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February 26th, 2010
07:43 AM ET

Bad Tippers Beware

A North Carolina woman has been banned from a local restaurant for being a bad tipper. She left so little money that servers and chefs refused to wait on her.

Now that bad tipper, Monica Covington, has started a petition to boycott the Japanese steak house, saying the restaurant slandered her character in a recent news report. 300 people have signed her petition so far.

Our question to you: How do you decide how much to tip when you go out to eat?

Post your comments here. Kyra will read some of them on the air during the 10am ET hour of Newsroom.

Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (358 Responses)
  1. Christy

    I would say I typically tip around 15-25%,depending on the type of service...that being said, I can;t remember me tipping less than 10% in any restaurant, even with poor service, so I don't see how that lackluster tipper can think she has any leg to stand on with this petition.

    February 26, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  2. C. Cris

    I think that if you can afford to eat out rather than cook at home which is a lot more affordable, you should be able to tip at least %15 to %20 percent of what you consume.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:03 am |
  3. C. Cris

    The restaurant is in all their right to ban you to protect their employees. If you don't like it go to the super market and cook at home.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  4. John

    If the service is prompt and polite I leave 20%. A lot has to do with attitude. Some servers seem to like their work others are resentful.

    A very small number are rude. Then I leave without ordering or cancel the order by the time I finish giving my order.

    I want my meal time to be pleasant.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  5. Katrina

    I will always leave something no matter how lousy the service. This is how these people make their livings and maybe the server is just having an "Off day" just like everyone has from time to time. If the service is exceptionally well, I will usually over tip. Sounds like this woman is just a cheap skate. My boyfriend, on the other hand, never tips the pizza guy. I always feel guilty about that but since these companies have implemented "Delivery charges" PLUS tax, and general cost. I can somewhat agree with why he doesn't. No reason a pizza should cost $25!

    February 26, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  6. Dan

    Since when is it a "requirement" to tip to get service? Tipping should be based on the customer service the customer received, and if she received poor service, I don't blame her for not tipping. I may have left 2 cents.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  7. michael armstrong sr.

    The service the quality of the food and the cost but this act is bad P.R. and the resturant has lost more then just tips from a stupid act the price of the meal is all thats required by law unless otherwise stated at the entrance this town needs evaluation ratings in there local news paper it sounds like from one to ten they get a zero .

    February 26, 2010 at 9:06 am |
  8. Richard A. "Red" Lawhern, Ph.D.

    I generally tip at 15% of meal price with taxes. However, if a server is inattentive and keeps us waiting for a bill or for the return of the bill from the credit card validation, the tip will drop to more like 5% - and I'll tell the server why the tip is so small. If a shift manager is responsible for such delays, then they'll lose good employees and the word will get around among others who might have considered working there.

    The owner of the restaurant that banned the customer for low tips should fire its management and senior service staff en mass and replace them with others who will be more attentive to customer satisfaction.

    February 26, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  9. Katrina

    Dan, if the service and/or food is so poor, why does she keep going back? Obviously this was an ongoing thing. Why would a restaurant ban someone on a first visit? She's just a cheapskate.

    February 26, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  10. michael armstrong sr.

    Maybe ethics has something to do with this such as tips are not required by law just the price of the meal the customer has done nothing wrong but the restaurant has .

    February 26, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  11. Joe Seattle

    It is not my responsibility to subsidize the payroll of a resturaunt or any other "tipping" business. My costs of goods sold includes labor for my business, why should it not in a resturaunt? If a steak costs me $2 to produce without service people I need to account for the cost of labor and price it in say $12. If people won't work for what I pay them then I need to increase my wages not expect my patrons to cover for me! A gratuity is FOR GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND! not for doing your normal job!! I would fire these servers.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  12. Chuck Lentine

    There's an easy way to fix this problem. Restaurants can include the tip on the bill. If you want to give more you can but it stops people from not tipping. Those that don't tip force restaurants to have problems with their employees. Thus they can't keep good people and they have to keep hiring and retraining.

    If enough people don't tip eventually restaurants will have to increase prices to pay employees more.

    When I had the money to go out to eat, I enjoyed thanking my server by leaving a pretty good tip. Now I only go out when someone else is paying. I just don't have the money.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  13. Laura

    Tipping is where the servers get the majority of their pay. To not tip, is a sign of ignorance.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  14. Howard

    20% is my "standard". If the service was good – server was curteous, checked back occasionally, etc. – the server gets 20%. If service was better, I'll tip more. If it's worse, I'll tip less.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  15. Kalen

    I usually double the tip, then add to that amount based on the service. Happy Friday!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  16. lee

    Most patrons don't know that servers have to tip up to 4% to buspersons, kitchen, hostesses on full total of each check. Therefore, it costs a server to serve your table. 18-20% tip is appropriate considering we make less than $3 per hour.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  17. Dan Benson

    I always tip well regardless of service.It is a reflection on me not the service. If the service is bad I just don't go back.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  18. Jane Turner

    Kyra, pleeeese! This woman is a scrooge! Expecting people to work for you with no compensation is arrogant beyond belief. I always tip 20% and if I can't afford it, I don't go out to eat!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  19. carlota

    NO one should be forced to tip. It is not the customer's responsibility to contribute to the employer's salary. But if you tip, it should be in the amount of your choice.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  20. Paul

    I used to wait tables. I hated regulars that were infamous for not tipping, we as servers would argue over not getting them. People who work in restaurants on tip make LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE. Think about that next time before you stiff someone. You want to do away with the tip system, be my guest. You had better be ready to pay people $15-$20 an hour.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  21. Kalen

    I usually double the tax, then add to that amount based on the service. Happy Friday!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  22. Tracey

    Tip 20%. It's easier to add up and gives them a slight advantage.
    Golden Rule: If you can't afford to tip, then you can't afford to eat out!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  23. Kevin Clotfelter

    Tipping Is pretty much a Given when you decide to go out. I always Tip 20% if the job is done right and Im not waiting hours for my food. But there are some waiters and waitresses that will Refill your drink without asking, and go out of their way to be great servers. Those people usually get a few extra bucks out of me.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  24. Evelyn Hittner

    Wow, this is some crack reporting here! The government is trying to pass the most sweeping legislation in decades and this is what's on the news. I tip most of the time 20% if the service is bad I'll still tip 15%. A restaurant has the right to refuse service to bad tippers. They aren't doing anything wrong.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  25. Dennis

    Isn't tip supposed to be an extra for good service? I hate it when the staff complains about tipping, even if the service was not that good! You've got to EARN it!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  26. Sharon

    Let's just change the wage laws so that servers receive a decent base wage and tips truly are extras, not expectations. I'm still paying for it - the restaurant will raise the prices on the menu - but it will be honest, up-front pricing. Then, if I get superb service, I will tip superbly, but if there's a problem, the server won't starve.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  27. Rita

    A gratuity is part of the dining out experience. I leave an amount not a percent. At a nice restaurant with normal service i calculate 15% and round up.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  28. Troy Daniels

    I normally start at 20% and adjust that percentage up or down based on the quality of service.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  29. Jim

    I usually do 20% before taxes, but only on the condition that I got the service I expect from the restaurant. Otherwise I'll get close to 15% before taxes. Rarely do I go under 15% because I rarely get poor service, which I will complain about first.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  30. Joey

    A business has the right to refuse service to ANYBODY!. I am afraid we don't have enough facts. If the lady doesnt tip at all or leaves change, then i stand with the restaurant. Bad tippers should be refused service. I ususally tip anywhere from 20-50% depending. With that said, I beleive tips should be given according to the service received. If your service sucks, then they don't receive a dime. I have not tipped before because my servers didn't deserve it. so it depends on the situation. in the end, if she never tips, then throw her out if she's that cheap.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  31. April


    I've been a server both in food service and in bars. It was NEVER a given that customers would tip me. It was up to me and the service I gave.

    When I am at a restaurant I am prepared to tip at least 20%, and much, much better if I am given exemplary service. I will even go to the manager to compliment an extremely good server.

    How DARE this restaurant and its servers demand tips from this woman or any customer. While customary, tips are not Mandatory.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  32. Kyle D, Fort Wayne

    As a former waiter, I can say first hand that receiving a bad tip is both discouraging and annoying when you are trying to get by with little or no money. However, as an established individual now I can say that I will not tip well if the server is inattentive, invisible or unaccommodating. After all, we are paying for their service, aren't we?

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  33. Kelly Kirk

    Hello Kyra, my wife and i still basically base it on the level of service that the server gives us. If they're on the ball, re-filling drinks, checking and obtaining items we've requested, then they'll get the 15 to 20%. If we can hear crickets chirping since the last time we saw our server, lol then they're only getting a 10% tip. We've generally never given lower than 10% though anymore. Thanks for the voice.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  34. Brent

    I usually just double the tax on my meal which in Tennessee comes to about an 18% tip. However, if the server is very good, I generally tip more.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  35. Chef KBV

    The story sound alittle fishy there has to be something wlse going on, any restaurant turning away a paying customer is shooting them self in the foot.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  36. Joe McWilliams

    I was of the opinion that tipping was optional and was to compensate for good or excellent service. Too many servers expect to be tipped no matter what service they provide. I tip based on service provided, don't you?

    February 26, 2010 at 10:28 am |
  37. Ryan Williams

    TIPS means "to insure prompt service"

    I've worked in the service industry. If the service isn't prompt you tip 10-15% If it is prompt you should never tip below 15%. 20% + is welcomed for exceptional service.

    Ryan Williams, NYC

    February 26, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  38. Sean; SF, CA

    I think starting at 18% is fair; then adjusting appropriately based on the service you receive. If it only meets your expectations, 15% is fair. If it exceeds, 20% or up. If your drinks arrive after dessert, dump them all on the floor.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  39. Ginny Weddington

    I always tip 20% unless the service is really bad. My son's first job out of college was as a waiter and bar tender–tips made the difference for him.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  40. james

    I tip on the amount of work the business does for me. If they don't bring me drinks in a timely manor or check on me often i don't tip. but if they wait on me I give up to 25% tip. but they have to earn it. I don't feel that shes being disciminated on or being condemned for who she is. There's many reasons for not serving someone. From my personal situations she probly didn't tip or tip much for the amount of complainning she does. because I've complained many times and them tipped well when things were corrected, but if u don't tip at all after ur situations been fixed then after awhile of it the people serving you will be less likely to accept u knowing they'll be getting many complaints for nothing.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  41. Roxanne

    I only tip if I've gotten service that's above and beyond the job description of a server. If they've just "done their job" and nothing beyond that, they haven't earned a tip.
    I don't get tips for doing my job. Why should servers?

    February 26, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  42. Anthony

    Unless she is unaware that a servers compesation is provided by tips. She needs to start going to work for free a couple hours a week and she how she likes it.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  43. Jim Kanuth

    I start out with a15% tip as a base and adjust up (OR DOWN) from there based on deviation from "expected" service.

    What I expect varies with the class of restaraunt. What would be truly exceptional service at Denny's is simple expected at The Palm (an elegant restaraunt with facilities in several major cities). If I receive Denny's service at The Palm, the waiter is likely to see a 5% tip. Of course, 5% of that bill will still be greater than 25% of a Denny's bill.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  44. ian

    i dont think tipping should be mandatory .Tipping is all based on good service and if the waiter or waitress is not friendly or does not smile or gives poor service ,then i dont tip and i d ont go back
    ,i am sick and tired of servers expecting 15 to 25 percent for bringing a drink or a meal to a table ,
    they should be paid better than min wage by the owner of where they work ,they should not expect a customer to pay there salary for doing there job

    February 26, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  45. Rev Oz

    As a server in North Carolina, there are people here that feel that even after they receive perfect service that it is okay to just not tip... people do not realize that they are not just stiffing us, they are stealing out of our pocket. We are required to pay taxes based on our sales, so I am taxed as if I received a tip anyways... and people, 15 % was standard in 1980... it's 20% standard... and if you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  46. Bob T

    The level of service is the best way to determine the amount of tip. Remember that waiters and waitresses only work for a few dollars an hour and depend on tips. If you don't want to tip, then reconsider eating out and cook for yourself.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  47. Paul F.

    Service staff is paid a lower hourly wage with the expectation that they will get tipped at least most of the time. We can do away with tipping and just get rid of the discussion completely but expect much higher bill prices to cover all of those lost tips. Some people tip very well and compensate for people like this woman who never tip at all and drag down the overall service staff. Bad and infrequent tippers are also typically very demanding so I totally agree with cutting out the people who demand the most, yet provide the least.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  48. Jack

    I think tipping is very important, but the expectation of how much you tip is steadily increasing. A perfectly acceptable tip used to be 15%. Now servers get upset if you tip anything less than 18%. If you want a tip, provide good service, even to people who may not tip as well. As someone who has worked for tips, if a server refuses to serve someone because they think she doesn't tip well enough, they are welcome to serve people at McDonalds.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  49. thomas

    If you cannot afford to cannot afford to eat out at full service restaurants. Go to the take-out, or a fast food joint. Servers are underpaid and rely on tips. By the same token, if the service is horrible, then by all means, don't tip. Obviously, the woman in this piece is a 'known quantity' to the staff of the restaurant~~~!
    Try stiffing a server in Montreal...they'll follow you down the street!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  50. Dan

    Servers only make about $3 per hour, so they depend on tips. The standard is 20%. If the service isn't great, leave 15%. If the service is outstanding, leave a little extra. Servers always remember the good tippers and the bad ones, and it will show the next time you see them.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  51. Jason Stowell

    As a former server/bartender I tip on average 18-20% regardless of service.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  52. Steven Dooner

    Discrimination? No. Actually a pretty standard practice in virtually all restaurants. If you read the menu that you showed at the end of the report, it clearly states the gratuity is for "parties of 6 or more". A server typically handles tables of up to four. When you start adding guests, you start adding the work load for that table and that server. There aren't extra servers standing in the wings to cover extra guests.

    As a restaurateur for over 30 years, this is the norm at every restaurant I have ever operated or visited. The woman in this case is seeking publicity. Nice try, but go to any restaurant and she'll probably encounter the same policy, especially if the restaurant is busy. I think it is she who is discriminating against this restaurant.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  53. bob weinert

    i'm not surprised i work in the food service industry and black people are the worst tippers in the world,if they tip at all

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  54. Brenda

    This is ridiculous. It's just a way for restaurants to have an excuse not to pay their employees better to have mandatory tipping percentages. I don't make very much money – so when I go out to eat it's a treat for me to go somewhere a little more expensive. So, if I can't afford to leave a bigger tip – should I forego the restaurant entirely? That means less business for them. I shouldn't have to count on a minimum tip amount. Furthermore, often the service isn't very good and to insist on a good tip for bad or mediocre service isn't right. I have been in customer service most of my life and I have never received a tip.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  55. InuNoTaisho

    Why the hell do they even bother to use the word "gratuity"??? There's nothing voluntary about a thinly veiled service charge. A gratuity is something given in gratitude, not demanded nor required. I was once chased as I left a restaurant by a restaurant manager who felt that I had to leave a tip, even on a buffet. I have not been back to that restaurant since. I control when or IF I give a gratuity. PERIOD.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  56. Barry O'Brien

    This woman is poorly informed. If you can't afford to tip a minimum of 15% then order take-out or eat at a fast food establishment. It is understood that wait- persons earn their living based on tips.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  57. john white in new orleans

    Kyra...If u cant tip at least 20%, stay home and make a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich. Most food and bev workers only make $3.00 an hour or less. Start tipping or hit the road.
    John in New Orleans

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  58. Chris from Ft. Laderdale

    I've bartended for over 18 years...I've seen tips from over $200 to nothing at all....It's obvious this woman has came to their location many times and has not tip. To me as a bartender T.I.P.S. mean To Insure Proper Service. If I have served you to your liking then please tip me 15-25% of the bill....

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  59. Evi Blaikie

    A tip is a voluntary donation given for good service and should never be expected. If the restaurant finds that they cannot afford small tips, then let them raise their prices and pay the help more.
    Having said that, if Ms. Covington finds that the service is not good enough for her to tip adequately, then why does she frequent that restaurant? And by the way, 15% is an adequate tip for a party of up to 5 or six persons

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  60. Paul

    Tips should be based on service, good service good tips.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  61. Thomas

    During these hard times it's important that those of us that can afford to eat out should tip a little higher. The income of the wait staff depends heavily on tips. I tip between 20 and 25 percent.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  62. Chris

    Normally, I tip 20%. I do not go out if I can not pay that amount. I was married to a waitress and later I actually became a server myself for a time. Those people are paid like $2 – $3/hr. Those tips are how they make a living.

    On the flip side of that situation is, I would not eat anywhere that refuses to serve people that do not tip the (Amount) they require. Unless gratuities are included there is just no need. The employer needs to pay them by the hour then. The problem does not become that of the patron. That is just bad business. Every business person knows the number one rule in business is "THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT".

    With the economy in the state it is in, who has the luxury of turning away customers with ANY sort of tip? GENIUS that thought of that!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  63. Kelly Murphy

    As a restaurant employee for over 20 years (10 years in management) I absolutely agree with the restaurant that is refusing service to a customer who is not willing to tip appropriately. Most people do not understand that wait staff are paid below minimum wage (and in most states substantially lower) and depend on tips from customers. Good service deserves appropriate tipping. If the service is horrible than they shouldn't be tipped at all. There are people out there who feel they pay enough for the food itself and should not have to tip at all or very little. If you can't afford to tip in proportion to the service you receive stay home!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  64. Dan Hite

    I work in the service industry much like the one in question. I would be ashamed if my staff or myself stooped as low as to tell someone I would not wait on them unless they paid a certain gratuity. The workers should refuse to work for there low wage paying boss.

    Shame on you.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  65. Stacy

    When one goes out to a restaurant – you expect to have a pleasant time. You want an experience not a crappy service. I tip upto 20% when the service is actually polite and pleasant. Attitude has a lot to do with it. Just last night I went out and the waiters were so rude. They didn't greet us when we walked in – they didn't smile or say hello and nor did they seat us. We found our friends who were already seated and went to join them – they didn't even have utensils placed out for everyone. Even after taking our order they didn't realize we don't have utensils! The waiter was so nonchalant and I definitely didn't want to tip him but being the nice person that I am I still tipped him 18%, which he definitely didn't deserve!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  66. Joel Brooks

    I always tip based on quality of service, if it's average they get 15 percent, and if it's great they could get 20 to 25. If it's aweful they may get less than 15

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  67. C Bernardo

    Although tipping has become somewhat of an expectation to servers etc, these people need to remember that it is NOT a requirement. It is simply a way to reward someone for doing a good job. This person may be going overboard by not tipping at all at a restaurant she frequents but if someone provides me with sub-standard and rude service, I am not going to use my hard-earned money to reward him/her for making my meal unpleasant. If people rely on tips to make a living, they need to look for better jobs or go back to school. The restaurant has the right to make their own decisions on who to serve, but they should not ask someone to tip their servers.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  68. Angie

    Good for that restaurant! Good servers and bartenders work very hard and deserve an 18-20% tip for good service. When people do not tip, it is actually costing the servers money because they have to pay taxes on their sales amount plus tip out other employees. I wonder how many other people in this world would like to work for FREE???

