t be missed by the waitstaff. If there’s not enough business on any given shift, they cut some staff, who then go home and do things that they enjoy rather than serving you and not getting paid properly.

        • Navin_Johnson says:

           If you were truly against it on moral principle then you’d avoid restaurants that don’t pay staff a good base wage, as it is with much of the “anti-tipping” sentiment here, it’s just excuses for not wanting to tip.

          • antabaka says:

            That’s a good way to do it, yes. Go to restaurants where the employees are paid according to regulations. It usually means that they are more relaxed, nicer and friendly as well. Real friendly, not the “I have to be nice to you because my living expenses depend on your guilt-induced generosity” friendly.

            And let’s stop calling it “tip” until it actually is one again. Hopefully some time in the future it will be a token of generosity again instead of a payment for services rendered. Until then it’s a “service charge”. Putting lipstick on it won’t change it.

          • Navin_Johnson says:

             Fair enough, I’m fine with that.

      • chgoliz says:

        And by well, you mean: at all.

  33. sounddevisor says:

    If he wants to tip God 10% and the waiter nothing – great! Let him go to the restaurant and try to get God to deliver his food.

  34. bo1n6bo1n6 says:

    Christ, what an asshole.

  35. redesigned says:

    hopefully god can miraculously remove all the spit from their future dining experiences.

    what an a-hole.

  36. Pete Anderson says:

    “God didn’t have to take your steak back to the kitchen three times since you apparently have no idea what ‘medium rare’ actually means.”

  37. angusm says:

    Today I learned that God works for tips.

  38. Missy Pants says:

    Ok, serious question, who thinks that 18% is a big tip?

    For me, I generally tip 20-25%, more if it’s a cheap diner, cuz they hustle just as much for a percentage of a much smaller bill.

    (But I worked service for years… so maybe I’m biased?)

    • invictus says:

      I worked in customer service for years too, but not in an environment where tips were expected or given. In fact, when people volunteered tips, we put them in the donation jar for the local food bank.

      And yes, I think 18% is pretty high. Not eye-wateringly so, but certainly worthy of comment.

      But here’s a question: Does a server in a $30/plate restaurant work half as hard as one in a $60/plate restaurant? If not, why are we expected to tip based on a percentage of the meal price? Plenty of strip malls with pairs of establishments that would fit the example above; not like cost of living is an explanation for this.

      • wysinwyg says:

        Not work twice as hard.  They work somewhat harder but are also expected to be more skilled and more knowledgeable.  They have responsibilities above and beyond servers at lower-priced establishments such as knowing the wine list and serving the wines.  Servers at more expensive places are expected to be able to answer questions about the menu without running off to the kitchen.

        You’re paying more money for a more skilled and more knowledgeable worker with more responsibilities — just like in any other industry.

        Edit: And more expensive restaurants usually require more expensive uniforms, the cost of which is almost always paid by the server him- or herself.

        • invictus says:

          “You’re paying more money for a more skilled and more knowledgeable worker with more responsibilities”

          I think you’ve just handily clarified which category you fall under. Hint: It’s not “pragmatist.”

          • wysinwyg says:

            No, I’m pretty sure acknowledging the higher cost of more skilled and more knowledgeable workers with more responsibilities is entirely pragmatic. Not to mention the costs imposed on higher-end restaurants by having to screen for better and more knowledgeable servers.

            You, from above:

            Tips are supposed to reward good service, not acknowledge that the restaurant owners’ business model is broken.

            “I shouldn’t have to on principle! It should totally be somebody else’s problem!” THAT’S idealism.

            You don’t understand very much about the restaurant industry. That doesn’t reflect on me at all.

          • invictus says:


          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Your misrepresentation of my point doesn’t reflect on me at all.

            I have all your comments in a neat little row and frankly, I doubt that you cast any reflection at all. Your red-faced, fist-pounding defense of not tipping is just nasty.

          • B E Pratt says:

             Wait…I know! You’re really Mr. Pink!

      • Navin_Johnson says:

        In fact, when people volunteered tips, we put them in the donation jar for the local food bank.

        If only those greedy waiters and waitresses who keep their tips to pay their bills could be so magnanimous…

    • scav says:

      So really you tip a humanely judged amount rather than a ritually-calculated percentage. Good for you :)

  39. legsmalone says:

    Can we stop calling them tips or gratuities? Tips are what you give to your cab driver or dry cleaner or change you throw in the jar at the coffee shop. The 18% (not 15%) added onto the bill is a service charge. If you want to sit down and eat, you pay the service charge. If you don’t want to pay the service charge, you go to a counter service restaurant.

    • C W says:

      Ths is perfectly sensible. If paying 15% is offensively too much, perhaps double coupon night at Denny’s is above your budget and you should realistically stick to your ramen self-serve.

      • legsmalone says:

        Thank you. I have a very close relationship to the foodservice industry as I’ve spent my entire career thus far in kitchens and I won’t be leaving. My perspective may be a bit skewed as I’ve always been in fine dining, where it’s not just your waiter–it’s a captain, backwaiter, busser, foodrunners, bar staff, front door all divvying up that 18%.

        That said, waiters in fine dining can easily clear $60k/yr working 4 shifts a week. I’m sure they’d love to lose that tip credit/minimum wage and go to to a nice $11/hr (which is still more than the cooks make).

        • C W says:

          Don’t waiters in fine-r dining than that just make salary? If you’re getting rid of tips entirely, they’d be compensated accordingly.

