Waiters Lobby for 20% Mandatory Tips

Anyone who’s ever waited tables knows the agony of the crappy tip. But should diners be forced to pay mandatory 20% tips?

Yakup Ulutas thinks so. He’s founded FairTip.org, an association that’s lobbying for a 20% mandatory standard gratuity, like New York’s Per Se restaurant most famously instituted last year.

I’m all for tipping good service, and I feel sorry for waitstaff who get stiffed. But why not just pay your servers more than $2.13 per hour to start with, and incorporate the wage increase into the price of food?

As I’ve ranted at length before, making tips mandatory won’t make service worse at top-end restaurants. But, as a betting man, I’d make book on service quality taking a dive in more downscale, family-style restaurants, if 20% tips were mandatory.

Until then, research shows that servers looking to max out their tips should limber up their knees and start visiting their local florist:

    One study showed that when waitresses wore flowers in their hair they earned 17 percent more than when they didn’t. Another study suggests that waiters who squat beside tables receive an average tip of 18 percent, versus a 15 percent tip received by waiters who stand next to their tables.

Waiters’ Tip Fight Grows [Washington Post]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ran Kailie says:

    I agree, I strongly feel that waiters deserve more then sub-minimum wage, they should be making at least minimum wage.

    Working as a waitress as a teen my manager would routinely lie about my tips received so they company wouldn’t have to pay me the difference between the 2.31 and 5.35 minimum wage.

  2. Triteon says:

    Mandatory tip = me in a different restaurant
    As for the minimum wage situation– if we have a minimum wage then no one should earn less than that, with no exceptions for personnel working for gratuity. I know the argument: higher wages means higher costs to the consumer. Good! Maybe that will save our flabby American asses from a couple high-fat, high-calorie meals every so often.

  3. Pelagius says:

    Why can’t this batch of idiots put their energy into ensuring that waitstaff are paid at or above minimum wage? This is an absolutely heinous idea.

  4. Kornkob says:

    Adding to the list of reasons I stop going to resturants: forcing a ‘gratuity’. Someone needs to remind them what ‘gratuity’ means.
    gra‧tu‧i‧ty  /grəˈtuɪti, -ˈtyu-/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[gruh-too-i-tee, -tyoo-] -noun, plural -ties.
    1. a gift of money, over and above payment due for service, as to a waiter or bellhop; tip.
    2. something given without claim or demand.

    I’d rather see tipping be severely reduced or done away with and wages increased so that professional waitstaff can make a real living.

  5. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    Making tips mandatory defeats the entire purpose of tipping in the first place. It’s there as an incentive, do a good job, get a better tip. Without that there is no reason for your waiter to work harder to ensure an enjoyable dining experience.

    I can see how restaraunt owners would be in favor of this, it basically gives their employees a raise with zero added cost to them. If they have to pay out minimum wage it’s comes out of their pocket. But in general I think it’s a bad idea. Either leave tips as they are, or eliminate them all together and offer a higher rate of pay.

  6. A good waitress will often make quite a bit of money under the current system. Mandatory tipping is a terrible idea, and it ought to be underscored by the fact that the US, as a whole, tips more than any other country in the world.

    Is a “mandatory tip” just a code-word for a wage increase? Then fine, let it go through. The current 3.00 dollars an hour (or whatever it is) that Waitresses get minimum certainly isn’t enough to live on.

    However, if a waitress serves five tables in an hour, and each table has a 10 dollar bill and they all tip 10% (1 dollar) then she’s now making eight dollars an hour. Compound that by the fact that many waitresses underreport their actual income to avoid higher taxes and you have a sweet little deal there. If you change the numbers to make them more liberal it’s fairly easy to see how many waitresses can make over a hundred dollars a shift.

    So mandatory tips? Yeah, don’t see em, because honestly the tip system is the only balance that we the consumer have to fight back with– and many people will reward justly when they feel they were treated well. (and some will never tip above 10% because they’re just bastards). Raise the minimum wage for waitresses up from 3 bucks to like, 3.50 or 4 bucks? I could see that.

  7. B says:

    Whatever, I always tip at least 20%, unless the service is abysmal.

  8. exkon says:

    I understand that waiters/waitresses don’t get paid very well and I usually try to leave a deccent tip even if the service wasn’t the greatest. What state has a min wage of $3 for waiters?