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  69. Bella

    Usually tip 25-30%. Went to well known Japanese restaurant with friend – was having a great time since we had not seen each other in a while. We were seated at a booth and after one hour the staff asked us to move to another seat so they could seat themselves for dinner – I thought that was in bad taste, so left without leaving a tip for the first time.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  70. Rory

    I usually tip 15% for mediocre service, going up to 25% or more for exceptional service. It seems that Ms. Covington either is a cheapskate or keeps going back despite horrid service. My money is on the former.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  71. Michael

    I tip according to the service I get. Tips should not be required for doing your job, but for exceptional service. Do you get a tip for doing your job? If a tip is manditory, it's not an option and should be included in the price of the meal.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  72. Claudia

    I am so excited that this story has made the news. I have been a server in the Salt Lake area for over 10 years. Serving is an extremely difficult job. If people can't afford to tip, they can't afford to eat out. Severs have to pay taxes based on their over all sales. We are basically paying money out of our own check if someone comes in to eat and then they do not tip. As far as I'm concerned, if the government is going to tax me on my sales then it should be law that people tip.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  73. E Alan

    A tip is not an obligation, and the servers and chef's are completely out of line. If the staff has a problem with low tips, they should find better paying jobs- clearly they're in the wrong profession. I'm surprised the restaurant manager didn't nip this in the bud when it first happened- it really doesn't reflect well on the restaurant. Personally, I normally tip @ 20%, but I won't leave a dime if I've had poor service.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  74. Robert Brooklyn

    The amount of the tip you leave should be a direct reflection of the quality of the service you receive! 15% is the acceptable lower end of the tipping spectrum.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  75. Carol

    I tip based on the service I receive. An attentive server gets more than the 18%. If I have to chase my server down for everything, or ask another employee for something out of frustration, my server gets a small tip. Since when is 18% mandatory? If you want a good tip, then earn it.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  76. Raynard - Chicago

    I don't think Ms Covington should have been banned from the restaurant, however, she shouldn't be so cheap either. Most restaurant servers get very little in base pay and rely on tips to supplement their base pay. I always leave at least a 15% to 20% tip when I eat out.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  77. Steve

    since when does a restaraunt shake down the customers? Doesnt the customer decide if the service is worth 15% or more if they are happy to do so? This place should be boycoted until they learn that the customer is to be catered to not the other way around.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  78. Robert LaPin

    Always 18%! In most states, servers are paid under $3.00 an hour – relying on their tips to pay the bills. If you can't afford a meal (to include the 18% gratuity) you have no business dinning out!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  79. C2

    It's hard not to tip someone when u are in the service industry yourself. I always tip 20% at least for good service and 18% even if the service was bad, which my GF hits me for. I just can't leave w/o tipping because I will bad about it.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  80. Cole Gilbert

    I walk into a resteraunt with intentions on giving a 15% tip. If my water glass becomes empty and it isn't filled immediatly then I knock the waiter or waitress 5%. I live in idaho, fry sauce is popular here. (mayonaise and ketchup mixed together). When I ask for fry sauce at a restaraunt and the waiter or waitress says,"we dont have it, but I can bring you some mayonaise." I will dock them another 5%, I dont go to restaraunts to make fry sauce, but I do tell the waiter or waitress what they could do better next time. I write it on the back of the receipt. The last 5% depends on overall service.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  81. carl savard jr

    I think it is ridiculous that they are refusing service because of the tip. In my opinion a tip must be earned. If a sever just doesn't do well I don't tip well. However, if my glass never ends up empty then i would be more apt to tip. That restaurant should be embarrassed if the tip is that important they need to incorporate it into the overall cost instead of refusing service. Apparently they aren't worried about customer satisfaction or maintaining clientèle.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  82. JAMES

    my decision to tip is mainly based on the service i get from the waitress. To tip is not a responsibility of the customer. IRS started this problem when they started charging waitresses on their tax returns, as if they had been tipped. Our government is usually behind many of our problems if you looked close.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  83. Ray in Baltimore

    If you can afford to eat out, you must figure at least 20% tip into the cost. I generally tip 20% of TOTAL (not pre-tax) for average service. Excellent service gets 20% plus a $20 bill in cash! Servers are paid sub-standard wages and have to tip out the bus boy, the water boy, the dishwasher, the cook, the bar tender, the hostess...if you don't tip 20%, you're essentially stealing service.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  84. Bob Pingalore

    I always sit down with a 20% tip in mind (excellent service) and it is up to the staff to either earn it or whittle it down to zero (terrible (hope the server has the gall to ask why service). It's their cash to earn or lose.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  85. Doug

    Until the laws change to force restaurant owners to pay wait staff a real "living wage", then it is up to the public to leave a tip for good service. The catch is good service and good dining experience.

    I don't know what the laws are for turning away a patron for not tipping, but I would assume that since tipping is voluntary that it must be discriminatory.

    Would I want my face on national TV over not tipping, never! I wouldn't eat there or I would pony up the extra 3%, that is if she was tipping 15% to begin with.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  86. Glen

    Tips are intended to be a recognition of exemplary service, and are supposed to be entirely voluntary. Anything less defeats the purpose.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  87. Frank from Youngstown, OH

    I'm 21 years old, and I've worked in restaurants since I was 14. Aside from that experience I also was shown proper tipping etiquette by my parents from a very young age. My father's moral policy is that if you can afford to go out to eat then you can afford to give AT LEAST a 15% tip, and if your service was good you should always give more. I'm not a money-made man and I still like to treat my server's right and tip at least 20%, especially if it's a place I am frequent to. Cheap tippers irritate me so bad and this lady's argument holds no water. If she came to my place of employment and my waitress co-workers spoke of her un-courteous tipping habit, I would come from the kitchen and ask her personally to never come back. ANY TIME someone is performing an exceptional service for you, you show them you appreciate it by offering them something exceptional in return. End of story, Miss Monica Covington!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  88. Robert S

    If one goes to a restaurant and sits in the dining room, it is no different than going to the Yellow Pages and contracting a service from any other professional. If you feel the need to sit in the dining room, have servers wait on you, provide for your needs, give you service and attention, then you owe them the fee for their work. I waited tables years ago, and will never understand the entitlement to my labor people felt, as if I worked for free. Here in Massachusetts, servers are paid just over two dollars an hour– the gratuity is assumed in a civil society.

    If you think you should eat without having to tip, go to the grocery store and don't waste our time.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  89. Jeff

    As someone who has worked as a waiter in the past, I usually tip 20%. But the expression TIP is an abbreviation for To Insure Promptness. If a waiter or waitress doesn't provide good service, you can effectively communicate your dissatisfaction by leaving less than 15%. It's your money, and you shouldn't have to pay for something you didn't receive.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  90. Miss Edie

    I triple our state's 6% tax and then round up or down depending on service. I would never "stiff" any server! If this woman isn't receiving good service then she should go somewhere else. The bottom line is that she is a poor tipper and she is trying to justify that! She gets no support from me!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  91. Mark Magsanay

    During the 25 years that I waited tables, it was forbidden for waiters to even mention tips in the presence of the guest, let alone have a manager tell a guest she's no longer welcome because she doesn't tip enough. Tips are gratuities and should never be mandated. One person not tipping shouldn't make a difference in the money the restaurant makes. I'd boycott the restaurant. I wonder if the staff is reporting 100% of their tips anyway.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  92. Anna

    Servers work for tips. In almost every state, restaurants are permitted to pay servers less than minimum wage because it is assumed they will be tipped. When I waited tables I made $3.50 an hour which was just enough to pay my FICA and Social Security tax. I lived off tips. Servers work hard and they deserved to be paid for their work. If you cannot afford to leave a good tip, atleast 15%, then you can not afford to eat in a restaurant. To not leave a tip is like saying that you believe the server is some sort of slave who doesn't deserve to earn a living. and who should wait on you for free. The restaurant was absolutely correct when it stood up for its staff. I wish more restaurants would defend their workers right to earn a living.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  93. Melissa

    Tipping is supposed to be given for good service! It's the little bonus you get if a customer feels you have done a good job. If they require 18% tips in order to serve their customers, then they should include that in the price. No restaurant requires that you give a tip. However, tips are the way that many servers make money.

    I currently a minimum wage job and I don't get any tips, even though I try to give my customers excellent service.

    Why is it suddenly a requirement that we give bonuses to servers, even if they gave us bad service? I tip around 15% and I would be willing to give nothing to a server if that was what their service deserved.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  94. tim

    Servers make little or nothing per hour they are working to tips. I always give 20% or better. They do work hard, and they are the pissing post between the kitchen and the people they seave. They work hard and people do on always know how little they make. This women should not be allowed to be in the place if she does not agree with the tip rules.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  95. Geoffrey G

    As a former waiter there were cases where the wait staff refused to take care of guests based on their tippping history. The standards of living have risen in comparable to 15% tip limit. a proper or respectable tip is about 20%
    Advantages of good tipping include: Good service, less cost on your meals and drinks, free refills, a great table and quick service, and even during busy times getting a table before others online even without reservations.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  96. Robert

    I think the problem is that this implies tipping is required, at which point tips become a hidden fee to eating – if the restaurant needed the extra money to pay their employees, why not just charge more?

    Of course, the reason that tipping isn't mandatory is because it is supposed to be variable – I decide, based on my level of service, if tipping is the right thing to do. It's a social construct that helps make restaurant service better, and is in a way the completely capitalistic search for better servers – if you work harder, or better, you get paid more.

    However, this woman was not buying into the system that promotes good servers and punishes poor servers; she instead chose to pay everyone the same. While I'm not saying this is communistic, what I am saying is that the only reason for tips not being included in the bill proper was subverted by her refusing to participate. Ergo, she is in essence underpaying. Thats why the required tip makes sense – because if she is going to pay a flat tip, not reflecting the proficiency of her servers, the restaurant might as well be the one deciding what that tip is.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  97. Steve in Warrenton Oregon

    I tip any where between 15% and 20% depending on the following:

    1. Quality of service – Attentiveness of the waitperson, friendliness of the waitperson, timing of the courses of the meal and cleanliness of the server and eating area,

    2. Quality of food – Is it prepared as ordered, is it the appropriate temperature, does it taste good, is it well presented,

    3. Does the cost of the meal fit the above two criteria,

    4. Cleanliness of the eating area and bathroom are important. A restaurant can have the best food, but, if it is not very well maintained, then, that effects my tipping.

    I will tip less than 15% if the above is poor.

    If that person who was refused service due to tipping has a past history in that restaurant of not tipping, or, poorly tipping, then, the requirement is understandable. Waitpersons usually get paid minimum wage and look to tips to make their living. 18% might be a bit too much of an expectation in order to serve. I have seen restaurants that require a minimum of a 15% gratuity to serve a table of 4.

    Frankly, I think the customer should tip or choose a different restaurant.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  98. Timothy Cole

    Service people sometimes put up with a lot: indifference, intolerance, poor working conditions; late hours; and arrogance - both from employers and customers. When service is reasonable and has provided reasonable attention, I will tip 15%; when it supasses that level, I will tip 20-25%; if it is poor, I reserve the right to tip much less or not at all. Since it is service provided that I tip for, the amount is decided at the end of the service, not before.
    I have always thanked my servers and try to treat them as people working for a living, just like me - no different, not lower in class (whatever that is) - tomorrow, I might be working as a server.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  99. Juan Oña

    I'm very happy that Monica Covington was banned from that restaurant. Personally, I'll leave at least 15% even if the service was poor. If they do a good job, I leave a lot more. This is how these people make their living. So Covington is a bad tipper, fine. But to start the petition? Come on? Word of advise Monica.... drop the petition or cook your own food. You're going to get on the bad side of many people that handle the food that you eat.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  100. Kenneth Stearmer

    I usually start out at 15% and judge service from there. I'll usually never go below 10%, even if very bad service and have tipped as much as 50% for very excellent service. Also, when enjoying a meal that is usually less than $10, minimum tip I will give is $3.

    Tipping isn't a requirement, but when a business does not want to provide service due to being a bad tipper, I think they have done more harm to their business than good. I won't go in any business where I know they expect me to be a good tipper. I only find great service in about 30% of the restaurants I go to. Good for Ms. Covington for starting a boycott against this restaurants.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  101. Kimberly

    As a prior server as well as a 4 star restaurant manager, I'm aware that servers depend on the graciousness of their customers. I normally tip 20% but if I feel the server is lazy in their service (not refilling my drink, failure to check to see if my food is acceptable, etc) than I normally deduct 5% for each error. Rarely would I ever give less than 10% tip. However, I will let the manager know if their server needs further training or maybe should not be in that position.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  102. matthew cothern

    I"ve been in the service ind. most of my adult life.Its how i pay my bills and support my family.Bartenders and servers do not make minimum wage,we live off tips thats how we make our money.If you don't want to tip someone who is waiting on you go to a buffet and wait on yourself.By the way in case you didn't know cheapo 15% was standard 50 years ago its 2010 try 20% and for really good service it should be 30%.Bartenders are subject to recession just like everybody else,come on people its a no brainer.....

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  103. Jerry Schmidt

    I have worked as a bartender for over 20 years and in that position I essentially work for tips. The fact is some people just don't tip; sometimes even people who come in every week. When you work for under the national minimum wage you do rely on the the customer to subsidize your income. I am appreciative of everyone who tips me, and therefore also insulted when I am not. I do not feel sorry for the woman who was banned. The bigger problem for servers is not people who tip poorly, but those who don't tip at all.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  104. Byungsoo Kim

    It totally depends on waiter or waitress's service. Typically, I don't see their excellent service (many American people don't know the real nice service) and not willing to pay over 20% of tips of my food. I think 15% is pretty enough for just normal service. If customers are very satisfied with their food and service, they are going to pay the maximum of tip for sure.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  105. Donna (Queens, NY)

    I always tip 15% at least , 18% when service goes beyond regular service...if I am able to afford to eat at a restaurant it's just the right thing for me to do. The truth of the matter is "do the right thing" and stop playing the "blame game". Thank you.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  106. Ralph

    I tip according to service. If I get poor service, such that I have to ask for refills, clean plates, cups, utensils, etc, then I don't tip and don't go back. I'm probably being old fashioned but tipping/gratuity is extra for services rendered. It was NEVER supposed to be part of the price of eating out, it was an incentive for the server to give you better service.

    The fact that the server isn't making minimum wage and is depending on my tip is not my concern, that should be taken up with the management of the restaurant rather than the customer.

    You want my business? Serve me, be polite and be observant of my needs. If I get bad service, that's as bad as getting bad food, I won't go back and find some place else to eat.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  107. Ryan Williams

    Most servers get paid only $2.60 an hour! You should tip at least 15% +. If you don't tip servers they don't make any money. If you're not going to TIP don't show up and leave the table for decent and understanding American.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  108. Holly

    I'm a college student, and I ALWAYS tip AT LEAST 15% for lunch, and ALWAYS AT LEAST 20-25% for dinner.

    If you can't afford to tip the people serving you, you shouldn't order from them. That includes delivery people, bartenders, waiters and waitresses.

    Also, Japanese Steakhouse chefs are performing for you, it's expected you give them a generous tip.

    Finally, many people who get tipped make less than minimum wage because their employers count their tips as their pay, so these employees are relying on you tipping them well just to survive.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  109. frank

    If tiping is going to be required ,then soon we'll see tips being added to all services.Next time I get my house painted I will be required at least 18% tip.JMHO

    February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  110. Steve

    It is time for the annoyance of tipping to end. Do like they do in Japan–no tips.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  111. Elizabeth B.


    This woman should be ashamed of herself. I am a waitress and have been for the past 10 years. If this lady kept coming into the restaurant I work at I would not want to wait on her either. She is probably a regular that always tips bad. That's what she gets. Waitress generally get paid $2.63 an hour and rely on our tips. Usually you need to also tip out bartenders, back waiters, busser, and sometimes hosts. 15%-20% should always be the rule of thumb. I can see if you had a terrible experience then maybe it is deemed to tip 10%. And in retrospect if you had a great experience 25%!


    February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  112. Lamar

    Tipping is like driving. If you drive well, you should be able to retain your license. If you drive recklessly, your license should be revoked. If you provide good service as a server, you should get a good tip. However, if you provide poor service, you should not get a tip. Tips are a priviledge, something you work for, not a right.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  113. Marquis Boyd

    I decide if I will tip altogether based on the server's attitude and customer service. If those things aren't up to par I wouldn't tip at all.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  114. Candy

    I am a server and if you cant afford to go out to eat then STAY HOME! Being able to afford your meal means tipping AT LEAST 15% for good service. Please believe if you dont tip well and continue to return to the same restaurant you WILL be remembered and you might just find extra "surprises" in your meal. She is lucky they just banned her from their restaurant it is probably better for her! We have had servers literally chase people out of the store. They were fired but it just goes to warn you that you never know what people are capable of and you dont mess with someones income. Hey Joe- go buy your two dollar steak- cook it yourself and serve yourself then- restaurants are a entertainment business it is for people who would like to be served and have someone else cook the steak for them- that is what you pay for- You tip because someone was good to you and you want to show your appreciation some states pay good hourly but most pay around $2.00 an hour because they expect you to be a decent human being and tip your waiter for the service they provide.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  115. Karen

    I am an African American nail technician doing nails for over 30 years. I'm sorry to say that my fellow African American clients are the worst tippers. No matter how great the service my salon provides they just don't leave tips. One should not only tip at least 20%, but give more to show their appreciation for a service. The restaurant is truly justifiable in banning this woman from dining!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  116. AL

    Restaurant owners should not depend on the tip because it is for the customers to make a decision to either pay or not as to how good the service they’ve received. It is ludicrous to expect and deny a customer for not tipping and there is no law that you must pay the tip, at least for parties less than six people anyway. Restaurant owner displays the greed.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  117. Tanya

    I think everyone should have to work in the service industry for a week. People can be so inconsiderate and do not take into account how much work goes into serving customers. I always tip 15% and if the server is exceptional they will receive more.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  118. Lisa L

    Definition: Optional payment given in addition to a required payment, usually to express appreciation for excellent service; here also called gratuity.

