A Smile Can Go A Long Way: Indiana Waitress Gets $446 Tip For Her Cheery Attitude

tip

CeCe Bruce works as a waitress at a Steak N’ Shake in Indianapolis while going to school. Despite having her share of rude or difficult customers, CeCe always tries to keep a smile and a positive attitude. Recently, her hard work and good spirits paid off for her when a regular customer, known as “Miss Jo,” left her a hefty tip – $446 on a $6 bill.

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“I didn’t think I was worth $400 but, you know, apparently she feels that I am,” said the waitress who has worked for Steak N’ Shake for the past two years. CeCe’s boss agrees with the customer, saying, “She stays late, comes in early. Whenever we need her, she’s here. So she deserves it more than anyone.”

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The smile on her face while recounting the story is huge. While the money is welcome (CeCe says she’ll be paying bills with it), the boost to her self-confidence will keep that positive attitude going strong. However, tipping has long been a controversial subject, especially in a down economy. While most would think that tipping your server is just common courtesy, it is actually how your server is paid. Most servers make far less than minimum wage because it is presumed that tips will make up the rest. Tipping etiquette calls for 18-25% of your total bill, before any discounts you may receive.

But, what if your service was less than exemplary? Is it okay to not leave a tip? No. Choosing not to tip may impact more people than just your server. In some cases, servers share a portion of their tips with the bussers or other staff, or they may actually pool tips and split them evenly at the end of the shift. If you experience poor service, before stiffing the server, talk to a manager and see what can be done.

If you are unsure how much you should give, there are several smartphone apps that will calculate the tip. All you have to do is input the bill total. If you are unsure who you should tip, CNN/Money has a nice chart that lists different service industry workers and how much they should receive. Finally, be courteous and make sure that you reward your server’s efforts appropriately. You don’t want to end up here.