So You Want To Be A Waiter

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

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.


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19 responses to “Apparently, people just aren’t being raised right these days…

  1. laura December 16, 2009 at 7:07 am

    hahahaha thats funny lol

    • Rina June 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

      This article is, in fact, hilarious!!! lmao…of course he should’ve tipped a little bit more. I don’t make mega bucks, but I appreciate people that wait on tables for a living. It is hard work to put up with all kinds of crazy people… In this case, 20% would had been expected (including food AND alcohol) I also understand he is not from this country (I am the queen of tipping when I go to other countries for I always follow USA rules ;-( – but he should have known better. I think he’s been here long enough to know…just saying…

  2. Natalie April 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

    For god’s sake stop trying to pick a fault with Robert Pattinson. you can’t. so get over it. he tipped what he should have and what a stupid thing to bother writing an article about.
    who cares if people tip or not. if waiters wanted more than 6 dollars an hour then they should have got a job elsewhere and they should not expect to be given tips.

    • teleburst April 16, 2010 at 9:31 am

      Gee Natalie, seems like I actually said that I wasn’t holding Pattinson to some outrageous standard.
      Actually, he tipped a little LESS than what he should have, but I don’t expect a fangirl who’s probably ever even been out to a restaurant that serves Italian wine to understand. You are exactly the person that I was complaining about, not Mr. Pattinson. Learn to read please. The future of our country is unfortunately on your shoulders.

      Who cares if people tip or not? Are you kidding me? Of course I care whether people tip or not. Do you care about how much YOU make? Oh, I’m sorry – you’re probably still on mommy’s MasterCard.

      Tell you what, Natalie, when you get old enough to join the real world and have, well, ya know, bills and stuff and a job, come back and we’ll talk about the economics of why your burger at TGiFriday’s costs $6 instead of $10. I’ll give you a hint – it’s because of tipping that you only have to pay between $7 and $8 with tip now.

      • Ben Kramer June 12, 2010 at 12:47 pm

        I may be older than the person who wrote this article–Teleburst. I think Teleburst should try being a little nicer. Remember, these are your “Twilight” years.

      • teleburst June 12, 2010 at 12:59 pm

        I doubt that you’re older than I am, Ben. However, I’m not quite in my twilight years. I’m close though.

        Forgive me for being sensitive to those who disregard social customs, as the disregarding of those customs impacts my pay.

  3. Natalie April 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

    who said i was a fangirl?
    of course i go to restaurants, and i tip only if i have been offered good service. “it’s because of tipping that you only have to pay between $7 and $8 with tip now” you dont have to tip at all its a persons choice.
    maybe you’re the one who’s not in the real world. i know exactly what it’s like paying bills and working. you dont even know how old i am so how can you judge me?
    and for your information i don’t eat burgers and i’ve never heard of a place called TGiFriday’s.

    • teleburst April 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

      “who said i was a fangirl”?

      I did. Live with it.

      Sure, it’s a person’s choice to dine on the backs of their fellow diners – kinda like welfare diners who let other diners do the right thing while those very diners exercise their “personal choice”.

      Sweetie, I’ve probably been living in the “real world” for longer than you’ve been alive. I’ve been waiting tables for over 15 years and I started doing that in mid-life.

      I can guess about how old you are by the way you write and the random nature of capitalization and punctuation in your posts. I congratulate you on not using numbers substituting for letters and phrases though.

      You are the poster child for this very post. So, well done!

      • Suzie June 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

        Well said, teleburst! People are incredible ignorant and indolent these days when it comes to others… shame…

      • cheryl June 30, 2010 at 8:54 am

        i don’t know whether it’s sadder you’ve been waiting at tables for 15 years or the fact you started in mid life…

      • teleburst June 30, 2010 at 9:08 am

        The only thing sadder is the fact that you have wasted your time on this site. lol…

        For the record, part of my earlier life was protecting your privileged ass during my military service. As an Infantryman, not some Army clerk either (although they are to be be thanked as well). You can thank me now or you can go back to dribbling over pictures of teen idols.

