So there you are, sitting at a table with six of your friends at your favorite local restaurant.
You've finished your meal and as you sink back into your seat, relishing the satisfying feeling of a full belly, there comes a lull. Time to divvy up that food bill. So you put down what you owe for your own food, heck, may as well be nice and easy and round that up to the nearest dollar. Problem is, everyone else at the table's got the same idea. Nothing too bad about that, except that lingering question: who covers the tip?
"Well, uh, I got thirty-two cents," your good ol' buddy Leroy Pudd mutters through a toothy grin. Everyone shrugs and you consider tonight's meal: good food, fast food, quality and polite service. And your waitress? Young, nice, didn't let my drink go dry.
Well, maybe thirty-two cents isn't enough. So you tool around in your pocket and find another thirteen cents. Okay, let's go ahead and check that wallet. Humor yourself. Fifteen bucks. But then you begin to add up your near-future expenditures: that car of yours needs gas ($10) and your refrigerator is getting low on ____ (insert your favorite drink here) ($5).
So you make the erroneous and arrogant assumption that, "she'll make enough in minimum wage to cover the tip," and you and your friends leave the fine eating establishment with bellies full and faces shining. Your waitress furiously watches you leave as she grinds the thoughtful forty-five cents in her palm. (Chances are you leave one of two ways: loud and proud, or ducking your head as you slither out).
Congratulations! You've just passed as what the Waitressing Gripe Page calls an Annoying Restaurant Patron (http://members.aol.com/GMAGates/index.html). Let me be the first to tell you that you have just shot yourself in the foot with incredible accuracy. Not only have you infuriated your faithful waitress, but you have shot your chances the next time you visit.
Your waitress will not only remember you and your thoughtless tip, but the whole waitstaff on duty will be informed of your worthless presence.
Remember that "May I help you?" attitude you received last time? Would you like fries with the "What do you want?" version? Here's some healthy things to remember while deciding on your appropriate tip:
Your waitress probably only makes $2.13 an hour. If you've checked hourly wages lately, that's over $3 less than minimum wage.
The average courteous tip is 15%, not 1.5%. If you can't figure this amount out, a dollar per person at the table is a good tip, and it keeps the math out of the picture.
There is a good chance your waitress is a student. Not only does she have bills and rent to pay, but she's got an education to pay for.
Even if your waitress is not in school, she's paying just as much for bills as you are, and she's probably not even getting a large paycheck!
A waitress is not your mother, therefore there is no need to treat her like one!
Your waitress works hard, and puts up with a lot more than what you realize or give her credit for. Remember she's under stress, even though you may not be.
You may say, "I don't believe in tipping." My landlady still believes in getting a rent check every month.
History sophomore Melissa McCalla understands the importance of tipping. She worked as a waitress for nine months. "The biggest gripe I have about tips is when people come in large groups and order a lot of drinks and eat a lot," she said. "They assume that the waitress is making some exorbitant amount of money and don't leave a decent tip."
Now I realize that some of you are very good tippers and are respectful of your restaurant servers. I also realize that there are poor waitresses out there who deserve small tips. This isn't about either of you, so don't take offense.
A tip should reflect the service. When you work hard at your job, you expect a good paycheck to reflect your hard work (or at least the hours you put in). The same goes for tips: if you receive quality service, leave a quality tip. It isn't a difficult concept. Believe me, your waitress will be much happier to see you the next time you come in.