“I wish I had the nerve not to tip.”
– Paul Lynde
On average I eat at restaurants about once a month. I avoid any chains and seldom go to venues serving western food. I can make burgers at home. Tandoori chicken is a much bigger challenge. I’d rather just go out for it.
The places I eat at are relatively quite. Ethnic food and high price tags rarely attract the type of folks who eat at Denny’s. Additionally, there never seems to be a rush. Waiters aren’t frantically sprinting about. Customers aren’t complaining. Orders aren’t getting screwed up. It’s tranquil.
When social obligations require it, I eat at western restaurants. Olive Garden, franchise burger joints, chain steakhouses. The atmosphere is nothing like my coveted ethnic hangouts. The customers are rude. Their families obnoxious. A dopy middle aged man argues about his meal while his children shriek like savage animals. Cheap patrons try and haggle down the final bill. It’s hectic.
I know quite a few waiters and waitresses. Working their way through college. They’ve all got stories. Huge rushes of unruly customers. Difficult tables. Weird guys who find it appropriate to uncomfortably flirt with the staff. All the while they have to pretend to be cheery least they lose tip money. From what I’ve heard almost all the difficult customers never tip well anyway.
After hearing about the nightmare of waiting tables, I devised some rules for when I go out:
- No hitting on the staff.
From what I’ve observed some of the meekest guys on Earth will try and mack on waitresses. Since there’s a zero percent chance of getting rejected these neckbeards will do whatever creepy nonsense pops into their minds.* All the while knowing that the waitress will have to put up with them. To avoid being like these dweebs, I make sure to treat my server with respect.
- Never deduct on a tip.
No one punishes me for having a bad attitude where I work. I’m not going to reduce a server’s pay simply because they didn’t act exactly how I wanted them to. They’re there to provide a service, not be my new best friend. As such everyone who waits on me get’s the same, large percentage, tip.
- Give everyone a free pass.
I don’t complain if my order is wrong. I’ve never sent anything back to the kitchen. And I’ve never tried to argue the final bill. Mistakes happen. If I don’t like a place I simply won’t return again. It isn’t something that needs to be fought over.
I have lot’s of respect for anyone who works in the service industry. It’s a stressful racket.
* These are the dudes who pull weird stuff like trying to feel up the waitress, trying to solicite her for acts prostitution, or blurting out “I love you” after she fake laughs at their corny joke. Not every guy who flirts with girls in restaurants is automatically a creep.