    There are two words in this definition that would reward a good tip: EXCELLENT service and OPTIONAL. I am all far giving more than the required 15%. But I expect Excellent service. I have given as much as a 30% tip because the waiter/waitress went over and above the normal service. So I believe, it you want a "Great" tip, give it your all when you are waiting on a customer. You get more from kindness and good service.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  119. Alex

    I'm a server and bartender. When an individual comes to my restaurant, they are hiring me to perform a service.

    If someone comes into the restaurant and receives standard service, they owe the server standard gratuity for the service, 18%.

    If they do not leave a standard tip; they are stealing, not paying for the service they've received.

    Tipping is the main source of income for a server. Servers can not work for free.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  120. Working-man

    Servers remember good tippers and bad tippers alike. Obviously this lady had a history of not tipping and was remembered. Servers are the only workers in America that the government allows to be paid less than minimum wage. This is due to the fact that restaurant patrons are expected to make up the difference. Also, servers' wages are taxed on a percentage of their sales. When no tip is left, the server actually loses money on that table. Bottom line, if you want good service, tip well. You get what you pay for.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  121. Lisa

    tips are supposed to based on service, you know a little extra, to show you appreciate the good service. a thank you, but the state where I reside, and I don't know how many others, restaurants only pay two dollars and some odd cents an hour, they say you make up the minimum wage from your tips! This is insane to me, basiclly when you go out to eat, the restaurant owner is leaving up to his customers to pay the wage!
    It should be illegal, every state every restaurant,every waiter,waitress, should be paid the legal minimum wage! They work alot harder than people know, there is so much more to taking care of customers, than people know,

    February 26, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  122. ed

    10% minimum for fair service
    15-20% for average to good service
    20+% for exceptional service
    Nothing if the service, food or their attitudes were so poor I'd want to wring their necks.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  123. Fresno Aaron

    Tipping is and should be regarded as a voluntary action. The moment servers expect a set percentage, it ceases being a tip and becomes a fee. I've tipped $20.00 for a cup of coffee and nothing on a steak dinner. Why? Service quality. Servers tend to get indignant about their perceived entitlements. That's their problem, not mine.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  124. Cynthia

    First of all, Federal Law only requires restaurants to pay servers $2.13/hr. We rely on tips to feed our families and to pay our rent.

    TIPS = To Insure Proper Service. If you have been given such service, then an appropriate tip should be given. No TIP = No service. I wait on this person and her family at another restaurant and I can attest to the fact that she does not tip appropriately. $2.00 to wait on up to 8 people??

    If you can't afford to tip, you cannot afford to eat out. It is the custom in this country to tip and until Federal and State Laws require restaurants to pay, at least, minimum wage, then it is expected for prompt, proper and personable service.

    Good for Kanpai for backing up their employees. It would be nice to see more restaurants follow suit.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  125. Krissy

    Obviously many people are not educated on how servers make their money. It's thru tips... and only tips. They make way less than minimum wage. This is because the government believes that everyone in their right mind who can afford to go out to eat can also afford the service that they are receiving. It is extremely hard work and often servers tip out the staff as well. It's very disturbing to me that people don't understand they are required to leave at least 18%. And if this is a problem, serve yourself at home. The tip is just a part of going out to eat and if you're not tipping the standard 18% the server is basically PAYING to have you sit at there table. Come on people... these are just hard working citizens like you making a living for themselves... treat them with respect.. after all they're handling your food.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  126. Bruce

    Tips are not an entitlement. They are a gratuity. They are earned, based on the quality of service. The normally accepted rate is 15% of the total bill, less the applicable tax. This rate is only a guideline, not a hard and fast rule.

    I have to side with the patron here. If the servers are good, then15% is an acceptable rate, but if the servers do not meet any expectations, it is totally fair to tip at a reduced rate to reflect the displeasure of the patron, just as it is acceptable to increase the rate of the gratuity if the service is exceptional.

    Again, the gratuity is earned, based on the quality of the service delivered. A waiter has to earn the tip; he is not entitled to it.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:36 am |
  127. Clint

    Gratuity should be based on the overall experience. If you are unhappy with the meal, service, portion, price, cleanliness, quality or any reason then that should deduct from the 15% norm accordingly. If you are pleased with an exceptional experience, then thank them for being customer focused. If you find the negative experience to be a common theme amongst other patrons or upon returning, then show your discontent by refusing to support there business with your hard-earned money.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  128. Carolyn Veerjee

    I always tip at least 20%. I am a server, and have been in the restaurant business off and on for 25+ years. Unfortunately, servers don't earn a livable hourly wage, and depend heavily on tips. In this particular case, I think the restaurant has gone too far. Making patrons happy is an essential part of the restaurant biz. It makes me wonder if there is more to this story.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  129. Justin

    Far too many of us have lost sight of what a "Tip" is supposed to be. I'm going to sound like a stingy jerk for saying this, but a 0% tip should be the starting point for expected service. Anything above that should be for recognition of better than expected service – especially if you're in a state where servers have an equal minimum wage. If servers feel like they're not being fairly compensated for their job, they should demand higher wages or work somewhere else. This whole practice just encourages a ton of animosity between servers and diners.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  130. Dan Perkins

    Tipping should be and usually is based on quality of service, but don't blame your server if the food isn't prepared correctly, that's the chief's fault. Some people don't realize that restaurants don't pay full minimum wage as determined by the government, instead they pay a small portion and tips are expected to make up the difference. On a slow business day or when serving cheapskates, a server is lucky to make 4.00 per hour! Hey Monica, please take your business to a drive-thru fast food grease pit where you don't have to part with your precious tip and leave the restaurant tables open for people that know how to dine in public and how to receive good service.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  131. Bill g

    15% is a must as long as the service is at least acceptable. What most people fail to understand is that in almost every state servers make well under $3 hour and are forced to pay out a percentage of their sales to bussers and bartenders.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  132. Pat

    Hello Kyra

    It's rediculous to think a restaurant would refuse a customer when that customer is paying full price for the actual product especially in this economy. Not only are they going to loose the customer, they put themselves at risk of loosing potential customers. This woman has already begun to start a petition, can they really afford that type of loss when they could have just satisfied their employee without loosing business without a threat of loss.
    I generally tip based on the service I receive. I will not pay for bad food and bad service. If the service is outstanding, I will even go the extra mile and tip over the gratuity. Although I beleive servers should be paid more to offset those rare instances where there is no tip, tipping should be left up to the consumer.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  133. Taye

    Tipping should always be considered when eating out at a restaurant. 15% is standard, but depending on the servers, I tip up to 25%. What some of you fail to realize is these serves don't even make minimum wage, a server gets paid about $2.50/ hour, therefore they count on their tips to make up for what they don't get. I can understand the lady not tipping if the service is bad, but since she keeps going back its probably not that bad and she is just being cheap.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  134. Eric_in_CO

    Sorry, but tippiing is NOT a requirement. Years ago, people tipped to give a little extra to the server...Over time, servers came to expect it, in the 70's Uncle Sam began to tax it, and now its a requirement. Bottom line, it's up the establishment to pay their employees, not customers. It is refreshing when traveling to other parts of the world, where tipping is not allowed in restarants, taxis, etc. The employers pay their employees a decent salary up front.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  135. Sherry

    While tipping is not required by law, for servers working in restaurants, this is their only means of payment. Many restaurants only pay their servers an hourly rate of about $2.50/hr – most of this amount is taxed. So yes, I would say that it is unethical, but not unlawful, to leave no tip.

    I do question whether or not it is a wise decision for the restaurant to so vehemently oppose this woman and go as far as deny serving her. If a diner is regularly coming to a restaurant and consistently leaving no tip, I can understand why these servers and chefs refuse to serve her. They would essentially be working for no pay.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  136. Linda

    Well isn't that the typical response – poor baby is being discriminated against. I agree with the restaurant – get rid of her – maybe if she spent less money on lipstick and more on helping fellow Americans survive...well, you know the old saying, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but..."

    February 26, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  137. Melanie

    As a former waitress, I always tip at least 20%. If the service is really good, I tip more. When you wait tables do you know how much money you make per hour? $2.13/ hour! You get a paycheck that is voided. It says "this is not a check" because that $2.13/ hour all goes to taxes! Tips are how waiters make their money. If you cannot afford to tip, you cannot afford to go out to eat. So, Joe Seattle, Dan, and Red, it is actually a requirement to tip because you are not paying your server and if you do not tip they are working for free, i.e. that's slavery. 15% is the norm and 20% for good service, but servers are working for 20%. And trust me, your servers know who tip and who don't and you will be treated accordingly. Do you want stiff drinks or weak ones? Do you want your steak overcooked? Then take care of your server! You get paid the same amount at your job whether you do a good job or a substandard job and we all have bad days so tip your server 20%!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  138. Dan

    The $3 per hour they make almost always goes to taxes, so they don't even see that. The servers also have to tip out bussers, bartenders, and sometimes foodrunners. If a server makes $100 in one shift, chances are about $20 is going elsewhere. If many of the tips were on credit cards then those are getting taxed, so it's even less. Tip your servers!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  139. Claudia

    Roxanne in most States servers earn $2.15 an hour plus tips. Are you earning $2.15? If you are, I'm sure a tip makes a big difference in your earnings.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  140. KaosMgr

    When did "tipping" become mandatory? As a previous poster noted, "A gratuity is FOR GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND!; not for doing your normal job!!"

    If a business relies on tipping to make sure its employees earn the minimum wage, then that tells me that the business owners either need to pay their employees more, reduce their profit margin, or raise their prices to cover the gap in wages. Tipping is done AFTER one's service and it is dependent on the service(s) rendered. Why should anyone be forced to pay an exorbitant tip percentage if the service didn't warrant it?

    I applaud the patron for sticking to her guns and not bowing to this injustice. The patron is well within her rights to not only boycott this business, but to alert other patrons to the mandatory practice that this business expects from each patron.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  141. Karen Walker

    My husband and I were both servers and he was a bartender. we both know what it takes to work in the restaurant business. That being said, we know what it takes to be an excellent server.

    The worse tip that we give for even the poorest service is 10%.

    If the service is on key then we typically give a 20% or higher tip.

    The entire reason for individuals going out to eat is to he served and to be taken care of with a nice attitude.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  142. Allan

    Tipping is and should be "To Insure Prompt Service". Personally, I start at 20%, and adjust accordingly. I do not take away from a servers tip if the food is not right, as it is not their fault. For anyone who does not tip, or leaves a minimal tip, they should try working in a restaurant for six months. It's not as easy as you might think. Believe me, I've been there.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  143. Angela

    I am a server in North Dakota. Now, North Dakota law allows business's that generally receive tips to pay their servers significantly less then minimum wage. I personally believe that this law should be changed, I think it is the company's responsibility to pay minimum wage but sadly this loophole is there and I'm sure is in many other states as well. I personally would never deny someone service because they tip less then desired, you learn to take the good with the bad. On the other hand I can see the frustration of waiting on someone over and over and always feeling like they shorted you on your tip. I think servers would be less worried if they were paid at least minimum wage. When you make five bucks an hour every tip you get means the world to you. Most people in the positions are more often then not single parents just trying to make ends meet. So maybe the loophole in the system needs to be addressed. Just some thoughts.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  144. Raven

    I am a dominos delivery girl, so I thought I might throw this out there.

    We are typically supposed to tip waiters/waitresses 15%, right? So you are tipping people to courteously take your order, make sure you have everything you need, and bring your food to you from the KITCHEN. Whereas I, as a Dominos delivery girl, do all the same things except instead of taking your food to you from your kitchen....I bring it to you from across TOWN. Keep in mind gas is still high, and the gas used to bring you your food comes out of my pocket eventually, since the money paid twords every run i make never amounts up to the money it takes to get to your house. 🙂
    – In other words, tip your delivery girl (or guy)! We deserve it!!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  145. Sarah

    Just a reminder....servers usually make $2 an hour. Your tip _is_ their wage. A good portion of you tip is not for good is just for service. It may be a stupid system, but it is the system none the less. What if I went into your job and decided I didn't like how you performed it at that moment (you might or might not be great any other time), and I arbitrarily decided to pay you less? "hi, HR Block Guy, you took too long do my taxes, I'm now going to pay you less?" If it sounds stupid, it is...but unfortunately it is what the majority of hard working service personnel are stuck with. Tip less for slow service? It could be your server's fault or it could be the cooks. Keep in mind that the cook makes a full wage regardless, the only person you are hurting by tipping less is the server who may have had nothing to do with the problem at....who might have been running and sweating and yelling to fix it. Back to the basic issue. The servers would not have "revolted" if she had not shown a history of bad and undeserved tips. I'm glad they stood up for themselves. I always start my tip at 20%. I see no justification for tipping less than 15% based on server's wages (or lack there of). How would you like to have to pay you bills and plan a budget based on someone else's good mood? The low hourly wage of servers mean they have no protection from jerks or one bad day can mean not paying the electric bill (I mean, I'm sure you're perfect at your job everyday though.)

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  146. Jamey

    As a former server, I can tell you the tipping thing is a major bone of contention between servers and customers. 15% is starting to be considered "Old School"...20% is becoming the new 15%, thank the lousy economy and the refusal of restaurants to pay at least minumum wage while employees' expenses continue to rise. If I got a bad tip, I tried to decide if I earned it, if the guest was unaware of tipping expectations, or if they were just jerks. My guess would be that the women in the news story was a regular customer that drove the servers nuts and they refused to be distracted from their other customers to cater to her demands, then be undercompensated. Who knows?

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  147. Q

    Hi Kyra I work in the restaurant industry and I always tip 18 to 20 percent when I dine out, but for those people who don't tip at least 15 percent your server believe it or not remembers, and if they pay with a credit card your name will be passed around to other servers and you be known as a bad tipper throughout the restaurant. And if you are rude and a bad tipper and frequent a certain restaurant I wouldn't eat anything put in front of you.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  148. Jonathan Lott

    I've worked as a server and cook just like these guys also answered phones. We had a tip jar and I knew who the good tippers where. In times like these, those chef/servers are working hard to provide good food and service to there customers. I'm sure the if this woman had not neglected to tip for good service before she wouldn't be singled out. Why is it just her that is being treated this way? These guys obviously work very hard and feel that they have provided great service for this woman and have been neglected even the smallest bit of gratitude from her. Its every stores right to refuse service to anyone, and i think its great that the owner backs his employees and not the sometimes obnoxious people that can come to a place and expect to be treated like a king/queen and then not tip. I think she's getting what she deserves, its a sign of disrespect for your fellow human being and if someone came into my store and disrespected my employees I would refuse to serve them as well. I say to the chefs keep working hard.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  149. Patrick

    Being a waitor I tip the way it is supposed to be.
    20 percent for good service. Meaning that well nothing really went wrong
    15 percent goes to service that was well just bad: drink ran out, food came out wrong, never saw the server and so forth

    People need to remember that this is our job. Most of us are students and on average have to give 20 percent of our tips to the house. This money then goes to bussers hostess and so on. So yeah 15 percent is not enough for good service. (If she did get good service)
    If you dont want to tip right stay home.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  150. Jason Stowell

    In Georgia, food service workers who receive tips get paid a minimum wage of only $2.13 an hour. That is absolutely ridiculous and most patrons have no idea. I tip on average 18-20% regardless of service. I would refuse to serve anyone who was a repeatedly bad tipper! She needs to ante up or sit at home and serve herself.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  151. jonny calie

    I only tip at restaurants that seat you, I will even tip up to 30% if the server is worth it.. No walk up windows or fast food chains (what the heck does Jack in the Box have a tip cup for). Servers will get tipped what they are worth. Tipping is a benefit for good service and hard work. If a server asks if I need change I do not tip them (yes I need my change). Servers should not expect to get a tip just because. I also do not like the 6-8 people must pay a % regardless. I would not eat at a place that mandates a tipping %, really whats wrong with everyone. I with mr seattle he has a great point!! Also if the food and service sucks then I never go back, they have 1 chance.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  152. Linda

    BTW – I start at 15% – that's standard. Then I go up or down 5% depending on the service. She needs to find somewhere else to home!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  153. Amy

    I applaud the restaurant for banning this woman, as I am sure this is not an isolated instance. People like Joe Seattle are clueless, and wouldn't last one week in the service industry, and I pity the servers that are unlucky enough to have him seated in their station. Joe, do us all a favor and stick to McDonalds.........

    February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  154. Megan Calvert

    I work in a restaurant in a resort town and am furious if I get anything less than 20%. There are plenty of people that I would LOVE to do the same thing to and I think that woman, along with other people who short change their servers deserve to have their reputations slandered. A tip is a server's wage and nobody has the right to mess with that. That being said I think it's wrong for restaurant owners in this country to pass the responsibility of paying their employee's salaries off onto the consumer.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  155. Shaun

    I am local and it is my understanding that this particular customer has been coming to Kanpai for many years and has never left any tip, so this is not an isuue of service quality at at all.

    Joe Seattle: Your statement is unfortunately misinformed. Servers get pais less than minimum wage and often never even see a paycheck, as most or all is withheld for taxes. Therefore, your tip is not a subsidy. It IS payroll.

