Going out for a nice dinner can be a wonderful experience. You enjoy the company of the person you love, or simply enjoy the pleasures of dining with friends & family. Sometimes it’s a first date! There’s nothing better than good food, good spirits and good company to enhance your dining experience. What could possibly ruin this lovely evening?
Let’s say you’re on a date, and everything is going perfect. Your drinks come out; you’re talking, laughing and enjoying one another’s company. While waiting for your entrees to come crashing through those kitchen doors, you notice that time flies when you’re having a good time. In other words, YOUR DINNER IS LATE! You take another sip of your drink and try to listen very attentively as your date goes on about how she loves the outdoors, biking, long walks on the beach, how she grew up in a small town in a small house and now is pursuing a career in anthropology-- yada yada yada…. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. You feel your stomach growling, you start breaking off a piece of the stale bread they placed on the table and pretend that it’s the king crab legs you just ordered.
Your waitress comes out and apologizes for the delay and explains how the kitchen is backed up, so it’ll just be another moment or two…She offers to get you another cocktail.
Forty-five minutes later, your food comes rushing out. The date is now returning back to ‘okay’ status. Not only are her words muted at this time, but you inhale your dinner as though it were your last meal. Disappointed by the delay of your dinner, you put your napkin down on the table and you flip open the little leather folder that holds your check.
What is the tip etiquette in this situation? What would you do if you were frustrated by the lateness of your dinner?
A. Rant and rave how horrible it was to wait as your date went on and on and on and on about her boring life, and then give her an ‘okay’ tip?
B. Hardly give the waitress anything for a tip?
C. Tip her real well due to the fact she took the time to explain the situation to you clearly?
If you answered answer A, you’re probably not “good date material”---maybe you should have ordered a pizza at home.
If you answered answer B, you’re probably a little catchpenny who waited way too long to even go on a date…you’re lucky that you even got a date… next time, pop in a t.v. dinner.
If you answered C, e-mail me your name and phone number and let’s go out!
Remember, just because your dinner is late, does not mean that it’s okay to withhold a good tip from the waitress, especially when the waiter or waitress has thoroughly explained why your dinner was late and offered you another cocktail. It is not their fault what happens in the kitchen. Tipping the wait staff means, tipping ‘how well’ you were served, and how nicely you were treated at your table. Even if you get a filet mignon that was burnt to a crisp; much like a hockey puck, it is not their fault. Simply take back your order in a humane manner and go on about your date. Way too many times, people make the assumption that the food has to do with the wait staff. Many times, people blame the wait staff for the bad food. This is not fair. They rely on tips for a living, and it’s not that easy trying to dash through dozens of tables full of people just to deliver your entrees to you & your date in a timely manner.
Here are some of my personal rules on tipping. Yes, 20% is okay------when you are at a restaurant that you are never returning to. If the service was fantastic, then tip more than 20%.
If you are a regular at a restaurant, always make sure that your tips exceed their expectations so that you’ll be priority when served. Even if it’s a new waiter or waitress, let them get to know you by how well you tipped them. They’ll never forget your face.
What about at a bar? If you rarely attend this bar, and may never go back again, when the bartender comes up to you with your drinks, ---let’s just say two drinks for $10.00…then, for the first round, tip that bartender 100%. “WHAT?” Yes---$20.00 and say, “Thank you!!!” Walk away and enjoy your company. What happens is, the bartender will always rush up to you first, and in “most cases” will give you every third drink free. It really works out to your benefit. That is the only tip you need to give all night. First impressions, right?
Okay, let’s go to the regular bar that you always go to weekend after weekend. Always tip upon first drink, … then, every second drink, throw one to two bucks his/her way. A constant flow showing them that you appreciate their service.
Of course rely on the quality of service too, so tip with discretion and just remember that it’s not easy serving people. It’s one of the toughest jobs to do. Most of all, be personable with them, they’re not robots, they’re human beings who are there making a living. Make their day and talk to them, compliment them if need be, and respect them as you would to anyone else that you meet. Let them have fun serving you and let them want to continue serving you.
It really makes a difference when your respect shows through. I have a particular restaurant that my partner and I go to frequently, where the waitress will run over and put us in her spot just because she likes to socialize and hang out with us---as well as reap the benefits of the American dollar. Isn’t the tipping worth that kind of treatment?
Use me for my money! I love getting the royal treatment!