My main issue is the 20% amount. If I go to a fancy restaurant and pay over $100 for the meal then I think $20 is too much money to give to the server. They give me a menu, I give them my order, they bring my drink and food, they take away my plates, they give me my bill and make change. That service is worth about five bucks per table of two maximum. It is not rocket science. If I have the poor sucker running back and forth to the kitchen, for wine, etc., etc., then I understand throwing a few more bucks their way, but generally the service is not worth $20.
The price at the restaurant for the food should include the overhead at the restaurant and that includes the salaries of their chefs, cooks, cleaners, sweepers, and serving staff. I am more appreciative of the chef who makes my meal delicious than the server who just walked from the kitchen to my table with the plate!
The thing is Heeven, in a classy restaurant where you'd be spending $100 for 2 meals, the waiter does a lot more than just bring your food out and take your plates away.
Sure, at a cheap place Maybe they could get away with that, because all you expect is for the waiter to write down "burger and fries" and then shove a plate in front of you with said items on it 10 minutes later.
At a really nice place, they are much more attentive and anticipate your needs.
They know all the specials and how they are prepared, and make sure that any particulars about a meal are carried out.
If somethings not right, they make it right, even if you weren't aware anything was wrong in the first place.
Behind the scenes, they are definately not just picking up a plate of food and carrying it out to you.
They can be doing quite a bit of the prep for certain dishes you order. They can have miscellaneous clean up tasks and other duties that must be attended to.
I've been in restaurant kitchens, and I don't think you really want to be going into one to get your own meal.
What do you imagine? That you would be able to just walk in and line up with a bunch of other diners waiting for the chef to hand you your food?
The chef wants you to have a good meal, but he doesn't want to deal with you.
Can you imagine the goings on?
The chef, busy as a one arm paper hanger, pushes your food to your pickup area, you look at it and decide your steak isn't well done enough, The wrong vegetable was served, etc.
What are you going to do? Get in another line for exchanges? Say "yoo hoo, chef? Could you please stop what your doing and take back my plate to make corrections. That's ok, I'll just stand right here and watch you."
No one wants you in the kitchen Heeven, especially a tempermental chef, and you don't really want to go in there either.
I think one of the most important things a good waiter does is what I said above. They make things right before you even know something was wrong.
That, I think, could be said of anyone's job.
You're a librarrian, plumber, nanny, seamtress, accountant?
All you do is shelve books, fix the toilet, take care of kids, sew pieces of cloth together, add up numbers....It's not rocket science.
The thing a good waiter does is make it look easy. They don't just turn on the charm when the bill comes, they have been friendly and helpful from the time you sit down until the time you leave.
Not everyone can be even a bad waiter, let alone a good one.
Seriously, if you are hell bent on not paying much of a tip, or none at all, you really need to just go to buffets or cafeterias when you do basically get your own food.
There is one group of people I way overtip, on purpose. That would be hotel maids.