Recently I received an email inquiring about tipping at Hooters. How does one tip at Hooters? Does a patron tip as they would in a normal restaurant or are there different expectations?
Tipping at Hooters depends on several factors and – in my opinion – has major differences that separate it from general restaurant tipping. Following, you find a few guidelines that I believe should be considered when deciding what to tip your Hooters Girl. Please note that this is not what Hooters Girls expect to be tipped, as tipping is based on individual preferences, but simply one way of looking at the Hooters tipping debate and how I would personally tip at Hooters.
1. First and foremost a tip at Hooters, or elsewhere, should be dependent on food service. While Hooters is known for a specific brand of entertainment it is most importantly a restaurant. As such, your initial tip should be strictly based on service, as it would be anytime you dine. Were you seated promptly? Were your drinks and entrée orders taken efficiently and delivered how you ordered them? Were your needs anticipated and met before you had to ask? Etc.
What you tip based on service is largely up to each individual. Generally a restaurant tip is between 15-20%, varying according to service. So basically for the initial tip, tip like you would at Applebee’s, Red Robin, or wherever.
2. After your service-based tip, you should note the other elements that make Hooters, Hooters to supplement your tip. Specifically, I am refereeing to the entertainment each and every Hooters Girl should provide her guests. Did your Hooters Girl play a game with you? Did she dance or sing? Did she hula hoop and pour your beer? Did she provide you with signature service? Basically, what did your Hooters Girl do to go beyond basic restaurant service to give you Hooters service?
Once again, the amount of this supplemental tip is based on individual preferences. As the food service is primary, this shouldn’t be expected to be as large as the first part of the tip (unless you deem it appropriate). I would personally suggest between 5-15%.
3. There are several other things to take into account when tipping at any restaurant. First, does your state pay servers minimum wage or do they have a special restaurant pay rate? In states in which servers make, say, $2.14 your tip will be supplementing their wage and this should be acknowledged. Also, most servers will be required to “tip out” other employees within the restaurant. For example, I personally tip out at least three people every shift: hostess, bartender, and dishwasher. Our system requires I tip them at least 1% of my sales each but on busier nights I typically will personally tip them more. Remember, you’re not just tipping your server, but many varied employees.
As stated originally, these are not strict guidelines, but one way of tipping at Hooters. Most important to note is that a tip should never be expected but is rather earned. Feel confident tipping an amount you deem appropriate as long as it reflects the level of service you received.
Have your own Hooters question? Email Sauce at email@example.com and your question and answer may appear right here on Girl and Guitar.