At one point of my life I worked as a waiter and bartender during my college years. I learned so many personal and business lessons while working as a waiter I would say those where the tips I received that have helped me out years after I stopped serving tables and bartending.
The Money is in the Tips
Anyone that has served tables or bartended knows that the money is in making tips. Waiters and bartenders are usually paid less than the minimum wage those that are really good at what they do end up making a good living.
I am aware that others live of tips
I make sure I tip everyone that I feel deserves a tip. I know how important a tip can be for a waiter or any service individual who makes a living of them. A good example is when I visit Selectos, a Puerto Rican chain of supermarkets that is walking distance from my house. I really enjoy buying at Selectors most of the staff is smiling and always willing to help. Very different from the Wal Mart that is close by where the awl mart employees really care less if you need help or not.
I normally get my groceries packed by a bunch of young gentleman which I understand the only compensation they receive is tips. I don’t mind them helping me out and I always tip them because I know many others Selecto customers just take the bags and go on occasions not even thanking them.
These young gentlemen work off tips and they will pack your groceries and even take them to your car if you request it.
I normally tip them when they finish packing my bags. When I do so I get the usual thanks and I go my way. On one occasion I tipped the young man packing my bags and he decided to carry my groceries to the car. He did not wait till I requested him carrying my bags he was so grateful I tipped him a bit more than what others tip him (based on what I have heard from them). I was so impressed by this young man going further than any of his co-workers I went ahead and tipped him again.
When he finished packing my bags I also thanked him and told him that sometimes I had struggled with my bags and others would stay at the cash register.
The young man replied; “If they don’t carry your groceries out don’t tip them, I know you have tipped them many times but they should have done what I did to earn their tip”.
I am so use to tipping even when I get fair or poor service because I look back on when I probably made a mistake as a bartender or waiter. Or even worst situations that affected my tip which I had no control over. Missing out on tips when I needed it while being a bartender or server I have made it the norm to tip even when the service is not up to par.
This young man made me aware that I need to make others work for their money. As I myself work for mine. I will be a bit more conservative when tipping if service is not up to par.
Do you tip when you get good service? Have you fallen in my trap of tipping others because you know they live off tips?
What factors make you tip more or less?