Monday, March 4, 2013

Letter to Will Tucker (the editor)

If your waitress at a restaurant messes up your order, you usually still tip them. It may be a small amount, say 10%, but it’s something. Now think about any given weekend in Tuscaloosa, especially during football season. Every bar is packed and bartenders are frantically trying to serve everyone their correct drink order. Are they tipped by every customer? Not even close. The average pay for a bartender is $2.13 per hour, the same as a waitress. Sure, on a weekend when bars are packed, there may be enough tipping customers to help raise the salary. Think about the five days during the week when the bars aren’t packed, though. Why is it that we are so apt to tip our waiter, but not our bartender? Do we value food more than alcohol? I think most people would say no. Does a waiter work harder than a bartender? In a college town on a Saturday night, probably not. We grow up going to restaurants with our parents, who teach us the importance of tipping.  But think about the first time you went to a bar. Were you with your parents? More than likely, you weren’t. Most college kids have their first bar experience when they are underage. They wash off their “X” and try to subtly order a drink. The last thing on their mind is tipping the bartender. That being said, next time you order a drink, take the time to think about the person on the other side of the bar. 

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