    There are too many patrons that believe that waiters need to give the best service possible to leave a tip. My friend for example is horrible at tipping, one bad thing and he’s decided not to leave a tip.

    Instead of the mandatory tip, wages should be increased. I mean if someone is know they’re getting paid more they’re more likely to be a better waiter. The tip is just a nice extra they earn on top.

  9. exkon: Great question, please review this table:


    You’ll see that for the vast amount of states in the union, a minimum wage for a tipped employee (more than 30 dollars a month in tips) is 2.13 cents an hour. Many states offset that bby forcing their own minimum accordingly, but many also do not.

  10. As an addendum, the restaurant is expected to credit the waiter/waitress to 5.15 if tips don’t meet the difference. So technically minimum wage for a waitress is 2.13 + tips, or 5.15 minimum.

  11. Chris Gibson says:

    I suspect a good many of the 2500 “members” of the new web site are the servers who routinely get stiffed for tips…because their service SUCKS.

    I happily tip – TIP, I said – based on the service I receive. That’s what a tip is, duh. I tip about 15% for acceptable service, 20% for really good service, and less than 15% for crappy service.

    If the dufus’s want to lobby for something, lobby for all states to enforce a mandatory minimum wage for all restaurants. If ALL restaurants are forced to play on a level playing field, then no one is at a competitive disadvantage in the “notoriously low margin” restaurant business.

    This 20% mandatory “gratuity” thing is just like the push that the other great leeches of society, real estate agents, are making to try go increase their commissions beyond the generally accepted (today) rate of 6% (they used to be FIVE percent). More agents are starting to ask for SEVEN PERCENT, in spite of record booming real estate prices. Now waiters want a mandatory 20% tip, on which they’re going to expect ADDITIONAL tips over and beyond that.

    Ridiculous. Push back. Remember that tips used to be 10%. Tip your waiter based on how well the serve you. Talk to the manager about lousy service. Push your representatives to pay servers minimum wage as a base. And for heaven’s sake, don’t pay a realtor seven percent :-)

  12. Smoking Pope says:

    I wonder if mandatory tipping makes the income less transparent, resulting in not being able to “forget” that income when filing taxes. If so, for a whole bunch of people this would probably reduce their total take home pay.

  13. Itch says:

    What gets me is when people think they ‘deserve’ tips, when the location in no-way requires it. Places I’m thinking of? Buffets and other places where you effectively serve yourself. If I fetch my drink and food, what service have you done that deserves my recognition?

    The other day, there was actually a misunderstanding over what was considered a tip. Basically a non-tip establishment and a friend found a penny on the floor while seated. Placed it on the table to pocket later when he left but obviously forgot it. The talking in the parking lot not 5 minutes after egress and the waitress/table cleaner came upon it. She actually threw it out the front door, making sure we say it.

  14. He says:

    I went to Japan recently and tipping is discouraged. They just build good service into the cost or your food/taxi/whatever. Then they have employees who give good service. I don’t think it’d work in the US since service sector jobs are seen as dead-ends and generally given to folks who aren’t motivated to help people.

    I didn’t get to find out if they tip strippers.

  15. I used to go to a buffet restaurant that said on little signs on the table that they paid their waitrons $2.13/hour and we as patrons needed to tip so they made actual money. WHAT WATRONS? IT WAS A SELF-SERVE BUFFET!!!!!

    I kept going there because it was all I could afford on a student budget, I guess because they paid their staff $2.13/hour on the premise they were “waiters” when they clearly weren’t.

  16. Anonymously says:

    There’s no tipping in Australia. The price of wages are built into the food cost, just like you said. It was pretty refreshing, actually.

  17. Smoking Pope says:

    As for buffets and other self-serve environments, tipping usually is done to ensure the people who bus the tables and/or maintain the buffet are compensated for good service. I believe 10% is customary.

    And it is infuriating when places advertise how little their staff is paid. Why not just put ’em on the street to panhandle?

  18. kerry says:

    I’m one of those people who tip generously, especially if I’m in a place where I have a host, a server and a bus boy serving my table. I want to make sure there’s enough money to go around for everyone, so I like to give about 20% standard. If it’s a small check for a long meal or exceptional service I’ll go as high as 25%. The lowest I’ve tipped in recent memory was about 15% for really abysmal service.
    I’ve never been to a restaurant with mandatory gratuity for all parties, but the first time one of “my” places does I’ll lodge a complaint and stop going. Why should we be told how much extra we should give their staff? I can make that decision all by myself, thanks, and frankly I find being forced to be generous a little insulting, since I’m already voluntarily quite generous as it is.

