It is sad to note that many people do indeed choose to acknowledge or thank their server for their work based on factors other than their actual performance, such as sex, age or looks ("The Case Against Tipping," from the Sept. 12 edition of our newsletter, the Scoop. Subscribe here.)
To make it fair, it would seem that a significant hourly rate should be in place for all instead of a tiny hourly rate they can count on and tips they are hoping and praying for in order to survive. But I wonder if that scenario would raise the level of service? In the end, one has to decide if integrity and pride in one's work is going to be a driving force in their work ethics or if they are just driven by monetary compensation.
It is deplorable that our servers are not receiving what they are due for their very hard work but I also know that the level of service in this industry is very, very broad, and tips are one way they can measure their efforts — not always a fair way, but it is a measure nonetheless.
It is a responsibility for all who go out to dinner or for drinks to be fair-minded and treat others as they would want their employers to treat them at their own review — which for most people is once a year, but for servers is every night at every table.