    I have worked as server and a bartender off and on while in school. I have no problem with someone lowering their tip or not tipping when they receive bad service. However, not tipping for normal or accepatble service is abhorrent and those thst subscribe to this philosophy should be ashamed of themselves, or, more simply, just learn how to cook.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  156. Jmac

    We have been so conditioned to leave a large tip that it is expected no matter what the level of service. Folks, a tip is a gratuity for a high level of service to show appreciation for service above and beyond. For a establishment to REQUIRE any kind of tip is ludicrous, it just lets the restaurant cut the pay of the servers and make them dependant on tips for income. If the server, food or attitude is not of high quality....they do not deserve any tip. For decent service I leave 15%, for exceptional service anywhere between 15 to 20%. And even for good service in a buffet setting I usually leave a tip for the folks keeping my tea filled and being attentive to my needs. For crappy service....nothing. If a restaurant requires a gratuity of any kind...go to another place. This is just another level of bad service! As for this woman, she crys discrimination...not so, if they do this to everyone then they should lose their customers and find out how this requirement is over the top. It's discimination only if they require this only of her or a specific group.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  157. Jessie Tinsley


    Re: Bad Tipper

    I understand he frustration of the restaurant serving staff regarding bad tippers. My girlfriend is a sever at a local pub in Cleveland, OH. I'm also African American, and African Americans, at least in Cleveland, have the unglamorous reputation for being bad tippers, regardless of the level of service. I leave at least a 20 percent tip each time, and often find myself over-compensating for my less generous brothers and sisters. Jessie

    February 26, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  158. Karen

    Service providers pay the IRS an automatic percentage on each and every transaction in my name. That is the reason for this restaurant and other service providing industries to include gratuity in the bill. Get over it or simply eat fast food instead of dining out!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  159. Johnny C

    I tip based on service. If a server does a great job they get 20% sometimes more. Why should I give a lousy waiter a good tip? If someone wants to get paid for being bad at their job they should run for political office.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  160. Barbara bulmer-thomas

    Tipping has got out of hand. Restaurants should pay workers a living wage and not rely on the sympathy of diners to make up their pay. Additionally, some restaurants pocket the tip and the workers never see their tip. The quite unspeakable restaurants in my view are where they add the tip to the bill automatically and then calculate the tax on the total! That should be illegal. In Japan no tipping is allowed I think this restaurant should lead the way by following a splendid tradition.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  161. Paul Shore

    I've worked in the industry all my life and finally a restaurant manager stands up for his staff. The way servers make there living is off of tip's. Some (no all) customers should work as a server for a few weeks and see what we put up with.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  162. Moe

    I generaly leave 20%, when I get a good service I may leave more, I have friends whom are servers and I know how much generaly they make. In USA the servers get just around minimum wages not like Europe

    February 26, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  163. Terri Jones

    I have serious issues with tipping - and I am a former waitress. When I served tables in college, the going rate for tipping was 10%. Then "due to inflation", the rate went up to 15%. But you know what? The prices of the food went up, too. And now it has crept up to 18%. STOP the percentage increase! GO BACK TO 10 %!

    Next issue: I buy a sandwich, my friend buys a steak. Why should she be required to pay more for her plate to come to the table than I pay for mine? Not to mention that when I was serving, I placed the meal ordered in front of the correct customer. Now some other staff member comes out and asks, "who got the chicken"?

    Next issue: What is going on with tip jars showing up everywhere? I will NEVER contribute to a tip jar on a counter. Fast food workers do not get tips, and they work dang hard!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  164. Christina

    As a former server, I agree with the restaurant's decision not to serve this woman. If it has gotten to the point where they recognize her and no one wants to wait on her because of her pathetic tips, then there's a problem that goes beyond one or two experiences of bad service. If she really didn't like the service, she shouldn't have gone back to the establishment. There are people out there who are just bad tippers. I have bent over backwards for some people, refilling their sodas 7 times while they eat their well-done steak and chocolate cake, and have had to grin through a bad tip. Thankfully, waiting tables has put me through school so that I, hopefully, never have to worry about that again.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  165. Chuck

    To those who suggest that tipping is a "Subsidy" simply do not understand the compensation structure for servers. Before making a comment like this you should understand how servers are compensated for their work. Most servers make less than minimum wage and are primarily compensated through tips.

    I would say that if you don't feel tipping is necessary either cook your own food or go to Burger King. Tips not only compensate servers but also bus staffs. Obviously tips are dependent on receiving good service, but I do not think this is an issue here since we are talking about a consistant customer.

    You can criticize the restaurant, but that is really not fair. People who have worked in the service industry and around it know the insult of not being compensated for their work. Those who are ignorant to this compensation or simply ignore their responsibility are really in the wrong here.

    Quite frankly while I don't condone it, if you are constant trouble for an establishment you could find yourself receiving poorer and poorer service or worse each time you visit.

    In the end, if people take care of you take care of them, it is your responsibility.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  166. debbie

    all restaurants should stand by that policy i am a server i make 4.80 and hour if people cant afford to tip or are just plain cheap they should stay home when someone comes in where i work and i know it is a deadbeat customer they donot get good service they wait a real long time for everything starting from the water on up

    February 26, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  167. Martha

    One definition of insanity is 'doing the same thing over and over again getting the same result; while expecting a different result'.

    Servers are generally paid minimum wage + TIPS. They have a right to expect that tip when their service & attitude is EXCELENT! A customer has the right to tip less than customary when service is POOR. A reasonable person would STOP PATRONIZING a business where they receive poor service time and time again. Here's a thought, EAT SOMEWHERE ELSE!! Or walk a mile in their shoes and try to please someone such as yourself, when it appears there is no pleasing you. This sounds like the teenage breakup stories I listen to teaching high school. It's time to split!!

    I am so tired of the people pulling the discrimination card for trivial matters when so many are truly discriminated against and loosing their lives because of it.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  168. Michael McCray

    Since when has tipping become mandatory? The last I recall, the definition of gratuity is, "Something given voluntarily or beyond obligation, usually in response to or in anticipation of a service."

    It appears that this and many other restaurants are pulling a bait-and-switch, where instead of raising the price of the meal on the menu, they lure people in and mandate a specific "gratuity" above the cost of the meal. Factoring gratuities in as a subsidy for paying your employees is simply bad business.

    When you mandate tips, customers get less service because it takes away the incentive for the employees to better serve the customers, knowing the tips will be there regardless of the quality of service. Then, you also get those customers who will not give you 30%, instead, they will give you barely what you ask for.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  169. sandi miller

    The general public doesn't seem to realize that most servers DO NOT GET A PAY CHECK!! It is eaten up by taxes, social security, etc. They live, eat and breath based on their tips. Let the public try and run a home and family based on the mood and vagaries of restaurant patrons!!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  170. jody

    I made a living in the food service business for years.
    I made a lot of money in gratuities and how?...I earned it providing great service to my customers...not by forcing them to pay up before they eat.

    and when does a Chef get tips? Thats a new one...maybe when the restraurant doesn't paid them enough.

    These guys are stupid enough to think that they can get away with this...not

    February 26, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  171. Carla

    Given the service I often receive in restaurants these days, I often feel as though, instead of a tip, I should leave a letter of apology for having the audacity to interrup their day by coming in and spending my hard-earned money in their restaurant.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  172. Mike

    Kyra, anytime anyone chooses to eat out they should be prepared to tip.
    Restaurant workers be they servers,cooks, buss boys/girls are not only doing a job, they are providing the patrons a service. The job is deserving of pay for service and quality of service determines the level of the tip. Patrons mostly see and communicate with the server but it takes fifty-too cards to make a deck of cards as it does take the whole staff to provide the patron with all that went there for in the first place. Bottom line please tip the folks that serves you and be generous in doing so, tip better if you get outstanding service which one usually gets. Remember nothing is always perfect but is quite close when all play within the rules of life.
    This is what I do and this is not hard to do. These folks are people too.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  173. B Jean

    Nowadays, the minimum you should tip is 20% on the total bill including tax. Waiting tables is a job, and tips are not only a sign of appreciation, but part of what you should expect to pay when you go out! In most states on the East coast, waiters make only two dollars and fifty cents an hour, which is taxed, which means that many waiters don't actually get anything in their paychecks. They depend on tips for their regular income. If you are not prepared to tip for service, then go to McDonald's or cook yourself a meal at home.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  174. john f

    tips, should be no more than 10 percent of the pretax food bill if the service was better than 'average', and the food is ‘top-notch’.

    if service was just average, 5% is over-the-top, and clearly, more than enough.

    if the wait-staff service is less than average, no tip is required.

    tips, greater than 10% are not justified under any circumstance, because food prices are through the roof as it is…

    and the restaurant owners should pay for a waiters wages, not the customer.

    i worked as a clerk for more than 45 years to the best of my ability, and have never, ever received a 'tip'.

    clearly, wait-staff should be paid by their employers, not as an added cost for over-priced, mostly mediocre foods, prepared in advance by wholesale food companies, and later warmed in ovens or microwave ovens.

    the day of prepared from 'scratch' raw foods is long past.

    food prepared at wholesalers is mediocre, and the restaurant is taking a cheap way to serve food that merits no reward in any restaurant.

    food 'stores' that serve such foods are the wal-marts of the food industry, and wait-staff should abandon them with ‘relish’.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  175. Melanie

    In Europe, servers actually make a salary. You have to realize with this you are going to pay double for your food. And if anyone has been to Europe, you would know that the American is better for service. Without the incentive of getting a tip, you European waitress is off smoking cigarettes, unconcerned about your drinks being dry.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  176. Bernadette

    Finally this topic is addressed. I was in the business for 10 years and I cannot tell you how common bad tippers are. When I go out, I tip 20% or more depending on service. Servers and bartenders only make 2-3$ and hour, which they never see due to taxes. Most corporate places will not refuse service for bad tipping, so good for them! This woman looks silly! You're mad because they banned you for being cheap! If you cannot afford the meal plus tip, DO NOT GO OUT TO EAT!!!

    Would you go to work for free? Didn't think so. Leave a tip, and not 15-10%. Be real people. The standard has been 18-20% for the past few years. Once again, good for the restaurant owner for standing up to a cheapskate!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  177. Mary Longoria

    I have been in the food service industry for 28 yrs, sometimes we want to tell customers that we only make 2.25 an hour plus tips. I leave 15 to 20 percent or more depending on the service. That is what the tip is all about service!!!!!! Although in todays world great service is hard to find. If you do find great service and food make sure to take care of your server with a great tip!!!! Another thing about service is it is not usually the servers fault if the food is not right. The chef or cook still gets paid for the time and energy to cook the food, but the server doesn't. Even if the service was excellent.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  178. America48

    Tipping – IF the 18% tip was noted on the menu so that it is known to all customers then the amount should be honored – and usually in Japanese style restrauants it is so noted – because of the way the food is served – if the individual doesn't want to abide by the rule then do no go to the restaurant . HOWEVER if the service is lousy then the individual should speak to the manager and the tip should be adjusted by that manager accordingly. IF the food is lousy then the tip should not be affected but again go to the manager. IF there is no mention of tip then my thoughts are that the server should be "aware". The use of the tip is suppose to be a "reward" for excellant service and should NOT be expected by anyone. I know that servers don't get paid a lot but it is not my obligation to support their family especially IF the service they provide it below par.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  179. Ashli

    Good for that restaurant. If you can't afford to tip 18% go somewhere cheaper where you can. Servers make 2.13 an hour, they depend on those tips and they also have to tip out (give a % of their sales) at the end of the night. Typically its about 9% of sales. If servers are getting 10-15% tips they usually don't even make minimum wage. Come on its two or three more dollars. And I'm not saying tip them even if they give you bad serivce, but if your food is good, your drink is filled and you have overall good service TIP.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  180. matthew cothern

    if you don't think tipping should be mandatory don't be suprised that you get bad service. if i was you i would never tick off the people that handle and serve my food, haven't you seen the movie waiting.It makes me glad i don't wait tables anymore to know that thier are so many people who don't think tipping is mandatory..Don't come to my nightclub buddy if you don't tip me there and you have been drinking you might find yourself in a county jail...

    February 26, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  181. I'm a Bad Tipper!

    This is crazy… if you don’t deserve a tip you don’t get one… get over it. It’s bad enough that some places automatically charge “gratuities” and you still get bad service. So, because I don’t always leave a tip or what some would consider a big enough tip that makes me a bad person… to me it further defines people wanting something for nothing. I’ve heard all of the arguments for tipping, “they only make minimum wage or less… what if it were you… they work hard…”, I don’t doubt any of that, but is that reason enough to demand a tip. If a worker’s pay is based solely on tips, then I would expect that establishment to say that up front and not expect me to pay for something they’re getting for free. Tipping is like a bonus, if you suck at work and you expect to get a big bonus then you’re dreaming, the same with service in a restaurant, if you’re not working to get that large tip then what are you complaining for? Most places the tip will go to the server anyway.

    This is like all of the stores with the “Tip Jars”… tips are greatly appreciated!

    February 26, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  182. Stacy

    For those that double the tax, keep in mind that some states don't charge tax on alcoholic beverages (it's included in the price). If you double the tax, you will short the server. To add insult to injury, many restaurants require that the server tip the bartender based on a percentage of alcohol sales. So not only did they not get a tip, they have to pay out of their pocket to the bartender.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  183. Carol

    Why should people have to cross state lines for insurance, we are the united states, underscore united, why not make insurance afforable for all in every state without having to cross state lines.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  184. Ralph Patch

    A lot of wait people I see around here can make more money than many others who work solely for wages. These people are doing a job that requires no education. I tip 10% unless the service is really good. If the sevce is not very good, I will leave nothing. Like someone else said, It's the responsibility of the establishment to pay their help.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  185. Laura Holt

    I recently became a server at a local restaurant to help supplement our family income with the down turn in the economy.

    We always tipped well but now being on the other side I tip even more!

    You have to understand how the system works to understand what happens when you "stick it to your server"... We have a limited number of tables to make our money. We are only paid $3.68 per hour. We LIVE off our tips. When you sit at our table (some can sit over 3 hours!) most of us work hard to make your experience the best it can be for you! When there is a rush, everyone is running around to make this happen! Even our mangers...
    Long and short of it when you have spent $70 on a meal and taken up a table for over an hour and only leave a $6 tip and your service was good, we are being paid less than minimum wage. All because you didn't want to tip...
    We work very hard in the food industry so when you want to sit down and have a good meal and not cook (we all need a day like this every so often!) you can.
    Let me say at the end of the day $2 or $3 may not be much in your pocket but in our pocket that can mean the difference in making it or not making it...
    Thanks for taking up this topic...
    and Joe Seattle... you are not subsidizing my income...if you want to go up to the counter, order your own food, get your own drink and clean up your trash...then go to a fast food restaurant...

    February 26, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  186. Tracey

    I agree with Sean in SF CA. We must be related.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  187. KaosMgr


    I just read your comment about making $2.13/hr. Why is this the problem of the PATRON? If you took the job to wait tables, and you and your employer "agreed" upon the set wage, then why would you expect the patrons to automatically make up the wage gap, if in fact, your service(s) to the patron were subpar?

    Again, "tipping" is NOT mandatory; it is VOLUNTARY. If it is mandatory, then the percentage should have already been embedded in the price of the items ordered. Expecting the patron to automatically shell out additional funds for poor service is flat out wrong. And just because the national average tip is 15%, this doesn't mean that tipper's have to pay out that amount.

    This is a bad message to people who expect to earn something for giving nothing. A wait-person's mantra should be to provide the best service possible and to be gracious, IF and WHEN you receive a tip. Don't EXPECT to be given a tip, just because you showed up for work.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  188. David C

    I tip 20% but I resent when people assume it should be calculated on the pre-tax amount. To assume that is to assume that workers in higher tax areas deserve to make more money.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  189. Lee Bredeson

    Would the no-tip lady work for 70% less income? Plus no tip costs the server more than income. They must pay taxes on 8% of their sales making it negative cash flow!
    It is customary to tip 15%. Even with bad service some tip should be paid. Even $1.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  190. America48

    Soryy I didn't answer the question. The size of the tip I leave is based on the service provided by the server. I usually have a base of 15% and the tip goes up or down based on the quality of the service – not the quality of the food.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  191. Edmund

    It is a great thing to give and tipping supposedly started as a result of goodwill. People gave and still give to waiters to show their satisfaction for services received. If you are not properly served and you don't fill like tipping anyone, thats a personal choice and should not be expected to tip waiters with poor customer skills.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  192. LLoni

    Many guests don't understand that "servers" are paid less than minimum wage at most establishments, and must rely on their tips for earnings. For instance my daughter in Okalhoma was paid $2.16/hour ten years ago until she left; my daughter in Georgia was paid $2.13/hour until she left last week. Their 'wage' doesn't do much more than cover the taxes owed. When the guest doesn't tip or tips low, the server is going in the hole financially. Maybe restaurants should be forced to show what servers are paid so guests would understand their tip is not a gratuity, it is payment for sitting on their behinds while someone serves the food, and drinks, and refills, and extras, and all the conveniences that guests are permitted to request..

    February 26, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  193. Katie Rudolph

    Hello CNN,

    As a server myself, I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. Tips make up the majority of my income; minimum wage for servers varies by state but in Michigan where I live it is $2.65. The rest of my income is completely comprised of tips.

    Since my income is so completely dependent on customer satisfaction, I try my hardest to deliver the best service possible to each and every table. However, sometimes things happen which are out of my control, I can't control the kitchen or the bar, for instance. Although it is sometimes my fault when I cannot deliver quality service, it is not always.

    In the rare occasion in which I receive a very small or no tip, it is very disheartening because for the time I spent smiling, bringing that table their food and getting them whatever they need, I have basically worked for free, or at least for well below minimum wage. Sometimes, when I have given great service and the customers do not reward that with a good tip, as is the custom, I want to ask them if they work for free at their job.

    With the servers who got together and refused to serve the bad tipper in question, I can certainly see where they are coming from. And I shudder to think of all of the bad service she will likely receive in the future for showing her face on television. However, even though I see their point and sympathize with their motive, those servers are making a bad name for waiters and waitresses everywhere for doing this. Often in the restaurant business the over-tippers will make up for the under-tippers– they didn't mention that, did they?

    February 26, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  194. john

    Restaurant servers are generally paid $2.13 an hour. Having been in the restaurant business for many years, I once calculated that if tips had not been a factor, I would have had to be paid $25-$30 an hour to make the same amount of money. What does that woman think that would have done to her plate of moo goo gai pan? Restaurants should circulate a petition to keep her home boiling hot dogs.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  195. julia gardner

    Kyra, Monica is upset because she is not willing to pay for a service? The Restaurant Industry-specifically front of the house staff- gets a bad rap. We are people with families, mortgages, car loans, etc., and our income mainly comes from TIPS. I have been in the restaurant industry for over 25 years. I am head of household with 4 children, 1 in diapers and 1 in college, I own a home, 2 cars and pay my bills. From TIPS.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  196. gloria lewis

    I am a waitress but i do not go out to eat ,i do get my nails my hair and i buy apliances that i need help with at times .I alway tip very well ,i do not really look at service i know these people depend on this tip to help with their income .Now in the restaurant industry i think everyone should at least tip 18 % as long as the service was okay ,now if the service is really bad i would say 15% why .There is more than just the service persons tipe involved lots of people do not know but servers make little over 4 dollars an hour ,the tip supplements their salary .The bussiness reports to the total sales of the person and they taxes on the sales and tips .This person also has to tip out the food runner ,the bartender ,the expediter ,the busperson so in reality the service person is has to pay these people on sales so actually when they get bad tips its ends up costing them more that the average person realise .
    Kyra while you are on this subject can you please give it a little attention its a subject that really needs more a ttention .The only thing worst than having a bad tip is a good tip but you sit on the table forever then this tip turn out to be not so good after all .Because time is money as a service .

    February 26, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  197. Will

    I tip 18-20% on the total bill. This is the norm. If service is particularly outstanding or if we lingered long after the meal was over, then the percentage goes up.

