Columns Oct 28, 2015 at 4:00 am

Cheap Date

Steven Weissman


That is pretty bad behavior. Not much more to say on that.
Fuck You and your tip. Just because you're a Server of food, doesn't mean that you deserve more than what you agreed to work for when you got hired. Maybe you didn't get a tip because they didn't like your service. Or, maybe your attitude.

You don't have a right to a tip just because you serve food or make less than $15 hr.
Do you tip the Minimum Wage worker? Do you tip the person that checks you out at your grocery store? When you shop at a department store, Target, Bed Bath,etc. do you tip? When you buy Fast Food do you tip?

When you do business at any place other than a Restaurant/Bar do you tip?

I didn't think so. To get tip, you got to give tip. You aren't special because you serve food. There are A LOT of people with minimum wage jobs that you interact with. If you don't tip them for doing their job. Why should you get a tip for doing yours.
@2 The laws in the US allow restaurants to pay less than the minimum wage because customers are expected to tip. In fact, restaurants often require tips and add it to your bill for you if your party is over a certain number of people. Any restaurant customers who don't tip, with the exception of those who got honestly lousy service or those in the new non-tipping restaurants, are low life scum who ought to cook their own damn food. This is exactly the reason all restaurants should pay all their workers decent wages and eliminate the all too often arbitrary practice of tipping.
People who don't tip suck. I say that as a person who makes squat, I'm not a server, and I tip at LEAST 20%. If you can't afford to leave a decent tip, stay the fuck home.
The point here, Thrill Killer, is that servers also tip out the rest of the restaurant employees, and by stiffing their server, waiter actually LOST money. He ( or she) is still expected to tip the bartender, the hostess, the bussers, and depending on which place he works at, the food runner. All in all, I would say he is out at least ten bucks. If his restaurant employs less than 100 or so employees, minimum wage is $10. So he worked for free. If his place of employment is larger, he made 2 bucks on the current Seattle minimum of $12 an hour. And I could spend pages going over the tip or don't tip debate, but the fact of the matter is, that is how the system is set up, for better or for worse. You spend three bills on dinner, you tip $60. Not ok with that? Stay home, or eat fast food.
@ 8, No one has to tip. It's discretionary at best. The girl here makes minimum wage. Yet she says she deserves a Tip. Like I said, LOTS of people make minimum wage. You interact on a daily basis with those that make minimum wage. If YOU don't tip the minimum wage worker. You can't expect anyone to tip a restaurant/bar worker just because they work there. The worker doesn't lose money as she makes minimum wage. She gets paid what she agreed to work for. Everyone in that place makes minimum wage.. Why do you think they deserve more?

If you want to tip fine, you go right ahead. Me, I REFUSE to tip at places where they think that they deserve a Tip just because they work there.

Do you tip at McDonalds?, Safeway's?, Target?, Walgreens?, Wal-Mart?, Costco?, Gas Station?, Movie Theater?, etc. If you don't, then you have no credibility on this issue. As they make less than a server. That person makes Minimum Wage +Tips. The others, just Minimum Wage. So, If you're gonna be concerned about the "Plight" of a food server who doesn't get a Tip. And you don't tip other minimum Wage workers. Then you need to just Shut The Fuck Up on this issue. Or, you can start tipping all minimum wage workers.

The choice is yours.
Thrill Killer, you are totally free not to tip. Just don't go to sit down restaurants where it's socially and culturally expected. If you so loathe tipping I suggest you put your money where your mouth is and patronize some of the restaurants that have instituted no tipping and instead just pay their employees a decent wage. Waiting tables requires an order of magnitude more skill than slinging burgers and stocking shelves. By going to a restaurant where tipping is expected and not tipping, you are rewarding the restaurant owners who put their profits ahead of their employees (and pass the burden of adequately paying their staff on to you) while punishing the employee. Your argument seems to be that wait staff deserve to be paid only minimum wage, but the fact of the matter is waiting tables takes a unique combination of skills that not just anyone has or can learn. It's hard, sometimes complicated work, and wait staff should command a much higher wage given their skill, but do not get it due to the cultural norm of tipping. Wait staff are not being entitled for expecting you to tip - it is a societal norm, and frankly, if you don't, you're an asshole.
Tipping culture is most certainly bullshit, for the many reasons noted in this thread. It should just be abolished and minimum wage laws enforced nationwide.

