By: Madi Tortora
With this election being extremely controversial in many aspects, including the raising or lowering of minimum wage, some people have found a way to bring their political views into the argument about tipping your server.
Republican candidate Donald Trump’s supporters have been outwardly unfriendly to many individuals of many different races and genders. The hate continued when a supporter decided to stiff a server of a tip on a $70 bill, and proceeded to write “miracles come from hard work, not handouts” and ended it with #MakeAmericaGreatAgain and #Trump2016.
Going out to eat is one of America’s most popular pastimes. According to Rasmussen Reports, 58 percent of Americans eat at a restaurant at least once a week. Although going out to eat is a fun and great way to bond with family and friends, the people serving begin to become an afterthought. Supporters of Trump may be some of the worst examples of people who are against tipping, but they are by no means alone.
Walking into a restaurant, the first thought is not always wondering whether or not a tip can be afforded, but more so the food itself. Nowadays, many teenagers and adults alike do not tip accordingly, or they act like tipping is a handout that servers don’t deserve.
“If you cannot afford to tip, do not go out to eat. It’s the most basic, straightforward thing,” said Nick Sullivan, a student at Washtenaw Community College and a server. “I think it’s common sense that you should tip your server.”
It is easy to find articles about why it is best to tip your server. But recently, articles have been popping up arguing the opposite. Links like ‘5 reasons why I won’t tip if you’re a waiter’ and ‘Why you should stop tipping—Reasons not to tip’ are easily found, and their arguments include statements like “waiters act too much like they’re my best friend” and “bringing my food doesn’t deserve any extra money”.
“I was very upset when I first got stiffed on a tip. It has a lot of repercussions,” Sullivan said. “I pay for my own school, so that takes away from me being able to pay that and various bills, so it just makes my entire life outside of work even harder trying to scrape up that money.”
Servers make about $3 an hour, depending on where you live. Some states require one to be paid at least minimum wage, so if tips do not reflect that, money will be given to make up for it. But not all states are this kind, and even if they are, repayment is not always guaranteed to occur. So for those of you who are against raising minimum wage, like Trump supporters, would you rather just tip the appropriate amount, or have the minimum wage be raised to make sure servers make at least enough to be considered stable?
According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 15 percent of the nation’s 2.4 million waiters and waitresses live in poverty, compared with about 7 percent of all workers. They are more likely to need public assistance and less likely to receive paid sick leave or health benefits—and their ranks are increasing.
With that being said, it is extremely important to remember to tip and to think about how not tipping can affect other people. Tipping your server is not a “handout.” It is a supplement to the sub-minimal payment that servers receive in the first place. As servers, there is no decision on what the wage will be. It is determined by the people being served, the people who need to tip to ensure that their servers can pay bills and go to school—and not even Trump supporters can refute that.