To tip or not to tip?

Meghan Driscoll

One of the most debated topics in the food business is tipping. How much do you leave? What is considered too much or too little?

The standard range for tipping is usually between 10% to 20%. The money that servers make in tips help make up for the lack of money they make in their paycheck. Typically, servers make around $5 an hour. Servers rely on their tip money to make a decent income.

Although a restaurant usually gives off the impression that everything goes smoothly, working in a restaurant can be quite hectic and stressful. Servers have the most interaction with the customers and this often makes them the easy target when something goes wrong. Once the server enters the order, their part is done. It is then up to the cooks to make the food and inform the server when it is ready. When something is wrong with the food, the server often gets the brunt of the customers anger. Much of the time the “bad service” isn’t even due to something the server does, yet it is almost always reflected in the tip that is left.

Good service is essential for the success of a restaurant. But how do you determine what makes a good waiter or waitress? One of the most important factors in a good server is their friendliness level. It can ruin a whole experience if the server is unpleasant or rude. Quickness and attentiveness are also very important. It is quite annoying to be out to eat, run out of a drink and have to wait more than a few minutes for a refill. It’s a general rule that the server should check on their customers within 3 to 4 minutes.