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The Philosophical Tip at Pizza Hut

Financial Journey (featured column)
by Karen Kuebler

Our son recently spent a week of vacation with us. During our visit, we had a very interesting discussion about "Tipping" at restaurants. I tried to explain my point of view, but not only were my words falling on deaf ears, they were bouncing off his head and flying back at me.

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We were eating dinner at Pizza Hut because I had a two for one coupon. I left a tip for our server equal to 20% of the original bill, not the reduced amount. I am always a generous tipper if I am pleased with our service. My reasons for doing this come more from my heart than from any practical basis.

Our son proceeded to discuss the philosophy of tipping. His thoughts are probably not uncommon. He would prefer to get the pizza at the window and not have somebody serve it to him. He feels he doesn’t have a choice in the matter. Afterall, we don’t tip the server at McDonald's.

(Editor's Note: Hourly wages at fast food restaurants are 3-4x higher than dine-in restaurant servers. When you eat at your local dine-in restaurant and do not tip properly, which is 15-20%, the servers may not even make minimum wage for their 10-12 hour workday.)

Restaurant Servers Rely on Tips

Most places pay lower wages to servers with the rationale that they will make a good portion of their salary in gratuities. Our son didn’t buy this as a sound reason for tipping, either. The server has the choice to work there or not, knowing what the hourly wages will be. He pointed out that he doesn’t get tipped for the work he does for the city where he is employed. He has contracted to work for a certain hourly rate, and people don’t feel they need to thank him for maintaining the streets they commute daily. He had some valid points. We always thought he should have been a lawyer.

Have you ever noticed that when the reason for doing something comes from your heart, it is more difficult to explain? My reasons for tipping generously are like that. I know the server is making low wages, but that is not my primary reason for wanting to give them something extra.

When someone shares a part of himself or herself to make my experience more enjoyable, I want to thank them for the entire experience. It’s not just about the meal. But my reasons go to an even deeper level. I have always believed there is a universal law of reciprocity. What we give and share with the world comes back to us in some manner. Whatever I do to enrich another person’s life will come back to me in one form or another.

Have an Abundance Mentality

What if it doesn’t come back to me? That is okay too. I am now moving to another personal belief I hold about sharing an abundance mentality with the world, as opposed to a scarcity mentality. If I have been blessed with gifts of a material or nonmaterial nature, and I share these with the world, everybody benefits. It has a snowball effect. Opportunities begin to grow for those I have shared with, and my life reaps rich rewards. I am not only talking about money, but gifts we have been given of every kind.

Those who suffer from a scarcity mentality believe that there are only so many gifts and resources to go around. Once everybody gets their share, the pool of resources is drained and there is nothing left to go around. Unfortunately, people who hold this belief often become resentful of those who enjoy abundance and prosperity.

I am not suggesting that we should all spend with wild abandonment! There have been times in my life where my resources were limited, and it was necessary to exercise good judgment and caution in every choice I made. We are given certain circumstances throughout our life to learn these valuable lessons.

If you are able to let go a little, and not hold so tightly to that which you fear losing, you may just find opportunities opening for you. Feelings of scarcity and lack of abundance are often generated by deeply embedded fears. Sometimes, those fears are no longer a reality in our lives. It is important to let go of fears that are not reality based.

Through the process of learning to make wise choices and using discretion in my spending, I have reached a point in my life where I can share more of my abundance with others. I have experienced time and again that the pool of gifts and resources in this world is unlimited. We live in an abundant world that provides enough opportunities and prosperity for those who are ready to accept it. The key is really believing that and living your life accordingly.

The moral of this story? I’ll let you be the judge of that! I know I will continue to thank those people who make my life experiences richer by sharing whatever I can.

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Read more about Tipping Restaurant Servers

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Copyright © 2002 by Karen Kuebler. All rights reserved.

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