Allow me to re-explain myself…
$11,000 is a shit ton of money to make in one night, zero questions about that. Did that server have a good night. Absolutely. Did she/he work themselves to the bone to earn that $11,000 on that one particular table? Probably not.
But as somebody who worked 2/3 jobs for years and waited tables as a part of the grind, let me paint a broader picture.
I was a server at a high-end NYC steakhouse for years, and was very good at my job. I don’t say that to pat myself on the on the back, but simply to explain my position. I was quick, friendly, detail-orientated, and went out of my way to ensure your money ($150 per person on average) was well spent. I took pride in my job, because I believe the way you do one thing is the way you do everything.
Being a server is difficult. You carry heavy loads, haul ass, burn your hands, are on your feet for 10+ hours, treated like an idiot by incompetent guests, all while smiling and dealing with people’s insane bullshit.
I could fill a book with ridiculous stories of people treating me like absolute human garbage. A lady once chewed me out and threw her water on me because “my water has four ice cubes and I wanted five.” She never asked for five. Another time a couple began fighting during their meal, asked to speak to a manger, and attempted to get me fired because “I was eavesdropping on their private conversation.” You’re fighting in a public place, the people 10 tables over could hear you accuse him of sleeping with your sister. A man once asked me out and when I responded with “thank you but I’m not really interested in dating anyone right now,” he stood up and started screaming at me claiming “you’re just a disgusting, dirty server, and you’ll never be anything else. You could be so lucky to be with me” In front of everybody, loudly and boastfully.
Maybe you treat your servers well, I hope you treat your servers well, but a lot of people don’t.
I would say the vast majority of people tip properly, but about 20% of diners leave 5% or just flat out don’t tip. And it really sucks when someone has been at your table for 3 hours, spent $1500, and they leave you nothing.
This is not the case with Jay-Z. He left $11k on an $80k bill. It is not a shit tip by any stretch of the imagination, and I’m not crucifying him for it, I’m simply saying it’s not 20%.
(It’s also worth noting, the server wouldn’t take home $11k. I took home 33% of the tips I made after tip out and a 50/50 split with my partner. So if I made $1000 in tips, I walked away with $330.)
There are also a lot of unknowns here:
Did he leave extra cash on the side? Was the tip automatically added to the bill as the standard? Was his server horrible?
We don’t know the answers to these questions, and they certainly matter to the argument, but going off what we DO know, I would expect Jay-Z to leave 20% not because he HAS to do it, but because it’s the right thing to do and he CAN do it.
I like Jay-Z, and I will continue to like Jay-Z. In fact, it’s very possible this is a touchy subject given my personal history, but I hold him to the same standard I hold you and me: 20%.
(P.S. Shoutout to Jessica Simpson for being the queen of tipping at 50%, which to be clear is NEVER an expectation, but rather an extremely generous gesture.)