This morning I'm with my fiancee at the Dr.'s office and in the waiting room was Rachael Ray on the television. After hearing a story that Rachael Ray does not tip when she goes out to eat, I decided I did not like her. Granted that story could be wrong, out of context, or what have you, I refuse to condone that type of ridiculousness if it's true. It's even worse if it's true being that she's a professional cook. For the life of me I cannot understand people's reluctance to tipping. Servers have to put up with so much, and the balance of pay to services is not equal.
Think about when you go out to eat at a normal casual seating restaurant. There's usually a hostess to seat you, a server to take your order, a bartender to make any alcoholic drinks, sometimes a food runner to bring you your food if it's busy, cooks to cook your food, and a busboy to clean your table. Just about all of these people get paid less than 4 dollars an hour. It is extremely rare that any of them will ever get a raise. Regardless of whether or not you think they should get another job if they are not being paid enough, somebody is going to be that server who serves you. Everybody enjoys getting out of the house and being waited on and for many reasons. When you go out to eat, all you have to do is drive to the restaurant, pick out your food, enjoy yourself and then pay for the luxury of doing pretty much nothing. What comes to mind when I think about people not tipping is: Put yourself in their shoes.
Servers do more than just take your order. Servers have to be each table's any and everything, all while depending on other people to make your time enjoyable. Servers must be approachable, friendly, kid savvy, good listeners, compassionate, quick, attentive, and take responsibility for everything that goes into your visit; and they must do this with multiple tables at the same time. For the most part when people go out to eat, their point of contact is the server and the burden for everything is placed upon that one person. Customer compassion goes out the window when people are hungry and expectant. Customers don't care if you have 2 tables or 6 tables, if it's slow or a dinner rush, if the kitchen is short staffed or the bartender is busy schmoozing, customers don't realize these things, nor do most of them care.
Most servers work their asses off to make sure that you're experience out is amazing, probably not because they're too concerned about you, persay, but because they know that their livelihood depends on how generous you feel at the end of the meal-which servers equate to how happy you are. Do you ever stop to think how much fun it isn't to be nice and cheerful to people over and over again for hours on end? Having to be nice to people whose attitudes range from very nice and appreciative to extremely rude and condescending as if you owe them something? Having to suck it up everytime you give a table 150% and know that they enjoyed themselves greatly, only to have them leave you a 2 dollar tip on a 50 dollar bill after they ran you all night long? Mechanics charge people much more than servers expect and servers don't have the luxury of just telling you that you need other items to raise your bill and their tip or the luxury of working at their own pace with whatever attitude they want, yet I don't see anyone refusing to pay for labor or leaving snide remarks about the labor they are being charged to pay.
If you don't have the common sense, common decency, or common knowledge to know that eating out is a luxury and it is made possible by other people expecting to be compensated for it, then simply do not go out to eat. It is truly that simple. If you don't care what servers, bartenders, busboys, and hostesses make, then simply do not go to establishments that employee them. It's one thing to want to be supported and acknowledged for the job you do, it's another when you depend on it.