Also total bullshit is that weird thing waiters do where they claim to have some kind of special skill and talent that makes them fit to be waiters, like they have some sort of special training or "it" factor that not just anyone can learn/have.
I am 100% on your side, Anonymous, and I would love it if restaurant management backed you up on this. Not tipping at a full service restaurant should get a customer asked to never come back. I would happily support any restaurant with that policy in place.

Maybe not so extreme as "you're not welcome here anymore", but more along the lines of "we really care about our servers and last time you visited we noticed that you didn't leave a tip. If you choose to dine here moving forward, we will be adding the 20% gratuity to the bill for you. Sorry for the inconvenience, we'll comp you a free appetizer."
A real tip would be to treat the servers, associates, dish washers with gratitude and respect. I feel that this customer was kind of heartless. Spending that much time (and taking up a table for an extended amount of time ) is not healthy for the restaurant. Go ahead, ask the customer to leave and not return a la "Sir? I'm sorry but we have promised this table for another guest who is coming in soon. Could you please finish your meal?"
There is a sneaky way out of everything. Sounds like you did well. I would definitely give you a tip except for the fact that I can barely afford to eat at safeway, let alone a nice restaurant like yours. Best wishes!
For those who think minimum wage is easy, I say put your money where your keyboards are and try it for a mere four weeks. Just four little weeks and perfect timing with the holidays coming up. Go ahead, you can do it! Its easy! Pay your rent on 9.47 per hour - minus taxes, minus your groceries, minus your child care, minus public transportation, minus your doctor, dentist and eyeglass visits, minus clothes shopping and minus your holiday purchases that you'll run out and start doing after a nice dinner, that if you didnt buy, your parents probably bought for you. Com'on folks, everyone can do their current jobs making management decisions, balancing department budgets, supervising people, building buildings and managing projects can easily live on minimum wage. We can do it! See how easy life is for those where your monthly rent is more than some of these folk pull down in two or three months. The funny thing is when these hard working folk finally get so frustrated, so pissed off at barely existing that they start revolting against those who have kept them down for so long, I will look forward to see the shocked and shaken looks on those faces when you wont know what to do next. Its happened before you know, throughout history, on many different occasions and its not a matter of if, but when it will happen again. All it will take is the right zealot or demagogue to lead the way with nothing left to lose.....a little food for thought.
I run a business in Seattle. I pay my workers anywhere from about 15.00 per hour to six figures. I also give them paid leave, health insurance, 401K and other benefits. They do complex and skilled work, go above and beyond, delighting clients and don't get tipped by our clients. They work for me. I charge my clients for our services, they pay me, and I pay my staff. Nothing magic or profound.

I have traveled in other countries where fine service is received with no tip. Where the fuck do restaurants get off believing that somehow they get to have their customers basically pay their staff. And where to servers get off believing that they are a more highly evolved life form warranting special treatment with their smug entitlement. I don't want tipping and I don't want service charges on top of a bill. Rather, increase the bill for the food to what it takes to pay staff well, and give me a bill plus tax. Can I afford to tip, of course. I am affluent. But it is an affront the way restaurants do business and it offends my principles. The crazy prices that keep going up well in excess of inflation and the sick system of tipping are both turn offs. Server, don't like your job, take your highly evolved skills elsewhere. By the way, I don't protest to the point of not tipping (though I never let anyone handle my bags when travelling so I don't have to deal with the extended palm). It is just that I go out less and enjoy it less because of my seething resentment at a system that needs to end yesterday. Show me a restaurant that charges straight up, will not accept or permit tips, and pays its staff nicely, and they will win me over with my enthusiastic patronage. My fear of course is that the owners will just pocket the higher bill, but that is why we have the ability for people to move to better jobs with or without notice.
Damn dude-if you are affluent, what's your beef on tipping then? I am not affluent and would expect to leave a tip. It's just kind of the way we do things here in the US of A. I know-other places around the world and the tipping thing. You leave your Eurocentric shit at the door pal. If you're shelling out 300 bucks for a meal-a forty dollar tip ain't gonna set you back. I don't know-cut back on the coke or something. If I buy a ten dollar teriyaki-two dollar tip. If I buy a four dollar coffee-a buck. It should just be automatic. You discriminate against food and beverage industry workers a little to cynically-in my cynical opinion. Now-I'm going to cut some onions, read your comment again(Park Place) and then hit my thumb with a hammer.
@SeattleBcc, no way I could live here with anything close to minimum wage... even making $300,000 a year, that's only 25k a month... after 5k/month on rent, I need to save for retirement, go traveling, and then pay my taxes - often over $100,000 a year, too. Life in Seattle is expensive, but happy to tip 20%.
@sadiquechienne I would argue that it takes more skill to 'sling burgers' than to wait tables, depending on if we're talking McAutomation or a real restaurant. This is something that, as a one-time cook, I know kitchen staff hates: waiters who think they're doing 'God's work' and the kitchen is only there to make their lives harder. Your tip, which we often see none of, largely depends on our cooking.
@9 You're an idiot. Every business you listed pays more than minimum wage (for some you need to factor in benefits). Seattle currently DOES have a tip credit of $1. So the only people making less than minimum wage are those in the service industry. Yes their tips more than make up for it (and if they do not then their employers need to pay the difference). But it sucks when a situation like this happens and the server ends up having to pay out of their pocket to tip out the cooks, bartenders, etc., because someone ran up a huge bill and didn't tip.

