If you’re in the food business in Arizona earning a servers wage of $5.05 per hour, you know how critical earning tips during your shift is when it comes to paying your bills.
Tips become even more important during the long hot months of the Arizona Summers.
Scheduling staff over the course of the high and low seasons of Arizona is a managers migraine in the making. Not enough people during a busy Wednesday evening in October and guests will be waiting for everything from a seat to their dessert order. Too many on a Friday evening in July and your staff will be growing cobwebs and anxious about their slim paychecks.
Snowbirds from around the world flock to the Valley of the Sun beginning in October and stay until late April. They fill the empty spaces everywhere; from roads to grocery stores, shopping malls and restaurants. They come here for the weather and for the low-cost of living – to them. To many who live here full-time and work in the industries that support “the season and the people of the season,” the cost of living is a struggle because the earning season ends when the snowbirds fly home.
What About Switching to a Non-Tip Pay Rate?
Personally, I feel the tip-as-part-of-pay fits the job of the food server. People who serve food work their butts off and deal with some pretty bizarre human behavior over the course of their shifts and careers. Receiving a good tip makes having to clean up the rice mess of an out of control 3 year-old worth it.
There are others who feel differently. They would change the server wage to the state minimum wage. To those people I say go spend a week serving food. I think you’ll change your mind.
Pay Attention at Happy Hour!
Happy hour is GREAT. For diners. Not so much for servers when diners don’t do the math correctly.
Calculate your tip based on the NON-Happy Hour prices of the food you ate! You saved money on the meal. Don’t stiff your server!
And to anyone and everyone who dines out at places where people with pens and pads of paper write down what you want to eat and bring it out to you and clear away your dishes without you having to do anything, please remember to tip your server.
An easy, and generous tipping equation in Arizona is to round-up the tax and double it. And never leave less than $2 per person no matter how inexpensive the meal.
Things Not To Leave As Tips
Do not leave your server gift cards as a tip. Do not leave your server everything from the change pocket of your wallet. If you sit down to eat and realize you only have so many dollars in your pocket, think of your server when ordering your meal. They usually only have a few dollars in their pockets too. And while those dollars in your pocket are being splurged on a meal out, the tip you give to your server is going towards necessities, like paying their rent, groceries and gas.
Leaving an appropriate tip shows the diner has not only class, but an understanding of how the economy and life works. Those are the good people.
To the ones who think it’s okay – or worse, funny – to stiff a waiter or waitress a tip, I can only say this; what comes around goes around. And while it may not be you who is stiffed, how would you feel if it was your child or parent who was?
Tip well, or stay home.
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