Some things I do not want to see while dining out:
A pen with a logo on it. (The logo for the restaurant you are at is fine. Any other logo, not so much.)
A pen with a logo of a big business.
A pen with a logo of a small business.
A pen for someone’s multi-level markteing or Ponzi scheme.
A pen from a business I don’t like doing business with.
A pen from a Pharmaceutical Rep
A pen from a Charity
Pen’s that don’t write.
Pen’s with chewed caps.
Greasy or sticky pens.
Many waitstaff consider pens as an afterthought. They realize they have 2 pens right as they get to work. And so they do whatever they can to scrap together an arsenal, begging around for anything that might work. There are others who aren’t far behind, and so before they leave, they grab a handful pens stamped with pharmaceutical logos. The logos alone are distracting and the pens are often crappy. I cannot quantify the effect of using such substandard equipment. Nonetheless, I am sure that they do not help you any.
Do not be that waiter or waitress.
I have been using the same pens for a while now. They are clicky pens. I buy them in bulk. I know two stores where I can get them in town. I ordered them online once as well, and by doing so I got free shipping on the headphones I ordered.
I realize most servers would rather not have to buy them. It’s an extra chore and an undesirable expense. That said, there is no reason to lose tip money by using insufficient pens.
Consider the moment when the patron is writing. They are are signing a credit or debit card receipt. They are also mulling over what to leave you for a tip. This is not a good time for a bad impression. Giving the patron a pen that does not write well or a pen with a distracting logo could be irritating. Giving them something that is sticky, greasy or has been chewed on is unsanitary and disgusting. It should not happen. Moreover, the patron could take out their frustration on you and trim a little bit off of your tip. Or they could pocket it altogether and leave you nothing. These outcomes may not happen often, but I am sure they have happened.
Take the extra time to get acceptable quality pens. Be prepared. This is something within your control. Do not lose tip money over something like this.