That’s what I read recently. I hope Asian Americans aren’t lousy tippers, too. I am the opposite, actually. When I dine in any restaurants in Asia, I tend to tip, but my relatives would usually react and say, “No need to,” taking the money off the table and shoving it into my purse or pocket. I looked around, nobody tipped. I was the only one.
Some restaurants in Asia add 10 to 15 percent gratuity. Many don’t. Some people assume that every restaurant does it automatically anyway.
Some say you don’t need to tip a lot because waiting is a job that doesn’t require much skill. But I was a waitress in my college days, and I remember that the wait staff isn’t even paid minimum wage. Bosses feel that tips make up a lot of their wages.
Also, the amount of wealth one has doesn’t predict the amount someone tips. One waitress complained that a prominent banker tipped in nickels and dimes.
I am a pretty good tipper even though I am not rich. I view it as a nice habit. Share what you have to those who need it.
When I was a waitress for two summers in Seattle and Portland, I worked in both Chinese and American restaurants. I liked the job because I met some very nice people and made pretty good money. Working split shifts, lunch and dinner, and going home in between those hours was my way of maximizing my earning power, so my boss didn’t have to be overstaffed during off hours.
One boss liked me so much that he grilled me a piece of steak after work once in a while. But his temper flared whenever business was slow. One night, he yelled at all employees to check out (get out) at 7 p.m., except for me and another waitress. As soon as everyone left, people started streaming in by the boatload (literally), because this restaurant was on a lake. They filled up the 100 seats in half an hour. Holy cow! The two of us looked at each other with disbelief.
“Team,” we said to one another. “We’ll split the tips.”
We ran up and down the restaurant, serving the customers, playing the role of cashier and host. We were happy, not just because of the amount of tips, but every customer left with a smile. Waitresses are able to work under pressure.
You’d be surprised how many successful people in America have worked in restaurants. Nobody looks down on you just because you’ve waited tables before. Nobody asked me if I knew how to wait tables when I applied. If you can prove yourself on the job, you don’t need experience. That’s the beauty of being a wait person — you can always find work. I never received much training. ♦