I'm biased towards this question since I am a server, but I view anything less than 20% as a bummer. I'm a senior in college and can only afford to work weekends (even during the summer with my unpaid internship). Being a server means I have no idea if I'm going to make $30 a day, or $130, so I average it out to about $200 a week to live on. It's not easy, and for the average table (let's call it a $40 bill), the difference between 15% and 20% is $2. And, after maybe 10-15 tables a shift, an extra $2 a table adds up to an extra $20-$30 a shift, meaning I could budget for $300 a week. Not an insignificant.
Being a server is a lot harder than people think. Remembering the demands of 5 different tables all at once can be overwhelming and tough. "Table 1 just sat down so I need two iced tea's, a kids chocolate milk, and they all want waters that they'll never drink. I also need to bring their bread on the tray too because they don't forget about that shit. Table 2 needs two boxes for their food and I need to try and sell desert because an extra $8 on their bill is an extra $1 or $2 for me. Table 3 is fine for now. Table 4 wanted more bread and some extra ranch for their pizza. And, oh shit I still need to put in Table 5's order." And that goes on for five hours. And if the kitchen isn't on their game and the food either comes out slow, or just isn't that good that night, it's me who loses more money.
I'm venting a bit here. But seriously, guys. It's an extra $1 or $2 from you that really could make a server feel less shitty. Man up.
I was working construction jobs for $12 an hour. Literal backbreaking work and you are making more than I was. I'm not saying your job is easy but their are plenty of jobs that are just as shitty and pay less than yours. I'm thinking 15% on average is nothing to complain about. That said, someone who has a decent job and can afford to tip more, should.
Don't shit on someone else because your lot was worse. This is something the poor do to one another and it is absolutely unforgivable. He should earn more and you should as well. You're underpaid and so is he. Instead of pointing out that you had it harder and claiming he shouldn't complain, you should be a little more supportive of a fellow laborer who is being exploited and paid shit just like you.
1. He wasn't "shitting on someone else".
2. The guy was complaining about getting less than 20%, and he has the balls to tell people who are tipping the customary 15% to "man up". If he's unappreciative of getting 15%, especially since many more people don't tip that much to begin with, he deserves to be bitched out.
1. He was.
2. The guy has the balls to ask for what is fair in order for him to survive. The only counter-argument here is to say that restaurants should be paying their workers more, or in his case (since he is a student), that he shouldn't have to work while going to school in any civilized society that values an education. He doesn't the deserve to be bitched out, you idiot. He isn't some entitled kid. He is a young man trying to get an education and living on $200 a week. The fact many people don't tip 20% is missing the forest for the trees. Context, motherfucker.
The fact he is a college student is irrelevant to my point. Sure it's crappy he has to work while getting an education but that is not a problem for customers, that is a government problem and us tipping 5% more is not going to change anything. I wasn't looking at him complaining as a college student, I was seeing it more as $200 for 16 hours is $12.50 an hour. I don't know where he is from but where I live that is a solid $3 more than minimum wage. Anyone thinking making $12.50 is not a decent wage is a bit entitled.
I feel you are defending him (even though no one is attacking him) so strongly because you feel for him being a working student. What I say to that is, will you ask your next server about their personal hardships so you can decide the amount that you are going to tip? We cannot start tipping or paying people based on their person situations.
You tipping 5% or more makes all the difference when not tipping well means you are taking food out of that person's mouth. Sitting there, arms crossed, waiting for the government to fix the high costs of attending what has become an absolute necessity for better employment (college) does not change that fact. You do not have to consider the specifics of your servers economic situation. Almost all individuals in the service industry require ample tipping in order to make ends meet. I am not sympathizing with him because he is a college student. I am sympathizing with all servers because tipping is part of paying for your meal, since it is a part of proper compensation. Would it be great if they were paid decent wages? Yes. Sadly, they can't unionize because they can be easily fired and scabs are a dime a dozen. Of course, rather than caring about this and putting pressure on politicians, you simply sit there and say "not my problem" - which is what you've literally stated you do when it comes to the high costs of education. Yes, let's complain about what is required of us in order to support certain individuals in our society while simultaneously being too apathetic to join any efforts to change the situation. Eat a dick.
Don't start tipping people based on their personal situations. Tip well, period. By refusing to tip well, and then justifying it like the shitlord you are, you are absolutely attacking him. The fact he is a college student, by the way, should be very relevant to your point. The fact all servers are in similarly precarious situations should be very relevant to your point. The fact it isn't shows how clueless you are about this entire issue. 15% hasn't been a decent tip for a very long time due to higher costs of living. Your logic is literally "well, other people tip worse than I do, so why is he complaining when my tips are only slightly better!" How dare this pleb ask for a better tip when he needs it!?! Doesn't he know that he should be grateful!?! Goddamn, do you realize that you're the clueless fuck in this equation? Or are you so far gone that you don't even see how you're wrong anymore? The standard is low. You meeting the standard 15% doesn't mean you're doing well. "I did as much as anyone else, why are you mad at me!?" Tipping 15% is a cultural standard, not one that is mindful of changing economic conditions.