My $5 ‘tips’ for the Customers

by She Flies With Her Own Wings

I recently left my job as a waitress, and wanted to leave some tips for customers…


1 – Let the host/hostess know if you plan on staying awhile or if your group will be growing.

There’s nothing quite like being first off, and then getting a table that decides to camp out until closing, or a table who says there’s two, and then before you know it, your two top is now twenty people… Either of these are fine, just do your server the courtesy of letting them know ahead of time.  That way you can get a server who is going to be there late – servers want to serve you to the best of their ability, just communicate.


1.5 – On the other hand of #1, let them know if you’re in a hurry.

When a server knows you’re in a hurry, they’ll take your order right away and make sure not to give you too much ‘time and spare’, and they’ll also let the kitchen know to bump up your order.  When servers know you’re in a hurry, they can also bring you your ticket right away so you’re not waiting to cash out.  Remember…communication is key.


2 – If something is wrong with your food, or didn’t come out the way you were wanting, just let the server know…nicely.  

There’s no need for yelling or making the server feel awful…she/he didn’t cook your food and didn’t taste it on their way over to you.  Restaurants like happy customers, and servers will be more than happy to get whatever is wrong fixed for you.  This goes for drinks too.  Being rude and mean about it is not going to get you anywhere…and it’s definitely not going to get you top-notch service.


3 – Your server is a person too.

Yes, servers are there to wait on you…but they are NOT your servants! There’s a big difference.  Make eye contact when you’re talking to them, smile back, say please and thank you.  Treating your server with respect and being friendly will get you a long way!


4 – Leave a cash tip. And don’t leave a cheap tip. 

Servers get their credit card tips taxed directly out of their paychecks.  So even if you leave a big tip (which they’ll appreciate regardless), if it’s on a credit card, that’s just that much more that gets taxed and that makes their paycheck that much smaller.  If you’re planning to go out, just take out some cash to bring with you.  Plan on leaving at the minimum a 15% tip…and keep that in mind as you’re ordering and what you can afford.  You should really only leave the minimum 10% tip if your service wasn’t good.  Servers also have to tip-out the cooks, hosts, and expo’s. Keep in mind that servers make their living off of tips and they’re not all theirs – 15% cash tips!


5. Be AWARE of your surroundings.

I can’t stress this one enough.  It would seem like common sense, but I was always amazed with how oblivious people, especially adults, can be.  If the restaurant is slammed, be aware that it’s going to take longer for your server to get over to you, it’s going to take longer for your food to come out, and service isn’t going to be as perfect as it would be if things were slow.  Your server is likely running their ass off and probably somewhat stressed/overwhelmed, so yelling at them and being rude is not going to make the situation any better.  You’re not the only person in the restaurant with needs.  BE AWARE.

If the sign says “Please Wait to be Seated” then that means exactly that! Seating yourself and then getting mad when you don’t have a server is no ones fault except your own.  There’s a reason that sign is there…the host/hostess seats the customer, and then lets the server know where they are…this way your server can get to you in a timely manner. BE AWARE.

If there’s a sign in front of a door that reads “Section Closed”, that does not mean to move passed the sign and open the door.  That means that the section is full and there’s no room for you to sit.  Again, BE AWARE.


It shouldn’t be that complicated…just be aware of your surroundings and take those into consideration, communicate with your server/host, and be respectful at all times.  🙂