Here’s a fact you may not know: The origin of the word “Tip” (as in that bit of money you give a server at a restaurant) is actually an acronym for “To Insure Promptness.” Therefore, the original idea behind giving a tip was to thank the waiter for a job well done. Today, it has almost become expected that a waiter receive a tip. In some countries, namely France, if a waiter does not receive a tip, the customer is not welcome back at the restaurant.
In the U.S.A. however, a 10-15% gratuity of the entire bill is a good rule of thumb for a tip. This amount of money will definitely “insure promptness.”
It is an unfortunate fact that too many servers in America are becoming French… If they don’t receive a tip from every customer, they don’t welcome them again with open arms. This can cause a less-than-pleasant demeanor for the waiter, resulting in poor service to other customers.
Waiters: Please do not go into every order expecting to receive a tip. Provide your very best service to every customer. Be in the job for the enjoyment of it, not for the money.
Customers: Waiters rely on your tips. The minimum wage for them is less than the minimum wage for others because they receive tips. It is my humble opinion that customers should always give tips, regardless of the service received. That doesn’t mean that service does not play a role. If the waiter gives you excellent service, give a higher tip to show your appreciation. If the waiter gives you poor service, give a low tip. But don’t withhold a tip from a server because of bad service. They need that money.