You don’t have to. If you received ridiculously poor service, while you watch your server yuck it up with co-workers, sure, make a statement. I’m not here as a career waitress to tell you what we’re entitled to, however, there are a few simple guidelines that might clear a few things up.
I get paid $2.33/hour – to which I never see because of those things called taxes. Minimum wage rules don’t apply to us because… we receive tips. If you scoot back up to the first part when I said, you don’t have to? You’re just an asshole if you don’t.
Serving is not an easy job. Imagine a constantly growing to-do list in your head while customers are asking you if you have <insert special from two years ago> still and balancing seven entrees over your head. We do not get breaks, we hold our pee so that your food doesn’t get cold in the window and then enjoy our dinner at 11:00pm.
We work hard, and if you’re lucky enough to have a server with their shit together – compensate them.
Compliments do not count as tips. Say it with me: a compliment does not count as a tip. We get legit nervous when a table starts dishing out nice words about the service we’ve provided them.
Nice words are always pleasant but I cannot pay my bills with your kindness. If you feel your service was good enough to verbally talk about it, with us, tip accordingly. *Cough*20%*Cough*
Fifteen percent is fine. It’s okay.
It’s like when you have your review with an office job, expecting them to applaud your valiant effort and tell you how magnificent you are, and instead they tell you that you’re average, you are mediocre.
If what you ordered does not taste the way you wanted it to, that is not your servers fault. We ran out of mashed potatoes, or the kitchen is a little backed up and your grub takes a little longer than usual, that is not your servers fault. If you ordered a steak medium, and it comes out medium – but in your opinion it’s too rare – that’s also not your servers fault.
When you arrive to the restaurant at 4:00pm and sit there until close drinking water, tip accordingly. What does that mean? We counted on flipping that table more than once, as many times as we can actually. Sure, you’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like, that’s what we’ll tell you, but common courtesy would suggest you pay us not only for the competent service, but for how long I have to provide it to you. This is especially true if you are the only reason we are still in the building.
If you’ve never worked in food service maybe you’re unaware that most servers share their tips with other restaurant staff, which I personally do not bitch about, they provide a service to me. Whether it’s the bartenders making adult beverages for my table, or the busser cleaning up a mess I just made over by table A2 – they earn their tips. The difference is we pay them a set percentage, regardless of what we get paid by our diners. If we get stiffed, we’re still paying our co-workers.
A few more things, and then I’ll wrap this up…
If you are with a large group of people, want your checks separated and combined with individuals that are not sitting anywhere near you – please understand there is 5,346,294x more work involved.
Telling me I’m pretty, or how much Jesus loves me also does not help with my day-to-day expenses. This is my career, I do not show up to a restaurant five days a week for the company and conversation. Sure, it’s a perk but, get real, pay us… or stay in for the night.
Oh, and one more thing, when we ask you if we can bring you anything else – please stop responding with: Winning Lottery Numbers. I’m out of courtesy laughs for that one.