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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Local servers vent about thrift of UA students: ‘walking out,’ tipping less than 20 percent”

    English senior Heather Bratsch serves biology junior Phuong Kieu at the Cellar Restaurant and Lounge. Servers around and beyond campus believe students should be more thoughtful when leaving a tip.
    English senior Heather Bratsch serves biology junior Phuong Kieu at the Cellar Restaurant and Lounge. Servers around and beyond campus believe students should be more thoughtful when leaving a tip.

    Tips are an important source of income for many, including UA students.

    Some servers say students can afford to be more generous.

    “”A lot of students don’t know any better,”” said Jon Bush, a political science senior and a server at McMahon’s Prime Steakhouse, 2959 N. Swan Road. “”We hope for 20 percent, but anything less than 15 percent is an insult.””

    Students’ feelings about tipping are mixed. Some said they tip 20 percent because they recognize servers’ situations and others view tipping as an unnecessary nuisance.

    “”If my girlfriend is with me, I tip 20 percent, but if it’s just me, I tip five percent,”” said Eric Freeman, a pre-business freshman. “”What can I say, I’m cheap.””

    Tips on Tips

    • In general, give servers at a sit-down restaurant 15 or 20 percent of a bill amount, pre- or post-tax.
    • If you use a gift certificate or coupon to reduce the price of a bill, tip 20 percent of the bill amount before the discount.
    • Instead of skimping on a tip due to bad service, talk to a manager or other supervisor to make your concerns known.
    • If you plan not to leave a tip, tell the server beforehand.

    Source: tipguide.org

    Restaurants in Arizona must pay servers at least $3.75 an hour, $3 less than the state minimum wage, according to the Arizona Minimum Wage Act. Many states, including California, require restaurants to pay servers minimum wage.

    “”I wouldn’t want to be a server here,”” said Kelsey Walton, a psychology sophomore. “”If they pay them more in other states, why don’t they do it here?””

    Students said their favorite restaurants are Gentle Ben’s Brewing Co., Old Chicago, Magpies Gourmet Pizza and Sam Hughes Championship Dining. These eateries, within blocks of campus, are places where some students get food and entertainment, and others make their livings.

    Servers said their biggest irritation is when people walk out on their check. Some restaurants make servers personally responsible for the money lost after walk-outs.

    “”Walking out on checks is the worst thing you can do to a server,”” said Jenna Riley, a psychology senior and server at Old Chicago.

    Many times, when a server receives a tip, he or she is not the only one to benefit financially. In many restaurants, bussers and bartenders receive portions of the total money left.

    “”If I don’t get tipped, I actually lose money,”” Bush said.

    Students said they weigh the entire restaurant experience before tipping.

    “”If the food is good, I’ll tip more,”” said Chet Farnsworth, a business management senior.

    Many aspects of the experience are out of their control, servers said. They added that they get blamed for mistakes made by cooks and management.

    Some servers said they are the focus of negativity for people who have bad days. If a person is in a bad mood, their tips suffer.

    “”People think we’re expendable,”” said Breton Homewood, an aerospace engineering junior and a server at Magpies. “”There’s negativity from all sides and we have to deal with it. That’s why we deserve tips.””

    “”People need to understand that tips are our livelihood,”” Bush said. “”A lot of college kids tip well and we appreciate all of them, but some need to improve how they tip.””

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