Let Me Give You a Tip!

Sometimes thoughts just spring into my head out of nowhere-I swear, they do. Tonight was such a night. As I was thinking about NOTHING related to this topic, I remembered this tipping incident on November 7th at Azteca.

I'm not typically a bad tipper - I actually go the extra mile if our server was particularly wonderful or even if they were just super-friendly but not wonderful OR if it's super-crowded and they were super-friendly and/or wonderful. One of the above combinations = better tip from Kaylen.

If they barely make eye contact and don't come back to check on us for AGES and/or don't even try to be friendly, I tip the minimum. One of the above combinations = nothing special, just a basic tip from Kaylen.

If they screw up the order and don't try to make it better, take FOREVER before they come back (I usually need a water/drink refill at least once during a meal) and/or if they are not only not friendly, but out-and-out rude, I do not feel bad about tipping less. Not at all. If I did my job half-ass and my employer was dependent upon having people say good things about my work-I would not expect someone to pay me extra just for being in uniform. Nope. Any of the above combinations = less than average tip from Kaylen. Still a tip--cause I always tip---but NOT a good tip by any definition.

SO - back to Azteca.

Azteca is okay Mexican food. Not great, but okay. They are usually fast and the servers are usually very friendly and I think you get a good deal for your money. AND even better-they almost always have coupons for buy one, get one. And so it was a few weeks ago, my son and I went there for dinner and I happened to have one of these coupons in my purse. Yay---save $10.00!!!

AND the kid got a free ice cream for his birthday. And they sang to him. Fun.
But-our waiter was NOT great, never made eye contact, barely spoke to us and acted put out by us from the moment we sat down-however, it was crowded and we forgave him. I recognize that being a server probably is a really horrible job sometimes (or maybe all the time) and it's really hard and can be really draining. I personally would never ever be able to do it. However-it's his job to put on a smile and make us feel welcome.

When I'm at work, sometimes I'm rushed, and busy, and maybe I just don't feel good. Sometimes there are people pulling you in all directions. Sometimes I make a mistake and have to own up to it and fix the problem. Sometimes I have to sit all day and that's not fun. I have to sit in a cubicle (aka The Box) and that is a hard adjustment for me in my new job. BUT----THIS is my job. I can not imagine if I went to work and was blatantly rude and disrespectful to others.

And that is exactly what my waiter was to us.

However, we got our food, it was good, it was hot, it was fresh and I saved $10.00. And so our bill came and it was $17.00, so I tipped our waiter $2.00. Barely ten percent, I know, not nice--but did I mention that HE was not good at his job??? Anyway, then as we were getting ready to leave, I thought that I have to tip on the full bill, not just the discounted tab, so I laid down $3.00 in cash. So now he's made $5.00. If the bill was $27.00, that would be um...maybe over 20%? My math skills are def lacking these days.
(10% would be 2.70. Half of that would be 1.35. 2.70 plus 1.35 would be 4.05)

YES-that means I tipped a not-so-great waiter over 20% on my original bill, OR 30% on my discounted tab.

What? How did this come to happen?? What was I doing?? Was I supposed to tip on the full bill?? I didn't get $27.00 worth of service, that's for sure.

Tipping in general irritates me. Over tipping for not-really good service is just obnoxious. And anyone who knows me knows how I hate to be obnoxious (ha!).

I feel like I ripped myself off at Azteca. I must figure out the tipping issue before I go out to eat again---tip on the discounted tab or the full tab?? Why do we tip based off our tab anyway?? If you work at a restaurant where a burger is $6 vs a restaurant where a burger is $12 - aren't you doing the same amount of work as a waiter anyway? So why do I have to base my appreciation tip off a particular dollar amount that I spend? The waiter isn't hand-making my food. They are going to walk to my table with my plate regardless of what I order. This tipping thing is messed up...

I just want good service, I just want a restaurant to do what it is supposed to do (like give you all you can eat shrimp, thank you Red Lobster!), and I just want to get what I pay for (I love you Outback Steakhouse!) . Is that really THAT much to ask for??

You wouldn't think so.


  1. Alison said...:

    Last night i went out to happy hour and when we got our bill the waiter was like "so we accidentally comped you $9 so its your lucky day!" This brought our bill down to $25 (to be spot between 3 people! Good Deal!) I felt that we should tip on the higher amount though because it wasn't his fault (he didn't ring it up). I felt this only fair and I still saved money ( I think, right?).

  1. Jessica said...:

    Found this on the internet:
    Offer up 15% to 20% of your total bill. Keep in mind that the amount you tip reflects the total price before any coupons, gift certificates, etc. Just because you get a discount, does not mean that your server did not serve up the full order. If you are part of a party of more than 8 people, you should offer an amount closer to the 20% marker, if not more, depending on the needs of the guests in your party. If, for example, one of your guests insists on getting the salad dressing on the side, extra bread, more water and no avocado, then you definitely want to compensate the server who extended service to include these extras.

  1. Jessica said...:

    BTW - This is the site I found it on. It talks about other tipping stuff to, might be interesting for you. http://www.essortment.com/all/propertippinge_rmuv.htm

  1. monkey said...:

    also..it depends on the restaurant...but having been a server for about 18 years off and on, we have to pay taxes based on our total sales before discounts, coupons, etc. so the reason you tip on the total bill before the discount is so the server doesn't get screwed. many times, when a discount is involved, the restaurant will automatically add gratuity to the bill to avoid any confusion.
    also, a server's paycheck is next to nada. we live off tips. hence the reason people tend to get upset when people tip poorly. once, i waited on a large party with one other server and they didn't leave a tip. i owed the restaurant money at the end of the night because i had to tip out the bartenders, bussers, food runners. it cost me money to wait on them that night. that blew.
    that being said...
    never never never feel bad about tipping poorly when you recieved poor service. i was good at my job, i took pride in my work and i never expected people to tip me for no reason.
    yes, there are bad nights...but there is never an excuse for a bad attitude or a rude server.
    sorry...i'm done :-)

  1. Well I am usually a very good tipper because I go to the same places over and over. In fact, when I go with my parents I usually quietly leave extra tip (because they came from the 10% days) on the table. However, if the service is bad, I do not feel bad about no tip or very little. I do have to say though...it gets bad when they even expect tips at Sonic now.


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