I’m sure this has been covered before, but I’m new, so bear with me.
I’m a waitress, and it always amazes me how often I get terrible tips despite customers raving about my excellent service.
I was under the impression that in North America, it is customary to give 15% for good service. For anything above good service, where the server goes to any extra trouble to please you, you tip above 15%, at your discretion.
Thing is, waiters and waitresses in North America generally make less than “minimum wage”, as the government expects their income to be filled in by the gratuities. And almost every restaurant has a “kickback” or “tipout” system where a percentage of the waiter’s SALES (at my restaurant, it is a heartstopping 4% --of my SALES…regardless of how much I’m tipped-- despite the fact that we have no bartender or busboy or hostess) But often, after serving a table for an hour or more, pouring their wine and splitting their check and dealing with all manner of rude behaviour, I find myself staring at an 8-11% tip at the end. If I’m lucky. Which, after the house gets their kickback, ends up being a whole lotta nothin.
Now, I’m aware that many people tip on the subtotal before tax, which is understandable, though I myself always tip on the total after tax (though that may be generosity based on my knowledge of how humiliting the business can be sometimes) but it still doesn’t answer for those people whose bill comes to $110.34 before tax and they leave me a whopping $120 and say magnanimously, “keep the change”.
It’s also well known in the service industry, at least where I’ve worked, that if a table is really nice to you and starts complimenting you on what a great server you are and what a wonderful time they’ve had, you better prepare yourself for a crappo tip. Because apparently compliments will pay my rent?
Is it that people don’t KNOW that the custom is 15%? Or is it just cheapness?