For all of you that have never waited tables:
* Only if your combined hourly rate + all tips earned in a weeks time (up to 40 hours) averages out to be under the current minimum wage ($7.25/hour or $290/wk gross) only then will the company employing you be liable to compensate you for unearned tips. But if you make more than the $290/week then you are taxed on those extra tips. Just bringing this up to your employer puts you in a position of extreme scrutinization from your superiors. They don’t want to pay you more than the little they pay you already! So, instead those of us that wait tables end up keeping it to ourselves and praying we are able to make enough to pay the electric bill due in 4 days or have something other than sandwiches or hamburger helper for dinner.
* NEVER sit yourself at a dirty table. Patiently wait in some available non table seating or near the table so the server or bus person can clean the table without someone in the way. We promise we aren’t gonna let someone steal your table ahead of you.
* A cup of hot water has no benefit for your silverware. The HOTTER water plus food safe sanitizer used to clean your silverware is probably more sanitary than yours in your drawer at home!
*Contrary to popular belief, 10% is not where you start to base a tip. You should base your tip on service first. What all did your server do in order to make your visit not only possible but also, how friendly? Then maybe take into account the total bill. Even if your bill was $50 but there were 9 people in your party, adults and children.. and there is no included tip.. $7 is an insult. You should leave at least $1 per person plus 10%. That would have been $14 – that would be a DECENT tip. Anything over that, then we are talking about a ‘GOOD’ tip.
* The longer you sit at a table, the more tip you should leave. A server is allotted only so many tables. The longer you sit there the less rotation space available. You are causing your server to lose out on more tips because you wanted to stay longer than average. This is no problem, just compensate your server for the time.
* If you go to a restuarant that has bartenders & buspersons – your server has to tip them out. Meaning, at the end of the night after the server accounts for their tips, they also have to give a percentage to the bartenders (even tho they already make WAY more than your sever) for making their drinks for their tables & they also have to give a percentage to the bus person (even tho they get paid hourly). Sometimes there are even more positions that the server has to tip out.
* In short order diners or the like there of.. sometimes the server not only takes your order and brings you your drink but also buses the table AND wash the dishes – they work harder and are tipped less then those that work in a sit down restaurant with hostesses and buspersons.
*Shaking your glass of ice, sipping empty glasses with a straw to make a noise, whistling or snapping your fingers is very RUDE way of getting your server’s attention. Try visually getting their attention by half raising your hand when he/she looks in your direction. Or say, ‘excuse me’ when they walk by.
*Do not ask another server to get something for you, they have other customers to attend to.. wait for your server assigned to your table to help you. You are not the only customer.
* Servers are not your counselors or your friends – just because you are a regular customer doesn’t mean we have to spend every spare moment at your table chatting. We have other customers to attend to besides you. You are not the only customer!
* When your food is cooked improperly – 8 out 10 times it’s a problem in the kitchen. The kitchen staff does not receive tips. Do not take this out on your server by leaving them less tip. Consult a manager instead. But don’t do it angrily – you get a lot more just by being calm and rational.
Remember all this the next time your server is running their ass off and you’re upset because your soda got a little lower than you’d like and it made you tip a little less. If you don’t want to tip for being waited on hand and foot then don’t eat where it’s customary to leave a tip!
*When your server asks you ‘How are you doing today?’ Don’t respond with ‘Coffee & Water’. It is SO rude to not only NOT listen to the question, but the first words out of your mouth is an order. Imagine if you said ‘Good Morning’ to your significant other and they said ‘Orange Juice’. You’d be mad as hell at their rudeness!
*Make eye contact with the person taking your order.
*Don’t point at the menu/pictures and say ‘I want that’. How about using words like a grown up?