This system sucks, and this shouldn't be allowed to happen. The fix? Eliminate tips, raise your prices, and pay staff fairly.

This is coming from a bartender. I make great money in tips, but I realize it's a busted system where I get paid way more than everyone else and the cooks in the back are definitely working harder than I am.
How often do WAIT-TRONS push some of the tips to the kitchen? Yeah, like NEVER. Fuck over entitled WAIT-TRONS, bring me my food and smile.
@20, you're an IDIOT. You don't work at Target, nor do you work in a gas station. Nor a Grocery Store.
Tip culture is clearly bullshit, but if you refuse to tip, you're a psychopath.
If you can afford a $300 bill, you can afford to tip. I'm with the server on this one.

Thrill Killer, I sincerely hope you don't go out to eat anywhere ever.
Doesn't the IRS also tax the server, according to the standard tip guidelines? In which case this server not only had to tip out the back of the house from their unreceived tips, but also pay taxes on the money they never got.

If you don't like the system, please, lobby to change it or only go to restaurants that have eliminated the system. But don't take it out on the people struggling on the front lines. They didn't make the system.
Sure, tipping culture in the US is not logical. But it is customary. If it really bothers you so much, STAY HOME. Or get used to the fact that everyone around you thinks you're an asshole.

Apparently the "no tips" with better base pay and benefits is becoming more common in Seattle. If you search the Stranger articles over the past few months you should be able to find some places.
@2 For pete's sake man, just post a link to Mr. Pink's rant and save yourself all the typing
@8 - when I was a server, my tipping out to other staff was a percentage of the tips I made, not on the table. So if I got stiffed by a table, everyone I tipped out also got stiffed by that table. There were times I chose to tip out more, or give someone a tip for additional help on a table outside of what I earned on it, but it wasn't required - and people definitely knew if a major table like the one in this story had stiffed me.

My question is: are servers now tipping out based on service given to them by other roles, independent on the tips earned? That would suck.
I, too, tip according to service received. I understand the difference in "back of the house issues" and shitty service. If you treat me like an afterthought, I'm going to return the favor. Dining out is a treat for me and mine and you should be sure that while I appreciate good service appropriately, I refuse to be guilted into tipping. #getarealjob
Was there ever a former server who said, "don't tip the servers"? From a former's stand point, I would agree with those who commented by saying if you can afford a $300 meal in DT Seattle, you can certainly afford to tip your server. Nowadays servers tip out back of house/bar/etc based upon sales, not on tips rendered at the end of the shift. If you're uncomfortable with tipping for service based on your lofty moral principles, and might I recommend making chicken cacciatore at home?
For all the cranks complaining that Europeans don't tip so why should we, consider that at most toilets in Europe you have to pay to use them. So does that mean because we don't pay for toilets in America you get to jump the turnstiles in Europe? No, you pay for it because that is how things work there. Pay for toilets in Europe, tip restaurant workers in America.

