By Susan Howard
After graduating college, as a way to make some cash, I waited on tables at a local hipster diner in West Hollywood. The job is actually a lot harder than you might think. To be a successful server you have to take on a bunch of tables while keeping them all happy simultaneously even as they are likely on different parts of their meal. One wants a drinks menu, another patrons hot order of pancakes and bacon is up and the last is ready to go and wants the check. At a busy restaurant which is where you make the good money, it’s especially challenging. Plus you are on your feet for eight hours at a time running around punching in orders, carrying food and busing tables.
As a rule, you should tip these people 20 percent of the total bill across the board, unless something really goes horribly bad, like you get a glass of beer spilled on your lap.
Now as a patron, having been a server, I have a tendency to over order so I can intentionally make the bill higher, not wanting to disappoint the waiter with a, “We will split the small salad and have two waters, thanks.”
The issue with this way of thinking is that when you over order, there is more food on the table than you are really hungry for, but you eat it anyways because, well it’s there. Never feel obligated to order more food or add a cocktail if you are not in the mood for it. Instead do this: order what you want, the tuna tartar appetizer and a glass club soda and tell the server you want to start with that and that you would like to keep the menu. This way you don’t feel lame and the server won’t question it. Then if you are hungry for more (you won’t be usually) you can add.
If your bill is extra low, tip high, round up a few bucks and you will feel absolved… this is assuming you are like me and have these crazy dysfunctional thoughts in the first place.
There must be a point where we say, “Hey, I am an adult, I can do what I want.” As I sit here, a mother of 3, I still don’t feel like an adult, but I am trying. Someday.
No peer pressure eating. Well, that may be a whole different blog…stay tuned…oh yeah and