On the beat: 08/18

Please tip your waitstaff

By Jim Bucher

 

This is a subject I’ve wanted to write about for quite some time: Tipping.

Many tip generously, some tip little; others leave absolute zilch. I was always taught to leave a tip based on great service from a waiter or waitress.

But why do some tip and others do not?

Is it because they were never properly schooled in tipping tips or other reasons?

My oldest now works for a national restaurant chain with a recently opened eatery here.

She tells me that tipping runs the full spectrum. For instance, on a recent party of 20 with a total bill around $350 the tip left was $5.

Yep, not a typo, five bucks. She wasn’t mad, just disappointed.

“It’s weird,” she says. “The people you think will tip don’t and the ones who look like they won’t do.”

You can never figure it out.

One time a nice older couple had a couple of entrées with the check coming to around $25.

Upon leaving they put $30 in her hand with some kind words, “Honey, I see you are bustin’ your butt. I’ve been there, done that. So, please take this with our gratitude.”

Another time a woman saw how hard my daughter was working at other tables and slipped her twenty bucks.

Don’t get me wrong she loves the job and enjoys it, but when someone doesn’t appreciate your detailed service, filling drinks, grabbing napkins, handling special requests, et al, it’s a slap to the psyche.

On to yet another tipping tale.

I frequent a local full service car wash. You know, to get my soccer dad van in tip-top shape. The car wash has some of the hardest working young people in shine-business.

The subject of tipping came up.

I was told that a local grocery store chain co-owner brings their very pricey automobile in for a $30 plus wash and wax, which is then detailed by the crew.

This person left a whole dollar. WOW! The grocery biz must be a bust.

I’m also informed the more expensive automobile equals the cheaper tip. Oh, what a tangled tipping web we weave.

One time at my former television station, a photographer friend and yours truly had a spirited discussion on tipping. He had four very young kids and prided himself in the fact that when his “zip code” of a family went out to eat, he wouldn’t tip.

I can only imagine high chairs strewn with crackers, crumbs and various foodstuffs littering the area around his table.

“Well, I don’t get tipped,” he said defiantly.

“But you are a news photographer my friend,” I responded.

What are you saying? You show up at the scene of a house fire and you expect the occupants who made it out alive to slip you a ten-spot in gratitude for publicizing their tragedy? UGH!

Needless to say, I didn’t win that argument.

Finally, a friend’s daughter is a server at a local Chinese eatery and tells me a family of six came in on a Sunday presumably after church, prayed before the meal and afterwards … left nothing. Not even a 10 percent tithe.

It was the Christian thing to do.

OK, enough of my rant, but according to etiquette experts at Emily Post, the standard tip for wait service in a sit down restaurant is 15-20 percent on your final bill pre-tax.

Wait service at a buffet is 10 percent.

Your pizza delivery dude or dudette: 10-15 percent of the bill, $2-5 depending on the size of the order and difficulty of delivery.

And moving on, how many do this while traveling:

If you’re staying at a hotel the rule of thumb is $2-$5 per day, left daily with a note marked “Housekeeping – Thank you.”

It goes on and on.

Taxi drivers: 15-20 percent of the fare.

Bartenders: the suggestion is $1-2 per drink or 15-20 percent of the tab.

Finally, when you visit your favorite Salon/Spa according to the experts, 15-20 percent is the norm to be split among those who served you.

The important lesson here is most service people make way under minimum wage, so tips are an important part of their salary and making ends meet.

My suggestion is if you can’t afford to eat out and include a tip THEN DON’T GO!

By the way, tips are encouraged for your favorite Dayton City Paper columnist. Small denominations will be just fine.

Cheers and come on you cheapskates … TIP YOUR SERVERS WELL! 

Buch

For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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