    The hospitality industry has a quiet lobby whose primary purpose is to secure cheap labor for the industry. One key issue is the different minimum wage for tipped employees. $2.13 per hour. This what the federal government allows restaurants to pay servers because it is expected that customers will tip! If you, the consumer, do NOT want to tip, then tell the lawmakers! Until then, don't take it out on the server. Better yet, stay home and cook.

    Tipping has been the topic of much discussion on several food-centric websites and in the media over the years. Not surprisingly, the tone always becomes more vitriolic when the economy sours.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  198. Ann MacGregor

    I tip a minimum of 15%. I usually leave 18%-20%. If the food, service and atmosphere are exceptional, I have gone as high as 25%. The only time I leave 15% is if the service is adequate at best. The server doesn't have control over the taste of the food and if there is a problem with it, and the server does her best to fix the problem, they have done their job. Some people are not aware that the server may only have a wage of $2.65 per hour and has to claim a portion, if not all of their tips. Example: Your bill is $15.00. The waitress has to claim .082% of that bill which is $1.23. If you leave a 18% tip ($2.70) and the waitress has to claim $1.23 they are making $1.47. If customers are not willing to leave a tip, or leave a consistently poor tip, they need to eat at home or go through a drive-thru. Servers are trying to make a living like everyone else and if they do their jobs properly, they deserve your respect and a proper gratuity. The woman in your story obviously likes the food at the steak house so she should either be a good customer or go home! (Or let one of the servers go to her place of employment and decide how much she should make for the day).

    February 26, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  199. Devon

    As a server and bartender myself I have to say it's very important to tip. People don't realize how much work goes into shining there glasses and silverware and prepping their arrival before the customer gets there, it's not just the service they see in front of them. There's alot that goes on behind the scenes, right down to working with the cooks to make sure every dish that goes out is presented correctly. Also people don't realize that the tip given to the servers also gets split to pay the bartender and the host or hostess or the busser and food runners. We in the restaurant industry live off our tips! It is common for people to turn away bad tippers or add gratuity to a check when the server knows the customer is a bad tipper. Realize your not tipping one person when u leave that tip behind!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  200. Mark

    We in the U.S. are the only people that expect tips. In Europe, tipping is considered an insult.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  201. Rob

    I'll tip 20% but on the SUBTOTAL. You shouldn't be expected to tip on taxes

    February 26, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  202. Jason

    Servers typically make about $4.25 per hour. They depend on tips to make a living.

    The woman being refused service isn't because she left one lousy tip to one server, it's because she would come in regularly and leave a lousy tip.

    That's unacceptable. Good for the servers for standing up for themselves!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  203. Ann in Houston

    10 to 15%

    February 26, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  204. Jan

    Tipping: Not mandatory even if you are a struggling student making a living. Service is required. I'm a big tipper but if you are rude and ignore your customer you deserve the ultimate insult – the penney tip.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  205. Bryn

    I understand one time not tipping,
    but if it's continuous....then yes,
    Ban Them!!!
    It's just moronic! Who raised this woman.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  206. Will

    Tony Harris said "they need the money"... they work hard. So do the people eating, and nobody gets my money if their service is bad or they are rude or untimely. I always leave a tip as well. 20 per cent means average service to me. A penny leaves its own message.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  207. Jessie G.

    Not only do servers have to tip out a bar, busser and food runner. We also pay taxes before we tip out on what a customer spends. So when you leave $3 how far do you think that goes. Also, the bar the busser and the food runner pay tax on what I give them. YES DOUBLE TAXATION! Be nice and realize we make $4.20 an hour.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  208. Mark

    Sounds like they are tired of her not tipping. No one wants to serve her. She may have brought this on.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  209. Angie

    Servers are often only paid around $2/hr and that entire amount is withheld for taxes. Tips are the only source of income they have. If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to eat out. If you frequent the same restaurant, good tipping is an investment. Servers tend to have excellent memories...

    February 26, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  210. Richard Tocci

    Tipping is not a requirement when going to a restaurant. While I understand and appreciate that wait staff rely on tips as part of their pay, it is still based on the service received. I never have a set amount of money I leave for a tip.

    If a restaurant banned me for not leaving enough of a tip, that's their loss - I would never eat at that restaurant ever again.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  211. adam

    The worst thing about this story was the quality of the reporting. You failed to give us ANY of the essential information! How much tip did the woman leave? When? Is she a regular customer? What was her reasoning – philosophical? financial? What is the restaurant policy? The menu indicated a 15% tip policy for groups of six or more - but that is irrelevant to this story, since the woman was part of a group of three.
    I could go on.

    The point is, the whole story was a mess. You went for glib one-liners instead of taking the time to actually set-up the story clearly. You failed even the most basic standards of Journalism 101.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  212. Paul V

    Americans consider eating out in Europe really expensive. Why? Because restaraunts have to pay a living wage so prices for the food is so much higher. Perhaps if Americans paid reasonable prices for the food then waiters and waiteress could be paid a living wage and not have to rely on people tipping.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  213. Carol Davis

    I've always thought tipping was something one did as a appreciation for good service and was voluntary. If not voluntary then it should be added to the check as a service charge.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  214. Kristi

    It depends on the service! If the service is bad then my tip is bad; however, if the service is good the tip is good. Hey, if the service is great my tip is great!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  215. Kevin

    All food service employees just like the rest of us, sign contracts when applying for a job, agreeing to certain terms to perform at certain standards. (With the exception of wall st.) most people don't get raises, bonuses or tips when they perform poorly, and neither should waiters/waitresses. How else will they realize they need to step it up?

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  216. sarah

    I think what they did was a good thing! I am a waitress at Pizza Hut and when people dont tip we go home broke! We dont get paid much by the hour people need to realize our tips are what most of us live off of!.It is important to tip your server.I tip great any where i go good or bad service cause u never know if your server is just having a bad day , your tip makes a huge difference.thank you to those who tip at all.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  217. Bryan

    Having been a server, I tip based on service. The woman that was banned from the North Carolina restaurant was most likely an abusive, obnoxious customer if they refused to wait on her. There are plenty of them out there. Waiting tables should be a required course in high school instead of home ec. People would earn respect for waiters, retail folks and the like if they experienced what it's like to deal with the public.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  218. jean

    If you tip somebody after they've given you bad service or been rude to you, that makes you a weakling wimp.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  219. Don Ritchie

    The cost of food at a restaurant does NOT include front of the house labor. Your food costs are artificially lower than they would be in parts of the world where front of the house costs are included in the price of a meal.

    You are given the option of not paying for that labor as a courtesy: repay that courtesy and tip your server.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  220. Vivian Mix

    I work for a national chain restaurant. We are judged by our tip percentage. If it is lower than 17.2%, the company says we are doing a bad job. Our jobs are threatened weekly because of the tip percentage. Also, servers/bartenders are required to tip out 3.5% of tips to hosts and bartenders. So we don't keep all of it anyway. I wish you would share this side of the story. We are only trying to make a living.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  221. Twyla

    I am currently a server, and it is the 15-20% tips that I am relying on in order to pay my bills, rent, and feed myself. The $4.50 I'm getting per hour really does not do much for me. I don't think customers realize that we are taxed on their bills. Therefore, if a customer leaves a bad tip or even worst, no tip, I may be actually PAYING for that customer to eat their meal out of my own pocket! Not to mention, I still have to tip out the busboys and the bartender. So please, if you can afford to go and eat out, make sure to tip accordingly towards the people who are making your experience enjoyable!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  222. Sarah Ky

    Let's just keep in mind that servers make less than minimum wage, $2.15 an hour to be exact. And if people don't have enough money to tip 18-20% then they shouldn't go out to eat at all

    February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  223. June Cleaver

    First of all, the menu said that 15% gratuity would be added for parties of 6 or more. This lady was in a party of 3. The owner said she was supposed to tip 18%. The restaurant violated their own policy. Has this restaurant done the same to other customers? If they have, they won't be in business much longer. This is horribly bad business. If not, then this woman was singled out for another reason & the tipping issue is just an excuse. My "tip" for that restaurant owner & others like him: Stop treating your customers like inconveniences & remember who has kept you in business.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  224. Rob

    It's obvious this issue came along because of this woman's previous visits to the restaurant, leaving inappropriate tips. I don't even work in the service industry, and I know that service staff earns nearly all their income from tips. It is wonderful to see a restaurant defend their staff! Especially with a hibachi grill, the staff is not only serving you, but also entertaining you. I believe 18 percent is more than appropriate for this experience. If you can't afford the tip, don't eat out! This woman is just cheap, and now she wants her 15 minutes of fame.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  225. Chita

    Restaurants are getting rich by hiring KIDS with cute faces to serve us, we feel bad and obligated to tip! RESTAURANTS SHOULD PAY A DECENT WAGE like every other employee! WHO tips the mailman, the teachers, the construction worker, the cops, the electrician??????????? come on folks ..........make the restaurant owners pay their employees!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  226. Tom

    Gratuity is meant to be a commentary on the service of the wait staff. If you give bad service, you should expect a bad tip. If waiters and waitresses need more money than their salary to survive, they should demand higher wages. I can't stand servers who consider 20% an entitlement.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  227. pakkwoman

    Why would a restaurant deny a valuable customer?` Sounds like she's cheap and petty, taking valuable time away from better customer. I applaud the manager for standing up for his staff. I waited tables before, it's not easy. Usually bad tippers are more demanding and inconsiderate. I guess this woman proves that point. Sorry, costumers are not always right.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  228. Delores McFarland

    Hi Kyra. Regarding the lady that was banned because she didn't tp enough. Hurray for her. It is not the customers responsiblility to pay the salary of the worker. I taught school for a number of years, no one tipped me for doing my job. I believe that we take this tipping thing too far. It should not be a requirement to pay your bill then leave a hefty tip on top of it. Most of the time, the food isn't worth the price anyway. Reluctant tipper.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  229. Chris

    I tend to tip based on service. Usually a minimum of 15% for average service. 20% or better for exceptional service. I understand some servers may be having a bad day, or get busy. But when it appears they are intentionally not doing their job they will get a lower tip.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  230. Michael Becker

    People in North Carolina don't realize that waiters and waitresses make only $2.13 an hour! West coast servers make up to $8 an hour in pay. Slave labor does exist.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  231. carol

    My daughter works at a pricey steak house. She has always complained about the fact that many african-americans will eat at this pricey resturant but never tip or tip only 10%. If you want to live large be able to pay!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  232. Matthew

    People don't understand the nature of tipping. The wage of the waiter is not added into the food cost. I waited tables for 15 years and on average, my pay check was between 10-20 dollars every two weeks. Even if I do not receive a tip I still have to pay taxes on it. People need to realize that tipping is an incentive to get good service, but it does not mean the patron can steal the waiters services. Its not about how much food costs and if you feel you are getting over charged, its about accepting service from a waiter that is not getting paid. If you dont want to tip go for fast food their service is included in the price of the meal.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  233. I'm a Bad Tipper!

    So what I’m reading here is that restaurant owners need to step up and PAY BETTER! Patrons are picking up salary that they are not paying. You’re right about $2.50 an hour being slavery but don’t make me pay the difference… Melanie said "If you cannot afford to tip, you cannot afford to go out to eat."… well if you cannot afford to pay your employees you don’t need to be in business, because I’ll bet you the owner is making money. Share the wealth.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  234. Bill

    I drove an airport shuttle for several years. I know that some people did not tip the recommended percentage, for diffrent reasons. But many people tipped well over that amount. So any server who requires a minimum 18% from EVERY customer, should return any amount over that amount.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  235. pakkwoman

    Why would a restaurant deny a valuable customer? Sounds like she's cheap and petty, taking valuable time away from better customers. I applaud the manager for standing up for his staff. I waited tables before, it's not easy. Usually bad tippers are more demanding and inconsiderate. I guess this woman proves that point. Sorry, customers are not always right.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  236. Joe

    The major problem is tipping is not really tipping in that server's employees are exempt from paying minimum wage and make it up with what the customers tips. Customers believe the server gets the tip, not really! A tip is often thought as a "thanks" to that special server, most is split with everyone and the employer lets the customer pay the labor bill.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  237. Bob

    If I go into a hardware store to purchase, the owner pays his employees for their work there. If I go into a clothing store to purchase the same happens and is expected. The man who owns a restaurant should pay his EMPLOYEES to serve the food he cooks. That is a part of his business to get the food on the table so I can consume it and pay for it. I see no sense what so ever that I should pay for the restaurant owners product and then pay for his EMPLOYEES to place it where I can eat it. The entire idea of tipping is just not sensable and is a very good part of why I eat only at buffets where I serve myself and don't have to WAIT for a waitress to come serve me, wait,on my part, being a very important part of the name waitress.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  238. Mary Renshaw

    I worked as a waitress and I am aware that tips are important but not mandatory. I believe that the restaurant owner and employees are completely wrong. Why do we not come up with a restaurant system like in Grmany? In Germany restaurants charge for the food and pay the employees a good salary and tipping is not encouraged.

    Tipping in itself is unfair as it takes no more time to serve a $2.00 hamburger than it takes to serve a 20.00 steak.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  239. Jim Helms

    If you go out to eat and receive excellent service, I support leaving a tiip. However, if the person serving you is rude and does not provide good service, you should not leave a tip. Leaving a tip just becasue it's their job and/or you should, sets the example that it doesn't matter how your customers are treated. Jim Helms, Myrtle Beach SC.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  240. len

    Tipping should NOT be expected. IF you get GOOD service, then decide for yourself what is fair. BUT, it isn't the customeres responsibility to PAY the waiter/waitress, It's the restaurant owners responsibility.
    Also, How did they, the owners, get a deal and with who, to pay them LESS than minimum pay??
    Tipping is really un American if you think for a minute. You are creating a lower class. Tipping started when Britain ruled the world. They used to tip people who helped them but weren't in their employ.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  241. Joe B

    Tipping shouldn't be mandatory. That being said, if the service is acceptable I leave 20%. If it's better than average I leave 30%. The staff expects to make a living wage, so if you can't afford it take your butt to McDonalds. Only once in my life have I tipped less than 20%. -Joe B, York PA

    February 26, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  242. Brenda Carter

    I tip a minimum of 15% no matter how the waiter or waitress is. I give more based on the performance of the person. I think a person need to be aware of the service they give, when the tip is needed as part of their income. Some waiters and waitresses can give poor service. I think it is their responsibility to be a very aware of their performance. It is unfair for a restaurant to tell a person not to come back because of the tip that a person gives. This is totally unfair and discriminatory.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  243. Sean Gilbert

    You realize that most servers do not receive a paycheck. There paycheck is there tips more times than not. Furthermore most places have tip-outs for busses and bartenders. So with a bad tip they are in a sense paying for a customer to eat. TIP PLEASE.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  244. dduduwana

    A reporter just said , when she was asked how much we can save if americans are allowed to buy health insurance acorss the state. Reply was "not much" 5% could save... like that....

    come on!... you said 5% is not much , when avearge americans are stuggling to save at least 5% their income!

    please be care full when you chose the words!.......

    think twise before you say somthing infront of general public....

    February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  245. Chuck

    If the server provides good service, he/she should be rewarded for those labors. I have left a $0.02 cent tip at Fisherman's Wharf in SF to a server who provided poor service and complained to his clients that he was staying after his shift since someone didn't show up and his manager asked him to stay. Those comments should be reserved to the kitchen.

    Also won't tip if I know the restaurant counts tips against wages. Tips are to reward good servers not to save the business paying the wages that employee earned !!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  246. RJ

    20% should be a customary tip, however, tipping is not required. Being in the service industry all my life, I was brought up to never expect a tip, but to tip graciously. I tip 25%, 30% if I know someone that works at the establishment, and if anything is bought for me by the establishment (i.e. complimentary item or a drink given by the bartender) I include the cost of the item in the tip because, hey, I'd be paying for it anyway.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  247. Audrey

    Okay, so it's true that tipping is not a requirement. However, to use that statement as an excuse to tip badly, is really selfish behavior. I agree with everyone who stated that if you are going to a restaurant, and can afford to eat out, you can afford to tip. It's not like a surprise, it's part of the restaurant culture, and how these servers earn their living. Clearly it was not a service issue, because she returned often enough for the servers to recognize and build up enough animosity to fight over who had to take her table. If you don't want to tip, go to McDonald's. (P.S. I tip 20-30% on the final total, unless service is really horrible, in which case I tip the minimum-15%). And if the tip is going to put me over my budget, I eat at home.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  248. Bob

    Tipping has lost its meaning, if, indeed, it ever had another meaning. Tipping should be a reflection of the patron's appreciation for service rendered. Some services warrant generous tipping, others less. If tipping is mandatory, by definition it ceases to be tipping and should be added to the initial cost of the service. Then the patron could decide on the front end whether or not he/she wanted to pay for that service.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  249. Dag Gripa

    I've worked in the industry. People that don't tip shouldn't go out to eat. The woman (non tipper) in this story should be embarassed. I'm very familiar with her type.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am |
  250. Ruth Riddle

    Not only is not tipping very bad manners but it is a very cheap person who refuses. If she had that job she would be having a much louder quarrel about someone not tipping. I would not serve her either. The tips that servers earn are the biggest part of their salary. I feel very privileged to be able to go out and eat when I want, so I should be able to tip. She should now be afraid of someone spitting in her food when they do serve her. Thanks Kyra for letting me rant.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:09 am |
  251. J Holmes

    Tipping at certain Chinese type restaurants is sometimes included in the bill. I think they are hoping to trick the diners into paying it. I have voiced several complaints about this practice at the local establishment that I was going to. I finally decided not to patronize the restaurant. Other people in the area that went to that restaurant felt the same about them trying to strong arm us into paying more than 15% even when it was only a small party at the table. I have not heard of this happening at any other type of restaurant. I do not miss going there as I found it extremely offensive to have the tip be so called "mandantory". I would sign that lady's petition to boycott that practice in a heartbeat. Good for Her! I like that! ~JH

    February 26, 2010 at 11:09 am |
  252. TR

    I have been in the biz for over 20 years...yes tips are our lively hood, BUT, GOOD service is expected. I once left a well deserved 2 cent tip....left a better message than just being "stiffed"....I'm just sayin'!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:09 am |
  253. Barbara Stein

    I don't mind the tipping, but sometimes we go to buffet restaurants where the waitress only brings drink (hot or cold) and comes back to do refills and maybe bring containers (doggie bags/boxes). Does this
    require a 10 to 20% tip?

