Tip It or Skip It!
Recently, I was asked to do a guest post for my Aunt Leslie. You all may know her as Leslie Loves Veggies; however, for the last twenty years she has been simply “Auntie” to me. And I can assure you, readers, she really is caring, passionate, and understanding in real life as she is on her blog. Auntie asked me to write about something I was passionate about. I have been a server for four years now and there are some things that need to be addressed when it comes to restaurant etiquette. This is only a generalization of what you should and should not do. I want to clarify those issues from a server’s point of view. So next time you wonder why you may not be getting spectacular service, there could be several factors feeding into that mediocre experience.
If you can’t afford to tip, then do not go out to eat.
Let’s make this simple. Yes times are hard but you need to be tipping on 20% of your bill. Minimum wage for servers is $2.13 an hour and usually by the time I get my paycheck I’m making closer to $1 an hour. I know a few years ago Oprah told everyone a way to cut back was to tip 10% but she is wrong (and wow was that offensive)! Tipping is part of going out to eat. If it is not in your budget that is completely fine, but stay home! There is nothing more offensive to a good server then to get $2 on a $25 bill. Also remember:
- Do not leave a religious track and a lousy tip. That’s a poor testimony to Jesus. Amen? Amen!
- When you go into a restaurant with a larger party do not be shocked if gratuity is added.
Do not be demanding.
Nothing is more degrading than to be treated like the village idiot. I obviously know what I am doing or I wouldn’t be given this position. Never snap your fingers, shake your glass, or yell for me obnoxiously. I am a human with feelings and will be with you in a given time. It is a server’s job to take care of you while you’re dining at a restaurant; therefore, expect them to do their job correctly. One night, I was busy doing what I do. While taking a table’s order I had a lady come up to me from another table and say, “Excuse me, we need more napkins.” Mind you, readers, she had a coke and rolls on the table. Why she felt the need to interrupt me? I have no idea. If you need something simply ask and wait patiently for it. I can assure you, we will bring it out as fast as humanly possible. The Wait Staff wants to meet your needs just give us a few minutes!
Please do not question the pricing either after the meal. If you order two sweet teas, do not then complain about the price of said teas after consumption. Don’t want to pay for a beverage? Drink water. There are only a few things I can control and price is not one of them.
There are some rules when it comes to complaining.
We servers have a thing that we call the “two minute check back”. This right after you get your food and you’ve had a few minutes to cut, bite, or rip into it. This is usually indicated by, “How is everything thus far?” If your steak is not cooked correctly, if you didn’t get your chicken buffaloed, or a side item is forgotten… this is the time to speak up. I can guarantee you any server will be glad to fix the mistake! Remember, I do not cook the food so if there is a mistake it is not my fault, BUT I will be happy to have it fixed. But don’t eat the steak that you ordered “medium” and once it’s in your gastric chamber you say, “Well it was ok but a little overcooked.” You want to know something? That is your own fault that your steak was only “Okay” and not exceptional. You should have spoken up. But this does NOT mean you demand a refund, refuse to pay, or ask for another because something wasn’t right. Don’t take advantage of a restaurant or a server in that way. Don’t complain just to be mean or to get a free meal because if that’d be the case just stay home. If a mistake needs to be corrected point it out to your server immediately.
Servers dislike coupons.
As a guest, you have every right to use a coupon. I know I use one when I dine out. Let me share some insight on why servers dislike coupons. You use coupons to save money and in many cases (not all) those who use coupons are cheap. A server doesn’t want to bend over backwards for half the tip. We work for our money too. When you use a coupon, it is generalized that you tip on the original bill. Just because your bill is now $45 doesn’t mean your server deserves less. He or she worked for that $60 tab, you just happened to save some money. Do not use a buy one get one free coupon, drink water, and tip $2 on your now $22 bill. That’s not nice. Frugal is good! Cheap is bad!
Your face will be remembered.
If you are exceptionally anything and this includes: nice, mean, generous, cheap, rude, or grumpy. Your face will be remembered. The next time you walk into that said establishment you can guarantee your previous server will tell your current server about you whether it was good or bad experience serving you. (Personally, I strive to be exceptionally generous and nice ).
Generally, just be courteous and kind. I try to remember the concept of paying it forward and the simple fact that what goes around comes around. I have had some tables that have seriously blessed my life in some way, shape or form. But I have also had tables that made my job a living hell. Don’t ever be the latter. I’m just a college girl trying to pay my way and I want to make people happy. Return the kindness you have received in your life. You may even change someone’s life (in a good way of course).
Just keepin’ it real!