No no, not me. I was perusing The Pragmatic Chef and noticed he put up a post about some food critic changing shoes for a week and waiting tables. He’d been a waiter 20 years previous, but it’d been a while and sounded like a good idea. I read Frank Bruni’s article and it reminded me of my attitude towards people who take care of us in restaurants.
I remember many years ago when I was real little, maybe 5 or so and my grandmother and uncle would take myself and my little sister out to eat. Gramma always pointed out how hard waiters and waitresses worked. How many things they’d have to remember, who got what and what went to what table. Be kind and don’t make trouble. Sit still in your seat and don’t run around, it isn’t polite. If you knock something over, ask for a towel so that ‘you’ (meaning me) can clean it up promptly. Don’t open up the sugar packets and spread it over the table, it’ll make a mess. If you have a question, ask. If you don’t ask, you’ll never find out the answer to your question. Kinda makes sense huh?
I remember the meals usually went fine. If the kitchen was running a little slow, Gramma would lean over to me and say, “I’ll pretend to light up a cigarette and you just see if our food doesn’t come out right quick.” And it nearly always did, Gramma knew.
After we got the check, it was time to calculate the tip. The ever powerful way of showing your appreciation to those who matter. Or letting them know that something, wasn’t quite as you had expected it to be.
We always tipped whatever the standard percentage was at that time or more if we were exceptionally pleased. Or as I grew older, too loaded and caused a scene, that’s a 50% tip right there. Sorry to you and yours for that, and that, and that. Oh and there was that time at El Cabballo for Dave’s birthday. Does Speaking on Tongues mean anything to you?
Over the years I’ve dined with many people and have been appalled at the rudeness of some. One of which flat out refused to tip based on the fact they already get paid. They shouldn’t get a tip for what they’re already paid for. He doesn’t tip the grocery store clerk or the shoe salesperson, why the waitress? We didn’t go out much to eat together.
While I don’t go out to eat often, I always make a point of tipping well and not being rude, even if I am hungry and full of booze.
Here’s the article! My Week as a Waiter by Frank Bruni