Going to stand up on principle and say that tipping is ludicrous and you refuse to do it (looking at you Thrill Killer)? Fine, just make sure you tell the server THE MOMENT you see the server, not when the bill arrives. You don't get to free ride on everyone else's habits so make your intentions known and let the server adjust your level of service appropriately. Or better yet, put up a sign at your table that says clearly "I DO NOT TIP" so that everyone else in the restaurant can see what a cheapskate you are.
So to Anonymous, I support you and would say to the cheapskates you served last night, if you can afford to spend $300 at a meal and even have some of it comped, you can damn well afford to leave a tip.
I was on the fence about restaurants eliminating tipping and raising the menu prices and distributing the money amongst the staff. But after reading this I fully support getting rid of tipping. The people in the kitchen should be getting the lion share of wages in a restaurant, they are the talent that brings in the crowd.
I'm guessing this Thrill Kill asshole got dumped hard by waitress once.
If you blow 300 bucks and get comps, you give a little back to the waitstaff. The service industry is only tolerable because of the kickbacks, and tips are part of that. I'm happy about the $15 minimum and tipping rules. Everyone should tip. I would love if it were standard practice to tip everywhere! We're all on this road to the grave together. Giving someone just a tiny bit more monetary freedom, even if it just means they can afford to eat a TV dinner instead of ramen, is a cool and compassionate thing to do. I'm sad I share a planet with a bunch of mouth-breathing satanists who start sputtering and shaking at the mere suggestion that they give a bit extra to the human beings who bring them food and pretend not to notice their repugnant demeanor.
@15 - Putting aside your whole Mr. Pink thing, please share this magical country with excellent service and no tips. Japan knocks it out of the park, but other than that I can't even think of country where the sort of service Americans are used to even exists, tip or no tip

@24 - That's not really fair, Satanists are probably decent tippers.
This is an old story, anybody whose worked in a tipping job has this story to tell. Newsflash people get exploited by customers in other jobs as well. There are also stories about great customers. It would be nice to hear one of those once in a while.
I would be shocked if the folks saying we should eliminate tips with higher prices on food didn't start complaining about food being too expensive as soon as it happened.

Also, having worked in both fast food and server jobs, there is without question more skill required for the later. Do you ask your McD's speaker for wine pairing advice with your BigMac? No (and if you do, you're an ass).
Damn, either this thread is full of astroturfing, or else a bunch of y'all are assholes. Stop fucking whining about living wage laws, and pay the fuck attention when you're in a situation where someone is still not making a living wage. Preps and chefs may make the meals, but servers are the ones who catch all the shit, deserved or not, when a customer has a problem. They're the ones on the battlefront.

I'm all for eliminating tipping and making the minimum wage for servers the same as for everyone else, but that's not the case right now, so fucking tip, you stingy shitheads.
thrill Kill you're an ass.
Where this sense of Entitlement that people who work in a Restaurant/Bar have, where this comes from, I don't know. All they say is "I Serve You Food, Tip Me", "I Get Your Drink, Tip Me". "I Only Make Minimum Wage, Tip Me". If you tipped other Minimum Wage Workers, other than those that work in a Restaurant/Bar, I'd be on your side. But to me it sounds hypocritical to say that you deserve a tip based on your rate of pay, or mainly because of where you work. Do you ever consider the plight of others who make what you do? Do you Tip them? Most likely not.

Next time you go to a Grocery Store drop a $1 or two to the Girl/Guy who bags your groceries. She/He makes minimum wage. If you don't believe me. Then ask Her/Him.

Practice What You Preach..............................................................................................
Love the conservative rants of those who love the status quo when it suits them to continue a demeaning custom that demeans all involved. The sense of entitlement is staggering; to extort money from patrons rather than demand a true living wage. No one has explained how it is that servers and others with extended palms and their employers warrant a different business model than every other economic sector where excellent service is paid for, along with benefits. I tip because I must, given the system. But I loathe it, go out less often and thus circulate less money than I would if prices were all inclusive.

