Four Unconsidered Costs of Eating Out and Tipping
Dining out can be a great chance for people to catch up after a long week of work whether they are eating with their family or a friend they have not seen in a while. This not only relieves the pressure of having to decide what to cook for guests, but it also provides a relaxing experience since people can simply sit down, and wait for their food and drinks to be delivered to them. However, one thing that people fail to consider when dining out is that it costs more than eating at home. With that being said, it is fair to say that restaurants typically have the ability to cook food that tastes much better than what can be made at home, so the point of this is not to bash restaurants. However, many people fail to take into account what the true cost of eating out is aside from just paying one tab.
The first true cost associated with eating out and tipping is the amount of time spent at the given restaurant. If people dine out during the middle of the week, they will likely get right in and be seated. They may even get their food within 15 or 20 minutes during a lunch hour. However, even in this case, they are still likely going to be sitting at the diner for the next hour. If people go during the evening hours, they will likely end up waiting for at least 30 minutes before they are even seated, and possibly up to an hour. Then, they might wait another 30 minutes or longer to get their food. Not saying that occasionally dining out is not a good thing, but people need to consider how much an hour’s worth of time is worth to them. If they could be making $30 an hour, they are missing out on that amount, and they are paying more than that for their tab, which would result in essentially going $60 or more in the whole for the particular hour.
Tabs Rack Up
Another cost that many people fail to keep in mind is the fact that tabs add up. When people go to a restaurant every day for lunch, they typically find their lunch menu proudly displayed on the table. So many options to choose from that are mouth-watering, and they are priced under $10 most of the time. Spending $10 per day, 5 days per week could not possibly add up to that much, could it? Well, it depends how much people make, but that specific equation would wind up costing $200 per month, which could be used towards a car payment on a fairly decent car. By just skipping two of those lunches out per week, one could save nearly $1,050 per year. It may not sound like a lot, but that could easily pay for a couple of nice family vacations during the summer months.
Another thing with eating out is that people are paying for a ridiculous amount of markup. When people go to buy nearly any other type of product, their instinct is to negotiate. Car buying is one of the biggest negotiations one will ever go through, but the sad thing is that the average new car only has about 8% markup. When one goes to a restaurant, however, they can expect to pay a much higher percentage. In fact, soft drinks served at restaurants alone typically cost about $.05 per pour, but most restaurants are selling these drinks for $1.99. Then, the food they are selling is typically delivered on a truck, and they get a major discount for buying in bulk. It is fairly likely that the $20 steak and $1.99 Mountain Dew could have been done for about $8, if not less, at home.
Aside from the profit issue, people who frequently dine out are essentially paying the owner’s salary. Sure, every customer at any type of business who spends money is putting money in the owner’s pocket, but the restaurant industry works completely differently than all other types of businesses. Most businesses have to pay at least the minimum wage in their state, but this is not the case with restaurants because they get away with paying their servers and hosts about half of that. The reason they get away with this is that tip money earned by the servers is used to make up the difference. The only time that the owner has to make up the difference is when the tips averaged with the server’s minimum wage does not average out to minimum wage over the shift. A person leaving a nice tip is not only beneficial to the server, but it also provides the owner with a great deal of financial relief.