How To Properly Tip Your Bartender/Server

Posted: May 29, 2012 By Administrator


How To Properly Tip Your Bartender/Server

(Tipping Etiquette Everyone Must Learn)

Ok so it's 2012 and people still don't know how to properly tip their server or bartender so I figured I would let you all know once in for all how to do so.

For all of you that think tipping 10% of your bill for good service is ok then your sadly mistaken and are obviously living in the past. In reality you should be tipping 18% - 20% (for good service).10% for poor service.  And if you one of those people that don't tip at all, then you need to move to Europe. In the service industry, bartenders/servers/etc rely on their tips to make a living and when you don't tip them, that is a complete insult and hurts their well being.

I live in Las Vegas and most servers here have what's called a tip compliance that is used for tax purposes and works like this. Let's say "John" is a bartender at the MGM Grand. The government sets a tip complaince stating that on average, John will make $10 an hour in tips. Now when John gets his paycheck, the taxes that come out are based not only his hourly wage but on his tip compliance too. So if he makes $7.25 an hour, the government is saying that he makes $17.25 an hour and is taxed on that. Now his paycheck is only for $7.25 an hour times the number of hours he worked. If you do the math, you will notice that John's paychecks are TINY! You might as well just set his hourly wage at $3 an hour. Do you think YOU could live off that? I didn't think so. That tip compliance is just an example too. I know for a fact that certain restaurants at the MGM Grand have a tip compliance set at over $20 an hour. So everytime you "Stiff" your bartender/server, you are not only insulting them but making them struggle as well.

Here's something else you might not know. In a lot of restaurants, the servers have to "tip out" other people. That means that they give a portion of their tips to the barback, the busser, the food runner, etc. Typically the amount of money they tip out is based on their total sales. 2% might go to the food runners, 10% might go to the bussers, and so forth. Now if you as a customer stiffs your server, that server still has to tip out and in reality just lost money because you were too cheap to leave a proper tip.

Are you ready for more? Ok, living in Las Vegas you obviously know there is gambling. I always hear the question "Should I tip when I gamble and win?" The answer...YES!!! Now how much should you tip? Well, typically you should tip 10% of your gambling winnings. Let's say your at the local bar and you are playing video poker. You just hit a Royal Flush for $1000. $100 of that should go to the bartender. Now if your bartender completely sucks, then by no means should you give them $100. Also, if you lost $2000 before winning, no one would expect you to tip them $100. If they are taking care of you though then you should give them the hundred. I mean come on, you just won $1000! Ask any gaming bartender and they will agree. It is insulting to them if you don't tip when you win and your quality of service will probably go down hill.

One of the things I love hearing the most is when people say, "I come here all the time and my service keeps getting worse" or "My bartender always ignores me and takes forever to get my drink." Do you want to know why that is? It's probably because you never tip them or you don't tip them properly. Again, this is 2012. Tipping $1 for your round of beers for you and your friends is NOT a good tip. Especially if it's Happy Hour or there are drink specials going on. If you ordered 5 bud lights for you and your friends, give him $5 (at the least!). The better you take care of them, the better they will take care of you. You might want to "over tip" for the first round. This way you got their attention and you will most likely get MUCH better service in doing so. If you stiff them though or give them dimes and quarters, they are going to ignore you when you need something. Next time you go to a bar, just look around and you can usually tell who gets good service and who doesn't.

Here's my philosophy, If you can't afford to give your bartender/server a proper tip or even pay for your food/drinks, you probably can't afford to go out in the first place. Go to the liquor store and get your alcohol and go home. Don't be that cheap person that servers/bartenders talk about. It happens all the time, trust me.

You need to remember that they are the ones that give you your food, your drinks, take care of you, etc. Do you really think your service will be better the next time you go somewhere if you screwed them the first time? Working in the industry I could always remember who took care of me and who didn't. Even if it was a year later.

I see people in bars all the time ordering hundreds of dollars worth of alchol and drinking for hours and then tipping 2-3 dollars. That is 100% unacceptable! You know who you are too...And so do we...

Well Im going to leave you with that, but just remember, take care of your bartenders/servers, and they will take care of you.

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