Tipping Your Staff Standards

Alexander Walters, Writer

Everyone has gone out to eat and sat at the table, wondering just how much to tip your server, maybe opening a calculator app on your phone or scribbling some math down on a napkin just to figure out if you’re doing it right. But why do we as a society tip our workers? 


Tipping as a society is a little “thank you for the good service” to their waiter, server, or the person who is helping them in general. But, in multiple countries, tipping is not allowed at all as to limit that need. But in the United States, that’s another story. In the United States, some servers make as little as $2.13 an hour, just because they are expected to be paid plenty during their shift in tips. 


Does this happen though? Unfortunately, not all the time, leaving single mothers or “breadwinners” of the household without enough money, especially considering how many less than minimum wage workers are living paycheck to paycheck.


Some of you may be frowning and getting ready to click out of this article, thinking, “If you want to be paid more, go get another job.” The thing is, they have been. Leaving restaurants, fast food places and other low-paying jobs short-staffed and overworked. The United States is now in an unemployment crisis. Whoever remains working in the minimum wage pool is facing the large majority of the anger and blame for longer wait times without anything to show for it, taking home the same minimum wage paycheck and continuing to live paycheck to paycheck.


Many people make the claims that they cannot afford to tip, while those claims have been combated by service workers saying that if you cannot afford to tip, then you can’t afford to go out. This belief is shared by a lot of workers, and some are even happy to receive pocket change, especially during a rush.


What should be the standard for tipping in these rough years? Everyone has their own personal standard, varying from whatever percentage makes the dollar whole to ten percent or even up to thirty regularly. When your service is amazing, people have even recommended more, but no one can truly expect such a thing. 


Should the amount we tip vary due to whether or not tips are “pooled” together? (Pooling tips is something that takes place in many restaurants and businesses, meaning all the money is put together and then divided at the end of shifts, varying in percentages each employee will receive due to their job.) Depending on the place you work and your job, you may not get nearly as much of a cut of the tips as the other people do, whether it be from other people not being honest, or simply the way the company has decided to divide tips.


With the subject of pooling, how does the credit card tips get distributed? One way is used at Subway in the Capital Mall, which is to be distributed between whoever is on shift. So if a person is doing all of the ringing, then the credit card tips would be evenly distributed, just the same as it would if they had been cash tips. 


Unfortunately for employees, credit card tips run through and are taxed before being added onto a person’s paycheck, meaning most employees favor cash tips. 


No matter what your general standard is for tipping, those who are on the receiving end are extremely thankful and ask that you please continue to do so, if able to.