There are many schools of thought on what constitutes and acceptable tip. While there are extremes on either end of the spectrum, it is generally accepted to tip your server 15%. Unfortunately for persons in the restaurant industry, especially in Decatur, most people do not understand tipping. Many people simply cannot compute 15% of a check in their head, so they guess, usually grossly underestimating what the tip should have been. Some people do not believe that they have to tip, thinking that it is not their job to pay the servers salary. It would seem that most people in this area simply do not fully understand gratuity, and why it important to tip. Tipping is not only a nice thing to do; more often than not it is a must.
Failure to understand why you should tip is one of the main reasons people either under tip or do not tip at all. For example, most people are unaware that servers are paid under half of the minimum wage requirements because the government says that tips compensate the rest of the servers’ income. Moreover, the server has to pay 3 percent of their sales to the government, regardless of the tip that was left. Meaning that if you do not tip your server they still have to pay taxes on the food that you purchased. For example if you spend one hundred dollars on a meal (not including tip) the server has to give the government 3 dollars of that tip to the government. If you only give your server 10 dollars (which is 10%) they only get to keep 7 dollars, which means you really only really left 7% or less then half of the accepted tipping rate of 15%.
Another reason some people do not tip is they feel that it is not their job to pay the servers’ salary; sense servers make less than minimum wage. At first thought this argument seems to make sense; until you realize that if the restaurant paid their servers minimum wage they prices of the food would have to be higher, in turn making the average bill more. On an average day there is usually 20 or more servers working in a restaurant, if the restaurant were to pay servers minimum wage they would spend at least an extra $530 per day on labor. That extra money would be added into the price of the food. So by tipping your server you are controlling the price of your meal, and passing on a little extra money to the server.
Perhaps the most common reason people do not tip is simply that they are unable to calculate 15% of their check. There are a few easy ways to do this, one way is to take 10% of the pre-taxed subtotal, then take half of that number and add it back to the original 10% number. For example, if the bill is $35.00, you find 10% moving the decimal one place to the left giving you $3.50. Then take half of that number, which is $1.75 and add it to the original 10% number, $3.50, so a 15% tip would be $5.25. An easier way to approximate the tip, at least in this area, is to take the amount of the tax and double it, since our sales tax is, I THINK 8% you would come up close to the 15% mark.
Even with overwhelming evidence to do so, many people still feel that tipping is not always a must. If you feel that your server did a good job, let them know that, and leave them a fair tip for their help, especially if you like to receive good service. Just remember to golden rule of tipping.
"He who shares the gold doesn’t get spit in his food."
~Big Tray Jay