I learned a valuable lesson from a 17-year old my second summer in Eindhoven. Mandy and I went out to dinner with two of our English students to a local Mexican restaurant. We sat down, ordered our meals and waited. And waited, and waited, and waited. 30 minutes later, I ask in a rather irritated voice "What is taking so long??". Mandy's student looked at me in surprise and said "What's the hurry?" Umm....well...there is no hurry, actually. I felt pretty stupid. That night, we ended up sitting for 3 hours at that table dinner, after having waited an hour and a half for our food.

Given, American culture is more fast-paced than European culture. We walk in, sit down and order, and if the food is not sitting in front of us in 10 minutes flat, we begin causing a scene. And inevitably, the server ends up paying for it. No food, no tip. One of my most memorable dates with Chris was one of my worst restaurant experiences ever. I was in tears from laughing so hard at the continuous list of unfortunate events. We walked away without ever planning on coming back...but one thing I know for sure - we tipped the server.

I was a waitress for a year and a half after moving to Fayetteville. I got two customer complaints during that time - one for my sarcasm being taken as seriousness (what? me?!), and one for being as rude to them as they were being to me. Overall, not bad. And I had a high percentage of accuracy in placing orders. But what I came to realize is that none of that really matters to customers. If you don't stop by the table every 5 minutes to check on them, you are a bad server. If you DO stop by the table and interrupt their conversation every 5 minutes, you are a bad server. If you attempt to clear the table of clutter, accidentally mistaking leftover untouched appetizers as trash, you are a bad server. If you leave said leftover untouched appetizers on table, you are a bad server. If the food comes out wrong, you are a bad server. If the food takes longer to come out, you are a bad server (yes...because you are responsible for cooking the food in between getting refills for 5 tables). The list goes on and on. And I got stiffed a few a times. Which has resulted in me going out to eat with others, and looking to see how much they tip, to make sure it is at least 15%...otherwise, I add it on to my own tip. If I came there to eat and drink...and I leave there, having had something to eat and drink...then my server did his/her job.

In case you don't agree, let me lay it out for you this way. By NOT tipping your server (for whatever reason), you are making that server pay for YOU to eat at their restaurant. A server is required to pay out 3% of his/her sales to the bartender, busboys, and expeditor. So if your bill is $75, your server has to give $2.25 to other people, regardless of whether you tipped him/her or not. While that may not seem like much to you...when they only get paid $2.50/hour, you have now completely taken away all but a quarter of their pay away (not counting taxes taken out). So before you walk away from the restaurant, disgruntled at the horrible service you just received...make sure you leave at LEAST a 3% tip. It's the least you can do for taking up a table!
0 Responses

Post a Comment