Tipping is more than a statement

I’m sure because it’s Valentine’s Day, many of you will feel obligated to take your special someone on a date. Most likely a dinner date.

Some of you will feel really genuine for taking your boyfriend or girlfriend out for dinner. This is the best idea you have ever had. You are the true love genius.

You, among the majority of the student body and Murray residents, will make a reservation to a decent restaurant.

Waiters and waitresses will be stretched so thin between tables, making sure that every order is at the right table at the right time. They will refill your drinks, hopefully be courteous and, most likely, do their job.

However, many of them will be cheated out of the tips that make waiting tables worth it.

As someone who used to wait tables, it frustrates me to see a hard-working server get cheated out of a tip. It’s their primary income, which justifies why they make $2.13 an hour.

I can understand not tipping a server who was rude, but if food comes out on time, as expected with a smiling face, there should be an obligation to tip.

I once went out to lunch with a friend who didn’t tip after receiving decent service.

When I asked him why, he said he was short on money and couldn’t afford to provide a tip. If someone can afford to eat, they can afford to tip. It’s that simple. If you can’t afford to fork over 15 percent of what your meal costs, you can’t possibly justify paying for an expensive meal to begin with.

The Kentucky Restaurant Association is currently fighting against two bills that will raise the minimum wage and reduce tip credit. They justify this by saying that tips more than compensate for the ridiculously low wages that servers are subjected to.

This debate on the wages of servers should have us feeling like we should support servers more. The two bills would affect 191,000 servers in Kentucky.

If we do not tip our servers, the push for a rise in minimum wage will affect the prices of food and ultimately inflate them.

By tipping, we are decreasing the sense of urgency to compensate for lost tips and keeping the food service economy stable.

Tipping is much more than a statement about how we appreciated our service – it is what servers live on.

I find it sad that I would even have to write a column about how we should tip, but it seems that people don’t see it as an obligation, but a courtesy.

I wouldn’t be far off to say many college students have waited or bussed tables before. Some of you probably still do. We should use this as a method of understanding and sympathizing with our underpaid servers.

Before playing the “I’m too broke to tip” card, we should really consider that it’s the tips that keep the restaurant business thriving.

When we cheat food service employees, we’re not only frustrating them, but we’re also showing our true colors as inconsiderate and stingy customers.


Column by Carly Besser, Opinion Editor 

2 Comments on "Tipping is more than a statement"

  1. Laura Lohr-Dziekonski | February 14, 2014 at 3:15 pm |

    Thank you Carly well said! Servers, bus boys and cooks work very hard. fold. Your recognition of their hard work is not only appreciated they depend on it!

  2. While I certainly agree with this article and believe that if you "can't afford to tip" then you can't afford to go out to eat but I have to say, good servers aren't hurting for money nor are they on the lower end of the income scale.

    I have a friend who serves and hosts that makes more in one night from tips than I make in a week working my $9.50/hr full-time job. Within a week or twos time, she's made more in tips than I make in an entire month.

    I feel like many articles regarding tipping seem to have this undertone (and I could just be misinterpreting that tone) that servers are underpaid and/or living in poverty. My friend supports her family on her serving job and it's not a high-end 'expensive' restaurant either.

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