Forgive me for venting, but it makes me really mad.
I heard it again recently – this time from my son. He waits tables at a national chain restaurant near our home (think soup, salad, breadsticks and pasta) and he confirmed what I had heard before. Servers do not want to work Sunday mornings because “the church crowd” doesn’t tip well.
That fries my bacon!
The servers at your local restaurant make about 2/3 of minimum wage – or even less. They only get paid a decent wage if you tip. And if you don’t tip them, they probably don’t feel too warm and fuzzy about you later. And if they know you are a Christian, they probably don’t feel too warm and fuzzy about your God.
A fifteen percent tip is standard. If you got good service, you should go 20% or more! That is part of going out to eat. If you don’t want to tip – stay home!
It makes me furious when I hear that Christians have a reputation for being stingy when the time comes to leave a tip. I cannot imagine why that is. Those who have been given life through the grace of Jesus Christ, who have the promise of the presence and provision of Christ and have access to all the blessings of heaven turn into clones of Ebenezer Scrooge when the bill comes at the restaurant?
So, here are Miller’s Rules for Tipping. Yes, they are rules. Because I said so! And if you can’t abide by them, then eat at McDonald’s where tips are not expected. Do not bring reproach to Christ and to his church by ignoring the rules!
1) If you bow your head in prayer at the beginning of the meal, tip generously at the end of it!
Most of those who serve your table are not Christians. Your testimony is more important than anything else. If you aren’t going to leave a tip, then please do not shame the Savior’s name by bowing your head to pray. If you are going to tip like a stingy jerk, don’t put the blame on the Savior for your greed and stinginess.
2) If you get bad service, tip by grace!
My dad said this to me years ago. It makes sense if you believe in grace and if ministry is your goal and not just your own comfort. If your waiter is giving you bad service, he is probably having a bad day. Why not be a blessing instead of piling on to his (or her) pain. Maybe your grace can lift their spirits and turn their day around. If the service is bad, don’t go back to the restaurant or request another server next time. But leave a tip, regardless of how bad the service is. Your testimony is more important than your anger over your bad service.
3) Be a pleasant and enjoyable customer.
Evidently, the “church crowd” not only has a reputation for being cheap, but also tends to complain a lot and be demanding and difficult. Inexcusable.
4) Remember that you are not there just to eat, but to represent Christ.
Do I need to elaborate on this one? You belong to Jesus and it matters more that you bless the restaurant than that the restaurant bless you.
5) DON’T LEAVE TRACTS to the wait staff.
They generally do little good. And they can often do great harm.
The worst tract ever was one I heard of that looked like money, but inside it said, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give to you,” along with a gospel message.
You may realize that the gospel if of greater value than a monetary tip, but your server doesn’t. They think you are a cheap jerk and are not likely to read the tract. A gospel tract probably does more damage than good.
If you are determined to leave a tract, you better pay for that right with a tip so large the server wants to read whatever you left!
I think it is an offense to the gospel and to our Savior that Christian people have the reputation of being lousy tippers.
Let’s clean up our act and change the perception.
Consider this a tip!