The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Good service, good tip. Bad service, bad tip.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/26/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 816 times Debate No: 41301
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I contend that service-based professions should earn, not expect, gratuity.

1. If a service person is incompetent, inattentive, or rude, he is not entitled to a tip simply by virtue of working in the service industry.

2. Such a person can and ought to be replaced, as there is an abundance of better-qualified individuals seeking such employment. Our economy does not allow for repeat chances.

3. If a service person delivers wonderfully, a patron should recognize and appreciate his efforts in the form of an appropriate tip.

Employees of the service industry will draw attention to the low minimum wages; however, their take-home pay fluctuates according to business and quality of service, among other factors. So while he may average $5/hour one night, he may average $20/hour the next, and generally can break even or exceed, relative to standard hourly positions.

Tipping is an act of appreciation, and one that should be reserved for stellar service.


Thanks to my opponent for the challenge and I hope I can give my opponent a decent debate.

I find the one way to get down to the heart of the issue is to address the following two points when talking about tipping waiters,one of which is a rebuttal to your opening statement about minimum wage.

My first point in these debates is usually to ask the person involved if they have ever been a server/waiter before? I find most people that are for tipping when the service is good and not tipping when the service is bad are usually people that have never worked in the industry. This is important to ask, as it begs the question what standards are you basing the service on? If the kitchen is backed up and the food comes out slow, this is not the waiters fault so why should this person get penalised. Also, if you get seated at a table with no view and you wanted a view, again that is not the waiters fault. Or if your wine was not dry enough, again that is not the waiters fault.

Secondly, I think it is important to realize how much money waiters actually make. The minimum wage for tipped employees is $ 2.13 per hour,so I am not sure where you get the values between $ 5 and $ 20 per hour.(1) Also do not forget that these waiters are also obliged to pay tax, as the government assumes they are earning tip money, so at the end of the month they more often than not never see that $2.13/hour that they are earning. In contrast in Europe most waiters are on a salary and make thus a base salary much much higher than in the US, and that's before tips.(2) While in many Asian countries tipping is frowned upon, and is actually considered an insult sometimes.(3) However,in these countries again the waiters are getting paid a decent salary.

I believe these points show that waiters deserve tips regardless of the service as its a thankless job in some countries.

I can't wait to hear my opponents rebuttals.

Debate Round No. 1


I have worked as a server for three years at an Olive Garden restaurant. My best friend works as a hairdresser where tips are her primary source of income.

And yet I stand by my conviction.

You have raised some good points, and I should be more specific: when I refer to good and bad service, I am generally referring to the demeanor of the employee. I feel that there are too many rude servers working at restaurants and bars and other service industries. I am not a finicky person and I do not complain about long waits, seating preferences, or anything else out of the server's control. But when a server mistreats a guest, makes a guest feel rushed or picky or stupid, or otherwise worsens the guest's experience by virtue of his behavior, I feel that a tip should be reduced.

In Illinois where I live, non-tipped employees have a minimum wage of 4.95. I neglected to consider that wages are set by states. In the restaurant where I worked, I made $7.15 an hour, and this was last year.


I would like to thank my opponent for their response.

I understand your points and I can see why you stand by them, as rude service does not deserve to get a tip. This is what happens indirectly in all other industries for example people buy goods from the shops that have the best and friendliest staff. However, I still say that if minimum wage was higher or that servers were on a salary then we would not have to worry about these situation as people would be happier in there jobs. I think you agree with me, that this is essentially the core problem, as often it is that waiters are not earning enough and they rely on tips. So while I sometimes don't want to tip, I still feel compelled as I know my server is getting paid poorly.

I am glad you worked in the service industry and accept that waiting times and seating etc. are not something the waiter can effect. However, we should also realize that most people that dine out do not have this background as such they may be tipping based on these unavoidable circumstances. Again all of this could be avoided if waiters were on a salary.

Also, if waiters were on a salary. I think employers would be far more concerned with the quality of the service and the problems you talk about would effectively disappear.

I am honestly of the opinion that any job that relies on tipping employees is cheap labor for employers and they abuse these systems. So as patrons of these types of services we should tip just out of a moral obligation, or we should visit establishments that do not use these type of employees.

Over to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 2


I disagree that tipping should be obligatory. Rather than pity an employee for not making the same wages as other hourly positions, I would suggest that a person who finds that the amount they are tipped is insufficient per their standards find another job.

Don't get me wrong. I'm a wonderful tipper for good service. I frequent a restaurant every Monday evening and I tip well over the 20%. Sometimes I double my bill. It's because I am always greeted with pleasant, happy people who are willing to put effort into ensuring I get what I ordered.

A major premise of my argument is that I have observed too many lethargic, lazy, incompetent, slow-moving, and extremely rude servers. I feel that they devalue their jobs, and there are many more personable, pleasant people who could transition in to these jobs- people I'd be glad to tip.

Our economy is competitive. Our employees need to be competitive to do well.

Thank you for your participation in this debate!
Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanks for an interesting debate.

Before I start with my final comments, I am sure you realise that one reason you get great service every Monday is because you tip so well. Waiters like any other employee will work better when treated better, its just a part of our human nature.

I do agree with you however, if you are not happy with the amount of money you make then you should get another job. But, realistically the economy is not in a position for everyone getting the money they want from a job. So I think even if tipping is not obligatory then the businesses need to start paying waiters better. Alternatively, lets get rid of tax payments for waiters, as the tip level is based on a magic government number that is not realistic.

I also agree with you that servers should be treated in the same way as other employees, but the fact is a lot of people would not work for these businesses at the low wages they are offered. Like I pointed out in my opening statement many other countries have system that work and systems that offer good service like Japan. These waiters are getting paid decent money to do their job well and don't get tips.

I think the system is broken and needs to get fixed, but until then I will tip even if the service is bad. The difference is I wont go back to the establishment after a bad experience as they don't deserve my money.

Have a great thanksgiving.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Likethetree 3 years ago
Food servers get paid quite a bit less than everybody else. For example, in New York, minimum wage for a waitress/waiter is only $2.25. Might be interesting for the Con to look into.
Posted by philochristos 3 years ago
I believe in defensive tipping. That is, I don't tip waiters as a way to reward them. I tip them as a way to keep them from spitting on my food.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TheGhostOfFreedom 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Very good debate but it didn't change my mind. Pro should have found some sources, anything. Con didn't have a very convincing argument. Gratuities range for a reason. Most checks print out a calculated 15% 18% 20% for a reason. It is motivation for good service. Bit this debate was pretty tied.