  19. Demingite says:

    I’m hoping tipping goes the way of eight-track cassette players…and I think it will. Because, as with eight-tracks, there are vastly better ways of doing things.

    Fair wages should be built into the price of goods. And good customer service should be built into the service delivery system (and how employees are trained)…vs. the game playing that goes on now.

    It’s crazy to “guilt” patrons into the option of tipping in order for someone to earn a fair wage. Crazy.

    There are so many things wrong with tipping I don’t know where the start.

    I’ll try a few:

    — Individuals are rewarded or punished for things that are beyond their control.
    — It creates the “Eddie Haskell” effect, where people are “nice to get a tip” — vs. sincerely nice.
    — It creates painful interpersonal awkwardness (like “Am I supposed to tip you?”).
    — It can be truly insulting to people to be offered money when you are just doing your job, and/or just being nice. It creates an offensive ethos of “you can’t be nice or do your job without getting a tip.”
    — It plays games with customers’ wallets — it creates the false perception that a meal is its listed price, when, in effect, it’s significantly more expensive. It’s a form of deceptive marketing. Re the buffet mentioned by Eyebrows McGee: They allow you to think you are going to pay “$x” because that’s the “stated price” — but then they guilt into what you really should be paying (to pay for employees’ wages). But “$x” gets customers into the door. I hate that. I would argue that such practices should be illegal. Short of that, consumers should boycott places that play price games like that. And indeed, it’s not a customer’s responsibility to compensate for a crappy wage through an optional tip. Workers should be paid fairly and straightforwardly and the upfront price a customer pays should be contribute to those wages.
    — It allows restaurants, etc. to maintain incomplete, shady bookkeeping and accounting.

    Tipping is an incredibly crude, primitive thing. I’m waiting for a long-overdue, massive revolt on this issue. It will be so much more comfortable for both consumers and workers when tipping is eliminated — there will be more humanness, more reality in our relationships…better communication, more straightforwardness, less Eddie Haskell.

    I think that compared to traditional guilt-based tipping, mandatory tipping of x% is an improvement. The mandatory tipping movement highlights the absurdness of tipping in the first place. Far better than mandatory tipping would be to raise the base prices x%, and eliminate tipping completely. (While I’d have comment cards available for providing feedback.)

  20. Chi says:

    It seems that the big issue dividing folks is the fact that waiters/waitresses don’t get paid at minimum wages but way under it.

    But the fact of the matter is that for most resturants, you can’t afford to pay minimum wage, period. And the problem lies in the flow of customers. If you had a steady stream of customers from when you open to when you close (say 10am to 9pm) and the resturant operates at 70% to 95% capacity then yes you can afford to pay minimum wage, but which resturant is like that? At best you have a peak time from 11am to about 2pm then another one from 6pm to about 8pm. That’s a grand total of 5 hours in a 11 hour shift where any resturant is producing a positive flow of income. If a resturant tried to pay folks during the slow periods then that’s even more of a negative flow of income.

    Now some of you might say, well just don’t have folks working during those hours. Well that’s already done at most places. If you happen to dine during an off-peak hour, you’ll notice that there’s a lot few servers there compared to say a friday or saturday night around 7pm.

    So let’s get back to the tipping system. I agree with most folks here, the current model of “voluntary” tipping is sort of a reward for pereformance given by the wait staff, but as the article points out (or more specifically Michael Lynn points out) that service is less of a factor than say the weather outside or if the customer is having a good/bad day (or in some cases, how intoxicated they are). Given that rationale, give me (or any waiter/waitress) a reason why we should bend our backs for a customer that consistently tips “poorly” (defined as less than the average which is somewhere between 15~18%) and give me a reson why we shouldn’t “go the extra mile” for that customer that tips way more than necessary (defined as in excess of 25%).

    The reality of the situation is that service jobs are a crappy job. And it stinks to work in that field, but sometimes you’ve got to suck up that pride and take the jobs that are avaliable (whether you like them or not). However, that does not mean that those who frequent establishments should tip less. Those tips are the lively hood of some folks out there just trying to make it through. Having done a bit in the food service industry, I make it a point to tip “well” (defined as 20% of the my bill) and add a bit more if I know that the tip is split/shared between the wait staff (e.g. bartender, bus boys, sushi chiefs, etc).

