Exploring the East, Revisiting the West

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Waitresses and the Ever Rising Tip

September 18th, 2009 · 27 Comments

According to a former waitress who is now a “writer”, one Hannah Raskin, a 15% tip just ain’t enough anymore. People are making less than ever, are unable to afford eating out, and yet she’d have them pay servers more than they can afford.

I’ve got nothing against servers, but I hate tipping. I always do it, and my tips fall between 15-20% about 95% of the time. However, if I ran a restaurant, I’d include the gratuity in the price of food. Selling a sandwich for $5? Raise it a buck and give the extra to the server. $1 for a soda-pop? Make it $1.20. I detest feeling that somehow I have to prove my worth by giving the server some exorbitant fee for showing cleavage as she bends over to serve me food. And that’s really what this comes down to — as women have come to dominate food service they’ve sexualized it to the point of something near pole dancing.

Frankly, I’d rather a guy serve me my food. He’ll usually do a better job and not try to use some physical assets to try to open my wallet. Same goes for a therapeutic massage. After getting run over by an old lady doing a thankless, low-wage job that I should have been tipped for, but never was (courier), I had a few sessions of much-needed massage therapy to minimize scar tissue in my neck and back. By far the most useless practitioners were females. Not only were they weak and ineffective, they seemed to feel that I owed them $60/hour simply for them having deigned to touch my back. As a young guy who had no shortage of female attention at the time and definitely needed a therapeutic massage, I certainly didn’t see it that way, and after a couple sessions with lazy, pathetic masseuses I made it a point to demand a masseur – preferably a strong one – or no go.

I’m getting to that point with waitresses. I am quite frankly sick of their entitled, bitchy attitudes. I don’t care if they serve me a sandwich underneath a couple of pushed-up, scented breasts; I don’t go to restaurants to masturbate, after all. Give me a professional, deft man who handles the table with skill and reserve and I’ll be all too happy to pay him what he deserves. But after reading Ms. Raskin’s bitchy, greedy little screed, I’ve vowed that the next slut who tries to squeeze some extra cash out of me by shoving her tits into the center of my visual field gets 10% and no more.

Whatever the case, if I had my way I’d eliminate tips altogether and have waiters work on commission, as I suggested before. If their 20% is in the menu price, I know exactly what I’m getting into when I look at the menu and there’s no reason to complain. If the service is bad, I simply don’t go back to that restaurant. If guys want gussied up little hussies, they can go back over and over again, but as for me I’ll be happy to patronize pleasant places with a touch more class. Pardon me if I’ve been a bit uncouth in this post, but to be quite honest I find Ms. Raskins’ attitude pretty offensive and simply replied in kind.

I’d like to hear Chuck Ross’s take on this.

Tags: Men

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kulaks Never Learn // Sep 18, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Very interesting post there Welmer.

    I thought I was alone in noticing how banal and how manipulative most female ‘servers’ really are, especially to their male clientele.

    Another reason to eat out as least as possible. (Most of the “food” in restaurants is pure garbage anyway — loaded with chemicals and other slow poisons — see “Supersize Me” on DVD if you didn’t yet.)

  • 2 Kulaks Never Learn // Sep 18, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    *Regarding female arrogance*

    Check out this super interesting article -

    The ego epidemic and how more and more of us have an inflated sense of our own fabulousness | Mail Online

    “Us women are more egocentric and narcissistic than we ever used to be, according to extensive research by two leading psychologists.

    “More of us have huge expectations of ourselves, our lives and everyone in them. We think the universe resolves around us, with a deluded sense of our own fabulousness, and believe we are cleverer, more talented and more attractive than we actually are.

    “We have trouble accepting criticism and extending empathy because we are so preoccupied with ourselves.”


    “Am I making you angry by telling you this? It figures. Narcissistic or egotistical women do have an overwhelming sense of entitlement and arrogance.

    “Of course, I joke, but researchers say there is growing evidence of an epidemic of ego-itis everywhere.

    “Once a traditionally male syndrome, narcissism generally begins at home and in schools, where children are praised excessively, often spoiled rotten and given the relentless message that they are ‘special’.”



    Obviously not just a problem in America, ehh.

  • 3 Welmer // Sep 18, 2009 at 11:53 pm


    Another reason to eat out as least as possible. (Most of the “food” in restaurants is pure garbage anyway — loaded with chemicals and other slow poisons — see “Supersize Me” on DVD if you didn’t yet.)

    No doubt. After my extended poverty following divorce, which limited my eating out to rare occasions, I’ve found that a lot of restaurants load food with so much sodium that I can barely choke it down these days. It feels like I’m eating congealed seawater.

