So what should you do?
Keep tipping. If everyone stopped tipping, the whole country could possibly grind to a halt. Imagine, if you will, the following scenario: on Monday, no one leaves their server a tip. Every service person goes to their job and comes home with absolutely no money except for their paycheck which is maybe about $30 a week, if they’re lucky. On Tuesday, again no one tips and the servers just assume it’s a bad week. Wednesday comes around and the servers have already gone into their emergency jar of coins to pay for their groceries the night before. They again leave their job with no money. On Thursday, they arrive to work, angry and desperate. After a few more customers don’t leave them tips, the servers revolt, flipping tables, smashing plates, and breaking glasses. Restaurants across the country are in shambles and unable to open for business on Friday. That’s right, every restaurant is closed on Friday, so now where are you going to go for happy hour wings and half-price nachos after work? NOWHERE, BECAUSE THE COUNTRY IS IN RUINS!
I get that Mr. Infante was trying to prove a point and it’s great that he’s standing up for the rights of servers, but there must be a better way to create change in our tipping customs. To discontinue tipping will theoretically make it better in the long run but who wants to be on the front lines of that battle? No server wants to stand up for a cause if it means they don’t get tipped ever again and eventually have to find a new job. I equate it with the way that Black Friday has slowly encroached on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone is against it and no one thinks it should happen, but as soon as Best Buy opens up on Thanksgiving at 5pm, you know there’s going to be a sh*t-ton of people there who want to buy a flat-screen TV. You can tell people to stop shopping on Thanksgiving Day, but people aren’t going to do it. Precedents have been set and there’s no turning back: Black Friday now starts on Thursday and servers expect a 20% tip. F*%$ing deal with it.
[Editor's note: Due to the overwhelming response after his original piece, Dave followed up to tell the world how he screwed up and what he learned, which you can read here.]
The Bitchy Waiter lives and works in New York City and has been waiting tables pretty consistently for almost 25 years. He has discovered that writing stories on the Internet about annoying customers is better than poking the annoying customers in their eyes with forks. He enjoys The Brady Bunch, The Facts of Life, and cocktails almost as much as he hates your baby. Follow him: @bitchywaiter.