Restaurant patrons should remember to tip generously

It seems like everyone has had that one waiter who gets your order wrong, has a poor attitude or rarely shows up to your table. In response you may think to yourself that this guy doesn’t deserve a tip, but take that attitude and trash it.

The service industry is not fun to work in. Waiters deal all day with whiny customers, crying babies and a clientele that will blame them for anything that goes wrong, despite the fact that they didn’t cook any of the food. In return they expect to be compensated as recognition of service beyond the price of your meal, and they deserve it.

I understand that if you have poor service from a waiter you don’t feel like tipping them, but there should be a bare minimum display of appreciation for the fact they showed up for you at all. Remember kids: This isn’t your mom’s kitchen. They don’t “need” to serve you.

This doesn’t only apply to your typical restaurants, either. Coffee shops and smoothie places create complicated drinks, usually at minimum wage. They also need tips. Perhaps not the same tip you would leave at a fancy restaurant, or the $1-per-drink minimum etiquette expected at most bars, but a tip nonetheless. Fast food servers, because of their non-traditional service, are often under-tipped or not tipped at all. This is also due to the expedited nature of the transaction, and customers are often impatient or rude.

Luckily, in California it is illegal to pay tipped-workers less than the state minimum wage of $8. In some other states tipped employees can be paid less in order to help save the companies money, despite workload or effort.

Also, being in the service industry isn’t easy. Try remembering five orders to a tee and writing them all down as fast as your customer can say them.

Fifteen to 20 percent is customary in most situations, but if your service provider really made your experience above and beyond the expected, pay a little more to say thank you. I would go down to 10 percent if it was truly sub-par, but tipping is a way to show not only your appreciation of the service you’ve received, but on the other side it makes a service job slightly less sucky.

Calculating the tip can be a hassle, especially if you need to share the tip among several people. Use the calculator that most phones come with as an accessible tool. iPhones even have their own tip calculating app that can be downloaded through the app store, and websites like will do calculations for you to tip your delivery person. There are exceptions to paying more, such as bad weather for a delivery person or an unnecessarily complicated order at a restaurant.

Sometimes it’s hard to appreciate the service industry, but here’s a tip for everyone. Go leave it on the table.

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    Raquel SantiagoOct 2, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Im torn on this. While i agree that good service should be rewarded. I dont feel that a patron should be paying a bill and a half. I remember when 10 percent used to be customary and there was no issue and everyone was happy. Pretty soon we will see tips that are the same amount as the food bill. Everyone is struggling in these times and 10 percent for good service is more than enough.

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Restaurant patrons should remember to tip generously