Time to Tip

Jan 20, 2023 | Christian Living | 4 comments

  Time to Tip

     My deceased Aunt Betty made her living waiting tables. With six boys to raise additional government help was needed as waitresses often live on meager means. Other food servers, like Aunt Betty, are dependent on tips due to the fact their gratuities tip them to minimum wage and hopefully beyond.

     Tipping is a custom carried from Europe to the United States in the late Middle Ages. The master-slave relationship compelled people to tip as observed by wealthy Americans while on holiday. This tipping at diners and restaurants was meant to flaunt the aristocratic lifestyle, thus it was perceived as condescending and un-American.  Anti-tipping protest put an end to the movement in Europe for a time.

     The protest never gained traction in America. The 13th Amendment, after the Civil War, insured continued tipping. Despite the abolishment of slavery many companies denied wages to black people who were forced to rely on tips.

      Tipping grew in popularity as did the negative attitudes toward the practice. Six Southern States deemed tipping illegal between 1910 and 1920. By 1926 these laws were deemed unconstitutional.

     In 1938, tipping became part of the New Deal, to make up the required federal minimum wage for tipped workers. Seven states in the U.S. now require all workers to be paid minimum wage before tips.

     Waiters and waitresses work hard. Long hours on ones feet serving the public can be a difficult job as is food preparation, busing tables, and washing dishes. I know because I was trained by my Aunt Betty to wait tables for my first job at age sixteen.

     Being on the other side of the table as the server has forever instilled my need to value waiters and waitresses. I tip well and treat people who serve me with the dignity and respect they deserve. A smile, a kind word, and a generous tip display Christian character. This isn’t unreasonable service; kindness reflects Christ. 

     January is Be Kind to Food Servers Month. Remember to tip. A food server’s livelihood and emotional well-being might be sustained by your kindness.

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Romans 12:10





  1. Candyce Carden

    This is so interesting. You taught me a lot. We do tip. Sometimes I think my husband overtips, but I leave him along about it. It’s one of the many reasons I love him.

    • Lisa Robbins

      Overtipping is appreciated by your server! It is easy to love a cheerful giver! That could have been another angle and scripture for this devotion!

  2. Katherine Pasour

    As a former server, I also strive to tip well and express my appreciation to those in that occupation. It’s a privilege to be able to go out to eat and I’m grateful for their service. Thank you for bring attention to this need.

    • Lisa Robbins

      I agree Katherine. Glad to hear you’ve served as well! I like brining attention to overlooked needs.


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