    I have also dated enough waitresses to know how filthy and disgusting restaurant kitchens are. Low quality and filthy food is simply masked with fat, sugar and salt.

    Having to pay a pound of flesh to little skanks who simply move food a few yards from here to there only adds insult to injury. There’s no law that says you have to tip these primadonnas 20%, so why bother?

  • 4 Tarl // Sep 19, 2009 at 6:46 am

    My understanding was that restaurants pay servers substandard wages and allow them to make it up (or not) in tips. How much more expensive would the food be if servers were paid “decently” (whatever that is) but no tips were expected? A lot of restaurants in Europe are “service included” and I haven’t noticed much difference in the service, even in France. “Service compris” seems to work over there.

    Last week I came back to a restaurant that had previously been good – good food, attractive and sufficiently competent waitresses. This time I was disappointed. Food was sub-par, and the waiter was an ineffectual male. I figure they started losing customers because of the economic downturn, so they started skimping on food, and they can’t attract decent wait staff any more, but now the poor food and service is going to drive even more people away. I don’t know how they get out of that vicious cycle, but I’m not going to come back.

    I don’t care if waitresses “expect” 20% now, they’re only getting 15% from me, so there.

  • 5 Chuck // Sep 19, 2009 at 8:01 am


    i agree with your take. Women are worse servers than men on average and they bitch nonstop. But if we included tip in the check, the level of service would decline as servers would have no incentive to go above and beyond.

  • 6 Useless // Sep 19, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Thank you! I also detest tipping. I do it (grudgingly) to avoid dirty looks. I see it this way: I already paid for an overpriced dish, from a dirty kitchen, and from preparers with questionable hygiene, and THEN, I have to let go of money that I could use for carfare? Bullshit. However, my tips NEVER go above 15%, and I sometimes notice the standoffishness from my server as I leave the restaurant — tough shit. I know I come off as a douche for thinking this way, but I guess I am a douche.
    I find tipping sleazy and dishonest, almost as a form of bribing. I go to a restaurant to enjoy a meal, not to make buddies or have my self-esteem boosted by a cute 25 year old smiling at me.
    Tipping also rewards attractiveness and ass-kissing, not real hardwork.
    Another point is that tipping gives stingy restaurant owners an incentive to pay shitty wages. The service or gratuity charge is the best thing, in my opinion.

  • 7 ganttsquarry // Sep 19, 2009 at 10:33 am

    As a single guy, I go to restaurants quite a bit. With women, with friends, and yes even alone as well.

    I am aware this isn’t the healthiest habit in the world either.

    If I frequent a place, I generally tip 20 percent, higher if I know the server and he/she does a good job.

    Places I know I’ll never be in again will inspire a bit more stinginess unless the service is outstanding, or above the call of duty.

    I’ve had a bit better luck in the female server department then you have I think. Maybe I’m getting older female servers more. The young tarts tend to have the princess attitude more. Maybe it’s hard for them to transition from being “served” in their private life, to “serving” at their job. I know the type you are talking about.

    Flirting or cleavage is never rewarded. It is punished in fact, if I think she is doing it to compensate for inattentive service.

    I prefer men at nicer places and/or when I’m out with a big group of people.

    My one caveat is the male server that is too friendly and subservient. Makes me uncomfortable. An extreme example of this would be the annoying waiter at Flinger’s in the movie Office Space.

    On tipping…

    First, if it was included in the check, the service would suffer. Second, patrons would begin to leave additional tips to reward the good service they got and this would become a trend. Pressure to leave a tip above the 20% already on the bill would happen in no time. Back to square one.

    I also like being able to award really good service.

    On your massage experience: That doesn’t surprise me at all. Excellent example of differences in male/female behavior and attitudes.

  • 8 Elusive Wapiti // Sep 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Agree Welmer. I’ve noted that the men tend to serve better than the women. No experience with masseurs/masseuses tho.

    The big difference however, lays in the attitude differential between the sexes wrt tipping. I have detected a sense of entitlement to a “tip” present in women. Perhaps it is to compensate them for their having to take that low-wage crummy job when they could have a nice cushy white-collar career replete with medical benefits and child care.

    Like you, I also dislike the “race to the bottom” tendency for women to shove their tits in my face or dress scantily in a flagrant attempt to apply chick game on me in exchange for an extra buck or two.

  • 9 novaseeker // Sep 19, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    When I was living in Europe there were no tips — the prices were grossed up to cover higher wait staff salaries. That was fine, but the service was often poor — dunno if that is directly related to tipping, though, because I have had poor service in the US , too, and we tip here.