  40. auntialias says:

    “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.” 

    Thought of that quote, looked it up. Yep. It’s in the Bible. Specifically, 2 Corinthians 9:7

  41. clydicus says:

    It’s depressing to know that God is waiting tables.  This recession is really effecting everyone.

  42. Baanrit says:

       Like most nations the the US has its various peculiarities. Try remember they are weird foreigners and sometimes have weird foreign ways. Tipping is one of those cases. It doesn’t matter why, and no one is being harmed, it is an established practice of the nation. 15% for standard service, 10% for lousy service and 20% for good service, 25% if you are feeling generous and even higher than that if you are Frank Sinatra – but he was the “Chairman of the Board.”
       As for the “pastor,” he’s a disgrace and I suspect he is bitter about the political direction the country is taking these days and apparently decided, in his impotence, to take it out on waitstaff like that one idiot who didn’t tip for political purposes.

  43. To answer the pastor’s question:
    Because God isn’t a bastard who’ll wipe a buttfinger on your steak the next time you sit in his section.

  44. I agree with the many above who said, essentially, if you don’t want to tip in the US, go for fast food or eat at home.  Like it or not, those are the rules.  Growing up in the US, I never gave tipping a second thought (and I tip well, though I pinch pennies elsewhere.)  BUT, for those who say it’s a stupid idea….well, I know it’s anecdotal but I never had such lackluster waitstaff as when I went to Sydney, Australia last year (where tips are small or non-existent.)  It’s possible this is just an expression of a more laid-back lifestyle or the fact that without tips, there is no motivation for servers to kill themselves trying to keep people happy.  (A similar thing happens here in the US, to a lesser extent, in restaurants that “pool” tips.)

  45. Napalm Dog says:

    I always tip 20%, but I root for the day waiting staff get an actual living wage…

  46. Jed Dutton says:

    18% is standard gratuity for large parties at most restaurants, including the one where I work. Most restaurants also leave an additional tip line, because they charge the servers a tip-share to help pay the bussers/bartenders/hosts. Where I work, it is 3% of your sales. So, a 18% gratuity is really 15% for the server. That is an average tip at best.

    To whomever was saying that restaurants are required by law to pay their servers minimum wage if they don’t make it in tips, that is technically true but many restaurants use a one to two week pay period to see how much you make. This allows them to skirt that law, let’s say you make less than minimum wage one night but the rest of the week you do well, the restaurants pay period info will show you as being above minimum wage all week. Thus, no extra pay for you.

    Also, bad news for that pastor. Just because he scratched out the tip doesn’t mean they didn’t just charge him anyway. Scratching tips out doesn’t do jack shit, except let the server know how big of an asshole you are.

  47. From the UK (where the minimum wage arguably still isn’t enough) – take all this effort and rubbish about good and bad tipping, sort your minimum wage laws out and get on with your lives. If it’s a gift, it’s a gift, it must be given voluntarily.

    If 118% is what it really costs – TELL ME

  48. That guy is a douche, no doubt. However, and I say this a currently poor person who has had a lot of jobs where I depended on tips for a good chunk of my income, adding a automatic tip to a bill is also a douchetastic thing to do, even if it is just ‘automatically done by the computer.’ 

    Tips are a voluntary reward for good service. When a tip becomes mandatory it is no longer a tip. It’s is a fee. And I’ll tell ya, most waiters I’ve worked with are completely against mandatory tips because they get that amount, grudgingly, and no more. They’re more likely to get bigger tips when a mandatory ti– fee isn’t added to the bill. 

    In the end, what really needs to happen is restaurants paying their staff a living wage. No one should have to work for tips. No one should have work their butts off and get next to nothing due to tightwads like this “pastor.” Tips should be a bonus and not what the rent gets paid with. 

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      And I’ll tell ya, most waiters I’ve worked with are completely against mandatory tips because they get that amount, grudgingly, and no more. They’re more likely to get bigger tips when a mandatory ti– fee isn’t added to the bill.

      It’s the same mindset that causes the poorest people to vote for the richest people who are most likely to screw the poor.

    • C W says:

      “And I’ll tell ya, most waiters I’ve worked with are completely against mandatory tips because they get that amount, grudgingly, and no more.”

      People who have actually waited tables know that tips are rarely commensurate with effort, attention, and skill. They’re generally arbitrary based on how nice or terrible the customer is.

      • Petzl says:

        This American Life had an interesting segment on tipping.  They did a rough study where all waitstaff were competent and made no errors.  But some were nice and some were brusquely professional. Oddly, it’s the waitstaff who are competent but brusque that garnered the best tips.  Best explanation: If the waitstaff is “nice”, the customer doesn’t “get anything” for the larger tip.  However if the waitstaff was brusque, a tip can seek approval, or can help someone who obviously could use it, financially or to cheer someone up.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        People who have actually waited tables know that tips are rarely commensurate with effort, attention, and skill. They’re generally arbitrary based on how nice or terrible the customer is.

        The healthcare industry and lawsuits works on the same principle. I’m going to guess that it shows up in some form in every interaction involving people.

  49. Diogenes says:

    He doesn’t give his god 10%.  He gives it to his priest/preacher.  His god get’s squat from the transaction.

  50. marilove says:

    This post now has 240+ comments.  And it’s about *tips*. Out of everything posted on this blog, this is what gets everyone going?

  51. Petzl says:

    With reddit though, you never know if any particular post isn’t part of the reddit’s karma conspiracy

Leave a Reply