    February 26, 2010 at 11:10 am |
  254. Mark Purvis

    Resturants are part of the 'service industry'. Workers rely on tips as a major part of their income. With everyone knowing that "It is the duty of a customer being served to leave an appropriate tip for the waiter or waitress." 20% of the check would be a good rule of thumb for the tip.Therefore, a check of $100 would need a $20 tip.

    Mark Purvis
    Washington, DC

    February 26, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  255. Rita

    The last time I checked, tipping was an option here. My father provided for our family of six as a restaurant worker. I understand and know what tips mean to restaurant workers. Having said that, it is wrong to expect a tip. Do your job to the best of your ability and serve everyone equally. If you want VAT, move.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  256. gloria lewis

    I ask all the customers in places like the small restaurants ,and breakfast houses ,please try to be a little more understand majority of people have no idea how much work these servers have to do for little salary plus tip .To give you a brief idea ,the person that clean the tables sometimes also does dishes ,so at times the server has to clean the tables,seat the tables ,takes the cash .These are all duties that are added to the servers duties with no extra pay to curb cost on the bussiness .Yes the customers suffer but it is not their fault most times .Some breakfast servers will tell you it takes them hours to get to the bathroom inorder to do an efficient .
    I am a waitress for over 20 years and i do believe some servers are just overwhelm at times .Add a job with no benefits ,you might have an issue at home you are dealing with .You put all of that with a job that if you do not work you don not get paid they will have a bad day .So please be a liitle more considerate and human when you go out to eat .

    February 26, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  257. Elizabeth

    This woman shouldn't be going to restaurants if she refuses to tip. If the service is bad she shouldn't be returning. The arrogance of a person to think someone should serve them with no tip is appalling. The restaurants in this town should boycott this non-tipping woman. She should be too embarrassed of her behavior to go on TV and tell the world she is cheap and arrogant.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  258. Chris

    My sister is a college student that maks her living off of being a server. She once had a party of 6 people that only left her a 5 dollar tip! I definitely think people that behave like this or think that this is ok should be booted and/or banned from restaurants.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  259. Chris Bohn

    This is the only country in the world where the wages of restaurant servers and bartenders are directly paid by the customer. How this came about is the real story. Restaurants get away with paying way below the federal minimum wage and hope that their clientele will supplement their staff salaries. They should get a proper, living wage and any tips they get for exceptional service should be additional monies, not their base pay. Customers are shamed into paying these peoples wages, even when the service stinks.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  260. Anthony

    In regards to tipping; I do believe that giving some kind of gratuity would be acceptable in an environment where the customer feels as if the server truly deserves it. However, we as consumers should not be obligated to give a gratuity if we feel as the server didn’t deserve it. We are not responsible for their decision to work at a facility that is not compensating them appropriately. Perhaps it would be best if the restaurant would increase their prices in order to pay their staff.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:12 am |
  261. Vivian

    This woman's actions have touched a nerve. Since I am a server. This is my second post. She wants good service, for free. I know she is paying for the food, but, the person taking care of her is providing a service to her. We earn $2.13 per hour. We depend on tips. We also have to tip out hosts and bussers and bartenders out of this money. So in fact, when this woman goes out to eat, she costs the server money because she doesn't leave a tip. How about sharing the other side of the story, the server side. Don't just concentrate on the cheap woman's side. I have to provide the same service, to every guest, regardless of how they tip, or I lose my job, but she should stay home and cook, if she doesn't want to tip her server.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  262. Sarah

    I am a server, and I've learned that plenty of patrons don't always realize: your bill pays for the food and its preparation, your tip pays for the service. If someone was hired to do your shopping for you, you wouldn't assume that paying the grocery bill also paid for their service.
    Also, inflation has caused the customary tipping amount to increase over the years. It is customary to tip 20% for good service, 15% for moderate service, and even 10% for bad service. Also, if you are drinking alcohol, in many restaurants servers must tip their bartender a percentage of those sales. So if you don't tip your server, she may be forced to pay for waiting on you.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  263. Trudy

    I think this news is a breath of fresh air. I have been serving for almost twenty years and I can say that it hits below the belt to receive a bad tip and if it is becoming a common thing with the same person or people, all the servers in that restaurant become discouraged because no one likes to work for free. She needs to realize what her actions from this has caused, and that she is also embarrassing herself. For example, if she makes a salary from her employer and works for her money, and it comes time to receive her paycheck and it is less than it is supposed to be, what do you think she will do about it?

    February 26, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  264. Jose Rolon

    I think most people don't realize that waiters only make between $2.16-$4.60/hr. It's not like minimum wage. Because you have to claim your tips, you often get back a check with a zero amount. So waiters, waitresses, bartenders solely make their living on tips alone. Think about that next time you decide to walk out without tipping.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  265. sarah

    Jason i dont know where your from but serves average about$ 2.13 to $2.25 hour! and a servers hours a day are only 4 to 6 hours maybe 5 days a week totaling about 20 some hours and we usually get paid every 2 weeks....humm..... how are we supposed to pay our bills, feed our kids?If u dont tip EAT AT HOME! Never leave a penny because if you do i will follow u out the door and hand it back.If it wasn't for servers how else are u going to get your food to you , i know ur not going to go get it ,thats why u didnt go to McDonald or somewhere that is serve your self , we don't want to have to stand all day long and not make any thing from it at the end of our shift.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  266. Dan

    I have been a server for years and although I don't participate in these practices there are many in the service industry from pubs to fine dining establishments that will give a returning low tipper a little extra (wink) with their meal. If you don't believe me there are books about it like Kitchen Confidential for example...If you see a server in a bad mood it is probably because they got a bad tip and since they are only paid 2 or 3 dollars an hour that can really sour a mood. Tip well.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  267. Kisha

    I do no feel like I have to tip a waiter/waitress if they are not giving me great customer service. I work in the customer service field and I try to be nice to all my customers, no matter how bad things are going in my personal life. Its your job to be. If you cannot fulfill that part of your job, then you should find another profession.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  268. Christian

    I live in North Carolina and work at a restaurant in a 4 diamond hotel. In defense of both parties, there is a good point coming from each side. In the woman's defense, she may just not believe in tipping, just like Dan, or at the very least may not believe in tipping well. It appeared her service may not have been too bad, however, given the fact that she is a more than one time visitor. In defense of the restaurant manager, if you have a person taking up seats that you KNOW won't tip for services, it makes it hard to motivate your employees to perform at a high level, given that they know they will not be compensated for their services.

    Banning them however, is unacceptable, unless they were unruly in the process.

    America!!! Start your tip out at 18%-20% when you walk in the door!!!!!! If they mess something up, take a point off. If they do you a great service, add a point!!!! At the end of the day you server is happy, and you are happy. It assures you that your next visit will indeed be a good one!!!!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:16 am |
  269. Will

    People need to realize that restaurants have the right to refuse service to anyone. It is generally in the interest of the restaurant to serve as many people as possible; however, the right to refuse service has always existed. If a patron displays unacceptable behavior, the restaurant management has a right to refuse service. It looks like this restaurant decided to exercise their right.
    I can't say I blame the restaurant. If I had to choose between waiting on a group of people who will pay me versus waiting on The Banned One knowing that I would spend the next two hours running my butt off doing my job for free, hmmmm, not a tough call.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  270. William Johnson

    A gratutity is "Something given voluntarily or beyond obligation, usually for some service, a tip. A favor or gift, usually in the form of money, given in return for service. A bonus."

    A charge is "The price demanded for something. To charge an item to an account. To impose or record a financial obligation. To fix or ask a fee for payment. To impose a financial duty, burden, debt, responsibility, or obligation to an account."

    A tip is is thank you for service. Then meal is paid for separately. How can the restaurant owner presume to demand a payment beyond the cost of the meal?

    Good Service shoudl be rewarded, but I should decide if I got good service and what that service was worth.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  271. Taylor

    I believe that if a patron wants to flout the right to give little or no tip, that she should respect the right of the server to refuse service. One cannot continually stiff waiters and expect them to serve you.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  272. annie cook

    I have worked in food service for many years. I want to make one thing clear the hourly average pay for a server is $ 3.13 . Servers depend on tips to support their family. Minimum wage now is $4.00 to $8.00 depending on which state you live in. Ask yourself could you even pay for the gas to get to work everyday for what a server makes, and I always tipped the cook for his timely and presentation of the meal. Thank you for your attention.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  273. Jerry

    My base tip is 15%. If the service is exceptional, so is the tip. If the service is lousy, so is the tip.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  274. Candy

    You need to rent the movie "Waiting" if you have never seen it- it is a pretty accurate/ albeit hilarious portrayal of the service industry

    February 26, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  275. Daniel

    Beyond what you might think, tips are how we get paid. Tips are how my child eats, tips are how the rent gets paid. Without tips we make $2.13 an hour. This is one of the hardest jobs you can do. You do NOT get breaks, or lunch hours, or get to go home early as a server. If you work a double you work anywhere from 9-14 hours with no break of any kind. There are no paid holidays, barely any vacation, which is just 2.13 an hour while your on vacation. No AFFORDABLE/EFFIECENT healthcare of any kind at any establishment. And people want to complain about an extra 2 or 3 percent. Really???? I just SERVED you and you have to keep an extra dollar or two?? Did you even know that we pay taxes and tipout based on what we sold you?? Not what you tipped us? So if you tip 10% on a $150 tab, I actually owe money!! Sometimes it actually COSTS us to go to work.15% is not the standard anymore. Its 18% at the least. We ABSOLUTLEY remember your faces, and the next time you come in your going to get subpar service. If your not going to tip anyways, than why am I going to give great service? Im not, and I dont care if you come back!!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  276. Tony

    I start off with 25 % tip on table and let server know its all there's, but if service starts going bad tip starts going down. I cant remember the last time I had bad service after I started this.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  277. SD

    This issue is on that backs of the restaurant owner. If they paid a decent wage to the worker, the worker would not have to rely on tips to make a living. Instead employers hire help at a low wage, charge way to much for their food and pass on to the consumer the cost for having a worker.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  278. John

    I think the question was whether on not the lady in question should be banded from a restaurant for being a bad or no tipper. What I am reading is people pounding their chest and bragging about how much they tip.

    Lee(a server) gave the best explanation as to why we should tip. Explaining they have to part with some of their tips to the busperson, kitchen, and hostesses. That they are paid less than minimum wages helped me understand the situation and will make me a better tipper. If the service is bad then speak to management. If it is good, show your appreciation.

    Thank you Lee

    February 26, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  279. Mike

    Only in the states (especially certain states) is there a disturbing sense of entitlement. Why are tips required? It is because patrons are supposed to subsidize a waiter pay, because the restaurant refuses to pay a decent wage?

    I'm always disturbed when it check comes with gratuity included. As if I have to thank someone via cash for doing their job, regardless of performance. This is idiotic and it makes people lazy and arrogant.

    I tip 20% for okay service, and above 25-30% for good service. I have very rarely tip 50% for incredible service. I have also tip 0% for bad service, and I do not come back.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  280. Trevor

    Unfortunately the vast majority do not understand that servers make far less than minimum wage because they receive tips. For example, in Florida minimum wage is $7.25, but the "tipped employees" wage is only $4.23 an hour. For tax purposes, these employees have to claim at least 10% of total sales as income (many companies will not let employees clock out if this is not claimed). After paying the hostesses, bartenders, foodrunners, and bussers up to 4% of your sales, you can do the math and see that on just a 10% tip, servers can actually be paying taxes for wages they didn't receive. The old notion is that "tipping is an option", but on the contrary, tipping is a necessity. these are people's lively-hoods here America! If you cant afford to go out to eat, stay home or go to a fast food restaurant. Oh, by the way, any business has the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  281. Chuck Minks

    Tipping is not a requirement just because one chose to eat out or frequent a certain establishment. Tips are earned for qood service and should be considered only if a service person meets or exceeds ones expectations.
    There are lots of individuals in service jobs that are not interested in doing a good job but just show up and put in their time and get paid.
    Getting a tip should be a reward and ultimately let the person know that that good service is appriciated. Tipping someone that is just putting in their time is setting them up and saying it is OK just to show up.
    Seldom do people exceed my expectations for good service today.....

    February 26, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  282. Bob

    Every time I go into a restaurant that adds a tip to my bill , I politely tell the waitress thank you, axplain why, and leave. The American shopping population should do more of the same in their relationship with businesses they patronize and we would see a lot of wrongs and abuses being done to us changing and stopping. The owner of a restaurant should be paying the server a respectable wage like other business owners pay their workers . The food should be priced to allow for proper wage payments If that price is to high then I will do the same as in other businesses I deal with, go somewhere else, Why should a restaurant owner be able to charge a price, which by the way is in nearly all cases already to high, then him expect his customers to subsidize his business by paying his employees wages?

    February 26, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  283. Jen Barnes

    What many bad tippers need know, is that while tipping is considered a "gratuity", servers and bartenders are taxed on their tips by taxing a percentage of their sales. Servers also tip out anywhere between 20% and 35%of their tips to bussers, food runners, cooks, and bartenders. Also, please try to remember this is a minimum wage job and in most cases no health coverage is available.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  284. I'm a Bad Tipper!

    @Vivian, you said “She wants good service, for free”… no, the law says that she only has to pay for her food… maybe you and other servers should consider asking your employer to pay you more. As a customer I don’t owe you anything, regardless of good, bad or indifferent service, I only have to pay for my food, unless it’s known that a gratuity is included.

    These business owners are the ones you should be mad at because they have what amounts to FREE labor. Why can’t your employer pay you the minimum wage? …touched a nerve… please.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  285. Taylor

    To me, a poor tip indicates poor service. If Ms. Covington, feels that the service is not adequate , why is she making such an effort to return to this restaurant? If she feels the service is acceptable, she should tip the conventional rate, like everyone else.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  286. Candy

    It isnt the servers fault the state doesn't pay waiters an hourly wage. Dont decide you are going to "Take a stand" and take out your political views on people with children to feed or college students. Why dont you write to the politicians YOU elected and tell them to pay hourly for waiters- but until then Shut up and tip your server- You should be ashamed of yourself for hurting people just because you dont like the system. If you dont want to tip- well dont compromise your values my friend and STAY HOME- believe me I am a server and I DONT WANT TO SERVE YOU FOR FREE!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  287. Jodi

    I believe in tipping well at the very least 15%, but personally I tip 20-25%.
    This case, the lady should be tipping for not only service, but also entertainment. The restaurant is one of those make it in front of you, so there should be some consideration for that in tipping. Also, if the restaurant has a "right to refuse service" policy, she has the right to not to go back.
    Tipping in general: From working in restaurants, the tip doesn't just affect the person you interacted with, it also affects the bartender, bar back, food runners, bussers, and hosts. So if you aren't tipping you are also taking money from people you never met that make your entire food experience.
    The wages for those people are not reflected in the prices you see, thus tipping is always appropriate. In parts of Europe, they add tip into the bill to eliminate the confusion over "appropriate" tipping.
    Honestly, if you really want good service at a place, walk in and give the server $20 right off. Trust me they'll take care of you. In the end, make sure that the tip is still 20% or more and you'll be more than welcomed back.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  288. Melanie

    Well Barbara, what has happened to your bill is "auto grating" or automatic gratuity. This is when the restaurant adds the tip to the bill, usually because the customer doesn't tip, or is a bad tipper, or when there is a large party.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  289. sarah

    The only person i am not going to expect a tip from would be our Military men! I any one has a reason not to tip its them.So if you think u have a right to not tip i will agree if u go out and risk your life then i dont care but until then dont eat out if your not going to tip.nough said

    February 26, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  290. Rayne

    As I read comments others have left in front of me, I am appalled. I worked in the service industry for over fifteen years. I think the public and legislators as a whole are ingnorant of the thankless job these women and men perform everyday. I personally during my time as a waiter and bartender watched repeatedly as minimum wage for everyone else went up from $4.25 to $7.25 over the years, while my minimum wage remained at $2.13 and hour. Now let me remind you that the minimum wage for waiters/waitress/bartenders has remained unchanged for 18years. Most of which is taken up in taxes. On average my checks fluctuated from $2.00 to $25.00. A report from the National Employment Law Project points out that tipped workers like waitresses and waiters have twice the poverty rate of the workforce as a whole. There are rarely benefits such as health and dental insurance. Rarely paid vacations or even the ability to afford time off. Job security is low due to the turn over in the service industry. Chances to move up are slim and the rewards for such are low. More than 20 years ago, the federal government found that waiting tables was among the 12 jobs with the highest levels of employee stress. A statistic, which I'm sure has worsened with the addition of more chanins and a high demand from the service industry with a decline in people eating at their own homes. As far as someones ignorant comment that you don't have to be educated to do the job, well you would be surprised at the amount of tipped employees with degrees especially in today's economic climate. We watch your families grow, we are there during your families happiest moments and saddest times. Who else in your world can you say is always there to great you, feed you, wait on you hand and foot, shame on the American public and especially shame on those of you on Capitol Hill who I am sure we serve you with our less than average and less than life sustaining income everyday.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  291. I'm a Bad Tipper!

    @Candy… because you have “bills” to pay for your kids in school and college and you new car… not my problem. You need to be mad at the people you work for, not the people come there to eat. So, if nobody came in to eat today and you got no tips, who would you be mad at?

    February 26, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  292. diana

    just another example of bussinesses with money wanting more than what the average person can afford. tips are not required but everyone deserves to go out on occasion but cant always afford the extra thankful you have customers at all in this economy

    February 26, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  293. bostonb

    I work in a restaurant. Other night, I had one table sales above $700 for four people. I gave them the best service I can since it was slow night and they were ordering expensive wine. At the end of the night, I saw my tip, it was $5. I went talk to the guest and ask them if everything was OK and asked them if anything went wrong with food or service. They said every thing was perfect then I ask them then why so less tip. according to them, they can't afford the tip. Its recession time. Let me be honest, if you can afford $700 that mean you are just a cheap person with no respect.
    I make $2.63 an hour. I have to tip out bartender, food runner, busser and host. That is four% of my net sales. In that above case, I had to pay from my pocket $23 to my co- worker.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  294. Barbara

    I think the employer should pay the help. I also think you should decide if you want to tip not be made to tip depending on the service.
    I tip for the service not for someone bring me a plate of food.
    If the service is good then I would tip 15 to 20% (sometime more) depending on how good the service was and how pleasant the server was.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  295. Sarah

    What we need to recognize is that this woman was not tipping, not because of bad service, but because she simply felt ENTITLED TO FREE SERVICE. How many people would actually frequent an establishment that consistently gave bad service? The issue isn't that the servers weren't doing their jobs, it's that she is cheap.

