Tipping: When Frugality Goes Too Far

Tipping: When Frugality Goes Too Far

There seems to be a stigma with being frugal. It could be because some take frugality too far. There’s nothing wrong with being thrifty, but sometimes being frugal cross an ethical line. What I’ll be discussing today is tipping at restaurants.

One such way that “frugal” people save money is by not tipping the server when you go out to a restaurant. It is understandable to decide the amount to tip based on the quality of service, but not tipping is not okay. It’s not being frugal, it’s just plain rude.

If the service you have received is sub par, the correct time to show that you are disappointed is at the moment it is happening. You do not show your discontent by not leaving a tip. Let me explain why.

Waiters can be paid less than the minimum wage, $2.13 per hour to be specific. They rely on your tips for their livelihood, it is not just extra spending money for them. It’s unfortunate that customers, instead of the restaurant itself, essentially pay the wages of servers. But it is not the fault of the server.

A good rule of thumb is to tip 15% when service is bad and tip 25% when service is good. But don’t just use the amount of your bill as the basis of your tip. If you were there for a long time and didn’t order much, you might want to tip 50% or more of your bill. The reason you should do that is because you used up valuable space and time in the restaurant. Had you left earlier, the server would have had the chance to make two tips instead of just one. Their total sales figures will also be lower which will reflect negatively upon them.

Sometimes tips are split among the staff so it wouldn’t be fair to punish everyone for the actions of the waiter. If you don’t like the taste of the food it would not be the waiters’ fault, but the cook. If the restaurant is a mess that’s the fault of the cleaning staff. If there are obnoxious guests who are loud and unruly, again it’s not the fault of the waiter. If service is slow because there’s just one waiter, that is not the fault of the waiter, but the fault of management for being understaffed.

So if you’re at a restaurant and something is wrong, let the manager know and always leave a tip. By doing this, errors will be corrected and the server will earn a decent living. If you don’t say anything the restaurant won’t know that anything is wrong. But by saying something you’ll also be helping yourself. Often times those who have valid complaints and voice them to the manager get a free meal or at least a discount for a future visit.

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