(A summer repeat from May 2, 2013)
I’m not talking Cheerios, strawberry pop tarts or cold pizza (a breakfast staple of mine long ago). I’m talking “tips” (gratuities) in restaurants — for those who serve you breakfast. Lemme ask this — you go into a restaurant and order a cup of coffee for $1.50. What would you leave as a tip for your server? 15% is 22-1/2 cents (rounded up to a quarter). Yes? Maybe 30 cents if you leave 20%? Your server would probably give you the “big spender” look, shake her head and walk away. Me? I’d probably leave a buck. Or two. Especially if I’m nursing 5 refills of java while reading the newspaper.
I remember reading an article a few years ago – that has guided me – on tipping. Especially for breakfast. “Breakfast servers” the article said, “are always deservant of a higher percentage tip than those who serve you dinner.” Why? Because bacon and eggs with toast, hash browns, coffee and orange juice may cost you nine bucks. And you walk out of the restaurant stuffed to the gills and smiling for the day. Dinner may cost you three sawbucks and a fin. Who gets more tip for the same work? Yep. . . . .
I don’t want to seem frivolous but on those occasions when I’ve gone out for breakfast and the bill for Donna and me is $20, I may leave a $5.00 tip. Maybe $6.00. Why? Because the server works just as hard (probably more so) filling the coffee cups, water glasses and balancing multiple plates. Of course if service is bad, I’m quick to adjust downward too.
In restaurants where I am known (“uh oh – it’s Petersen“), I will also be generous. After all, why not? Again, I am not being frivolous. I believe I’m being smart. A generous tip makes for a happy server. And it seems to make me welcome when I come back.