Breakfast Tips

breakfast coffee
breakfast coffee

Did you ever think about how much less money waitresses make in the morning versus working the dinner shift?  I feel bad for them.  They have to get up earlier than most of us to be there all wide awake and friendly in order to greet us first thing in the morning.  They have to be cheerful to those of us that most definitely are not that fun to be around early in the day.  They have to make sure your food is delivered to you as soon as it’s out because who likes cold eggs or pancakes?  They come to the table a lot more than a waitress does at dinner…at least for me, who likes my coffee refilled pretty much every time she walks by.

So what do they get for all of this?  They get a fraction of the money that waitresses earn later in the day. Lunch waitresses get ripped off a little bit too but they, at least, get to sleep in, still are home at night, and still make more money than breakfast waitresses do.  In fact, most lunches are getting to be as expensive as some dinners.

Let’s figure this out.  Let’s say that you are going to breakfast and dinner with 3 friends.

  • If you order a full breakfast, let’s say your bill comes to $10.00.
  • Add on a 20% tip, which is $2.00.  For your table of 4, the waitress gets $8.00.
  • Let’s say she waits on 15 tables that day.  That gives her a tip total of $120.


  • If you order a full dinner at a moderate price, let’s say your bill comes to $25.00.
  • Add on a 20% tip, which is $5.00.  For your table of 4, the waitress gets $20.00.
  • Let’s say she waits on 15 tables that day.  That gives her a tip total of $300.

That’s significantly less money that the waitress earned for breakfast while waiting on the same number of people and tables.  Multiply that times 5 days per week and it adds up to $900 less for the week!  Now, I’m not saying that any server doesn’t deserve what they get.  They most definitely do.  They have to deal with all kinds of people for their entire shift and I’m sure not all of their experiences are pleasant.  I’m just not sure that the nice people serving our breakfast deserve so much less than those serving us later in the day.  I know that standard tipping is 20-25%, but maybe we could throw in a little bit extra for those angels of mercy with the coffeepot first thing in the morning.

Author: Deb's Theory

I'm just an ordinary woman getting through life. I think most of us are doing the same--doing the best we can every day and hoping it's enough. By sharing our stories, our thoughts, and common experiences, I'm hoping it will make it all just a little bit easier to BE.

8 thoughts on “Breakfast Tips”

  1. Good insight on the contract of waitressing breakfast vs dinner. I have done both and I would say you generally work harder and faster with breakfast shifts. The breakfast shift has a faster turn around so you waiting on a lot more tables, hence those smaller tips can add up. For dinner, you might get people who like to sit and talk for extended periods of time, holding up your table for half the evening. I still have waitressing nightmares. Either way, it can be a tough way to make a living, so yes, be kind and generous to your waitresses!

  2. Never thought about the comparison between prices at restaurants for different meals before, but a really good point!! Love going out for breakfast, the servers are awake so I don’t have to be! Will definitely think about this next time. Great picture too!

  3. Oh so true! Being a waitress in the past- this is something I always consider at restaurants. Due to all those points made, and especially since they are usually carrying the coffee!! Good points made…

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