    And before you jump on some sort of empowerment soapbox on how these folks can get educated and get better jobs, know this, somewhere there’s somebody who has to serve you the food at the resturant you’re sitting at. Even if the current folks in the food industry are elevated to other (non-food industry) jobs others will have to replace them and they will be in the exact same boat (poor salary and relies on tips).

    Of course, there are plenty of folks who would be happy to take the crappy jobs that Americans don’t want to do, but just don’t complain when they a) send money back home to their families (wherever their families may be) and b) demand equal access to schools, healthcare, etc. But that my folks is a different debate all together.

    Bon Appetite!

  21. konstantConsumer says:

    i waited tables through college, and i have to say that i loved getting shitty hourly and making tips. i was making about $150 a night, working for 5 hours. you aren’t going to make that type of money at a denny’s or something, but if you are good at it, you can get a good job, and make quite a bit of money. the slow night’s sucked, because you basically worked for free, but i would just do homework. if a policy could be implemented so that restaurants had to make up for shitty pay (like on slow nights), i think that would greatly improve the situation.

  22. aixwiz says:

    Waiters and waitresses should make at least minimum wage; that’s something worth fighting for. Making consumers to pay a mandatory 20% tip is just a way for restaurants to protect their profits instead of paying their staff a living wage.

    FYI: TIP is actually an acronym: it means “To Insure Promptness”. It came into being as a way to make sure wait-staff didn’t ignore patrons at a restaurant.

    My wife and I always leave a tip of 15% at the least (unless the service is truly attrocious)and up to 25% based on the performance of our waiter/waitress. We’ve heard from many people who have waited on us that the reason we get such good service is that we tip well. They’ve told us stories of large groups of people (4+) they’ve who left very little or nothing for a tip.

    A few “tips” for insuring good service:
    1. Be kind to your server; they’ve probably had a bad day too.
    2. If, for what ever reason, your server is slow/brings the wrong thing/etc, DO NOT IMMEDIATELY CALL A MANAGER AND COMPLAIN. Talk with your server first and let them know, in a polite manner, that they need to pay attention to what they are doing.
    3. LEAVE A GOOD TIP! Even if you have to add it onto your check instead of leaving cash, leave a tip!

    Your server will remember those who are nice and give good tips. They will also tell the other servers who work at that restaurant. You will get excellent service if you treat them well.

  23. wikkit says:


    “why should we bend our backs….”
    Because its your job, its what you’re paid. If you want to debate the working conditions or business structure of the food industry, thats one things, but essentially blackmailing the customer into tipping well with the implicit threat of bad customer service? That’s making your problems my problems, and I’ll sooner get take-out, your job be damned.

  24. “FYI: TIP is actually an acronym: it means “To Insure Promptness”.”

    In point of fact, it does not, and it was on Language Log last week: “In still another set of cases, abbreviatory “readings” are assigned to words that in fact have no such actual history (in acronymic etymythologies like “To Insure Promptness” for tip)”


    (Also, that would make it a TEP, not a TIP, because we would be ENsuring promptness, not INsuring it.)

  25. AcidReign says:

    …..I’m wondering how the waitstaff raised their tip amount up to 20%, that they now want legislated. 15% is customary. Inflation? Restaurant prices have risen steadily over the past decade. I remember when entrees at four-star places were about $20, maybe 20 years ago. Now, even Red Lobster has stuff over that!

    …..Today’s restaurant prices are why I’m sitting in my beach condo eating Walmart “Fresh Express” spring mix. (Which CNN now says shouldn’t be eaten, either.) Playin’ ecoli roulette and watching it rain…

  26. Kornkob says:

    “But the fact of the matter is that for most resturants, you can’t afford to pay minimum wage, period. And the problem lies in the flow of customers.”

    Baloney. Resturants in a wide range of countries (with economies as developed as the US) manage to stay in business even without gratuities being required to prop up poor wages.

    Would some resturants need to adjust their business plan and prices to be able to accomodate the new wage requirements? Certainly. Claims that ‘most resturants’ would have to fold up shop simply don’t make any sense.

  27. Demingite says:

    I completely agree with Kornkob. The validity of this statement:

    “But the fact of the matter is that for most resturants, you can’t afford to pay minimum wage, period. And the problem lies in the flow of customers.”

    depends entirely on the business model, and the economics of the restaurant.

