A few days ago, I was speaking to a Christian woman about our Party of One Fellowship and how we wanted to be a good witness, not only to our members, but in our communities. She had spent some time waitressing, and her strong words caught me off guard: “We hated to see Christians come in. They were such awful tippers.”
She actually used the word “hated.” It made me wonder what kind of an impression the restaurant servers had of us. Since it’s been a while since I worked in this industry, I did some research on the role tipping plays today.
A few facts:
- As of 2012, the New Hampshire minimum wage for tipped employees is $3.27 per hour as opposed to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all other positions. The wage for tipped employees is even lower in other states including Massachusetts.
- An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $3.27 per hour in direct wages if that amount combined with the tips received at least equals the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
- You may not like it, but tipping is an accepted part of our culture—especially in our region of the country. Restaurant servers depend on tips to make their living because at the end of the week the amount of their paycheck is zero. Yes, zero.
- Unwittingly, people from certain parts of the globe tip lower amounts because servers in their part of the world receive a higher minimum wage. However, those in our region do not.
How to tip:
- An acceptable tip for good service is 15% of the total amount of the check. For service that goes beyond (like for large parties, special requests, or asking for separate checks), 18 to 20% is recommended.
- Here’s an easy way to figure your tip. Let’s say the total amount of your check is $15.00. Ten percent is $1.50. Twenty percent would be $3.00. Or, since the meal tax is 9% is NH, just double the tax to figure an 18% tip.
How would Jesus tip?
- I think He’d round up the check, have mercy on the server, and be generous.
- Does being a good steward of our money mean being stingy? Let’s look at Proverbs 11:24, 25: “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
- “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”~ Lk 6:38
- But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. ~ 2Co 8:7
Our witness above all!
- But what if the server didn’t do a good job? How do you think your witness would impact your server and honor Christ if you left the server a good tip anyway and told him or her you’d be praying for them?
- “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” ~ Jas 2:12-13
- Let our boast be this: “Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.” ~ 2Co 1:12
Let’s try tipping the scales in Jesus’ favor the next time we’re out. No matter how many Party of One-ers show up, let’s make sure to save a seat for Jesus. And remember, He would never exclude a server in His ministry. In fact, the server may be the very reason we are there.