Most of us have been there, at a restaurant and the service is poor.  I'm not talking about the food, just the actual experience you have with the server.

Let me start by saying that I have worked in restaurants, and especially now I understand many are understaffed and people are overworked with various workforce issues.  I know what a bad day serving tables can be like, and I also know how bad some customers can be.  So for me personally, I give a lot of leeway to servers, and am generally a pretty good tipper.

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I can only think of maybe three times in my life that I didn't leave a tip, and every time I told the manager exactly why I didn't, and also how bad I felt about it and the whole situation.  Reasons for not tipping, or only giving a few percent, for me is when the server clearly isn't busy.  If it's a Tuesday night and they have maybe three tables and don't check back on us, don't provide drink or water refills, or when I have to go to the bar more than once to get another cocktail.

When we go out, it's with the intention of spending money in an establishment for the experience, to not have to prepare food ourselves, and to have a good time.  Part of spending money on that experience is tipping well, especially when the service is beyond average.  For us, if the service is subpar, we could have just stayed home, as my wife is a better at cooking than most restaurants anyway, it's just nice to have a night off from the cleanup and preparation of the meal once in a while.

That all being said, I have current restaurant worker friends who will claim if you don't tip anything even if the service is poor, you're a bad person.  In the last several years, many restaurants have instituted "No Tipping" policies, and instead tack on a universal service charge.  I'm fine with that, as long as the service is up to par.  What are your thoughts?  Should you leave a good tip for poor service when dining out, or be forced to pay a flat tipping charge added to your bill?

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