    If you eliminate tipping, and increase base prices to compensate, the customer pays approximately the same amount of money — a “psychological” shift, not a shift in the pocketbook — but now the house is taking in more and can afford to pay above minimum wage.

    Of course, restaurants want to try to staff as smartly as they can, but the nature of the beast is that sometimes the staffing is not going to be ideal relative to demand. A wise manager budgets for that, and otherwise engages waitstaff in non-waiting tasks when traffic is low.

    Many, many businesses have variable customer flow. Note that many schoolteachers continue to draw a regular paycheck during the summer even though they are “not working.”

  28. Demingite says:

    And wouldn’t our lives just be simpler if tipping were eliminated? No calculating, no evaluating for customers, and no surprises for employees — and fair wages are guaranteed by 15% higher prices.

    Regarding: “Your server will remember those who are nice and give good tips. They will also tell the other servers who work at that restaurant. You will get excellent service if you treat them well.” I’m all in favor of being nice, decent, and understanding to everyone with whom we have a business transaction. But isn’t what this quote refers to bribery? Why isn’t excellent service inherent — just built-into an experience in a given restaurant? Do we have to dangle an extra doggie biscuit to be treated well? (And if a server is treating us extra well, might that not possibly mean that other customers and are being relatively neglected? Think about it.)

    And, you know, not everyone can afford to be giving up to 25% tips! Does that mean that people with tighter budgets should get less than excellent service? This creeps me out…

    To me, tipping seems like an utterly absurd, resource-consuming game that is very far from the best way of ensuring quality service and customer satisfaction. The fact that it has been accepted for a long time doesn’t make it good or smart. We accepted slavery and non-suffrage for women for a long time, too.

    Something to ponder: What if your airline pilot had a tip jar?

  29. “Claims that ‘most resturants’ would have to fold up shop simply don’t make any sense.”

    Don’t “most restaurants” (something like 80%?) fail in the first 5 years anyway?

  30. McJared says:

    Anecdotally, my best friend is a waitress, she tends to be able to tell who are likely to tip and those that aren’t. She puts WAY more effort into the ones that do tip, while doesn’t provide substandard service to anyone, she goes above and beyond for those that do tip. It pays off, she sometimes comes off a shift with $300+ cashie money in her pocket. Some strippers don’t even do that well.

    BTW anyone have a source to the study about the flower and kneeling deal?

  31. kerry says:

    McJared –
    I’d like to know what those things that tell of a good tipper are, has she shared her secrets with you?

  32. reading through the comments, i don’t understand the debate. it sounds as if the min wage is lower, but the employer is required to pay any unearned balance to ensure that the emplyee is actually compensated at no less than minimum wage. do i understand correctly? is this a state-by-state variation, or nationwide?

    if the wait staff is then guaranteed to make at least minimum wage, then the argument becomes a matter of how much they should be able to hope to make on top of that. and that should depend on the quality of service. and nothing else. the amount will change over time (10% used to be customary), and there will always be people who tip big or not at all. but customers everywhere shouldn’t be penalized just because of the assholes who don’t tip at all.

    15% is my starting point, and i like for the checks to total an even dollar amount because i’m insane. if the service was bad, i’ll round down to the lower even dollar, if it was good, i round up a buck or few. at bars, i tip $2 for one drink, $3 for two, $5 for three. if the bartender’s cool and throws in the occasional free drink, they get a minimum $5 for themselves.

    but that’s all voluntary. if someone tries to tell me i’m obligated to give a set amount as a gratuity regardless of service, then jack in the box will get even more of my business than they already do.

  33. Paula says:

    I think in the country I live in the tipping system is pretty good. The tip is 10%, but not mandatory. When they bring you your check, they add the 10%, which goes to your waiter, but you don’t have to pay it or you can pay more if you wish. Most people skip it only when the service is terrible. Some restaurants don’t add the 10% to the bill, but you’re still free to tip your waiter in cash if you like. And places like buffets and self-service don’t charge it at all, ever.
    But sometimes in clubs or bars where you have to get your own drinks at the bar, stand in line and yell at the bartender to get a beer, they want you to pay the 10%; in those cases I never pay.

