20 is the New 15

By Katrina DiCastro
Over the years, the prices of things have changed. Things like a gallon of gas that once cost a few cents now cost a few dollars. It should only be expected that the prices of other goods goes up – like the percentage of a tip you leave in a restaurant, or anywhere you tip for that matter. Although tipping can be viewed as “optional,” it is actually a requirement in order for servers to make money.
In the state of Massachusetts, servers are paid a minimum wage of “$2.63/hour plus tips.” If everyone believed tipping was optional and left nothing, servers would be paying for you to go out to eat.
When you leave no tip, or a poor tip (anywhere below 15 percent) the server is most likely paying for you to eat here. Although they receive barely any pay, and must work for their own tips, in most restaurants the servers are required to tip out other employees such as bartenders and bus boys.
For example, I work at the Leominster Texas Roadhouse; we are required to tip out 2.5 percent of our sales. That is $2.50 on every $100 worth of food and drink we sell. If your bill is $300 and you leave a $30 tip (10 percent) the waitress only gets to keep $22.50 of that, minus taxes.
Regardless of the size of the tip, I have to give 2.5 percent of my overall sales back to the restaurant. In the same example, let’s say you did not realize how much you were spending and decided to leave no tip because you were out of money. Now, whether your waitress was good or bad, they are actually paying $7.50 for you to go out to eat.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I have gone out and had horrible service before and I can admit when I do not do my best job serving on a table, but that is never an excuse to leave pennies for a tip. Trust me when I say we do not choose to get paid $2.63 an hour and work for the rest of our pay. The law requires us to get paid barely anything and the law is expecting you to tip us. We just do our job and try to make a living. Just remember, we are servers, not servants.
Tipping Etiquette:
If you have good service, always leave 20 percent or more. Especially if you have a low check. Your server will appreciate it. If your bill is $40 and you had good service, just drop $50. It doesn’t seem like much, but that extra $2 will make a difference in the end of the night.
Tipping after the user of a coupon: If your bill is $100 and you use a 50 percent off coupon, your bill is now $50. However, you should still tip on the original $100 bill. We still did $100 worth of work, and you saved money, do the right thing and tip on the original price of the bill.
Never leave a pile of change. You don’t want it, and neither do we.
Should I leave a tip? In those situations where you’re not sure if you should tip or not, do it anyway! Just remember the word karma.
Delivery Charges: For your information, delivery charges are generally not considered a tip for the driver. A $3.00 delivery charge generally breaks down to $1.50 to the store and $1.50 goes to the delivery person but is considered repayment for gas. Also remember the further you live or more you order, the more you should tip!