Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tipping: What’s the magic number?

While in college at The University of Alabama, students have many options when choosing part-time jobs. When it comes to finding the jobs with the most moneymaking potential, students often look to bars and restaurants, where tips give them an extra incentive.

While working as a waiter, waitress or delivery driver, students can make a minimal salary while making additional tips.

“On average, our drivers probably get about $2 per tip,” said Mark Tidwell, the general manager of Domino’s Pizza on 15th Street. “But, they get minimum wage, and they know they are going to get some decent money when they work because we pay them a percentage per run in order to compensate for gas.”

Tidwell said that even when students use Dining Dollars, they still tip about the same amount of money, and that a decent tip should be around 15 percent.

CNN, however, reported that delivery drivers should be tipped 10 percent of the bill for local deliveries and 15 to 20 percent for more difficult deliveries. They reported that waiters and waitresses should be tipped 15 percent for adequate service, 20 percent for very good service, but no less than 10 percent for poor service. They also reported that bartenders should be tipped between 15 and 20 percent, with a minimum of 50 cents per soft drink and one dollar per alcoholic drink.

“It depends on the meal or the drink, but if my drink or meal was awesome or the service was awesome I normally over-tip,” said Hayley Ware, a senior majoring in elementary education. “Instead of doing 15 percent I will do about 25 percent. But if the service sucks then I will tip lower.

“The way I normally do it at a restaurant is I judge how busy it is and count how many times I have to suck on the bottom of my glass. If it’s a lot then they get a lower tip. I never just don’t leave a tip though. I know that have to make a living and only get paid a very little amount per hour.”

On The Original Tipping Page, the site maps out how much people should tip for various services. In the case of pizza delivery, the site recommends one to two dollars for short distance, two to three dollars for longer distances and five or more dollars for large deliveries.

For waiters and waitresses they recommend 15 to 20 percent of the total bill. However, they specify that if you are part of a large party or are dining at a high-end restaurant it is more appropriate to tip 20 percent or higher depending on the quality of service. For bartenders they recommend 10 to 15 percent.

Specific to the University, students have the opportunity to work on Alabama game day when thousands of fans come to Tuscaloosa for an entire weekend at a time needing places to eat and drink.

“There are definitely pros and cons to working game days,” said Chelsea Briche, a student bartender at Innisfree Irish Pub. “You miss out on the game day experience and time with your friends, but on the other hand you typically make better money compared to other days. People tend to tip 15 percent but I think that some people are not aware of what a good tip is and they don’t always realize that is how bartenders truly make their money. It varies from customer to customer, but as a whole older customers tip better than college students.”

Unfortunately, college students serving college students have to remember that many of their peers are living on tight budgets just like they are.

“I never expect a great tip from college kids unless they are on a date and trying to impress their girlfriend or something,” said Corey Vinson, a waiter at the Bear Trap. “A server that has been in the business long enough will know that you should give everybody the best service you can and aim for a 20 percent tip. But a server can go above and beyond and still only get a 15 percent tip from most college students.

“However when it comes to older couples, you can give them great service and they will take note of it and more likely give you a better tip then a college kid who is going to give you 15 percent no matter how great the service is.”

Students who work in restaurants and bars in Tuscaloosa can typically be known to tip other students in the service industry better the average student.

“There are a lot of people that work in restaurants and bars in Tuscaloosa and know how college students aren’t always the best tippers,” Vinson said. “Those kids give a lot better tips because they understand how it works. They know that tips are basically all the money you make and therefore when they see how hard you are working they will leave you a much better tip.”

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