  34. Itch says:

    I have to echo Kornkob as well. Other service industries seem to handle peak hours easily enough: Movie theators, grocery stores, even help desks. Why not resturants?

  35. LafinJack says:

    For me, standard service is 15%, exceptional 20%, and I won’t tip at all if service is terrible. I also understand when a place is busy and a waiter is unable to wait on me as much as I’d like because they have so many tables – if they show that they’re still trying their best I tip 15-20%.

    One memorable experience I had recently was at a steak/barbeque restaurant. Our assigned server was terrible; it wasn’t that busy, and after he took our order we either couldn’t find him or he would ignore us when we tried to get his attention. Eventually another waiter and waitress noticed what was happening and they brought out our food and refilled our bread and drinks. Amazingly enough, when bill time came server #1 showed up. I pulled one of our ‘real’ servers aside, gave him the tip, and had him split it between himself and the other waitress. Then we left, each leaving a quarter where we were sitting.

    I hope the guy got the hint.

  36. B says:

    Kerry – I suspect the method of recognizing good tippers is a self-furfilling prophecy. Well, that and recognizing regulars who’ve tipped well in the past.

  37. McJared says:

    Kerry, I never asked, but from what I’ve seen in her service she often starts off with her chatting with her customers for a few minutes, often sitting down with them if they are regulars. I think she feels out their receptiveness that way, if a group or even an individual is chatty she capitalises on it. Also, in our town there is a group of people here that are notoriously bad tippers (Mennonites) and those that are likely to tip lots (young men that work the oil rigs or similar high paying jobs.) She’s pretty good at making friends with people in 30 seconds or less and she’s been in the food service industry for about 8 years. She’s excellent at managing her tables and will often have your refill before your done with your first drink, she’s good with food and remembering orders. Before you ask she’ll let you know if there is a problem and your food will take a little longer than usual. It’s the little things like that that make the experience better and improve her chances, but that’s not to say she still doesn’t get stiffed, just a lot less than the other waitresses there that don’t provide the same level of service.

  38. reading through the comments, i don’t understand the debate. it sounds as if the min wage is lower, but the employer is required to pay any unearned balance to ensure that the emplyee is actually compensated at no less than minimum wage.

    The problem is that Ran Kailie’s situation happens too often, where the boss lies about how much you made in tips so that he doesn’t have to pay the difference. (It’s kind of like how they make fast-food employees work off the clock.)

  39. DrVino says:

    This is a big topic among wine geeks–do you tip as much on the wine as well as the food? None other than Marvin Shanken, publisher of Wine Spectator, admitted that he watered down his tip on the wine portion to about 7% if he ordered a lot. Bachhus would no doubt frown. Alan Richman wrote on his blog “He basically confessed to being The Most Mean-Spirited Wine Magazine Owner on Earth.”


  40. Digitamer81 says:

    @exkon: Tennessee has a minimum wage for servers of 2.13 an hour. Most states are less than 3 dollars per hour, it’s only high end restaurants that pay their servers more.

  41. UnicornMaster says:

    Have you guys contacted Johnny Rockets, because it could be a rogue store just trying to boost their employee’s income on unsuspecting customers. I wouldn’t stand for it.

    And I wouldn’t tip on a Take Out order. You go to the counter, you stand and wait, and you take your food away. What are you tipping for, someone to take your order? I think tipping is getting out of hand with coffee shops and the Subways. I tip, but for actual service like sit down restaurants and bars.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Given that rationale, give me (or any waiter/waitress) a reason why we should bend our backs for a customer that consistently tips “poorly” (defined as less than the average which is somewhere between 15~18%) and give me a reson why we shouldn’t “go the extra mile” for that customer that tips way more than necessary (defined as in excess of 25%).

    Response: Gratuity-a favor or gift usually in the form of money, given in return for service; something given VOLUNTARILY.
    In life you will have people that make more or less than you. It’s a part of life. The person that makes more than me does not owe me anything. I do my job well because I’m suppose to. I don’t expect a tip for doing my job well. I don’t expect that doctor, lawyer, or athlete to tip me for doing my job the way I’m suppose to. As a waiter, it’s your job to wait on people and do it well. Your employer is responsible for your pay not the average customer that walks into your establishment. That person is trying to make it in the world just like you are. We all started somewhere at the bottom and many of us worked hard to continuously reach the top. If a waiter wants better pay, then work hard, save up, go to school, and get a better job. No one owes you anything!