While browsing Facebook yesterday, I stumbled upon a story about a waitress that received a $0 tip on a $187 PF Changs restaurant bill in my feed and here are my views on the situation and tipping in general.
The waitress, Taylar Cordova took to Facebook to scold the customers that left the zero dollar tip, writing the following message on her Facebook page, later, her rant was removed from her page.
“This. This is the reason I work so much. This is why I cry in the shower. I STRUGGLE to put clothes on my daughter’s back and food in our bellies because of THIS. You, are the lowest of the low. Whenever you feel like it’s probably fine to not tip your server, that’s one more bill stacking up because they’re short on money. This is food for the week that our families will go without because you didn’t think it was necessary, even after asking for everything under the sun and receiving it free of charge, mind you. This is one less basic necessity my daughter needs because even TWO more dollars is too much for you. Every decision has a consequence. Servers are paid a base pay of $2-5/hr depending on the employer, so next time you don’t want to tip, regardless of the situation prior to receiving your bill, think about how much you would have to work that week off $2-5/hr to feed your family, not just you. Could you pay your bills based on that pay alone? Could you feed your family AND yourself? Because that’s what happens when you choose to not tip. Please, please tip your servers. Even if it was the worst service you’ve ever received. A 10% tip is a big enough slap in the face, this completely tore me apart. Don’t even bother walking into a restaurant if you can’t afford to tip. There’s a McDonald’s down the street if you’re that cheap.”
Let’s start with the obvious, why are restaurant owners allowed to pay slave wages as little as $2.13/hr in the first place? It should not be the customer’s responsibility to subsidize their business model. Everyone should be paid a living wage, not… I can’t even call it poverty wages, federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr is poverty wages. Ultimately, the system is the problem, tipping is common, but it’s not a requirement.
Personally, I do tip 15 – 20% when I do eat in a restaurant, however, if it’s “the worst service you’ve ever received”, why should I tip? A “10% tip is a big enough slap in the face”, are you kidding me? In this case, a 10% tip would have been $18.70, that’s equivalent to fast food workers pay for more than 2 hours. I’m a salaried white collar employee and I don’t make 18.70/hr when broken down into an hourly rate.
I simply do not think I should feel obligated to give a tip on service that was poor. Plenty of people work customer service jobs for federal minimum wage and they don’t complain. Food service workers know what they signed up for and I know there are good servers that make twice what I do working tables in restaurants. But, that never gets mentioned, it’s always poor little me, I got stiffed by a customer.
I believe that Miss Cordova has a shitty attitude, be grateful that you have a job at all, many people do not. If you don’t like your situation, take steps to change it instead of blaming customers because they make a choice to not tip. For all we know, the customers could have left a cash tip on the table, we are only hearing one side of the story and I often hear about these stories being faked for social media clicks.
Back to the system, what we need is a federal minimum wage for food service workers equivalent to other workers. Restaurants make money hand over fist, why should they be allowed to pay as little as $2.13/hr? The general public should not feel obligated to make up the shortfall in wages paid by the employer.
The system in the United States is stacked in favor of employers and in general screws over the employee. If a server works in a busy restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights, they can make a huge amount of money in tips, however, there is no guarantee of that. There are positives and negatives of working in every job, and in food service, sometimes not receiving a tip from the diners is one of the negatives.
A few weeks back, I didn’t leave a tip due to exceptionally poor service, the waitress messed up our drinks order and then never came back to take our food order. Why should I pay a 10% tip for non-existent service? We had to grab some food in the movie theater as we didn’t get to have a nice sit-down meal.