You Never Really Know

Posted on November 4, 2011


My father gave me sound advice.  Having waited tables for a few years now, I would offer it to any other waiter or waitress, whether brand new or seasoned veteran.

You can never predict how a patron will tip.  Almost never.  Excluding regulars, because you may actually know with some of them, you never know for sure what people will leave you.

You name the scenario, and I have come across it.  Small tips on big checks.  Big tips on small checks.  No tip when I thought I would do well.  A nice tip on an off day or when I made a major mistake.

There was also the time a co-worker and friend of mine got a $500 tip.  That was on a $50 check.  She got it because she was good and because they liked her.

Since you never really know, as a waiter or waitress you must be relentless.  Never stop working hard for the patron.  The patron you are writing off may surprise you with a great tip.  If you make the wrong assumption, and you stop focusing on service, they may decide to withhold an otherwise good tip from you.  Since tips are your income, that’s the last thing you want.

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