So You Want To Be A Waiter

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

From Veronica at HubPages – Do You Have To Tip The Waiter? How much?

This is a great HubPages article from someone named Veronica from a couple of years ago. I think that it’s a “must read”.

The key phrase on the article is “social contract”.

This is what some tipping naysayers conveniently forget when they talk about the “voluntary” nature of tipping.  They think that this gives them the right not to tip. They are, of course, wrong. It is indeed a social contract that we make when we dine in a full-service restaurant. We might not agree with the philosophy, but we should comply with the implied contract that we make with our fellow members of the community. Tipping underpins everything that the restaurant business is based on. The fact that tipping is “expected” (yes, I said it, expected) allows a lower hourly wage than you would find in other businesses that pay a full wage. It allows lower menu prices than you would find if restaurants had to pay a full wage. And it gives the consumer the ability to pay precisely for the service that they receive. Tipping empowers the consumer. The consumer should never abuse this privilege, a privilege that isn’t extended to the consumer in most commercial transactions. Yes, it’s a judgment call, but it should be based on the baseline of 15% for average “workaday” service. And it should be based on reasonable expectations. I might judge service as great and leave 25% and someone else might judge it pretty good and leave 17%. That’s fine. We all have different expectations. What is unreasonable is judging service as poor just because your water glass gets empty once or twice (unless it’s accompanied by a “don’t care” and/or rudeness).

Fortunately for the waiter, most people tip appropriately and waiters can earn good money through their best efforts.

For those who say, “But waiters make $15 – $30 an hour and that’s more than most service positions that don’t require a college degree”, I’d simply respond, “The market has spoken”. If the mass of consumers willingly pay that amount through tips, then it’s impossible to argue that waiters are overpaid because they are being paid exactly what the consumers themselves have determined.

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