And the 15.00 minimum wage when fully in place certainly means higher prices, better wages and puts the lie to the concept that servers must have their so called living wage supplemented with another 18%.
You can tell the crazy people are the ones who are beside themselves over 'entitlement'
@42, Call me Crazy, What Evs. At least I'm not a Hypocrite.
@15, Most European countries have universal healthcare for medical, dental, and vision. Here, if someone at minimum wage needs to go to the doctor, they're paying at least an hour's wages for a low co-pay and they're probably taking unpaid leave. If they need tests and medication or god forbid surgery, they're basically screwed. And this isn't even considering the likelihood of a deductible or insurance premiums they have to pay in the first place.
@41 $15 is still not a "living wage" in Seattle, especially with the current cost of housing and healthcare. It's simply an improved minimum.
Oh, another moaning server. The tragedy. Cue violins.
Perhaps you didn't earn it?
Thrill Killer = Arthur Zifferelli
Thrill Killer, you're a fucking asshole also an idiot. Here's how it works. Unlike fast food, grocery stores and the like, when you are a server you spend time, sometimes hours with a single table. Depending on the size of the group you "auto-grat". You chit chat where you can knowing you have food in the window for another table or your bar top (bartended almost 20 years myself). Sometimes it is "easy" and other times it is not depending on volume. You're the one sitting down. Your server or bartender is on their feet moving around at your whim, which is part of the job and they also have dozens of other people to keep happy. You tip them on their effort to make you happy. Pizza delivery too, those people potentially risk their lives to bring your pizza etc to you. How many servers have had to explain to people like you that I ordered before the other table but they got their food first and then tell them what they ordered takes longer to cook and other people at the table ordered dishes that are more quick to make? It's because I timed it! Go get a job somewhere and learn how it goes.
And this is why I have always believed that tipping is demeaning, and relying on the whimsical mood of customers for your salary instead of your employer is demeaning. Demand a livable wage of at least $15 an hour or nothing. And demand your cheap employer pay your salary; that's who's cheap..
For the assholes out there let me make a few points. 1. Your server knows (almost as well as the cooks) what is in the food you order, very important (possibly life saving) if you have a food allergy. 2. Your server knows, what elements of a dish cannot be modified, as a result of it being prepared in advance, and will help you around those. 3. Further substitutions: if you order a mid-rare burger, but substitute a turkey patty for beef, your server will tell you that poultry isn't safe to eat at that temperature, if you aren't an asshole. 4. Your server is a person who deserves courtesy. If they ask you how you want your burger or steak cooked, and you just look at them with disgust and say "cooked," they will tell the cooks to make it into boot leather. 5. Servers who are not me, can be very vindictive. Forget the cliche of having your food spit on; if you don't want your credit card or change shoved into their underwear, and carried around for a few minutes against their smelly nasty crotches, before they give it back to you well, maybe you should consider being decent to them, and tipping them appropriately. No it isn't a perfect system, but be aware of these things before you decide to be an asshole, who thinks servers are just minimum wage lackeys with no real skills, who deserve no more then that.
@49, You want a tip because you do what your job requires. Then tip others who do what their job requires. If you don't, then you're The Asshole.

@51, "Tip me or I'll....." Ha-Ha! You're so elitist. You do more, work harder, know more, than other workers who make what you do. So they don't deserve a tip. But you do. Yea, okay.
Nope. You're wrong. It doesn't work that way. But seriously do what YOU want. I doubt you're a regular anywhere. Servers and bartenders can refuse to serve for any reason. I don't do that line of work anymore, but everybody on staff would know who you are and would begin talking about you. Two bucks on a 10 dollar tab is nothing.
Also, bro, I tip 7-11 cashiers, Taco Bell people, bus drivers etc. If I have the money I pass it around to people I like, which if you're doing your job in a bar/restaurant means people come back and reciprocate. In almost twenty years I never charged for soda, coffee, tea to those who were kind, talkative etc also I gave those people, including the homeless free soup. You realize that's where the margins are right? Then you get a modest tip and a return customer.
@34 I'm a mouth breather and I tip 20%, minimum. Some people have deviated septums, myself included, and find breathing through their mouths disgustingly necessary. And yet, I still manage to find meaning, purpose and satisfaction in my life, and hold no resentment towards those with unimpaired nostrils. And Satanists are some of the best. Pigasus for President!
@54, Also bro, you tip 7-11 uh-huh, Metro drivers too. Yea right. Taco Bell, I believe you for sure.
Things we've learned from this thread.
--Thrill Killer is an asshole that clearly never worked in the food service industry, hates woman as he assumes the server was a 'girl', he has a small penis and is on Tinder (okay thats just a hunch).
--that the Seattle/Washington/US tax laws and tipping customs make it pretty much impossible to live in Seattle with any decent standard of living
--that this is a First World problem that we are pretty god damn lucky to be able to debate and discuss this issue freely.
--its better to be kind, spread your wealth and to do your best not to be an asshole!
Dont sweat the small shit and its ALL small shit! Happy Halloween!

