A recent restaurant experience which left me slightly baffled. Is the tipping concept still something a lot of people abide by or is it a somewhat dated rule? Read on to find out what happened to me and see whether you agree… Tipping: a concept which is known to be an act of common courtesy. That’s my opinion anyway. 9/10 times I tip – and there are, in fairness, some exceptions. I’m a sucker for not carrying change on me, which I do think is understandable in this modern era, with contactless n’ all that. There are also sometimes where service can be a bit shit and you don’t really feel like it’s worthy (but that doesn’t happen very often – plonk a plate of food in front of me and it’s unusual for me to be disappointed.)
However, there was an experience in which highlighted something to me, making me feeling rather shocked and slightly stumped. Me and my fella went out for lunch at a wonderful independent pizzaria near to my house – all was well, delicious, fiery, all that I’d want in a pizza. We eventually got our bill followed by the inevitable scan of the pockets in a hope to find any change to tip the waitress, which neither of us had. We then proceeded to ask the waitress, as she took our payment, whether we could add the tip onto the card machine for her and her colleagues. The response – “We can’t unfortunately. The money doesn’t go to us anyway; it goes back to the owners.”
Nowhere on that receipt did it notify us that the tip goes anywhere but the server’s pockets – that didn’t quite sit well with me. It’s almost as though you’re getting ripped off a bit, isn’t it? If we had left the 10%, which is generally what I aim to leave, then it’s going straight back to the big boss’s bank account? Should have ordered pudding!
I then began thinking of why the rules in this restaurant were different to any other — I guess, at the end of the day, the waitress’ salary may be a bit better than others within the hospitality industry, or it could be that she gets free lunches? I wasn’t comfortable with poking my nose around in her business, but it did leave me feeling somewhat deflated after what was a really lovely meal.
I’ve always seen tipping as a way to thank the service you’ve received. Everything you’ve paid for from the food to drinks to other bits and bobs goes straight back into the business, but taking the tips as well? Is it just me, or is that wrong?