A small tip for those going out to eat

Heather Hall

Heather Hall

Everyone has preconceived ideas of how much money to tip a waiter or waitress, but how fair are we being when we tip?

Most of the restaurants in town are almost completely employed by students attending SDSU. This is not surprising, but the amount that those students are earning without tips is. That wage is only about $2.50 an hour, said Melanie Johnson, a waitress at Perkins and sophomore graphic design major.

“Most people [servers] expect a dollar per person per hour,” she said.

People usually come to a sit-down restaurant to be waited on and served, but sometimes people have high expectations.

“People don’t really realize, you’re not the only table they’re waiting on,” Johnson said.

She can have up to six or seven tables in her section, which makes her job hectic.

Kyle Nelson, who also used to be a waiter and is now a cook at Perkins, agreed. On a slow night, he did not have control over how many tables he was assigned.

“You still have to work, and you only get two or three tables per hour,” Nelson said.

Now that he has had the experience of being a waiter, it affects how he deals with tipping as a customer.

“As a customer, if I was treated poorly and not served well, I will only give 10 percent,” he said.

The normal standard is usually 15 percent, but most people do not go by that.

“If you’re not willing to pay for the customer service, go someplace where there isn’t any,” Johnson said.

Nelson also believes it has something to do with sex. He has noticed that he gets more tips when he is waiting on girls. “I think it has a lot to do with sex. If I have a guy waiter, I’m usually more skeptical and don’t tip as well,” Nelson said.

As a waiter or waitress, the focus is on being friendly and relating to customers. Perkins provides training for up to five days where the trainee will shadow a waiter or waitress.

“Waitressing can be a really profitable job, but then it can also be a waste of time,” Johnson said.

The unpredictability makes this a job that might not be preferable to everyone, but it does not change the environment these students are working in.

“It’s a good place to work, a good atmosphere. It’s fun,” Johnson said.