Tips in the Middle East

Submitted By Maggie

I started working at an authentic middle eastern restaurant about a month ago. The owner said that because many of the customers are students who recently came to the US they aren’t accustomed to tipping, so for all foreign tables we charge a “surcharge” of 18%, which servers receive half of, if the table doesn’t tip at all. However, if it’s an American table or a family from another country, we do not charge a surcharge, since they will most likely tip. If we forget, or choose not to charge a customer, and they still do not tip, we get nothing. If after all our tips are added up we did not make at least $50 for our shift (which is typically 6-8 hours), he pays us the difference. We also make $4 hourly wage, and don’t have any tip out’s or taxes being taken out.

I have worked in a lot of bars and restaurants, and have never encountered this, but all of my previous jobs were at American places. Is this common in a middle eastern restaurant? I feel like because we don’t charge a surcharge to all customers, or to just large parties, this is profiling, and I feel bad when people leave me a good tip after I basically charged them gratuity based on their race. On the other hand, I know if I don’t charge a surcharge, I will make significantly less money every day. I also don’t like that sometimes, the surcharge (which I only receive half of) is more than a small tip a customer will leave, which would have made it a better tip if they hadn’t left me anything. In this case the restaurant just keeps the surcharge.

What are your thoughts on these tip policies?

Idiot Of The Day


I guess I just happened to get my car and mortgage loan by “chance” since you assume I don’t claim my tips or pay any taxes, oh wise one.

Perhaps you continually get bad service because you are a shitty person with a shitty attitude. 🙂

Idiot Of The Day – “Nobody Tips Me For Doing My Job”


Ryan: Why is it that you people think you are OWED anything beyond what my bill says I’m obligated to pay? Maybe it’s time to quit acting all sanctimonious towards people who come on here and tell you to get a real job, and just go get a real job?!?!?! If you all hate your customers so much, that you would dedicate this much of your time to go online and create a page, then trash us for not giving you more money for doing your jobs, maybe you could redirect all that energy towards getting a job that doesn’t pay 3.00 per hour! Nobody tips me for doing my job! I do it BECAUSE it’s my job that I CHOSE! Think about it.

Idiot Of The Day


Best Response:

Ronald: I find your sence of self worth disturbing. So what you’re saying is our elderly on fixed income and our war vets should just stay home and rot instead of getting out of the house once and awhile to eat and socialize is wrong just cause you don’t get a tip. I’m a cook and tips are half my pay, you should really grow the fuck up tips are earned through good service and good food not you’re over inflated sence of self worth.