Tipping your food server - a real life guide.

In the last few years I've noticed many servers seemingly feel they are "owed" and do the bare minimum, knowing they are still going to get a "decent enough" tip. You know when the server is doing all they can and when they simply don't care. While rewarding great performance is always appreciated, you shouldn't be afraid to allow your gratuity to speak for you when required. Leaving a good tip when the service was poor sends a message to the server that they did fine and that's the wrong message. Lackluster service doesn't need to be and shouldn't be rewarded.

Expect to be greeted within two minutes of being seated, your drinks to arrive three minutes after ordering (give bar drinks five minutes) and unneeded items to be removed in a reasonable time. Your server should be friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable. This is all well within their job description and what your tip is paying for. I accept no attitude from a server and speak to a manager if one is perceived rather than deal with it throughout the meal. It is your right as a guest to receive good service.

Outstanding service: 30% - I've received and left 100%+
Great service - 25%
Good service- 18%
Reasonable service - 15%
Mediocre service - 10%
Poor service - 3-5% to cover the server's expenses

If you realize that servers depend on their tips for their income and don't want to harm them financially, I commend you. You would be doing a service to the server, the restaurant and those who follow you to speak with management about your experience. The server will then know they fell short of your expectations and will be coached for the benefit of all concerned. If you get outstanding service the management would love to hear that as well.