Many times the waitress/waiter is overworked and undertipped

On this page you are provided with several good cooking recipes, and now I want to bring your attention to something of which you may not be aware when you dine out at your favorite restaurant.

I am a person who eats out a lot. I try to go to the best restaurants, the ones that have the best chefs and best servers. We do have a few good ones in our neighborhood that we can write home about. What I observe that bothers me most is that the servers (waitress/waiter) are not receiving a decent tip for excellent service.

The federal minimum wage for servers is $2.13 per hour. That minimum wage is based on the fact that the servers get tips. These tips are critical for their livelihood. I go to IHOP for breakfast often. I love their food and I receive excellent service. The management of IHOP trains their employees how to serve the customers in the most proficient method.

The “base” tip is 15 percent. Ten percent went out 20 years ago. Good servers should get more; poor servers less. If teenagers are old enough to go to a restaurant with friends, they're old enough to tip properly.

If you sit and chat past the end of your meal, your tip should be higher. That server is not making money by your sitting there.

Groups over eight should tip a minimum of 20 percent, 25 percent if the service was good. The larger the group the more difficult it is to give good service. The percentages still apply, and the customers should consider whether the server had to handle separate checks.

“Tip out” is tipping the servers team members at the end of their shift, which includes the bus boys, bartenders and expediters. This runs 3 to 5 percent of the server's gross sales for the shift. If one has $500 in sales for the shift and averaged 15 percent in tips, that's netting $75. The tip out will run $15 to $25; leaving the server to take home $50 to $60 for the shift. Many local servers only have $100 to $200 in sales for their shift.

The servers do not enjoy being told by the customer how terrific they are yet left only a 10 percent tip. Any tip less than 15 percent is an insult to the server, provided the customer received good service. These servers are working for a living, supporting their families and/or putting themselves through college.

Most do enjoy their work and want you to enjoy your dining experience. Leave them a 20 percent tip if the service was good. I leave my tips in $2 bills. And I see the smile on their faces for the 20 percent tip and they are more excited to get it in $2 bills. These bills are still made and you can get all you want at your local bank.

Contact Noah at:

Noah's Galley


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