An Open Letter To People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

I was brought up in a family where any work was considered “real work.” Anyone who was out making a living for themselves was an admirable person. No matter what trade, or where, or whenmy parents taught me to respect and appreciate those who could get up every morning and do their part to make lives a bit betterfor whatever reason.
When I was young, I was naive and thought that everyone was raised this way. When I began waitressing at the age of 15, I realizedthe majority of people don’t.

Working in a restaurant as a server is a job that is underappreciated and undervalued. Restaurants are one of the most fast-paced industries, where you are expected to wear several hats at once. Many times I’d work in restaurants where I was not only the waitress but also the manager, the bartender, the food runner, the expediter. Working in restaurants will teach you so many lessons, and also introduce you to some of the greatest people in the worldbut you will realize that some people are nothing but rude.

The first time I waitedon a table and didn’t get a tip, I was 16. I was nice, I was kind, I made sure their food was perfectly prepared as ordered and even laughed and told some stories to themthey seemed to enjoy their meal and their time. When I returned their credit card, with receipt, I was hurt to see the line through the “tip” sectionand no cash in sight. I asked my busboys, I asked my co-workersI was flat out stiffed on a $75.00 check.

I was hurt and confusedas it was my first time being stiffed. But, as I continued working my way in the industryto pay for college, to pay rent, to support myself through my bachelor’s and master’sI gotused to it.

Now, no longer working in the industry at this point in time, I wonderwhy do I have to getused topeople stiffing me on checks, rather than people gettingused totipping their servers?

Most people who work in the restaurant industryliveoff of their tips. Many workers get paid minimum wage, or sometimes less than minimum wage. They don’t get benefits, they don’t get paid time off, or holidays off to be with their families. Many servers work more than one job to make ends meet. They are college students who need to pay tuition. They are adults who were laid off and need another gig. They are parents, daughters, sons, nieces, nephewsall looking to make a life for themselves.

When someone provides a service for you, you leave them a tip for doing so. When you get your hair done, when you get your car serviced, when someone pumps your gas for you, when you get your nails done. Eating out is no different.

If you can afford to go out to eat for a mealordering appetizers, entrees, desserts, drinksyou should be able to give your server, who provided everything for you, a tip.

Servers are usually on autopilot during a rush. They can’t stop for a second to breathe. Table 3 needs more Ranch dressing, Table 5 asked for refills on drinks, Table 2 wants their steak cooked more, Table 1 is waiting for dessert menus. We run, and run, and run, to make sure that your experience is one that you enjoythe least you can do is give us what we areowed.

Regardless of how you feel about servers, take a page from the book that my parents gave me. All workers arerealworkers, especially servers.No matter what trade, or where, or whenpeople deserve to be treated with respect.