The Extra Tip

Everyone should tip 20% at a restaurant


Claire Powell, Editor-in-Chief

At 15, I got a call from a friend. He told me that his work, a chain restaurant, was in need of a host. He recommended me to his manager and said that same day, I was interviewed and hired. 

Now, before I ever worked in the restaurant business, I always tipped 20%. I knew that the employees worked hard; however, I didn’t know how stressful working at a restaurant was.

Like many employees at restaurants, I was a high school student and participating in several extracurriculars. My weekdays consisted of eight hours of school, staying after school clubs, then going home to do homework. Then on weekends, what was once my only free-time was now me working.

I worked only two to three shifts a week, but it still took up a lot of time and energy from me. Every Friday and Saturday night I would be at the restaurant for hours––keeping track of tables, running from the kitchen to the host stand, listen to customers yell at me for the waiting time, getting quickly groped or hit on by drunk men, and blowing up balloons after balloons.

I would sometimes go to my car after a shift and cry while belting Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield.

And I’m not the only one to go through this while working at a restaurant. Almost every employee has gone through similar experiences.

Because of this, I believe everyone should tip 20%.

Listen, tipping 20% is one of the greatest blessings to servers. 

According to a 2018 article from CNBC, “the median rent in the United State rose 2.8 percent…to $1,445”. When was the last time the minimum wage was increased? 2009.

On the authority of the U.S. Department of Labour, the national minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but in the state of Kansas, if the server makes over $20 in tips, the minimum wage can be changed to $2.13 per hour. Workers literally depend on making a living from tips.

Another component most customers don’t think of when tipping is that the money doesn’t just go to the server––it’s divided between the wait staff, kitchen staff, bussers, bartenders, even managers. So that $20 tip with $2.13 per hour isn’t truly $20. 

Lastly, your server and other restaurant staff members work hard and deserve gratitude. They are working long hours and don’t want to be on an hour-long wait just as much as you do. They want to get home and watch Netflix’s The Crown just as much as you do. They want to go home, shower and sleep after a hard day of work.

So please, tip the employees at least 20%. You never know how much of a godsend it could truly be.