        BTW, in the grand old days of the Middle Ages, those days of my youth, it was considered bad form to be rude to your elders. People were taught to respect their elders and embrace the wisdom that only life can give you. Thanks for proving the point of my post title.

        PS, capitalization should be your friend, although I endorse your embrace of the ellipsis…

        Oh yeah, one final thing – my first waiting table job was when I was 19. So, I actually did the job in early life as well. My reference to “midlife” referred to the most recent 16 years (as of now) of continuous restaurant service.

        Thanks for crawling out from under your rock.

  4. LUCELLY May 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm


  5. Pingback: Clarification on Robert Pattinson « So You Want To Be A Waiter

  6. Ruth July 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I am assuming this was posted in America? Just a little note: In the UK, where Robert Pattinson is from, a standard tip is 10% of the whole bill. Less means you are supremely unhappy with the food and/or service, 10% as I say is standard, more is because you very very happy with the food and/or service. It’s vulgar to deliberately draw attention to how wealthy you are, and this would be difficult and embarrassing for him – what to do? To tip a large amount and be hanged for showing off and flashing his cash? Or to tip a normal amount and be hanged for being miserly? I am not defending him here, as he is clearly a posh public school boy with far too much of the inbred arrogance typical of his class for his own good, but you can to a certain extent empathise…

    • teleburst July 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

      Yes, that would be an excellent assumption since it was pretty expicit that this was USA-centric. First of all, he’s in the US when this happens. Second of all, there are statements that I made such as, “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”, and ” I worry about the youth of America”.

      I understand quite well the differences between the US and the UK. I understand class distinctions over there, the difference between public and private school there and here in the US, and the fact that I specifically said that I wasn’t “hanging him” for his tip. In fact, I said, “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”.

      However, a 20% tip isn’t an “extravagent tip” in the US. It’s not “flashing your cash”, especially since the vast majority of tips is done via credit card.

      Frankly, while the post itself was targeted on the know-nothings that decided to weigh in, it’s hard for me to empathize with an extremely rich person who does the “minimum” (and even a little short of that, for that matter). I didn’t find his behavior egregious, but I thought that it was short-sighted.

      He’s been in the States long enough to understand that it’s probably better to be a little more generous than a little less generous when you’re wealthy and in the public eye. It’s just PR101. Assuming that there were no service issues, tipping 20% seems like a no-brainer for someone worth millions and who is presumably living a very public life in a country that’s foreign to him. I’m not very wealthy, but when I travel to other countries, the first thing I study up on is the customs and practices of those countries before I go. And, having lived in a foreign country for 7 years, I found it even more important to know the local customs inside and out. I lived in Germany and there, it’s exactly what you said – tipping extravagently is a bit of a no-no. In fact, it can be taken as an insult. I can state categorically that tipping generously in the US (not extravagently) is always appreciated. That doesn’t mean that he has to tip $100 on $350 to “get by”.

      Hope that clears things up.

      • teleburstneedsalife July 5, 2010 at 7:31 pm

        i’m not coming back to check this site, so a reply is pretty pointless, unless ofcourse you want otherpeople to read it, then by all means go for it, because i actually don’t give a shit, everything i’ve read by you so far just makes you look like a stuck up fag, he tipped by choice, be grateful he tipped atall, ther is no rule of tipping, and yes im sure you’d prefair a tip and you in yoru mind think maybe a tip is deserved and im sure it is based on a good service, as you are in the business of waiting on tables, i can see your point. but you’re wrong, and i agree with the other person about starting mid life, that made me smile, anyways, have fun with life, dont be so stuck up. dont waste our time by making bullshit articles and just stop being such a faggot in general, you dont make the rules you dont get to say who does what, so kindly fuck off

      • teleburst July 5, 2010 at 8:27 pm

        Sounds like somebody needs a stiff drink.

  7. GHAIDA July 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    this is my emils: plez AD me plez

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