Bucking the Standard

I’m not one of those annoying people who purposely tries to go against all that is standard to make a statement, but there are certain customs with which I have issues and that I see as unfair. The one I’m focusing on right now: Tipping

I woke up this morning and had a look at my Twitter feed. Toronto Life magazine tweeted that some Toronto restos are upping the standard tip percentage on their credit machines from 15 to 20%, calling it “the Manhattan standard“. You can change the percentage obviously, but when you do, the person that handed you the machine will see and make you feel like a jackass. It’s based on this article if you’re interested: http://www.toronto.com/article/710035–standard-tip-in-toronto-restaurants-now-20-per-cent.


This is how I look at tipping: you chose to take a job where a major hunk of your pay depends on how your customer has perceived you. With that in mind, it would be logical to be friendly, courteous, seemingly happy to be alive, prompt, and apologetic if you’ve made any obvious mistakes. Better service=better tip. If I’m pleased with the service, my standard is already 20%. If you’ve been exceptional, I’ll opt for 30%. But if at the end of my meal I feel like I would’ve had a more pleasant time without you, then I don’t think you deserve ANY tip, because let’s be serious: HOW HARD IS YOUR JOB?

Apparently very hard in Toronto. I’m pretty sure my friends have all given up on going out to eat with me or are annoyed every single time, because I find myself complaining more and more about customer service at restaurants and I happily stiff shitty waiters out of a tip. There are very few places I think uphold this “Manhattan standard” and I can confidently say I’m not demanding. Here is the checklist of what I expect:

  1. Within 10 minutes (give or take) of being seated, I’d like to be greeted and my drink order taken. 
  2. After my food order is taken, I’d like for it to be on my table within max 45 mins.
  3. I would hope that my drink glass isn’t empty for longer than 20 minutes.
  4. Just a checkup during the meal to see if everything’s alright. 
  5. If there are any substantial wait-times, a simple apology and a smile will make me forget.

This is all covered in waitstaff training (I’ve been there). If you don’t understand what it is to be a waiter, then don’t expect me to hand you the wages I actually work for just because other people who are scared of looking cheap do.

At the end of the day, this is difference between 5 or ten bucks so I’ll live. My issue isn’t with the money. It’s that the concept of a tip is to reward someone who doesn’t get paid much for their effort. To expect a minimum reward of me is really demeaning, especially when it’s in front of some dumb bitch who’s probably judging me in her head. I shouldn’t be made to feel cheap because I’m not giving you an undeserved hand-out, the same way I shouldn’t be judged for not giving a homeless guy change (which I’d rather do than tip shitty waiters).

Anyway there’s my beef. I don’t think I have any readers but if anyone out there sees this, feel free to comment.


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