We sat down at the table as shown us by the restaurant host and was given our menus. Shortly a young man came, introduced himself, and asked how we were doing. And as we always do we asked him the same. I’m Fan-taps-tic“ he replied with an over enunciated local southern tone as he pumped his fists at his side. So he took both our drink order and meal order. Then later a young lady came with our drink and food. We were well into eating our food and thought of something else we needed at the table. So we waited for the young man to return to check on our eating progress. So we waited. And waited. The young man never returned even though the order taking screen sat on the table. So eventually we had to summons someone else to finalize the meal check. To say the least no tip was offered. We felt abandoned and consequently no gratuity was warranted. I have no problem not leaving a tip. Either they earn it or not.
On another occasion we were at a different restaurant and a young lady came and introduced herself and asked for our drink order. She was soft spoken, most polite, and appeared to be a freshman at the local college. Probably her first job at wait staff work. We couldn’t help but love this shy little college girl by returning back her smiles. But unlike the guy waiter before who disappeared our shy girl waitperson at this different restaurant was very attentive returning several times to see if we needed anything else. She obviously learned service and attentiveness before leaving her home. A reasonable TIP was left.
None the less, if you look in at the mechanics of tipping you begin to wonder, “Why are we doing this?” Why are we the customer paying the salary of the restaurant help? Why it is the wait staff earns an amount well below the standard federal minimum wage. Restaurant operators casually thinking with tips a waitperson makes a reasonable hourly wage. However, at most restaurants the management requires the waitperson share tips with the kitchen staff. Putting an extra burden on waiters to hopefully earn more tips. Therefore customer tipping is how the management pays the wait and cook staff’s wages. Which means the price you pay for each meal is only half the amount needed to run his restaurant. Kind of like buying a discounted airline ticket to wherever but to discover their extra costs for checked bags, carryon bags, overhead storage, meals, drinks and snacks. Thinking you got a good deal on the ticket price but hit with extra charges driving up the cost of a flight to almost double the ticket amount.
My way of thinking is waiting and cook staff should be paid a reasonable wage. Hopefully enough to get by on. But if an eatery were to pay a decent wage and remain competitive some food establishments would go out of business. And perhaps they should. But if a restaurant has quality food and customer service most people would be glad to pay the higher price. Possibly at the expense of eating out less often. So let’s forget tipping. Okay?