By Jessica Borer, Contributor
That moment after a meal when a waiter or waitress sets the bill on your table and you face critical judgment; the decision is on you, the customer. You have to decide how much, or how little, to tip.
I think it’s a no-brainer that if you have a positive experience at a restaurant, you should tip an amount that reflects that. By that same token, I think it’s a no brainer that your tip amount should reflect a negative experience. Many people are motivated by money, so if they receive just compensation for their work, they are more likely to keep working hard to ensure quality treatment of their customers.
A waiter’s job is to take care of the customer while they are in their restaurant and to make sure all their needs are met. Their job is to please the customer. If a waiter or waitress does not do their job, why should they receive a good tip?
I understand that there are a number of scenarios that can affect a waiter’s service–but if there is no clear explanation as to why a server is not attending to your needs immediately, I don’t think they should receive a quality tip.
If a restaurant is swamped and your server is doing the best they can to take care of all their customers, a fair tip is justified. If you receive someone that is new to the service industry and they make an honest mistake, a fair tip is justified (everyone makes mistakes, you guys.) But if your server is someone that obviously hates their job and they reflect that in performance, you shouldn’t feel obligated to tip well.
Having experienced both ends of the spectrum, I like to think that I usually leave a fair tip for the service I received. I will always tip, but I will make sure it reflects the quality of service. For example, if you, the waitress, are sitting down at a table next to me and socializing with your other customers while I asked you to refill my water 15 minutes ago and you have yet to do it, please do not expect a large tip. If you are friendly and make small talk with my group and you come to check to see how we are doing, you can expect a generous tip. If it’s karaoke night at your restaurant and you are willing to sing Taylor Swift with me because my friends refuse to, you can expect a very, very generous tip.
I really do believe that most people will tip what their service is worth. But there are the people that have the best server in the world and will leave a crappy tip regardless. And in Omaha, the 2.5 percent restaurant tax doesn’t help the server’s case. For me, the restaurant tax doesn’t affect how much I tip for my service. The restaurant tax doesn’t relate to the waiter’s service, but some people see differently. They think that because they’re being charged an additional tax on their meal, they can tip less or, even worse, not tip at all.
The simple fact is this: waiters and waitresses offer a service, so they deserve to be tipped. It’s up to you whether or not you want to tip what their service is worth.