    If you have a problem with tipping being expected, think of it this way. If we change the entire system so that restaurants have to pay minimum wage to each server, they will just end up increasing the cost of your meal to compensate, thereby making the tip a requirement.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:36 am |
  296. Mike

    In the past 10%-15% was accepted. As food costs rise, so did the tip. Now they want a higher percentage as well without better service or anything being different. I feel the higher percentage is just a way for the employer to get away with paying a poor wage and less in employee taxes. I would rather see a decent wage worked into food costs and no tip. I tip according to service. 10-15 %.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  297. I'm a Bad Tipper! said "What we need to recognize is that this woman was not tipping, not because of bad service, but because she simply felt ENTITLED TO FREE SERVICE."… does that restaurant have a posted POLICY that warns patrons that tips are required?

    February 26, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  298. Trudy

    For those of you who think that the tipping percentage is not fair or that you shouldn't have to tip anyway, your crazy, what do you think it will do to the economy if tipping is banned from food service? If you don't like this about our Country, stay home and cook your own food! As a server I would rather it be business be slow so I can give great service to awesome guests and get paid well for it, than to be busy and bust ass serving cheap, arrogant, lazy people, who don't recognize that I am there to serve them. Servers are not servants! Further more, what kind of service do you thing you would get, if we as servers, made an hourly wage?

    February 26, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  299. Candy

    @ I'm a bad tipper- that would never happen because even though you don't know how to be a polite functioning member of society doesn't mean others don't- people will always want to go eat at a restaurant and those who are kind to their servers will get great service- you guys keep talking about what the server needs to do for you- don't forget we work with YOUR food- what are you doing for your server? Are you being kind and polite in turn you will receive kind service and a wonderful evening out(which is why you went to a restaurant in the first place) if you are obnoxious and mean you never know what you might receive!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  300. Devon

    To "I'm a bad tipper", minimum wage is lower for people in the service industry because the gov't knows we make tips to compensate for the difference in our low paying hourly wage. We servers, bartenders, runners, hosts, hostesses, banquet workers, what have you live off of our tips and we provide you a service and expect to be paid accordingly. You may pay the restaurant for their service but pay your server as well it's just rude. "bostonb" I understand how you feel the same has happened to me on many occasions we're still always going to get "those" customers but you did the right thing by checking up to see if there was a problem to be resolved. Your lucky your tip out is four percent, I have to pay five percent to the bartender, and ten to be split for the host and runners!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  301. Sarah

    So Mike, if you were consistently paid the same wages that were acceptable 30 years ago, would you think that was acceptable? The percentage has raised because the cost of living has increased, just as minimum wage and all other salaries have increased.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  302. I'm a Bad Tipper!

    @Trudy…” For those of you who think that the tipping percentage is not fair or that you shouldn't have to tip anyway, your crazy, what do you think it will do to the economy if tipping is banned from food service?” That’s easy, owners would have to PAY EMPLOYEES THE MINIMUM WAGE.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  303. Sarah

    @ Bad Tipper: Tips are not required....but they our customary. It is our culture that has created this form of payment. You pay the bill to cover the price of the food. You pay the tip to cover the fee for service. Otherwise, it may as well be a buffet and you can refill your own drinks and go pick up your own food.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  304. mary

    If a tip is manditory they should state that on the menu and add it to the bill, like they do if you attend a banquet. I also tip about 15 to 20% for good service. I have had real lousy service and walked out without any tip, but only with lousy service.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  305. Devon

    "barbara" those people who bring you the food are providing you the service of bringing you your food, if you can't afford the service you can't afford the food either. While there is no law making you tip or a law stating that a restaurant must serve you; Restaurants can serve whomever they see fit it's up to them who they want in their establishment if your a frequent person who underpays and people don't want to serve you than that's too bad. A tip is still expected it's why we bust our rears to provide you with a service you can't get at home, that is why more money is expected than that of what you can buy at a grocery store and cook yourself.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  306. Mike

    I doubt people would mind the increased cost of their meal for the increased wage of the service people. What they probably mind is the concept of tipping. I consider tipping as a gift from me to the waiter/servers for doing a good/okay job. I do not consider it as required.

    I read comment about the $700 bill with a $5 tip. In that case, it is incredibly rude since there was no bad service. And even if there was, personally, a bill that large would have been tipped at least 15% anyways.

    Service is never free. The waiter is paid.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:50 am |
  307. sarah

    Do not call Servers "The Help" ! I would love to see those of you who dont tip do our job for a DAY and see what the out come is.We do more than just serve food/drinks to your table example 1:Register
    Example 2:Dishes
    Example 3:seat
    Example 4:greet
    Example 5:answer phones
    Example 6: being told to help other co-workers at there jon (cook , prep) this isnt even half of what we have to do. Oh and to answer some one question "who would we be mad at if no customers came in at all just it being due to a slow day" We wouldnt be mad at any one! That is by nature , its completely different when ur sitting in there and have your food and drinks and just decide "oh well its there job to serve me" and just up and leave no tip.Plain and simple , if you dont tip dont eat out because u are going to catch a server having a bad day who is going to tell you exactly what they think because they have had to put up with Non tippers all day and then when u could have left a $2. tip they will lose their job to stand up for them selves.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  308. I'm a Bad Tipper!

    @Candy, because someone does not tip you or tip you what you feel is required does not make them a bad person. Speaking for myself, all I'm saying is that these employers should pay better and NOT expect me to pay for something that are getting for free... don't get mad at me find a better paying job if you can, but don't expect me to tip you out of fear "because you work with my food"... is that a threat or extortion?

    February 26, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  309. Devon

    It's unanimous the restaurant workers have their opinion all over this article now! You as the customer don't know what we go through and how hard it is to do our job to make your visit wonderful. This job is hard work and we expect to be paid accordinly with just how good we are at our jobs and even if we don't do that well, how was your beverage? Was the hostess polite? Leave your server the tip for them because the server is required to pay the other help at the end of their shift!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  310. Mike


    Waiters are not volunteering their time at a restaurant. They are paid employees. They choose to work there. They have a sense of entitlement on tip because they are told that their paychecks are subsidized by tips.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  311. Devon

    Keep in mind the standard for tipping is usually 18% for most regular dining establishments and 20% for fine dining. Although most people will tip up to 25% or more for good service. Times have changed and what you tip out has increased over the years.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  312. Melanie

    Kaosmgr: This low wage is mandated by federal and state law. Of course people in fast food make an hourly wage but people in dine in restaurants only make $2.13. Some make $4.50 if they bar tend and of course this depends on the state in which you live. Either way not a livable wage. I was the head waitress and trainer when I waited tables. I obviously couldn't have gotten those titles/duties if I offered poor service. But there were times when I did get poor tips and no tips at all. People have got to realize that you get what you pay for. If you tip well you will be known as a good tipper and servers will take good care of you, but if not, you will not get good service. Also, if you want the restaurant to pay the full salary of the staff, you have to be willing to pay substantially more for food and there is no incentive for good service.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  313. Doug

    Good story on the Non-Tipping customer that has been refused service at a restaurant for not tipping at all. Being that my wife and I have both worked for a combined total of 50 years in the tipping service related industries of Las Vegas I felt that we should speak up and defend the restraint owners and workers you mentioned.

    It really begins with this, the IRS wants there fair share of the tips. All restraints workers are assessed a per hour rate on there tips by the IRS, if not by the actual customers ticketed amount of slightly less than the stated 15% amount owed for services rendered. When the customer doesn’t pay the tip, the monies owed as taxes are now paid by the service worker.

    My wife’s, W2, box 1 (Tips and other comp.) for 2009 shows that she made $17,495.00. In tips which leaves us with a six thousand dollar shortage difference that we owe to the IRS this year. So our hat is off to the restraint that has refused service to another dead beat customer. Our remedy is so simple, just buy a lunch box if you don’t believe in tipping.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  314. Sarah

    @ Mike: We are paid ($2-4/hr), but because of taxes, my paycheck every two weeks ranges from $0-17. Tell me how I'm supposed to pay rent on that, or even the gas to get to and from my job? We are not REALLY paid, unless you tip.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  315. Candy

    @ I'm a bad tipper- write your congressman, I dont want to listen to your political views- if you dont like the system dont go out to eat- but believe that there are servers that freak out when they give good service and dont get tipped and it can be scary-Sara said the same thing- it isnt a threat it is a warning you dont understand how crazy people can be and the last thing you want to do is mess with someones money!

    February 26, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  316. michelle

    im a good tipper...some people say i tip too much...i follow the rules...but i hate going out to to dinner with a group of people and they start acting funny when its time to tip.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  317. Devon

    "Doug" that happens to all of us! That's another thing people don't realize, that were still required to pay taxes on our sales regardless of our tip out. If we don't have the maximum amount of tax withheld we all suffer at tax time because of the bad tippers.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm |
  318. diana

    oh and yes i used to be a waitress i know we survive on the tips. but for one i earn my tips. if i am in a bad mood i do not take it out on the customers.but i also know not everyone can afford the extra percentage on tips but where they can't i have learned other more than make up for it. get a grip on reality. times are tough. Everyone is feeling the pinch but yet we all still try to contribute to business and the economy the best we can. some may be poor but still deserve a night out without being ridiculed for how much they can afford to spend. Dont judge someone for their actions till you know the day it may be you

    February 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  319. Dan Perkins

    In this case both the restaurant and the patron are at fault, she for dining out when she has to know tipping is part of the cost of doing so (hint: if service is bad, just don't go there!) and the restaurant for not serving her.
    The only correct course of action would have been for the owner or a salaried manager to serve the cheapskate patron, thus preserving at least the food sale, preserving the appearance of good leadership, preserving good PR, and lastly preserving the solidarity that they have with their servers and cooks. The owner/manager would also then have had the opportunity to inquire from the patron if she enjoyed her food, what they could do to make it more enjoyable, and if any of the servers are giving less than satisfactory service. If all that checked out well, then and only then would it have been appropriate for the owner/manager to notify the patron that the staff has refused to serve her due to poor or no tips. Should the cheapskate come back yet again, repeat steps above until they get the message, but never never ban a patron unless they are violent or abusive. Owner, you're selling both food and service, provide both even if it means rolling up your shirt sleeves and you'll be successful. Patrons, the counter girl at a fast food joint makes minimum wage, restaurant servers usually do not. If you can't or won't tip, eat at Micky D's and get the service you're paying for.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
  320. Silent 1421

    I am a veteran who served my country long before the first shot was fired in Iraq. I am responding to the story about VA Claims and the backlog how veterans today have to wait up to 2 years to get an answer from VA regarding a claim. This is nothing new to me, it took the Veterans Boars of Appeals 20 years to review my claims and after review sent it back to the VA Hospital that adjudicated the original claim. The VA gave me minimal rating despite medical documentation supporting a higher rating. Now I have to go back and appeal the decision again for a higher rating which may take another 20 years which I do not have. The story about the VA claim system needing to overhaul is not a new story and this system has been broken years. The irony in this whole thing is that, it took a war to see that the VA system of claims needed to fixed. Veterans like me who have served this country and put our lives on the line have been suffering in slice for years and trapped in the broken system.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm |
  321. John

    There's a reason that the IRS changed their rules and charges a percentage of the total. In the past, servers stiffed the IRS. Now they have gone too far in the other direction. They should only charge an actual percentage of tips somehow, not force the server to pay an assumed tip percentage to the IRS, even if they didn't get it.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  322. Devon

    To the above commenter, it is important to tip on a buffet as well because your paying the person who serves your drinks, check on you, cleans up after you and the people who cleanup and change out the food in the buffet. They also need to be paid by the server for their service as well. While less is none at a buffet it is okay to tip less (accordingly) in that situation as well, but be sure to tip your server!

    February 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  323. John

    I remember the good service and also the bad service. Please permit me to adjust my gratuity accordingly.

    The restaurants pile on by omitting the subtotal, adding on our 8.25% sales tax, and printing a giant bill total including the tax. The server now expects 18% of our 8.25% tax surcharge. Did the government provide prompt service? How do you feel about your legislature lately?

    Much prime grade beef is reaching the markets now at very reasonable prices for consumer consumption since the restaurant business is down. For all of those above wanting us to eat at home, remember to tip the butcher.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  324. Justin

    What does she expect, a business should have a right to ban customers like this. I worked for just tips for three years, and I cannot believe people like her. If you have the money to eat out, you NEED to be able to tip, these people work for a living just like you do, and therefore should have the right to refuse her service. If this restaurant gets in some legal trouble like Hooters did for not hiring the man who wanted to be a waiter there, they should just make there restaurant a club so they have the right to ban people like this. I cannot even believe people sympathize with her.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  325. Bobbie Jean

    When tipping we should ALL keep in mind that most servers are paid less than minimum wage. In a state like Virginia they are paid $2.13 pr. hr. Which means that after taxes, their paychecks come out to $0.00 every week!. Tips are these peoples only means of survival!!! So keep that in mind the next time you're out to eat and grumbling about how tipping shouldn't be obligatory!

    February 26, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  326. I'm a Bad Tipper!

    @Devon… nobody is saying that you do not provide great service while working for poor wages… what you need to do is see it from the other side… if your boss does not pay you enough money to live on, how can you really expect me and others to subsidize your boss and pay is payroll? You should be mad at the person who pays you only $2.16 an hour or yourself for accepting that. If tipping were a requirement then you’d have an argument but it’s not, as some have stated it’s only a custom… most establishments that require gratuities have posted someplace that people can see it.

    @Candy… There’s nothing political about what I’m saying unless you think I’m wrong for saying employers should pay you better… maybe you should write your congressman to propose a ‘Tip Bill” to make people tip…

    February 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  327. Anna

    Restaurants workers are often required by their employers to report a certain percentage of their sales as taxable income, regrdless of whether or not they were tipped on all their sales. Therefore, if you do not tip your server, you are actually COSTING them money.
    If your boss told you to go work for free, would you? Of course not, you would refuse just as those servers did. And if your boss told you that he was going to tax you on the money you are not being paid, you would quit.
    Also, servers tip out the busboys and the bartenders. They only get to keep a percentage of what you give them.
    Servers work hard with no benefits, no paid sick or vacation leave, and no respect. Tip them well.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  328. ty

    the reason why servers are paid less then min wage is because tips are considered income and should cover the remaining amount. therefore it is to the best interest of the server to provide good and prompt service to receive the maximum amount of tip per hour. that does NOT mean they are entitled to the tip.

    If someone is paid 2.13 per hour, their tax should be on 2.13 per hour.

    The problem is that the restaurant industry depends on servers receiving tips so that they can keep wages down so that they can generate more profit. We do not tip fast food restaurants and yet they seem to make do.

    they should change the rules to state that the server will make the minumum wage. If their tips do not add to their base pay to the minimum wage then the restaurant has to cover the rest. if their tips take their income over, then of course the restaurant only has to pay the initial amount. therefore, the restaurant needs to make sure the servers are providing adequate service and the servers need to want to provide the quality service.

    also, restaurants can NOT deny service if it discriminates so saying they can deny service to anyone is wrong if they open the door to the general public.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  329. shaintell

    I want to know how much is she tipping. That's a big question that determines if she should be banned. Customarily, I tip at least 15% and up to 30% depending upon the restaurant. A restaurant does have the right to refuse service and their actions don't appear discriminatory. So, they can ban her. If she doesn't think that her waiters deserve at least 15% in tips then perhaps she should choose another restaurant or order takeout. As an African-American, I'm embarrassed by this article. It's often insinuated that we don't tip well. I find myself like other friends making sure to tip well. If I find that my service is not up to par, I inform the waiter. If he/she isn't apologetic, I let management know and never return. Fortunately, I rarely have any problems with service.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  330. Jason

    Why do restaurant owners expect customers to pay their employees? If these owners would pay their employees a fair wage, no one would have to worry about tipping. It is high time that restaurant owners "step up to the plate" and PAY their employees so customers don't have to!

    February 26, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  331. Sarah

    I always tip 20% and I am not wealthy at all just getting by. I used to live in OK where leaving 2 dollars on the table no matter what the bill seemed to be normal. After moving to San Diego I have realized that a percentage is more acceptable. I had family visit. Four of us ate and the bill was around $55. My neice left two dollars and said "its ok I got it she did a great job!" Yes, she did a great job and deserves more than two dollars, I left her 20% and then laughed inside and realized that just 7 years ago I would have done the same. This lady going around with a petetition is absurd. Why doesn't she fight for something more important, there are much bigger issues in this world today.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  332. Lisa

    I was a server for many years and my husband now owns a restaurant. Obviously the legal wage varies by state, here in TX waiters are paid 2.13 an hour and usually receive no paycheck, they work for tips PERIOD and are taxed on sales. There's not much point in complaining endlessly about the unfair system and about how some of you feel like tips are an "extra." The fact is the server WILL be taxed on the amount of money you spend and will have to pay that tax whether you pay for their service or not. It's not very complicated.

    The entire point of tipping is for the motivation. Everyone is the business is working together to ensure your visit is a happy one so you will come back. Making sure you're served promptly and well is everyone's goal.

    Let's imagine a restaurant that pays all the workers at the front of the house an hourly wage equivalent to what they make in tips at a popular mid-priced full service restaurant. $20 an hour to $12 for the bussers. Your $12.99 entree just went up to $50.00. Will the service be fast? Why? If the server is being paid the same regardless of their sales, why should anyone hurry? Expect everything to take much, much longer. You'll have to wait a lot longer for your table to be ready, too. We'll be taking our time cleaning up after the last people. In fact, the servers may encourage their friends to show up and spend the evening parked at one of their tables all night with their homework so they don't have to work so hard. You want a refill? The pitcher is over there.

    Am I making my point? Tips are incentive and motivation for everyone. People who decide that tips are optional are like the guy in a group who never remembers to bring his wallet when it's time to pay up. Nobody wants him around. A good server works very hard for the opportunity to make a higher percentage - and the other workers profit as well, and the customers WIN because everyone there has a vested interest in making sure you're happy. Remove that incentive, the dynamic changes and so will the service at every level.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
  333. Devon

    If restaurants paid a higher hourly wage and customers weren't expected to tip that would be awful. No one would tip and our overall salary would be substantially less! Though we'd make more hourly our overall salary would drop with customers knowing tipping is optional. Also working hard for a great tip is what makes certain establishments more respectable than others, knowing the harder you work for a better tip isn't only better money in most cases, but it helps make working in the service industry reward able. There are times when i leave work loving my job because of great comment I've gotten from guests (and tips) that remind me of why I love my job.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  334. Sarah

    Thank you Lisa! You explain it all so well.

