From the Tip20! Forum by ~anonymous~
Please take a minute to read.
Tipping your server at a restaurant has been a long-standing American tradition. While tipping 15% of the total bill has been the standard for a long time, that tip can vary depending on the service you receive. Here are a few ways to determine how much you should tip.
1.) The friendliness and attitude of the server has got to be a top priority in determining a tip. The food could be wrong because of a chef’s mistake, the room temperature could be cold because the manager set it that way…but a server’s attitude is nobody’s responsibility but the server’s. Most people that go into restaurants are happy and looking forward to eating a nice meal and not having to do the dishes afterwards. If you get a server with a poor attitude who seems “put out” by having to serve you, a very small tip, if any, would definitely send him or her a message. You should never have to put up with that. By the same token, a server who is happy, smiles a lot, and seems to thoroughly enjoy waiting on you, should definitely get 20% or 25% for making your evening even more pleasant.
2.) The food is certainly a factor. If your order comes out wrong, it may have been a chef’s mistake, but it’s something the server should have noticed before it was set in front of you. The quickness in fixing your order is important. If they fix it in five minutes, I wouldn’t hold it against the server. If the server seems to be bothered by the fact that you’re complaining about the order being wrong (again, there’s the attitude factor) or takes another 20 minutes to get you the correct order, a deduction from that 15% standard is certainly justifiable.
3.) Is your glass filled in a timely manner? A good meal is often not a good meal if you don’t have anything to wash it down with. If you go more than a few minutes without a refill, a slight deduction of the tip would be in order. On the other hand, if your glass is constantly filled to the rim, a slight increase should be given.
4.) The overall pace of your meal is important. You shouldn’t be getting your main meal one minute after your appetizer arrives. You shouldn’t have to wait five minutes to get the Parmesan cheese or ketchup that you asked for. And after your plates are cleared and you’ve had dessert, you shouldn’t have to wait 15 minutes for the check. Your meal should flow smoothly, from the time you sit down to the time you leave. While tipping 15% is easy enough to do, the tip should mean more to you as a patron. Servers make very little salary ($2.13 / hour) , living mostly on the tips they make. If they’re do a standard job, 15% is fine. But tipping more for an exemplary job can be extremely rewarding. And tipping less for an inadequate job could send them a message that they need to work harder or change their attitude.
A little quiz for those of you who have never waited tables:
1. What is the average hourly wage of a server?
2. How much should you tip your server?
3. Is it OK to verbally abuse, throw your food, your drink, even your cigarettes, at your server?
• If your answer to the first question was minimum wage, or more, you’re not even close.
• If you said “as much as I think he deserves” for No. 2, again, not even close.
• And if you laughed at the third question, fine, but don’t think it doesn’t happen.
Here’s your first lesson in diners’ etiquette: Remember that your waiter is a person. She doesn’t live just to serve you. More than likely she waits on you so she can pay the bills while she puts herself through school.
DON’T GET CHEAP
Here’s your second lesson: Your server’s livelihood depends on your tip. Restaurant owners (in many states) are not required to pay their employees more than $2.13 an hour because tips can be considered part of wages.
Just ask server Kim Harris, who works at Awful Arthur’s at Towers Shopping Center in Roanoke. Harris recently received a $49 tip, which sounds pretty good until you find out the check totaled $520. In the land of 20 percent tips, this one should’ve been $104.
“They still stiffed me even though they told me the service was great,” Harris said. In restaurant lingo, that’s known as the “oral tip.” And you wonder why your server isn’t always as friendly as you expect.
When you have a bad day at work it most likely doesn’t affect your salary, but in the service industry, one off remark and you’re not getting a tip, or at least not a decent one. All because someone didn’t give you the benefit of the doubt.
While on the subject of tipping, here’s a rant on the forum site bitterwaitress.com written by an anonymous server in Roanoke: “They come in once a week, every week and only leave 50 cents per person. They get extra refills, extra dressings, to-go drinks and are always complaining about SOMETHING! Stop coming in if you don’t like the food OR service! I’ve gone out of my way to actually be RUDE to these b—–s and they keep coming back! Even if you’re polite … no difference in tip! If all you can afford is 50 cent tips, then go to McDonalds and buy an extra side of fries! I don’t need your pity change!”
If this is you, there’s your wake-up call.
Another good rule of thumb? The Golden one. Respect your server. Just to reiterate, he’s there to serve you, but he’s not your servant.
“I had a guy cuss me out about his tab because he thought he was paying more than he should,” said Awful Arthur’s bar manager Chad Skeens. “When I walked by him, he flicked a lit cigarette at me so I had to bar him from the restaurant.”
A lit cigarette? Come on. Talk about being a jerk.
• Once you’ve been seated, don’t take it upon yourself to switch tables. Restaurants have a seating chart and certain sections belong to certain servers. You just might move to a section that just got “sat” and you’ll mess up the flow. Oh, and along those lines, don’t move another table next to yours if more friends show up. That other table is a potential tip for your server. Ask what can be done to accommodate your party.
• Try to let your server know everything you might need ahead of time. If you want a side of ranch dressing and your drink refilled, tell him both at the same time so he doesn’t have to make extra trips.
• Sometimes it’s tough to decide what you want to order, but if you tell the server you’re ready, be ready. If it’s busy, she doesn’t have time to wait for you to decide when she could be helping other customers or helping her fellow servers. And if you have a small child, order for her if she can’t make a decision. Time is money.
• If you’re seated at a table, don’t go to the bar to order a drink. Then you must pay the bartender instead of your server. Your server will gladly get you a drink.
• Don’t name drop in an attempt to get something free if you’ve only met the owner once or twice.
Now pass this around to all your friends and family to read. I’m sure that this is something that we have all thought about at one time or another. I am a server myself. I found this on a web site. I have talked to a lot of people that don’t realize a lot of this information, or are unaware. Remember you should want us to be just as happy as you want us to make you during your visit. You will definitely find that a server who is in a good mood, will give you better service and be much happier to serve you. Saying I have done a good job, and tipping awful (oral tip) is worse than no tip. Table turns are very important for your server. When the restaurant is busy think before you hang out for a long time, or tip for your stay and not just the bill. When people come in and sit for 2-3 hours having conversation remember that the server could have had several tables for the one you are holding. And last but not least, I have never worked in a restaurant where a server only had one table. Please try to be considerate when your server has many customers and you see that person is very busy, and just take into consideration that you are not the only person in the restaurant. Thank you and don’t forget to pass this on.