Reader: I worked in the service industry, but eventually had to grow up

Categories: Cafe Society

Last week, Josiah Hesse and Amber Taufen faced off in a point/counterpoint on tipping, and readers have continued the debate.

Here's the view from Philo99:

Nothing makes me laugh more than people who say "because you never worked in the service industry" Ha, yes I did work in the service industry, it was the easiest and most fun I've ever had working, but eventually I had to grow up and get a real job, where I have to show up every day and finish the day sober.

I'll tip 10% if the service is great. I would tip more if I felt my tip was going to the right people. A waiter or waitress has never made a great meal for me, that is done by the chefs and line cooks in the back. A server does nothing to make my meal better but plenty of incompetent ones have made my meal worse.

If you want to tip 20% for a great meal take a walk into the kitchen and tip the people responsible.

Do you tip? When, why...and how much? Post your thoughts below, or join the tipping conversation already under way here.

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You're a total self righteous dick.   Fuck Off.


As a professional in the restaurant industry, I find this comment heading extremely offensive. Philo99 is obviously one of those servers that only deserved the 10% tip since he/she could barely show up to work and was rarely sober by the end of their shift. Having been a line cook in the back of the house, I do appreciate the recognition that our hard work often goes thankless in terms of financial gratitude. However, most chefs and cooks choose this profession because they have a passion to create and are fully aware that tips don't come with the job.


Fast forward a few years later and I have switched roles to front-of-the-house server and am now working for my Sommelier Certification in wine. I am grown up (well into my 40s) and I do have a "real" job. By the way, it's not just a job but my chosen profession. I'm proud of what I do and I do it exceptionally well. It saddens me to think that the Philo99s of the world--those who "worked in the industry"--are out there making a bad name for those of us that take pride in our career and our wish to "service" others in spite of their belief that we don't deserve to be compensated since we don't cook the food that we serve on their plate. I can't remember the last time I went to eat at a place for the food only and did not expect the ambience and service to match my meal. Oh wait, isn't that why we don't tip at McDonalds?


There has to be a distinction between working in a restaurant to get through college and working as a professional in the service industry. In a society in which most college grads are spit out into the workforce with no real hope of finding a "real" 9-5 job, we have to settle into the restaurant industry because its the only industry that is continually growing.


Worked in the industry. Yeah right. That's like saying you lived overseas because you took a vacation to Cabo. Those of us who are professionals take classes, learn about wine, food and spirits and spend WAY more time than 40 hours a week serving you. We rarely get health benefits, never get sick leave or vacation time and no unemployment. No 401k, no retirement. Yet we choose to stay in the industry because we enjoy it. Some of us even go home to our wives, kids and aren't drunk after a shift. I don't think someone is still date-raping and binge drinking at 40 because they happened to be in a fraternity in college. Get real.


Tip what you want, but don't go around saying you had to "grow up" and get a "real job." You're flat out ignorant of the world we live in. Aren't you a lucky s.o.b. to be so special.

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