    I’m still on the 15% program. It goes to 20% id the service was particularly good, or down to 10% if the service was particularly bad, but straight 15% is what competent service gets. I find it amazing how this writer is suggesting that I am insulting them with a 15% gratuity.

    It also depends on the restaurant. If the restaurant is higher priced, a wait staff will make a tidy amount at 15%, given the check totals, and she isn’t really working any harder than the chick at the diner. And at 15% she is still making a lot more than the diner waitress would be making at 20%. Why is the one at the high-end restaurant entitled to 20%? Because she’s hot and smiles?

    I also prefer male waiters, for the most part, provided they’re not the hairdresser persona.

  • 10 Up Here // Sep 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    “I don’t care if they serve me a sandwich underneath a couple of pushed-up, scented breasts”

    They still do that in America? I’ll bet they still say “hun” too, eh? Count your blessings, old chap, in Canada women are *really* opposed to serving men in any way, things are much, much more feminist up here. I prefer male waiters too, but for far different reasons.

    Hey, there was some study that came out recently in the media showing that people prefer the customer service they get from white males, that’s a pretty significant HateFact we shouldn’t let slip our attention. Not only is AA immoral, but it lessens – significantly I would add – customer satisfaction and therefore profits.

    Where are all the female taxi drivers, by the way? I suppose it is a bit dangerous, but that doesn’t stop them from becoming cops, soldiers, and firemen. As bitchy as Canadian women are it is inconceivable that they are as bad as the ethnic men who have a stranglehold over the taxi industry. That’s one industry where the case for gender quotas makes some sense.

  • 11 Tarl // Sep 19, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    “Where are all the female taxi drivers, by the way? I suppose it is a bit dangerous, but that doesn’t stop them from becoming cops, soldiers, and firemen.”

    Cops, firemen, and to a lesser extent soldiers are government jobs with great benefits, strong unions, promotion is more or less automatic, and it’s basically impossible to get fired no matter how worthless you are. Taxi drivers have none of that, so it’s no surprise women don’t want to do it (heck, most men don’t want to do it).

  • 12 Jesse // Sep 19, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I also don’t like the entitlement bit, but tipping high doesn’t bother me–which puts me in the minority here it seems. I don’t actually pay all that much attention to service; I hit the same few places whenever I eat out (and for a bachelor like me that’s a lot) so I know what to expect of the food and wait staff. I start at about 25% and move up from there, or down if the service was exceptionally bad. My thinking is, I make decent money and enjoy the meal out, and it’s fun to watch some sports on the bar TVs and maybe chat a little while I enjoy a meal, and I know the wait staff doesn’t pull in great money so I don’t mind throwing them some extra.

    Plus, since I go to the same places, I see it as building a rapport. The waiters and waitresses know who I am and they know I tip well, so I figure at least some will put out more effort to take care of me. Basically, I’m paying extra to move myself up the hierarchy of customers so I get more attentive service. This trick has produced real results at some places and not so much at others, but I try to always tip high regardless unless something far out of the ordinary happens.

    Back when I made much less money, though, the big question of how much of a tip to leave was always a quandary for me. I generally stayed in the 15-20% range, adjusting up or down slightly to make my total payment an even dollar amount.

    As for the waitresses flashing boobs at me, can’t say I’ve had that problem a whole lot. I guess either I’m that naive or I’m not the kind of charming guy waitresses care to show off for–probably the latter. But then again, I always eat at the bar and the places I frequent have attire that doesn’t really allow for that, so maybe that has something to do with it.

  • 13 whiskey // Sep 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    I take it Hooters is not your regular hangout then :>

  • 14 Welmer // Sep 19, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Hey, at least Hooters is honest about it. If I really did want to ogle some breasts while eating, I suppose I would go to Hooters, come to think of it.

    I wonder how the service is there?

  • 15 When a good post comes along, you must plug it « In Mala Fide // Sep 20, 2009 at 9:03 am

    [...] has some choice words for greedy waitresses: I’m getting to that point with waitresses. I am quite frankly sick of their entitled, bitchy [...]

  • 16 Pro-Male/Anti-Feminist Tech // Sep 20, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Here’s something that is very telling about male vs. female wait staff. Have you noticed how the more higher end a restaurant is the more male wait staff it will have? (To the point that many high end restaurants have only male wait staff.)

    This tells you everything you need to know about the subject.

  • 17 Obvious // Sep 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Who cares? Just get a take-out order and call it a day, guys.

