Do you stiff your restaurant servers to save money? Do you know that when you don’t tip on wine ordered in restaurants or on carryout orders, you may be taking money out of your server’s pockets?
Some diners — perhaps a larger proportion of them than we might think — have simply stopped tipping. That’s what this post from our 937moms.com forum suggests. Here’s how the thread of online conversation started:
I went out with a group of moms the other day to Big Boy and was amazed at how many of the moms did not tip their servers. One mom said that lots of people don’t tip now because of the economy. Another one said that since it was mostly a buffet she shouldn’t have to tip. I was embarrassed because I always tip! Even with the economy, if I can afford to go eat out at the restaurant, I better be able to afford to tip the service. And, especially when the table had a total of 6 kids at it, which means a big mess to clean up!
Just as the comments on that topic were heating up, I received an email from a server who obviously works at a fine-dining restaurant who posed another tipping question: do customers know that when they don’t tip on, say, an expensive bottle of wine, they’re actually costing the server money, not just time? She brought out some points that I never knew. Here’s her story:
Last week, I had two gentlemen sit down for dinner, and after making numerous comments to me about how we have a great selection of wines at wonderful prices, ordered a bottle of Cakebread Cabernet. I proceeded to present the wine, open the wine, and poured the wine throughout their dinner. After they were finished dining, one of the gentlemen asked for the bill, but asked for the wine to be on a separate check. Of course, I obliged. When I returned to picked up their signed checks, I thanked them and they told me how wonderful everything was and thanked me for my terrific service. When I went to close out their checks, I was floored to discover that they had not tipped me on the wine. Again, it’s not like this was the first time this has happened, but it doesn’t make it any less infuriating!
What people fail to understand is that servers are taxed on their sales, their total sales, not just on what they are tipped. When we are taxed on out sales, it is assumed that diners have tipped at least 10% at our restaurant. ( I do know that the federal government only assumes 8.5%). We are required to claim all of our tips for tax purposes, and if our tips claimed do not match a percentage of our sales, we are taxed on our sales anyway. Understandable, we are then at a financial loss. I do not think it is fair for me, or any other server, to have to pay for the wine consumption that I did not enjoy myself. I think the general understanding is that we are only taxed on our tips, and that is not the case. This is also why not tipping on carry-out orders is frustrating.
Servers make $3.65 an hour. We live on our tips. We also have to tip out the bartenders and bussers from what we make. (I hope) diners who read this come away with a better understanding and be more inclined to tip on that next bottle of wine or carry-out order.
I was not aware that this was the case. Were you?
What are your tipping guidelines? Have they changed?Tweet