By Mike Miranti
Finance Giant CNBC ran this article in February, but it went viral this week. With a clickbaity title like”This Tipping Trip Can Save You Up To $400 A Year”, of course, I knew not to expect anything good, and would probably walk away angry. Long story short, to save you the click and not give them the web traffic, the author says that it is socially acceptable to tip on the pre-tax total instead of the post-tax total and he is correct but just because he is correct doesn’t mean he is right.
People, customers, guests, whatever you would like to call them don’t tip on service. They tip on personality, how they connect with their server, and a million other tiny little things. All this author did was take money out of servers pockets. This article will not turn any pre-tax tippers into post-tax tippers but will have people think that they are saving money(You just spent $100 on dinner, tipping $20 instead of $22 isn’t going to save anything)
Tipping is a necessary evil though. I definitely come from a place of privilege for what I am about to say. I’m a Tall Cis-Het White Male who has only worked at Upscale Casual/Fine Dining establishments. Every place I’ve ever worked at had a check average of $50-$100 per person, and people tip me between 18 and 20 percent. I love working for tips because I live in a place where people tip well, and I am a person that statistically speaking, people like to give money to.
If you live in a small town and work at a chain restaurant that gets people in by serving them 3 courses for $10, tips are everything to you. That fifty cents you get from a table tipping post-tax might be what actually keeps you above zero this week. Server wage is $2.13/hr in most places, which means after taxes you are working strictly for tips.
I can go deep into serving actually being skilled labor, and how most people reading this cannot do what my team is able to do. Every dinner is a symphony that I’m conducting, and much like a conductor, all I can do is tell my orchestra what to do and hope they execute it correctly. If your food comes out wrong, give the restaurant a chance to fix it before you decide you now aren’t going to tip. If you ask a female server for her number and she says no and you don’t tip, you’re a garbage person. Lastly, if you actually want to save money, learn to cook and dine out less. The best way to learn to cook is to keep following us on Instagram and Twitter and asking us questions about recipes, techniques, and anything else you can think of food wise.