I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

The reason I hate tipping

on September 16, 2014

waitressI’m sure the title of this post will cause some of you to think I am a cheap tightwad.  However, before you pass judgement, please take a few minutes to read my post with an open mind.

Generosity is an admiral quality and I have always considered myself to be a generous person, donating what I can in time and money as much as I can.  However, when it comes to tipping, I don’t feel that we should be compelled to pay an additional 15% for a meal.   Anything extra that we leave on the table should be considered sufficient, whether it is 5, 10 or 15%.

In the past, I’ve had friends who have worked as waiters and waitresses who have told me how difficult their job is and that they rely on their tips just to make a living.   I accept the fact that they work hard, often long hours, helping people who can be demanding or unkind.  However, I have also worked in jobs that were difficult and demanding where I was only making minimum wage, including a cleaning lady, dishwasher, greenhouse worker and retail clerk.

So let’s take a little quiz to help explain why I hate tipping.

  • QUESTION:  What is the minimum hourly wage in Ontario?
    • ANSWER:  $11.00
  • QUESTION:  What is the average hourly wage for a waiter/waitress?
    • ANSWER:  $9
  • QUESTION:  What does a waiter/waitress average in tips per hour?
    • ANSWER:  $5 to $25
  • QUESTION:   Which job gets tips – a waitress, cleaning person, dishwasher, retail clerk, greenhouse worker?
    • ANSWER:   Only the waitress
  • QUESTION:  Which job would be more physically and emotionally demanding – a waiter, cleaning person, retail clerk, greenhouse worker?
    • ANSWER:  It would depend on the situation, however the greenhouse worker is a much more physically demanding position
  • QUESTION:  What qualifications or educational requirements are needed for a waiter/waitress?
    • ANSWER:  No specific requirements.  Experience is preferred.

I agree that most waiters and waitresses work hard but their job is no more physically or emotionally difficult than many other minimum wage jobs.  Even if they aren’t making minimum wage, just one $5 tip per hour will bring them above and often they will average $15-$25 or more per hour which is a decent wage for a position that requires no education or experience.  I’m sorry but I get tired of hearing these complaints from waiters/waitresses:

  • My job is so strenuous. – Can I introduce you to my friend, a single mom, who works all day in the hot sun in a greenhouse, making minimum wage and no tips?
  • The customers are demanding, annoying, unruly.  – Can I introduce you to my friend, a cashier in a retail store, who deals with rude, annoying clients all day, making minimum wage and no tips?
  • I get sweaty and dirty. – Can I introduce you to my friend, a cleaning lady, who scrubs floors and toilets all day because her husband lost his job, making minimum wage and no tips?

In my opinion,  tipping is a money grab.  It just encourages people to expect something whether or not they deserve it and it pressures people to pay so they don’t look bad.  When customers don’t pay out the expected tip, they will likely get a rude unspoken comment or a dirty look.    Tipping is supposed to be a nice way of saying thanks but too many people think they are entitled instead of being thankful.

It would solve a lot of problems if restaurants would just increase their prices slightly and pay their employees minimum wage.  I would rather pay a few dollars more for a meal knowing my server is getting a regular pay cheque and not having to think about how much my tip will be.  Of course that will not likely ever happen, so when I do eat out, I will continue to tip, usually about 10% and I hope that my waiter/waitress appreciates this.


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