For the past two years, I've been a waitress at a couple different restaurants. Many times, I have given customers fantastic service, and they have given me a tip of $2 – $3 despite a $50 check, and some haven't given me a tip at all. Here's what I want you to know about your local waitress who sometimes doesn't get a tip.
1. We only make $2.13 an hour.
Yes. $2.13 an hour without tips. So we could work an eight-hour shift and only make $17.04 if we aren't tipped within that shift. Just think about this for a second. We make our living off of tips.
2. We have about a million things going on in our head.
Your waitress forgot to bring you a to-go box? Just ask again. She'll remember that she forgot and she'll apologize and feel bad about it while hoping her tip isn't affected, because it got pushed to the back of her mind when she went to ring in an order where someone ordered a burger with no onion and no pickle, but extra tomato and extra lettuce with ketchup and mustard on the side — Oh! and don't forget they want it cut in half because they're splitting it with their friend. And since they're splitting it, that means they need an extra plate.
3. If you're not ready to order when I ask you, please just tell me.
On a busy night when I have four tables at the same time, I have about 20-30 people to attend to other than you. If I have to wait for you to order, I'm standing at your table while table one has a check that's ready, table two needs a refill on coke, and table three's food is in the window. Please be ready when I ask, and if you're not, I have no problem giving you more time. I love serving people and I'm probably excited to serve you! You are welcome to ask me questions, but please make a timely decision.
4. We work hard up front, but even harder behind the scenes sometimes.
I may look calm and collected in the dining room, but I can assure you that I am not as calm and collected behind the scenes. Your drink may be empty, but someone else left the tea pitcher empty and now I have to refill that before going back onto the floor. Your check is ready, but I have to submit an order or else a party will not get their food. The ice bin is out of ice! I have to refill that and go to the back cooler to get more ranch dressing because that's empty too. So please be patient with your waiter! They have more going on than you can imagine.
After we close, we then have to clean the entire restaurant from the dining room to the bathrooms and everything in between. Salt and pepper are refilled, floors are mopped, and silverware is rolled, this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half depending on how busy we were that day.
These are just several things that your waiter wants you to know when you go out to eat. So when you call me over while I'm walking through the dining room, it really threw me off and possibly made me forget about something else I had to do. Let me assure you that nine times out of 10 your table is not the only one I am serving in the restaurant, so my undivided attention can't always go to you.
I truly try to give you my best service with a smile, because I genuinely love my job, but there are days when things are going on behind the scenes and I can't help that your baked potato with no sour cream came out with sour cream on it, but I'd be happy to take it back to the kitchen and have it fixed for you. I really do love serving our guests, and I try my hardest to be the best server in the building, but I would love if you would be a great guest as well. Respect me and the work that I'm doing. Sometimes it can be hard.