@57, the people of Seattle are not responsible for your "standard of living". You talk of "Spreading the Wealth". So when do you Spread the Wealth with others who make what you infer that you earn? Clearly you don't tip the low income worker. But, you want them to tip you if you are their server.
Bro, I didn't say Metro bus drivers, did I? There are other forms of buses outside of Seattle. And you don't have to "spread the wealth" in order to recognize a job well done. What goes around comes around. People not accustomed to being tipped really appreciate it. And hahaha, I said I tip Taco Bell people thus that is what I said, though I rarely go there, yes, yes I do.
They could have left you a cash tip and it could have gotten stolen. I saw someone once snatching the tip from a table (at a nice restaurant when the large group was out the door).
@59, Cool
How about tips for people in hospitals who work cleaning the place up. No, not the operating or examination rooms but the common work/office ares and reception and waiting rooms. They sweep and mop, clean the toilets, dump the trash etcetera. These people do not work for the hospitals but for separate companies who have contracted for the work. These people work just as hard as any restaurant server and are paid the very minimum. Hospitals should therefore have tip jars around various reception desks with signage encouraging patients to tip. Hospitals should encourage their regular employees to tip via payroll deduction; this should sound fair to all, it is just. Other businesses who contract out low paid work should do the same.
@4: If the employee doesn't make minimum wage, the employer is legally obligated to make it up. There are well enough refuse-to-tips that while you can be mad, you really can't expect everyone to participate in the system. Tipping should just be abolished.
@51: Thank you for sharing your contempt and threats of what we who are unworthy may expect from you and your criminal acts. It is this sort of animal that ought to give pause to anyone who steps into a place that employs people with contempt for their fellow man and women. Tipping in your case and those who think like you is a requirement not for exceptional service, but for non-sabotaged food. No thanks. I will eat at home. Going out to eat with folks like you in the ranks of 'service' providers requires the same level of denial that we need to eat factory raised beef and chicken. You are a poster child for a good reason to end tipping as we know it.
It's common courtesy to tip, even if it's not 20% leave what you can afford. Servers don't make a lot of dough and they deserve a small reward.
@51: "Servers who are not me, can be very vindictive. Forget the cliche of having your food spit on; if you don't want your credit card or change shoved into their underwear, and carried around for a few minutes against their smelly nasty crotches, before they give it back to you well, maybe you should consider being decent to them, and tipping them appropriately. No it isn't a perfect system, but be aware of these things before you decide to be an asshole, who thinks servers are just minimum wage lackeys with no real skills, who deserve no more then that."

I tip, but anyone who does any of those things you threaten doesn't deserve a job.
@14 I make $10.50 an hour and pay my rent, bills, food and save $500 every month! A third for rent, a third for bills/food, a third for savings! Certainly $10.50 is more than minimum but not by far. If you cannot do the same then you need to learn better money management, IMO
@67 Wow 67. I am really impressed! By my calculations you make about 1700 per month. So you find rent for 550 or so and then spend about 20.00 per day on the rest and save 6K a year. You are to be commended and then some. But I also think the editors should consider a story on you and others who are able to accomplish this. As an aside, this level of competency and self-restraint suggests to me that you can find better paying work with a bit of effort and focus, and find employers who will give you an opportunity to ramp your earnings as you apply similar skills on their behalf. Congratulations!

By the way, your posting puts the lie to those who rant and whine about the impossibility of what you describe. Most of those would claim an inability to survive on what you earn, let alone be able to bank a third of it. What gives? And please tell us about your rental situation. Location, type of structure, roommates, under-market for some reason.

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