    Yes, I could complain that my manager doesn't pay me a high enough base rate. But the fact is, the government doesn't require them to pay me any more than that. Even though I am a certified trainer, and have a great reputation within my company, servers are HIGHLY replaceable. If I don't want to work for those wages, someone else will, and I'll be unemployed again, looking for a job in Michigan's oh-so-thriving economy.

    Clearly, you're not required to tip me, or any other server. But it is common courtesy to thank someone for their service by tipping. It is what our service industry is based upon, and what I live on.

    So if you can manage to change the foundation of the industry so that I don't have to work for tips, I thank you for that. But from a customer standpoint, I don't want to be served by someone who isn't trying to earn my money.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  335. Richard

    Originally, the term TIP was "to insure promptness!" Somewhere along the line, the courtesy became mandatory, and the restaurants took advantage of this, and paid accordingly. They make enough profit to pay for attentive help, if they don't, then they need to raise their prices. I like to know what I am paying for. Some of us go out to dinner but once or twice a year, for the experience of being waited on. I work for a living, and don't expect my customers to tip me for doing a great job. If I do, it is a real treat for me, not an expectation.

    February 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  336. Sarah

    We all understand it's not the greatest system, but it's one we in the food service industry are forced to live by. We're required to tip others as if you were tipping us. I assume the rest of you don't go to work expecting to pay to do your job. So why would you think that it's okay for servers to do so? If you were a housekeeper and someone decided to pay you less than the typical amount because they "just don't want to", would you accept that? Unfortunately, servers have to.

    And to say that it evens out because some people tip really well...they didn't tip me to compensate for the next person who comes through the door and doesn't feel like doing so. They tipped me a high amount because they felt I deserved it. So I shouldn't be forced to pass that money on because someone else stiffed me.

    February 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  337. Gigi Harrison

    I used to tip good depending on the service. If I recall – a tip is supposed to out of the kindness of guests to thank the sever for service over the usual. It isn't supposed to be always. Now, 'cause of the economy – I do not go out anymore because I can not afford to tip generious.. Now, the company pays the servers cheaper thinking they can make it up on the tip which I think is wrong.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  338. john f

    Look to your employer for your pay.

    Employers can afford to pay a minimum of 1 million dollars for most franchises, some restaurants cost millions more to build and equip.

    How can these cheap sob's think they can get away without paying the minimum wage?

    They continually pay less than the going wage rate, just like many farmers take advantage of itinerant workers to pick their crops.

    Who tips the poor people picking crops in the field?

    Its time to make employers pay their fair share.

    The long forgotten meaning of TIPS – To Insure Proper Service is also a misnomer from another age.

    Ten percent was the established standard when complete meals cost a dollar per person, and was often gone unpaid, as most people could barely afford to pay for the food bill itself…

    If your employer can’t afford to pay you a living wage, don’t work for them, boycott cheap employers with abandon..

    February 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  339. Edward

    I work as a server, and have been at the same fine dining chain for over 4 years, I get paid $2.83 an hour – the same pay I got the day I started (We always get the minimum pay by law with no raises). People seem to think that when they tip me I get to keep all of the money, which is wrong. The company takes 2-4% of all credit card tips to cover the fees charged by the credit card company, and then I am required to tip out the bartender and hostess 2% each, based on my sales. So say someone comes in and doesn't tip me on a two-hundred dollar tab, which happened just last week, I have to take $8 out of my pocket (my $2.83 an hour pocket) to cover the tip-out I am required to give based on my sales. So when a guest comes in and expects all of this attention and great service, and then doesn't tip me – not only do I not make money it causes me to lose money. I strive to give everyone great service, and I work in an establishement that is well known for its service and excellent food, but if a guest doesn't care how I put food on my table, by not tipping me, why should I care how they get food on their table when they come to my restaurant? I applaud this restaurant for making such a stand, I am so tired of people being rude and inconsiderate, and when someone treats them with the same disdain these people always scream "Discrimination"!!!! What about the golden rule "Do onto others as you would have them do onto you".

    Thanks for thinking of the working guy,

    Edward Winfrey

    February 26, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  340. Nice Nasty

    I think it is a dog gone shame for people to go to the extreme and stoop so low and cowardly hide behind titles just to get their opinions across about another human being under the topic of poor tipper. The issue was about an injustice of all sorts. Such as 18% gratuity that was taxed to 3 customers. Regardless as to what you perceive MC position or character to be the menu says "18% gratuity to be added to a party of six or more. So, you lied and did not honor what you print. Now had you had a menu that said this was applicable for all people that would be an argument on the Japanese eatery's behalf. Then the Media across the country cut and paste topics from borrowed news that does forecast the whole story and speak as if they were there themselves. There are so many other important issues that go on in this world than this. You concern yourself with the 18% that you think 3 people should pay and the parishoners defame the character of a fellow worshipper but then you want pay a measley 10% to God in all your earnings. Haiti needs help. What about the nasty dispositions that are rendered in these shops that attract all races and the nastiness that are given when we buy products. Too the Media is it ALWAYS about ratings? Does it always have to be at someone elses expense. Are you always tipping. You on tv smiling behind camera, but when I see you in public because I recognize you and speak you can't even speak back. You are too high and mighty to give me an autograph. Back to the parishoners...why attend a church that you are disgruntle with. Why call MC fake and you can't stand her, the pastor or the church but you come every sunday, sing, shout and AMEN this and that then stuff hit the fan you create faketicious names and air out the dirty laundry of your church family. There is a dysfunction and a disconnect with in you. You give the other races more to laugh about. I would rather the church empty out to real worshippers and real family and real bible living folk than to sit amongst people who will cut, stab and run you over in the church! To MC cheer up honey! Ain't nobody mad but the devil! It is you now...but it was me the other day and it will be them later on today. People pointing fingures at you don't realize that four are pointing at them. There Stuff made not have made the media yet but somebody somewhere is talking about everybody everywhere. Hold your head up and do what you do! Love your neighbor as you love yourself. A lie don't care who tell it just as long as it get told! A dear beloved Deacon said once to the Pastor and I paraphrase, preach the "fire out of them"! Remember that Pastor!

    February 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  341. Maya Mc S

    The tip doesn't just go to the server alone, it is typically divided up between the busers, the host, the chefs, cashiers, and all other people involved in running a restaurant. That being said, if a customer does not tip right, typically, the server loses money because it comes out of that person's pocket (server still has to tip out the other staff) generally based on the total price of the bill.

    Bad tippers are a sad reality in the U.S., there is no law but there should be!

    February 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  342. john sudic

    Joe Seattle – God bless you for you have wisdom!

    Also the the tip total should be calculated less the state or any tax shown on the bill! You DONT want to tip on tax as a principal !!! Tax has no business being applied to food of ANY KIND!It is not my responsibility to subsidize the payroll of a resturaunt or any other "tipping" business. My costs of goods sold includes labor for my business, why should it not in a resturaunt? Also many reaturants charge waiting staff a % of the tips to give to the kitchen host besides buser who is the only one that a waiter should tip in aa restaurant because he is his right hand and not be responsible to subsidize the payroll of a resturaunt ! That is slavery and I though that was abolished?! If a cook or host don like their wage talk to the owner otherwise change profession.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  343. Former Waiter from Boulder CO

    Tip 15 to 20 % depending on service and depending on the type of reastaurant. Some restaurants have a mandatory gratiuity included (usually 20%) depending on the size of the table / party. If the service is poor or slow ask to see the manager and complain. Never tip less than 10%. And that would only be if service is poor or slow and you have talked to the restaurant manager. You will be amazed at how quickly a restaurant will try to make the situation right. They will often offer a free meal, desert or bottle of wine. My experience is that when customers are rude to the wait staff the wait staff will bend over backwards to kill the customer with kindness. Most waiters are very aware that their tip is directly proportional to their professionalism. Waiters try to be friendly, knowledgable and professional for each customer. The golden rule in the restaurant business is to give customers a delightful experience so that they will return. If customers are not happy they will tell everyone they know that they had a bad experience at a restaurant. Chefs, managers, waiters, busboys and even the dishwashers in restaurants know that the lifeblood of the restaurant business is return patronage. Waiters are very aware that they are the "face of the restaurant." Many work long hours to prepare themselves, their stations, their knowledge of cuisine, cooking methods, wine, and service so that their customers will be delighted. Dining out is more than just eating. Customers put out good money to dine, be entertained and delighted by the restaurant experience. Sadly, customers often treat the wait profession as a demeaning job. Waiters are often treated as though they are uneducated or less-than. I can assure you that the best read, best educated, most cultured, gracious and most thoughtful people I have ever known were not professors at Ivy Leauge universities that I worked with but the waiters who served them.

    February 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  344. Mike

    @ lisa,

    If I was a restaurant owner and I paid my waiters say $8.50 an hour, I have a reasonable expectation that they would perform their job. If they cost me customers, I would gladly fire them. I highly doubt that any restaurant in their right mind would pay $20-$12 for waiters and bussers. If you expected a wage such as this for serving and taking away dishes, you are delusional.

    Also, there will be customers that will leave a tip.

    Oh and, some states have laws required service people to be paid minimum wage. I know California does not allow tip credit, and the minimum wage is $8. California restaurants still have good and even great services. We also do not see bloated prices like your hypothesis suggest. A 12.99 entre is still 12.99. If someone priced their entree at $50 it better be because they are a mid-high end restaurant.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  345. Paula

    My guess is that there's more to this story. I've been waiting tables for over two decades and I've never heard of someone being banned because of poor tipping practices. I'd just about guarantee this guest was incredibly, over-the-top rude to the entire staff and the gratuity issue she's choosing to blame this on is just smoke and mirrors. Seriously? A petition? I think that about says it all. If she was treating the employees with kindness and respect, the gratuity would've maybe not been so great but they'd never have banned her from the restaurant. Sounds like she should point the finger back at herself and do a little soul searching. It's called the golden rule. For the record, most servers I know, myself included, would never treat a guest rudely over something like a bad tip and in fact, being a bad tipper probably wouldn't even affect your service. Most of us take a lot of pride in what we do or it wouldn't be Hospitality.

    February 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  346. Doug Almy

    In many up scale or chain restaurants wait people think they deserve a tip just for showing up at your table. My tip to them is get a real job with real benefits if they don't like their "lot" in life. To me the only waitresses that really deserve a tip are the waitresses that wait on you in the smaller "mom and pop" or " meat and three" type restaurants. They are the only wait people that seem to show a sincere interest in your well being while you are dining in their establishment.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  347. Margaret Kilgore

    I always leave a tip and it is based on the service I receive. Many restaurants serve steaks and hamburgers. It does not require more for a waitperson to bring out a steak than it does a hamburger so why do they expect more for sitting the steak down than the hamburger? What has a percentage of the cost of your meal have to do with the service rendered?

    February 26, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  348. Julie

    Anyone who eats out should know what "tipped employees" in their state actually get paid! How many North Carolinians realize that the wage restaurants are required to pay their servers has actually gone DOWN by a full dollar, to $2.13? All taxes etc. come out of that pitiful amount, leaving the majority of servers with no paycheck at all. Servers LIVE off of their tips. And whether you leave a tip or not, they still have to tip out to bussers, bartenders, food runners, kitchen etc on your check... So if you can't, don't, or won't tip, do us all a favor and stay home cause we're sick of paying to serve you dinner.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:09 pm |
  349. qualifieddiva_1

    Now, I need to say that this ridiculous. All of the ones posting negative comments need to get facts before opening their mouth. I know for a fact that the owner of Kanpai is lying. He did in deed tack a 18% gratuity for four poeple and refused to allow three people to come in without tacking 18% gratuity on our ticket. And you call that kind of action fair. I feel that every nasty comment should be looked at. I am quaifieddiva and I endorse this message.

    February 27, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  350. Kristie

    The labor law is the real problem. We are being asked to subsidize the employer, when the employer should be paying better wages. If the restaurant really cared about their employees, they would pay them better-not ban poor tipping customers. Just because the law says I can pay you $2.50/hr, doesn't mean I can't pay you $8/hr. If that were the case, we'd all be making minimum wage.

    When a server is good, I give 20-25%, when they are bad, I give 10%. I don't care if they need 15% to cover their split, because obviously they didn't care when they served the wrong/cold food and didn't remedy it, never refilled my soda even after I asked, then either left me waiting forever for a check after clearing away my food, or in a "driveby" dropped the check on my table without even asking if I wanted coffee or dessert-the only combination of reasons I ever tip less than 20%. If serves know they need 15%, they need to do their job-even on an off day. They're not airline pilots whose "off day" could kill people. Besides, selling dessert and coffee makes a hefty extra profit for a restaurant. That person's "off day" just cost the restaurant money. I can't lose casually lose my company's money every day and be rewarded for it-and rightly so, so why should I encourage it in others?

    February 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  351. exposer

    Tips are wages for work performed and the concept must be respected. I assume 15% to be the norm and adjust up or down based on quality of service, personality and especially performance under stress. My norm is probably 20% and I'm near the bottom of the propensity scale being on a fixed income. I once left a Dollar. Service and refills were the worst, food improperly cooked, worse after redress. The only time I have ever complained, so you can imagine why they closed soon after.

    February 27, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  352. Kathy

    If you can't afford to tip the waiter/waitress at least 15% of your bill, then stay at home or order out! Tips are the waiters/waitresses income. It is rude and immoral to not tip your server. In a way it is almost like stealing. Would you take your car to the shop to be fixed and expect not to pay for the labor? Of course not, don't do it at a restaurant either!

    February 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  353. Brad

    While 15% of the total bill is accepted as "customary", I usually begin at 30% and adjust accordingly in relation to the service and quality I receive. And yes, I have tipped 5%, or less, for atrocious experiences. In patronizing a restaurant that has a wait staff, you acknowledge that you are to tip for services received. You don't tip at McDonald's and you get what you pay for... If you don't like the concept of tipping, go to McDonald's. FYI – Wait staff generally make far less than 1/2 "Minimum Wage" hourly pay. Being in the "Service" industry, the bulk of their income comes from tips. Their employers are required to report their tips – as shown on credit card slips – to the IRS; in addition to a percentage of their cash sales. So yes, this is their income. Working for tips just gives incentive to do their best to make your dining experience enjoyable. Tip accordingly. And no, I am not a waiter or bartender.

    February 27, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  354. Mary in NC

    Mrs. Covington ate at this place for years. She was was known as a "no tipper". None of the servers wanted to wait on her. They complained to the manager. The manager finally told her that she needed to tip the servers. She got upset and went and had members of her church sign a petition (crying discrimination) to boycott the steak house. Her brother is the pastor of her church and the reporter of the story is a member of the very same church.

    February 28, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  355. Edward

    Several people haved chimed in on this subject, including me, but let me share a server story with you: We have this guest that comes in every year around the holidays with his wife and daughter – from their fur coats and jewelry you can tell they have money. Now when you wait on them, at first they are not ready to order, then when you are talking to another table they decide they are ready then to order; loudly telling you and poking you while you are talking to another table. This continues throughout the meal, constantly snapping their fingers and calling for you, you are to treat them like they are the only table you have (Unfortunately this is not possible, if we only had one table to take care of we couldn't make a living). Every year I break my back trying to take care of them and still pay adequate attention to my other tables I have. Now after you have presented this guy the bill, and he is ready to pay; he stands up and loudly tells you that the service was outstanding, but ther was ONE thing you let him down on. He tells you he normally tips 20%, but since you let him down on this one thing he doesn't feel you deserve that – so he tips you less than 5% (I have learned this is just a way to excuse himself from being cheap). Now I have been waiting on this guy for three years, and everytime he comes to our restaurant he does this. The other guest, I have at my other tables, when he is there always comment on how rude he was and couldn't believe that I stood there and took him yelling at me (In our business the guest is always right). I know I am a good server, I have many regulars who come back to the restaurant just because of the experience they had while I served them, and our restaurant is known for its great food too. This is a shout out to all of those people saying they shouldn't tip when they get bad service – those poeple I find are genuinely cheap and they find something to pick about, like the aforementioned gentleman, to justify their cheapness!


    Edward Winfrey

    March 1, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  356. Jan

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!! In Australia wait staff make $15. – $25. per hour wage, even in small restaurants. Tips not expected. In Asia tipping only occurs in AMERICAN owned hotel restaurants. I've had waiters chase after me with $$ in hand saying that I left this on the table. Eating out is expensive enough, restaurants make plenty. PAY YOUR OWN WAITRESSES, Cooks, servers, dishwashers!!!
    -This discussion has gotten out of hand and only those that have been suckered into working in the establishments that push through the laws, with lobbyists, to allow such wages should push back. Take a look at other countries and learn something.
    -Is this the only area America needs to wake up on? I think not.

    March 1, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  357. Melissa


    I don't doubt that you are a exceptional and that family you talked about sounds like a real arse. But, not everyone who tips only 5% because of bad service is like him.

    Unlike you who do you job well regardless of how crappy the customers are, there are other servers out there who DO give crappy service (even if the customer is kind to them). I've experience it. And I've given them a crappy tip for it. It wasn't because I am cheap. It was because their service was very poor and I felt that they didn't deserve to get a tip (which is a bonus).

    If it pays their salary, then I think that would give them more initiative to change their behaviour. However, I don't think the establishment should pay you that little. It is the business you work for's job to pay you your wage, not the customer.

    In Canada, you get paid a slightly reduced minimum wage (I believe it's currently $7.50/hr) and people generally tip 15%. I have friends and relative who make a decent living making $200 in a night because of tips. And if you work at the right restaurant or the right night it can go higher.

    Tips are bonuses, and maybe should be changed to reflect that. If America is not a socialist nation, then why is it relying on the masses to pay the underpaid waitress or waiter?

    March 2, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  358. Nicole

    I am glad to hear that this restaurant is standing up for its employees. In most restaurants, "the customer is always right," even when they're wrong and this often has a negative effect on the wait staff. Servers make less than $3 an hour and rely on tips for their income. To those who say that tips are "bonuses" or not required: if restaurants began to implement a higher wage for their servers, around $7 to $9/hr., it would be reflected in your bill, because the restaurant would increase the cost of their products. EITHER WAY, IT WILL COME OUT OF YOUR POCKET. Often, when service is poor, remember that it could be the kitchen staff's fault, the restaurant could be understaffed, or a host of other explanations that have nothing to do with the quality of service that your waiter is offering. Don't be so quick to judge. And to those who don't tip the pizza deliver guy, it is clearly stated on most chain pizza restaurants' websites that the delivery charge is not a tip and does not compensate the delivery person. You should pick your pizza up rather than ask someone to deliver it to you if you aren't going to tip. Delivery jobs are some of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. and you can't leave a lousy $2 or $3? Not right.

    March 4, 2010 at 6:03 pm |