I don't like to talk about my flair.

Friday, July 29, 2005

A Brief Lesson on Tipping

  • 20% is standard for good service. Deal with it or go to McDonald's.
  • If you've got a coupon or somehow get a discount, free dessert, whatever...tip on the pre-discounted amount. The server still does the same amount of work, no matter what the final amount you owe is.
  • Also, please recognize that I'll be a heck of a lot more tolerant of your whiny pickyness if you tip well to make up for the fact that you ordered everything with three sides of ranch and substituted a specially made side and otherwise ran my ass off.
  • Same goes for people with kids who make an unholy mess. I get to clean up after you. Make me not hate you on sight by tipping well.
  • My income is often directly proportional to the amount of times I can turn my tables during the night. If you're going to camp out for hours and hours, tip extra. While you sat at your table and discussed quadratic reciprocity for 3 hours, I could've had another 2 turns, gotten each table up to a $50 check average, and made $20 more. You want to camp for the night? Go to Starbuck's.
  • For God's sake, don't take the signed copy of the credit card slip with you. That means I make no money off that table.
  • Tipping is based on good service. If I screw something up at your table, I'll do my best to make it right. If you don't feel I've done a good job, of course the tip should reflect that. But understand I can't control how fast your food is made, or if you feel chilly from sitting in a draft, or if you felt you waited too long to get your table. I am but a cog here, folks. Talk to the manager, and he'll probably give you a lovely incentive to come back. That said, you giving me a piddly tip doesn't exact any sort of revenge. You didn't make a point with the person who's responsible for your bad experience. All you did was make my $2.13-an-hour-earning-ass feel resentful.
  • Dropping big bucks on bottles of wine is not an excuse to stiff the server. See next item:
  • There's a little thing called "tipping out" that most people don't know about. If I make a $10 tip off a table, I don't keep all of it. Some goes to the bar, some to the busser and some to the food runner. The percentage they get is based on my gross sales, so when a customer stiffs me, I get screwed. If you walk with the signed credit card slip or if you decide not to leave a tip at all, it actually costs me money.
  • I can tell those people who have served before, or who are otherwise in the know...you pay with a credit card, but leave the tip in cash. This rocks, because I don't have to report that income to the IRS. They take enough money as it is.
  • To those of you who tip well: please know it's appreciated. A good tip can make my day, and it's certainly going to make me remember you, so that next time you come in, I'll do my damndest to make sure you have a good experience.


At 11:52 AM, Blogger jonathan said...

We have a baby, we make a big mess, but we usually tip well because Robyn has waitressed before. However, when we go to a new place, the server doesn't know how well we're going to tip until AFTER we're done. So sometimes we're stuck getting lousy service because they just assume we're going to make a mess and then stiff them ... which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, no?

So, here's my question for you: if you have people engaging in some of your listed behaviors, how do you decide how to treat them if you don't know how well they're going to tip you? Or do you just guess, and then if you're mean to somebody and they leave you a tiny tip, you think, aha, I was RIGHT!

At 12:37 PM, Blogger ann surely said...

Now, I'd never give someone pre-emptive lousy service. Servers who do so get what they deserve, tip-wise. I usually just assume that since I don't know how it's going to turn out, I give people the best service I possibly can.

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think it would be fun to pic up shifts somewhere for extra work. I had fun with customers when I was a server...but wow - you are right about every single you thing mentioned...I forgot about that stuff - oh and sidework...forgot that, too.



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