  • 18 miles // Sep 22, 2009 at 2:57 am

    20% is roughly what I usually tip, but that is as high as Im ever going to go.

    I remember when it was 10% (the then-acceptable gratuity). My parents tell me that it used to be 5% back in their day.

    I remember when it went to 15%. To be honest, 15% should be about right. Now they are carping that “anything less than 20%” is rude and cheap.

    My take on that is this: Get another fucking job. You can move boxes at UPS and work MUCH MUCH harder than waiting tables or pouring drinks. You can work construction and work much much harder than you will in resturaunts. What we have here Welmer is social psychology at work. The waiters get to compare you to other customers, many of whom are loaded financially, and they will deem you low-class and can “act” mad at you if you only tip 15% (even though that was the standard all through the mid-eighties to mid-nineties). As the recession drags on, and its going to for another six-months-to-a-year almost for certain, more and more waitstaff will be glad anybody is going out to eat, period.

    Note: I cannot digest gluten (wheat, bread, pasta, beer, rye, most sauces) without getting very sick (a “flu-like” achy feeling for the rest of the day, extremely bad diarreha, a rash appears on my ewbows that itches intensely and requires hydrocortisone cream for several days). Since becoming extremely gluten-intolerant, Ive had to learn how to cook much more, which Im getting pretty damned good at. Im enjoying eating at home more than ever before, and have found that it can save you a very suprising amount of money if you do it right (meat, fruit, steamed veggies, home-made tea).

    BTW—if a waiter really sucks, they only get 10% from me, but this has only happened 3 times in my life. Im usually right at 20%. Im a very easy customer. I dont try to mix-and-match from the menu, generally only require one drink refill at the most, and usually order a water along with my beverage just so I dont even have to do that. I generally wont send anything back even if its done wrong. Im not hard on them, and dont bore them with extraneous chit-chat, and am professionally courteous to them. In other words, I dont ‘make them earn their money like many many women Ive dated over the years do. A waiter probably has to only walk to our table 3 times when serving me.

  • 19 Professor Hale // Sep 22, 2009 at 9:25 am

    I also would prefer a tipless society. I only tip because I know that is a significant part of the wait-staff compensation and it is customary in the USA to do so. I never, ever put a tip in a jar at starbucks or similar thing. I do not adjust the tip for better or worse service. If service is bad, I complain to the manager or stop going there. The cooks, dishwashers, and management have every bit as much to contribute to your meal, but they get no part of the tips.

    I have a great deal of skepticism believing wait staff adjust their behavior for better or worse tiping. The fear of losing a job is what keeps them doing good work. An occasional rare individual will be personally motivated to do good work for its own reward.

    I also tip my barber.

    When I tip, I leave cash, even if I am charging a credit card. I thereby encourage wait staff to not report it as taxable income. Bad law making criminals of us all, and all that.

  • 20 Lukobe // Sep 30, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Oy, I just got back from my honeymoon, which took us on a cruise from Italy to Greece to Turkey to Egypt and back, and man is it worse for tipping out there than it is here. Especially Egypt. Bakshish, bakshish! I tried to think of most of it as U.S. foreign aid. Great trip nevertheless.

  • 21 Wil E // Oct 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Pushed up and scented….I tip extra
    for that.

  • 22 Hughman // Feb 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    In the UK it’s totally different.
    If the service totally blows, you don’t tip, maybe 5% tops.
    If it’s standard, in a standard restaurant, then 10%.
    15% for great service, which you’re more likely to get in a good restaurant.
    In bistros/pubs, you have to order food from the bar anyway.
    Top restaurants include the tip in the bill. I personally resent that, but if the service was real good then I’ll leave a little extra.
    Plus, no one uses cheques anymore except for banking.

  • 23 Leonidas // Apr 4, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    ‘Women are better at social networking for a reason: they need to be to get help raising kids.’
    This is a feminist fallacy my friend! Pure BS they wnat you beleave in it. Truth is: Women are better at local one-to-one social networking but men are better at many-to-many social networking in the wider world.

  • 24 Leonidas // Apr 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    About that, 2 years ago a waitress-princess spited on me because I have not enough money to give her the tip she wanted! Calling me names loud in front of every body while I was trying to showing her that my wllet was empty to calm this furry…

  • 25 Michelle // Apr 19, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Pushed up and scented….I tip extra
    for that.

  • 26 dand // Jul 1, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    I dont mind tipping but what is up with all the bitchy waitresses and hostesses that glare at my date? Sure she is pretty but she is also a nice girl and wonders where all the animosity is coming from. Save the jealousy for when you are out at the clubs and not when you are at work.

