Dear Customer 12/19/14

You’re the douchebag guest who obviously came to the restaurant looking for two things: a great meal, and to get schooled on how to properly reward your service professionals.

After finishing your meal, you attempted to impress the underwear off of your female server with one of your business cards claiming you were senior vice-president of whatever and that she should “call him”.  You spoke so loudly about how awesome you were that her whole section could hear you. Hey, congrats! You’ve had some success in this life and you feel it doesn’t hurt your chances with the ladies.  Cool.

Trouble is, after all of your braggadocio, you decided that the combo platter of your business card AND a 4% tip on a $125 check qualified as enough to thank her for her service.  Sure, you mentioned at the start of the meal that you were on a budget.  I guess the steaks and martinis you ordered were within your budget, but an acceptable gratuity was not.  I’m sure you can figure out what 4% on $125 is, because you’re really smart.

Five dollars.

So let’s add up the hour and a half she spent taking care of your table:

$5 tip + ( $9/hour minimum wage in CA x 1.5 hours ) = $18.50.

Now subtract out what she will tip out to the bar staff (1% of sales), the busboys (1.5%) and the food runners (1%) = 3.5%. 3.5% x $125 meal check = $4.40.

Subtract that amount from the $18.50 and you get $14.10.  But wait! Income taxes for her will take out 15% of that ($2.10) so this leaves $12.00.  Twelve dollars.

(Good thing she doesn’t live in a tip credit state like Texas where servers get paid $2.15 per hour. Using my calculations above:  

$5 tip + ( $2.15 tip credit minimum wage in TX x 1.5 hours ) = $8.23.  

Tip out of 3.5% to the bar, bussers and food runners, based on $125 check still amounts to $4.40.  $8.23 – $4.40 = $3.83.

Take out 15% taxes and you’re left with $3.26.  For an hour and a half of hard work.  Ouch.)

THEN, in pure creeper fashion, you went home and found your server (who has a very uncommon first name) on a social media site and proceeded to ask her out!

Points for boldness: 100

Points for jackassery: -1000

I’m not sure how it works in your circle; perhaps the “party favors” you date on a regular basis appreciate your fumbling attempts at trying to be The Man.  But your server is a college-educated woman working two jobs ( one of them a non-restaurant, white-collar position ) to pay off school loans.  She is literate, funny and sophisticated.  She won’t be doing this forever, but she needs her server job to make her life work right now.  Most importantly, however, she has no time for someone playing at being a baller but can’t back it up.

I hope you enjoyed her scathing reply back to you on that site, to which you backpedaled saying that “you thought you left more” and that you would come back to the restaurant and make it up to her. No dude, she doesn’t want to see you after you stalked her online. She doesn’t want your charity. What she wants is for you to understand how you made her feel after she took amazing care of you.  She’s not for sale, and to us, she’s worth more than you are.

Coming soon to This Restaurant Life:  The Death of Tipping in America