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Tips for Restaurant Servers

Tips for Restaurant ServersThis topic, tips for restaurant servers, is a really contentious topic. Most people leave tips at restaurants and many leave the standard 15% whether they are happy with the service or the food. They just do not want the hassle of dealing with a server who might show their annoyance because of a low tip. We know people in the industry and they are adamant that you should always leave a tip regardless. The servers rely on this income since they receive minimum wage or no wage at all. Tips can be a huge source of income for these people. The unfortunate thing is that some of these servers, especially the younger ones feel that they are entitled to a large tip regardless of the level of service they provide.

Tips for Restaurant Servers – An Example of Excellent Service

Here is an example of what we mean by really good service. You go to a coffee shop and the server fills your coffee mug and servers it to you at the cash. Should you provide them with a tip when they just did their job and did nothing special? At another coffee shop the server takes a mug, fills it with hot water to warm up the cup, pours the water out and then fills the mug with hot coffee. Should you tip this person? We think that they are very deserving of a tip, much more so than the first server. We always tip the second server and never the first because they also do not even acknowledge their customers, nor do they say thank you ever. Our excellent server will also bring us our coffee to the table if she happens to be busy as well.

Some might argue that if we tipped we might get better service in our example above. In some cases we would but at most coffee shops they are just kids who do not know the first thing about service.

Guidelines for Tipping for Restaurant Servers

We suggest that the following guidelines might be used to help people decide if they should tip and how much. Start with the standard of 15% and if they measure up in terms of service, timeliness of food delivery, attention to your order, follow up in a timely manner to ensure that you have everything to enjoy your meal and provide friendly service they should receive the standard 15% tip.

If you have to wait a long time for your drinks, the food is served cold, they mix the orders up or they are very unfriendly, well I would really consider a much lower tip depending on how poor the service actually was. If they are able to do something special which please your group and is appreciated, then why not tip them more. You might even provide a large tip if you feel that they deserve such a large tip.

Would You Leave a Zero Tip

Not too many people will leave a zero tip. They just do not want to risk the confrontation or potential confrontation. However the service industry needs to understand that they are on the job to provide good friendly service. I believe that we as patrons should treat them in a professional manner. If the service is not great, I think that we should let them know verbally in a nice way and that they still will receive a tip, but a little less than 15%. In the future if the service has not improved, then this is the time to reduce the tip even further.

I always tip the lady that serves me a coffee in a mug that has been pre-warmed with hot water. She is only serving coffee. But she makes sure that her customer receives really great service and a hot cup of coffee every time. That deserves a tip in my mind.

In Canada, there are a lot of people who are in their teens working in the service industry. They are too young to understand what it means to provide great service vs. average service. In the US, I have found in our travels more older people who have made it their profession and take providing good service seriously. They understand that good service directly impacts their incomes and they generally provide great service.

That’s my opinion, let me know if you agree or disagree about tips for restaurant servers. For more thoughts on tipping, click here.


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2 Responses to “Tips for Restaurant Servers”

  1. Hi, just wanted to say i liked this article. it was practical. keep on posting.

  2. We have received really great service and really bad. They still expect a tip with bad service. How come? Don’t they know they have to earn it

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