Selma restaurants discuss tippingPublished 8:30pm Saturday, July 30, 2011
By Robert Hudson
The Selma Times-Journal
You’ve finished your meal, paid your bill and only one task remains before you depart from the restaurant; leaving a tip.
But how much should you leave?
According to TripAdvisor.com, it’s customary to tip in the U.S. because waiters, waitresses and bartenders are usually paid below minimum wage and are expected to make up the difference through tips.
The site also says it is generally standard to tip 15 percent of the bill based on the quality of service.
It’s a standard followed by many businesses in the local area.
“Normal tipping is 15 percent for lunch and 20 percent for dinner,” said Dianne Smitherman, owner of the Restaurant on Grumbles Alley.
Most restaurants also have rules on gratuity; when the tip is automatically added to the bill.
“Our policy is to put a 15 percent gratuity on parties of six or more, which can be taken off if a customer complains or the service is not up to standards,” said Nick Stevens, owner/manager of Golden Ranch Bar-B-Q.
Smitherman said her restaurant also adds gratuity to the bill at the waitress’s discretion.
Not all establishments that use service look for the customer to tip, with some businesses not able to accept tips at all.
“It’s actually against company policy to accept tips,” said Glynn Stewart, general manager of Goo-Goo 3 Minute Express Wash.
“It’s grounds for dismissal and I think it’s a good idea. Sometimes I think tips get out of line.”
Goo-Goo 3 Minute Express Wash has employees who provide service by washing the cars of customers, but it is unlike a restaurant due to the fact that its employees make more than the minimum wage, thus there is no need for them to be tipped.
While Stevens said waitresses at Golden Ranch usually receive around 15 percent depending on the quality of service, Smitherman said the tips her waitresses receive not only varies depending on quality of service, but also the generation of the customer.
“The older generations tend to tip a little less because that’s just the way they were brought up, but that’s okay,” Smitherman said. “The younger people don’t tip very well.”
Smitherman said she wishes people would realize just how hard a waitress has to work.
“The waitresses work very, very hard and I don’t think people realize how hard they work,” Smitherman said.
“If they’re nice to the customers and they treat them very well, it is nice to tip.”