Does My Server Need to Eat This Week?

My piece that I wanted to re-mediate (into text) is my concept in 60 video, where I go over the basics of tipping your server at a restaurant. Although the idea for the video stemmed from Sarah’s current job at the Buffalo Wild Wings, I had also seen an “Adam Ruins Everything” video on it as well. If you are a server, be warned, you may not like Adam’s video.

Upon further research, I affirmed some of what Adam talks about. Tipping, or “To Insure Promptitude” (T.I.P. – get it?) was borrowed from our European brethren as early as the 17th century. Many believe that it came soon after the Civil War, when aristocratic travelers borrowed the concept from their travels throughout Europe.

There were actually anti-tipping movements in many states, and in 1915, six states tried and failed to pass a bill to make gratuities unlawful.

The whole concept of tipping, from what it used to be, was to insure that you were given first priority – also to show-off your aristocratic money – but do you think that the servers gave a shit? Tipping is a bidding war for the best possible service.

As an Economics major, we are typically taught that competition is never a bad thing (save for natural monopolies, but they hold no relevance here). Let these fat cats, and drunk playboys bid for my best service and you better believe that I will make sure they are never dry in their glass!

Also, it’s a great way to keep food prices down by reducing labor costs for restaurants, and ensure that servers give the best customer service. In fact, I would argue that more jobs should involve some type of gratuity pay so that more customer service jobs are held to higher standard, and are held more accountable.

Servers typically do a great job of making sure that your food is ordered and cooked in a timely manner, and they consistently check up on you and give you the experience (of not having to cook and serve yourself) that you pay for. Why shouldn’t it be up to the customer how much to tip? So what if tipping is more a custom than it is a necessity? You’re still an ass hole if you don’t tip. But if your server sucks, man then just give them 10%.

As I show in my video, tipping is very simple math. It shouldn’t make the dining experience any less enjoyable. And it shouldn’t feel like you’re paying an arm and a leg more for your food.

At the end of the day, it’s continue tipping, or pay higher food prices and relatively the same total amount for your food, but your server just gets taxed more on because they run it through payroll instead of letting them take it home as cash at the end of the night. No matter your political stance, being taxed on your income sucks. So don’t let that happen – keep tipping alive and well.

Let your server eat this week.


Author: Jake B

I am an Economics student with an interest in writing, business, and how the economies of the world work. Whether the problems are in labor markets, policy issues, or small business, I am ripe to learn about anything and everything that may affect change in these interests.

One thought on “Does My Server Need to Eat This Week?”

  1. I stand behind this 100%. As a server myself, I can’t tell you how heart breaking it is for me if I get a tip lower than 15% or sometimes even 15%. Just as you describe, tips make servers work harder and give better customer service. The tip is my incentive. I put on a smile and constantly check in with my guests to make sure their experience at the restaurant is wonderful. And I see the tip as a short of “thank you”. The tip tells me “Amanda, you did a great job and we will definitely be back”. Now some servers are complete idiots and don’t deserve a good tip, but that doesn’t mean I won’t give them one anyway. Servers need an income too. Even the shitty ones.


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