So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet


Well, might as well break the ice in the most direct way possible.

Tipping is a somewhat controversial topic here in the US. With most of the rest of the world eschewing the concept of the voluntary tip as the bulk of the server’s income, I thought it would be nice to create a dialog debating the pluses and minuses of the tipping system in the US. Of course, there are plenty of debates raging on this subject at various sites on the Internet, but your input could influence how this subject gets treated in my book, so here’s your chance.

So, have at it.


5 responses to “Tipping

  1. Peter Haas April 25, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    I’m not saying it’s *always* true, but in my experience, the service one receives in a tipping system is generally superior (and frequently vastly superior) to those in waged-based systems. That doesn’t make it better, per se…just an observation.

    Of course, in many countries with a wage-based system, there is a tradition of patrons more or less “owning” the table for the evening, which makes everything more relaxed and slow (or even indifferent service) more tolerable. As a patron, though, the power of the tip is a nice thing to have, and let’s face it: either way you’re going to be paying for the service. As a former server myself (albeit not a very good one), I think that tips create a pretty effective meritocracy among the waitstaff. Good servers get better money, and the the lousy ones eventually quit.

    I also like me some buy-backs!

  2. Mark S April 25, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Being an American living in Australia, I have to say I prefer the system down here, though it took me a while to come around. I don’t think the service suffers so much, and is helped by two standard conventions: water bottles on your table, and pay-at-the-register when you’re ready. It just makes it a more hassle-free experience in general. And you can still tip if your experience was excellent. It does, however, deny you one outlet to register your DISpleasure with the service.

  3. tipjarpoetry March 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

    To avoid the embarrassment those tip jars are quite handy. You can drop whatever you feel like you can spare and the receiver does not have to thank you all the time. I love the Spanish way of tipping. Once you pay your bills, waiters come back with all the change and then will disappear. So you can leave the rest of the change you can spare and get outta there. They do not expect you to pay anything and take their pride in taking whatever amount you can leave. In France it is basically the same – just leave on the table what you think it was worth. Most painful situations occur in Germany where waiters stay by your table all the time and wait till you tipp.

    • teleburst April 18, 2013 at 10:03 am

      Just remember that you’ve already had a compulsory tip when dining in Spain, France, and Germany. It’s called the “service charge” that you paid with your bill. So, essentially, you were FORCED to tip. Just sayin’.

      • tipjarpoetry September 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm

        I often serve myself at bars though because the waiter is somewhere busy playing domino and it doesn’t affect the service charge at all….haha. However, you are right if it comes to touristy places and big towns and dining. Different in rural Spain where they don’t charges anything. Where can you get a glass of beer/wine and a tapa with freshly grilled shrimps for 1,20 Euro? Not sure how they calculate any service charge here.

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