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Students debate tipping customs

On November 15, 2012

Some people think having to leave a gratuity after paying the price of a meal should not be necessary and that it is just a way for restaurants to make more money and cut the cost of paying employees.

“I think it’s kind of silly because places that you tip at are already more expensive than fast food places, so I think it should be the employer’s job to give them a wage,” said Sean Collins, a freshman majoring in biology. “It just makes it so the employer can charge more because he doesn’t have to pay his employees as much money, so he is making more. It’s just a way for the employer to get extra money.”

Collins said the financial circumstances of college students makes eating out a bigger sacrifice than it would be otherwise.

“It’s a bigger sacrifice,” he said. “It makes people less likely to eat because it raises the price of eating out. I know waiters don’t get paid as much though, and that is why I always tip.”

Despite his distaste for tipping, Collins said servers should have to earn it.

“I know they need money, so I will tip unless they do a bad job,” he said. “It’s just annoying I think. I don’t think it should be given though — I think the waitress or waiter should have to earn it.”

Tucker Cottrell, a freshman majoring in pre-physical therapy and nutrition, has worked in the restaurant industry for a year and a half and said his employment has caused him to be more aware of what a server is doing, allowing him to gauge how much to tip.

“No matter how bad your service is, you very rarely should ever stiff somebody,” he said. “If you got stiffed every single table, you would actually owe the restaurant money.”

Cottrell said receiving no gratuity when he has done his job can be very frustrating.

“I’ve gotten stiffed a few times, and there is nothing more frustrating when you feel like you’ve done your job, and come to find out there’s a big fat zero or a line through the tip column,” he said. “You’re just like, ‘Oh man, I’m never doing that to somebody.’ That’s so rude.”123

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