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Tips for Tipping and Other Restaurant Etiquette

February 5, 2011

As a seasoned employee in the restaurant business I would like to take this opportunity to share with you ideas and concerns my fellow co-workers and I have often discussed over the years.  Please do not be offended by any of the following statements. This blog is meant to inform those unaware of their small but significant blunders. Enjoy!

First and foremost the year is 2011 (just in case you werent aware or possibly forgot) and the cost of living is steadily increasing. In tough economic times like these if you can’t afford to leave a deserved tip then you shouldn’t be able to afford to go out for dinner. Tipped employees, also known as servers, make $2.13/hour, most of which we never see. When we cash out at the end of the shift the restraunt automatically taxes us ten percent of your order. Therefore, if you don’t leave a tip we end up paying a few dollars towards your meal.  Yep, you’re welcome.

Oh, a small addition to the paragraph above: if an item is taken off of your bill because you were unhappy with the way the food was prepared, leave a tip based on what the original total was. We didn’t cook your dinner so please don’t penalize us.  Same concept applies to giftcards and coupons. That’s money you saved, please share.

If you’ve had a rough day or bad past experience, don’t take it out on us. We don’t take our bad customers out on you. Odd’s are it’s not our fault. When we ask ”how are you doing today?” we are asking for a reason. If you’re having a hard day we want to know and will honestly do our best to make it better or at least not make it any worse.

If you are above the age of 13 please don’t order from the kids menu. You don’t act like a child (at least I hope not) so don’t eat like one. If you absolutely cannot resist those previously frozen chicken fingers with a complimentary soda of your choice then at least tip us as if you ordered an actual entree. You’re saving money anyway so help us out, we didn’t ask you to order from the “coloring book included” menu.  By the way, we will give you a coloring book , seriously.

If you do have children please pay extra attention to everything they are spitting out, opening and most likely dumping on the table and floor. Cleaning up salt and chewed up pieces of french fries is not as enjoyable as it may seem. We are your server, not your nanny; unless of course you want to pay us more by the hour. Which brings me to my next point, if you know your children aren’t usually well behaved in public places don’t bring them out to the restaraunt and allow them to run amok. Not only is it dangerous but it’s also distracting to employees and other guests.

Be aware of what time you’re coming in to eat. We understand that people work late, lose track of time, are traveling etc. but coming into eat dinner at 10:59pm when the restraunt locks the doors at 11:00pm is just plain rude.

Camping is for campgrounds, not restaurants. Here’s some insight on server lingo; customers who linger at the table after paying their bill are called “campers,” don’t be one! It’s impossible to make money from a table that is already paid out and still occupied. As severs, we rely on turning tables for income. Remember, $2.13/hr. Eeek! If you aren’t ready to go home the bars don’t close until 2am.

Let me now present to you the tipping scale: 

 Below average service=10%

Good service=15%

Great service=20%

Anything above that…you’re our new favorite customer! Trust me, we remember. Verbal tips or compliments do not pay our bills. Of course we love to hear about our ”excellent service” but we consider that a bonus, not a tip. If we’ve done a great job show us in blank space beside the word TIP. Or in Washingtons, Lincons, Jacksons and if you’re feeling extra generous, Jeffersons.

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