So You Want To Be A Waiter

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Daily Archives: November 7, 2009

Apparently, people just aren’t being raised right these days…

…what with their daddy’s credit cards and Porsches, and Prada bags and seaside rentals while going to places like Pepperdine.

There was a story that I ran across while searching for stories about tipping. It was a repost of a story on another site reposted by Perez Hilton. It was about Robert Pattinson, who is starring in a mega-million dollar franchise, “Twilight”. Apparently his tip was a little light on a $350 check. The tip was $50, which was just short of 15%. Now I’m not going to hang young Pattinson for such an offense, although I’ll say that someone making megabucks and is in the public arena should probably be more generous (self-preservation).

No, what astounded me were some of the comments from the “Perez Posse”, many of whom apparently have avoided learning about the ways of dining out in the US.

The tip is based on the food service, not the bar tab, ignorance is bliss. They over tipped.

Yes “elo”, apparently you’re one blissful motherfucker. The tip is based on the bill, including the bar tab. Do you stiff your bartender? I doubt it.  That’s assuming that the bartender takes your fake ID.

Your not required to tip on the price of a bottle of wine so it was over 15%. He should have dropped a $100 for a tip for good publicty though!

BZZZT! Sorry “annielicious”, you’re not so delicious. Yes, you should tip on the wine. It’s either that or I’ll rent you my wine tool for 15% of the cost of the bottle. In the event of a screwtop, I’ll rent my bottle opening skills to you for 15%, since in most locales, you aren’t allowed to serve yourself any alcohol.

They actually over-tipped. You don’t include drinks in the tip, just the food. That was a pretty dumb post, Perez.

Well “wil”, that was pretty dumb. where did you hear that? From your frat brother? Did he tell you that at the last kegger?

Perez, that is hardly stingy, considering it is minimally shy of 15%, and you admitted that a significant amount was on alcohol. Tipping is supposed to be based on food, not expensive alcohol. Besides, maybe the service wasn’t good?! Not nice to call him stingy over this …

Yet another person making up the rules as they go.  “DoctorPS” – PS, no wonder doctors are sometimes considered cheap. Maybe I should make a new rule that I don’t have to pay you if I have to wait more than 30 minutes in your waiting room for you to treat me.

For 50 Bucks the waiter shoulda been handin out BJ’s ! I don’t care how much the tab is, it isn’t rocket science bring someone a glass of damn water! 

Damn, “Dialred”, you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full.

Tipping varies by country, Perez. I’m in the US and I find it an annoying waste of money. They’re already getting PAID to do their job.

Yes, “Starflower11”, waiters in NYC make around $6/hr. Just because you make that working at the Dairy Queen doesn’t mean that everyone else should.

Well that’s it precisely isn’t it… they don’t tip in the UK, so how can you hate on someone who is from there?? It’s hard to say “well they should just know” but if you think that, then you clearly are ignorant to different cultures. If he was with american friends, THEY should’ve been the ones to pony up!!

You have named yourself well, “goofygoober”. First of all, the cat just isn’t off the boat. He’s already probably starting his 3rd movie. He’s probably got a pad in LA and a nice Greenwich Village co-op. Most people try to learn the customs of whatever country that they’re living and working in. In some countries, screwing up a custom could cost you a hand, you know.

50 dollars ? How much more can you tip ? Seems fine to me, if the service was good. Tipping is not mandatory anyway, just a sign of appreciation.

Well “zooey” (not Deschanel, hopefully), how much more can you spend for dinner? “Seems fine to me”? Did you just think “$50, that’s a lot of money”? That’s what some of your other fellow spawns of Satan said. You’re right, tipping isn’t “mandatory”. Neither is not slapping your mother. For your information, tipping is payment for services rendered, tempered by the quality of the service that you have received. That’s a little different than just “appreciation”. The bill itself is for the food only – the tip is for the service that you received.

There are something like 450 replies to this story, many of which reflected the above sentiments.

I worry about the youth of America.

Kiddies, here’s the deal. Since the 50s, the standard tip for average service has been 15%. No, it’s not “mandatory”, it’s “customary”. And yes, it’s “expected”. The percentage is based on the bill. Most people seem to tip post-tax, but you are fine tipping pre-tax. You should include all alcohol, including wine. If you spend $200 on a bottle of wine, it’s not considered a major offense to tip a little less on the amount of the bottle. Most people who order that price of wine don’t exclude it from the tip though. You should always tip on discounted food as well. If you have a $20 coupon, please add it back in to the price of the bill to figure the tip. The coupon is a discount on food, not service. If the service is lacking, then you should leave less than 15%. But if the service isn’t just order-taking and the waiter makes your dining enjoyable, then 18 – 20% (or more) is expected.

Got it?

Good. Now go out and do the right thing, young’uns.


Photo from

Waiter Rant refutes rumor about Winfrey tip advice

There’s been a rumor floating around the internet for some time that Oprah Winfrey once said, referring to the depressed state of the economy, that “It’s okay to tip 10%.” After receiving countless emails on this subject I thought I’d put this matter to rest. Oprah never said that! In fact a spokesman from Harpo Productions, Dan Holbroooke, had this to say.

“She did recently feature the founder of the blog ‘Waiter Rant’ on her show to discuss the idea that tipping less than 15 percent is considered rude.”

I’l take that as a ironclad refutation!

Read the rest of the post here:

I too was skeptical about this, mainly because I saw a show that she did at least 10 years ago where she had people in the industry talk about this very subject, and she supported the idea of proper tipping. And, of course, she had Steve from Waiter Rant on recently (which I unfortunately missed).

So, until you actually see a video or a transcript, you can completely disregard this little bit of urban mythology.

Oh yeah, buy this book:



New trend in restaurants

Many restaurants that have traditionally closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve/Day and New Year’s Day are now staying open in hopes of trapping the last little bit of income.

Personally, I think this sort of thinking steals a little more of the soul of a restaurant. Not that it’s necessarily “evil” to do so, but to do it only in the face of a temporary financial crisis sort of throws your employees to the wolves, especially if it’s been your policy over the years to be closed on those traditionally closed days.

This isn’t the way to build loyalty.

BTW, I’m not bitching about this because it affects me this year. All of the remaining big holidays fall on my days off.

:stepping off my soapbox now:


Image courtesy of