Friday, February 02, 2007


I’m going to step away from the Questions Jesus Asked this post, but we will continue with those in the future. This post comes from a conversation I had with some good friends today – it was about tipping at restaurants.

I understand some of the frustration people have with this subject. Here are some facts regarding tipping:

1. A standard tip used to be 10%, then it was 15%, now its 20%; and
2. The price of food has increased (so it’s 20% of a larger bill); and
3. In many places the food quality is the same (if not worse); and finally
4. The service in many places has decreased.

Sooooo… I understand the frustration…HOWEVER –

Let me attempt to provide a paradigm shift. The hourly rate for waitstaff is barely over $2 an hour. Many of those working these jobs are either young people trying to get started in life or people who need the flexible hours (such as single parents). I don’t know about you, but two bucks an hour won’t take you very far.

What if we looked at those serving us as people – people who are trying to get on track or back on track. People who may be working multiple jobs to support their family. People who are struggling with some real tough life issues. Is this all of them? No, but its many!

So, rather than view the tip as a you-do-a-good-job-and I’ll-reward-you, why not make someone’s day by giving them a generous tip? Maybe the service they provided you wasn’t so great, but just maybe your generosity will inspire them to serve the next table a little better. Maybe they’ll feel a little better about themselves. Maybe it’s just what they needed to keep going.

One last thought for those of you who consider yourselves Christians. Do you know that most waiters and waitresses hate working Sunday afternoons because Christians are notoriously horrible tippers? PLEASE, PLEASE do not leave a tract on the table as a tip!! God is NOT a tip! If you want to leave something for them, do it right next to the big fat tip!

BTW – I am not, nor have I ever been, a waiter (I was a busboy for a while during High School). I’d probably ruin more clothes by dropping stuff on people then I care to even think about. But I really do appreciate those who serve me – and I hope you will, too.

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