  • 27 esra // Sep 1, 2010 at 10:36 am

    as a woman i am surprised to read that many men don’t seem to care about being ‘serviced’ by young women who are confusing waiting on customers with exposing themselves and explicitly flirting with male customers in particular. I’m a homemaker working for free, so when we go out, my husband usually pays the bills and in return (because this often is the norm for couples eating out) receives 90% of the waitress’ attention. He’s usually greeted first, has his order taken first and gets all the fake smiles and banter. Whereas I get asked in a professional voice if i would like freshly ground pepper and if I agree, have the process of pepper ground professionally over my meal, the waitress will put on a show for my husband, despite the fact that he’s with another woman (i.e. me): following the inevitable ‘would you like freshly ground pepper’, she’ll push her little breasts into my husband’s face, while grinding away with a fake smile on a heavily made up face, leaving me feeling as if I’m watching them just before they hop into bed. It make me feel better reading that not all men seem to enjoy, appreciate or financially reward this kind of inappropriate behaviour (which in my eyes is a form of prostitution). I do like going out, but a agree that i don’t feel comfortable with tipping either. actually, i would rather pay more for a meal and not have to tip, regardless of whether the waiter/waitress provided good or even excellent service. the reason is that tipping makes me feel ‘superior’ to the person i’m tipping, which i don’t like, especially, since it is obvious that the only reason the waiter/waitress is smiling non-stop, flirting and showing her goodies, while she’s serving us, is to maximise her tip. i have a theory that for some men, my husband included, in addition to enjoying a woman’s revealing outfit and body and the casual flirting and banter, some of them also enjoy helping a girl out financially. My husband’s favourite niece, a young woman, who’s working both in a hospital as well as in a restaurant chain as a waitress. I’m assuming that many of the sexy young waitresses dressing in a revealing way like that, remind him of her and he wants to help her/them. actually, many waitresses i have met and had a chance to talk to, turned out to be and i assume this is true for many waitresses around the world, aren’t considering this the career of a life time, but rather as a good opportunity to make up for a low hourly wage with excessive tips in exchange for letting male customers salivate (if not over the greasy breakfast at places such as Humpty’s, definitely over the cleavage that comes with it:). Rather than apply for a job with more responsibility that requires more skills, experience and eventually comes with a fixed salary, they prefer becoming a waitress, i.e. a job that requires far less training and which any teenager can do after being shown how to. taking into account all the tips such sly female manipulators of male sex egos get in a shift, they probably make the same hourly wage as my husband who has had to do an apprenticeship, pass exams and has years of experience in his industry. Yet, he has great sympathy for these ‘girls’ and will defend them whenever i criticize this kind of behaviour, even calling me jealous and insecure, saying ‘those girls’ don’t make much money, they have to supplement their income with tips, and most custosmers, including him, won’t tip a waitress much unless she goes out of her way being friendly (translation: if she doesn’t grind fresh pepper over his plate making it look like foreplay). However, it should be noted that it is a waiter’s or waitress’s choice to do that job, just as it is other people’s job doing other jobs or going to school/university etc. There are other low-wage jobs requiring equally little training, but nowhere does a person with little to no qualification or experience earn that much money just by being sexually appealing and overly nice to the male customers in particular (ok, admittedly, their sisters who take stroking and satisfying male egos a step further, probably do.) i used to assume that most men, like my husband, enjoy the overt flirting and sexually revealing outfits sported by most waitresses these days and were happy to reward what i consider as inappropriate behaviour, with similar attention and a 20% to 30% tip. Having read your comments i wanted to express how I feel as the female companion of a male customer who is showered with attention by a young female who gets paid to let male customers appreciate her body visually in order to get more tips. In my case, the tipping is one of two things I hate about the dining experience with my husband, the other being that I hate having to watch my husband respond to this fake attention he received by paying more attention to this stranger who is young enough to be his daughter and who is only flirting with him to squeeze more money out of him at the end of the meal. agreed that my attempts to have a conversation before our meal, including what’s on the menu, might not be as interesting as answering questions such as ‘how are you’, ‘what can i get you’ and ‘would you like freshly ground pepper’, but i feel disrespected not only by the waitress, who can obviously see that my husband is in the company of a female who could very well be his wife or girlfriend, but obviously more disrespected by my husband, who reciprocates by showering the waitress with all his attention, i.e. he will be all smiles and jokes and banter, while I have to watch in silence. anyway, sorry about my long comment, i just had to vent my own views and feelings on the topic.

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