Should tipping at a restaurant be a requirement?

Waiters and delivery drivers count on tips to make a living. Tomwsulcer via wikimedia

BY LAURA DiMARTINO

Have you ever stopped to think about the hard work, time, and effort put in by each employee to make a restaurant run successfully? Why is it that tipping them is not a requirement?

No matter if an employee is working as a waiter, delivery driver, or at the register for carry out orders, tipping should be required. The hard work put into serving each customer food should be accounted for. 

Many can agree that waiting tables is not an easy job. Serving many tables at once, getting each order right, and staying organized to not mess up along the way is a daunting task. In Connecticut, waiters get paid the minimum wage of $6.38 in hopes that their tips will make up for the small amount of money received hourly. According to The Atlantic, “Connecticut’s law sets its tip credit as a percentage of the minimum wage and allows employers to use and employee’s tip to meet that percentage of their minimum wage requirement.” So the next time you dine in, consider tipping to make up for the waiter’s small minimum wage. 

Delivery drivers are very useful for when you’re cozied up on your couch, wanting your dinner delivered to your doorstep. From having experience in a restaurant, I have observed that in even in snow storms, or when a house very far away from the restaurant, customers still do not tip. The food delivery service, GrubHub, posted a tipping guide saying “20% of the bill is the standard tip but if there is a big order, then consider tipping more.” The labor that is put into making sure each order is right and driving safely to each customer’s house while using their own gas, should require a good tip. Think of it this way — you as a customer are choosing not to use your own gas to pick up your food, so you should pay your deliver driver for the gas they are using to get your food to you.

Many may disagree that you should not have to tip a carry out employee because all they are doing is bagging your food and checking you out at the register. Yet, what most customers don’t know is that carry out employees have a much bigger job than that. At many restaurants, including the restaurant I work at, carry out employees bus tables, take orders on the phone, and have to work with the chefs to make sure each order is right. As a customer you may not see it, but behind the scenes, carry out requires a lot of hard work. The next time you order carry out, consider tipping even $1 or $2. 

Employees and employers do their best to give each customer quality service, but if the service is simply bad because of the employee, then it is acceptable to leave a small tip to show that you didn’t forget to tip, but the service was poor. On the other hand, it is important not to leave a tip if the food was bad but the service was good. One guideline for all customers is to always tip your waiter and delivery drivers at least 20%, providing the service is exceptional. 

So next time you order food from a restaurant, consider evaluating the hard work that’s put into getting you our food and tip accordingly.