current affairs

To tip or not to tip: That is the question!

kettlemag Phil Hill tipping

Throughout my life my family have tipped in restaurants and it’s always annoyed me. Honestly, even since a child. I just couldn’t get my head around the concept. Someone brings you food, and you give them extra money on top of their wages. Yet if I fireman or Surgeon saves your life; nothing. No tip there.

What reminded me of this annoyance was a post I saw on Facebook last week. A lady called Taylor Cordova posted when, after someone’s $187.43 meal, they wrote $0 in the tip section. She couldn’t contain her anger and upset and so, as most people do these days, headed to social media to vent. I’ve just taken some of the ‘best’ (or shall I say worst) bits: 

“This. This is the reason I work so much. This is why I cry in the shower. I STRUGGLE to put clothes on my daughter’s back and food in our bellies because of THIS. You are the lowest of the low.”

With all due respect madam, we are not here to help support and fund your lifestyle. If you cannot afford to have children society should not feel pressured to help you out and guilty if they choose not to.

And “lowest of the low”? So not tipping is worse than those involved in ISIS for example? 

She continues by saying: 

“Don’t even bother walking into a restaurant if you can’t afford to tip. There’s a McDonald’s down the street if you’re that cheap.” 


People work hard for their money, and if they want to go out to eat they have every right to do so. The fact that people have to pay more than the ingredients cost themselves in order to cover staff wages, electricity, rent of the restaurant etc. is enough in my opinion. People aren’t cheap either. If you earn it, you get to choose how you spend it and if you’re not a fan of tipping, so be it. Plus have you ever thought they didn’t tip you because maybe they weren’t happy enough with your service?

Now, you may think I am out of line here, but I work in a restaurant and I would never expect somebody to leave a tip. If they choose to, then I am entirely grateful, but I see it as an added bonus of the job, not something they should feel obliged to give. Waitresses and similar roles are known for getting poor wages; I know, but we all know that when we enter that job. We sign up knowing the expectations. If we weren’t happy with this we should have gone for another job!

Other options

If I am impressed with the service, personally I’d rather go the alternative route and speak to the manager. If I leave a couple of pounds with a server they might buy a drink at the pub with that. It’s a temporary thing and once it’s gone, it’s gone. However, if I speak to the manager, that will give the server a confidence boost. The manager will feel reassured they have competent staff and maybe if that individual is trying to get a promotion it could be the tipping point for them, if you’ll excuse the pun. You see the bigger picture here? 

I leave you on the following note, again, from someone who works in this industry: The next time you go to a restaurant please do not feel pressured to leave a tip. If you want to, then honestly, I am incredibly grateful for that and thank you. But, if you don’t want to leave one don’t let society make you feel like you have to.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.