Waiters. Waitresses and Restaurants

Have you ever felt like you were invisible?  I did today.  I walked into a restaurant and it took several moments to have the waiter take my beverage order.  I have never been a waiter, though I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express once.  I have tried to figure out Waiters and Waitresses, you would think that if their tips are based on performance they would try to be the best Waiter and  Waitress.  Would you agree?  And after you pay your bill they expect a large tip.  I know these people are paid well below minimum wage but to expect a large tip when service is lousy or at least subpar.  Today I went to a nice sit down restaurant ordered decaf coffee and a Buffalo chicken salad.  Fairly simple, right.  All my waiter had to do was keep my cup filled with decaff and come around to check if everything was aright and if there was anything else he could do for me.  I realize it was lunchtime and he had to wait on others.  I have no problem with that.  I had to wait until I was complete with my meal before he would even look in my direction to see if I needed anything else.  When he did make eye contact I motioned with my coffee cup I wanted more coffee.  He brought the regular coffee pot and I had to ask if it were decaff.  Oh you want decaff!  Yes please. Trying to be polite and off he went to the kitchen only to return to inform me that they were brewing a fresh pot.  Certainly thre are more regular coffee drinkers but when someone orders a cup of decaff and you finish the last bit of the stuff would it be logical to begin brewing a fresh batch?  Of course.  Having had my fill (pun intended) and against my better judgement I gave the guy a decient tip.  I figured this guy was having a bad day and I wanted to cheer him up.  He probably thought he wouldn’t get a good from me after the type of service I received. 

 This brings up another subject being “tips”.  I reciently learned that the going rate for tips is 20%.  Last I knew it was 15% for great service, 10% for good service and 5% for bad and for lousy just leave some change.  Not leaving a tip will not send the message that you received poor service but rather they waiter or waitress will think you just forgot or are just cheap.  I once saw a business man leave a $1 tip for a $34 check.  I though it was pretty tacky.

Do think 20% is too much for a tip?  What do think is a fair tip?  What about tips for the pizza delivery person?

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3 Comments

  1. Posted December 6, 2007 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I don’t fall in line with those that say tips are automatic.

    And 15% is still standard in my book for good service. I’ll round up past that if it’s exceptional, but I will also cut it way back if it sucked.

    I do try to take into account the situation too. If it’s jam packed I can understand them not getting to me as prompt as they would in a normal setting.

    I’ve left a penny before on a $50 check because the service was so awful (and they deceived me on some things).

  2. ohwaitron
    Posted December 6, 2007 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I tip accordingly for the most part. One of the problems I encounter in a restaurant are the young servers, some are great but they are few and far between. I think the work ethic you develop growing up translates into how you serve people in a service establishment.
    A bad attitude comes through loud and clear and I don’t have time for it. I won’t go back or if I do I request someone else. And if the place is packed then a manager has to jump in and pull up the slack and if thats not enough well then there are bigger problems going on.
    I tip as a rule 20% (cost of living) but the service has to be great and the personality has to also be good. I hate people who don’t like their job. There are too many choices out there, move on!!

  3. Posted December 7, 2007 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I generally tip right around 20%, especially if I’m out with the kids, cuz they do leave a mess. However is service is poor, I generally will tip around 10%, and if it’s rotten, I just leave change. I have noticed that people tend to respond to my lead. If I am engaging and use their names, they tend to give me better service.


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