Being manly men we are also polite and considerate men–right? So let’s consider a couple of things in this fairly short post-our manners when we are dining out.
Most of us reading this blog have at one time or another had pretty remedial jobs whether working in food service or delivering papers (do they still do that?). Folks working for tips in food service have a fairly tough job–they have to deal with the public, and the public is full of idiots! In some restaurants this is a really tough job.
Tip the good ones well and the poorer ones less–pretty simple because we don’t always dine out for the food but for the experience. If the experience is having to fire off a flare gun to get more coffee at your table while the wait staff chatters to each other next to the case register-they do not deserve a good tip.The good ones, really good ones, do.
This is not about tipping though, this is about customer (that’s us) courtesy. Waiters (this is a guy blog–enough of this waitperson crap!) work for tips mostly. That means the more tables they serve well the more money they can make.
However, there are certain times in the day when business is best and those times are surrounded by a whole bunch of empty time. During the work week breakfast is best between 7:30 to 10:00am, lunch 11:30 to 1:30, dinner generally between 5:30-7:00. Weekends expand all of these times somewhat, especially dinner.
During these time frames waiters are assigned only a few tables–some chains only allow 2 or 3 tables. Okay, all this background is done, here is the meat of this.
Ignorant jackasses (sorry lady’s, but you are the worse) we have seen it time after time especially at lunch. Folks will go in, order, eat and then tie up tables with idle chatter after the meal is all done and sometimes even after the table is cleared (take a hint dummy’s).
We have seen these inconsiderate table hogs (both sexes) chew up an entire lunch period of 11/2 hours some 45 minutes after they are finished with the meal and the table is cleared of food except for their after lunch iced tea or coffee. There they are sitting on their asses visiting and destroy the server’s prospects of seating another customer before the best sales period is over.
Then when they leave it is a 10 percent tip. Two things have happened here. These idiots have cheated the restaurant out of some income it needs to stay in business with another customer (called table turnover) and they have cheated the waiter out of an opportunity to turn that table and serve more customers and make more tips–that’s reason they are working there in the first place! Waiters make their money from tips based on food cost, their service and those very important, table turns during their shift on the job.
It is reasonable that after you are finished in a restaurant, if it is busy, to have that final 5-minutes of coffee and then leave.
If the restaurant is not jammed then it is incredibly polite of YOU to inform your waiter you understand table turns and ask him if you were to stick around a bit longer to visit will it hurt his/her table turns. Then again, if you have a functioning brain you can see the place is busy, so eat and get out. If not so busy, ask him/her — your server will love you for that rare courtesy, take care of you better, and remember you if you return and, you will feel good too because you did the right thing. And you might tip a bit more…
In high end restaurants where you are going to drop $100 or much more it is a bit different as the waiters are pulling down some serious tip money and they get and understand the reasonable visit after a great meal. But at a shorter order restaurant like Denny’s, Olive Garden, a pancake house or your local dive or whatever, it is much different–those folks are not making high end money tips from expensive meals and booze, they need the table turns to make a living.
So guys, let’s man up a bit and think of the folks who serve us in restaurants and cut them some slack. Eat and get out!
We would like to hear what you think on this subject.