Things To Consider Before You Stiff Your Server
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4 Things To Consider Before You Stiff Your Server

There is more than just tipping 20%.

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4 Things To Consider Before You Stiff Your Server

We have all read articles about how important it is to tip your servers 20%, no matter how expensive your bill is; however, this one is a little different.

To all the people who go out to a restaurant, sit down, and have a meal — this one is for you.

I want to start by saying that I do not want to seem like that typical server that complains about never getting tipped 20%, or drags on and on about how my guests are my paycheck. Interestingly enough, I love my job. I love the people I work with, and serving my guests at dinner and getting to know them for that short hour that they are in my section is something that I thrive off of. There comes a point, however, where there are some things that need to be pointed out. Things that often fall through the cracks, because they are so small, even if they make a big difference.

First, table times.

What most people do not realize once they sit down, is that they are "running a clock." A server, especially me, will utilize every minute possible to try to make your day better by dining with us — but sometimes there is a cutoff. For example, where I work, most servers sections are about three to four tables. Some of them ranging from two tops to six tops, giving you a wide variety of the types of parties you might serve during that shift. When a table comes in, the server typically takes their order and brings them their food. The guests will pay their check, say their goodbyes to the wait staff, and they are on their way. Occasionally, however, those goodbyes are said, and a table will sit there to hang out and talk.

Normally, this might not cause any issues, depending on how the restaurant is running, but if it is slammed, and you are taking up table space even if your meal is finished, not only are you occupying a space that those waiting could be seated at, but also you are denying the server of making any more money at that time. Servers work to flip their tables as quickly as possible in order to have the maximum number of guests in an effort to make the most money they can, so just be courteous on how long you hang out after paying your bill. Ten minutes is nothing, but 20-30 minutes becomes the difference of another table.

Second, tip share.

Most casual dining restaurants have some form of tip share, and most restaurant guests have no idea that it even exists. Although tip share is not that big of a deal, it can easily become one when a server is not getting 20% tips. Where I work, tip share is calculated at about three percent of every $100 in sales. So, for every $100 I do in sales, I contribute $3 to the pool, regardless of whether you tip me or not. My roommate; however, will tip out way more than that. The pool of tips that is made up of each servers contributions is then distributed at the end of the night to people like hosts, bartenders, food runners, bussers, chefs, etc., all depending on where you work. The biggest thing to take away from knowing about tip share is that sometimes your server is not actually getting all of what you tip them, which is why tipping 20% is so important.

Third, basic human decency.

Something that is often forgotten, or can even be taken the wrong way based on the situation. What I mean by this is when a server comes up to greet you, they are gonna try to get to know you as soon as possible. We want you to like us, and one way we try to do that is by how we greet the table, and how we start you off. This becomes difficult when you approach a table and say, "Hi! How is everyone doing tonight? My name is Noa-", and then you are immediately cut off with, "Water with lemon and Coke."

We understand if you are ready to order, or if you have everything you need in mind, that is totally fine. Please just let us get all of our words out before starting your own.

SEE ALSO: An Open Letter To The People Who Don't Tip Their Servers

Fourth, and last, don't always blame the server.

Yes, there are things that happen that are totally the servers fault. For example, if I forget to bring you bread, or I neglect to get that refill you asked me for — that is my mistake. Not all things are the servers fault, though. For example, if the restaurant is slammed and your food is dragging, please do not blame your server. If something came out wrong, or something is missing on the plate, please do not blame your server. A servers biggest job is communication.

A server communicates with their table on what each guest wants, they communicate that to the kitchen, and then maybe again to another server that is running their food. Sometimes it is not always me that trays up food, or sometimes stuff can get lost in the window if we are busy. If anything goes wrong at all, we are more than willing to fix it for you and ensure the best dining experience we possibly can, all you have to do is communicate that with us so we can fix it. If you just blame the server and neglect to tip 20%, then we can't fix it, and the server is out money for something out of their control.

Dining out can be a fun experience, and is often something that people may do in order to celebrate occasions, or even just grab a bite to eat when they don't feel like cooking at home. If you take nothing else from this article, then please just always remember to tip 20%. Like I said, all of these things are small, and often are not problems, but they can easily become problems once that tip rule is broken.

If you do not know how to easily calculate a 20% tip, then here it is!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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