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Feb 4, 2008 08:59 PM

"Is the tip okay?"

Have you ever asked your server if the tip you left him/her was okay?

I served a table tonight and the woman who paid asked me that flat out but I didn't feel that it was right to say "No, $25 on $270 is not okay, especially since you and your mother were very high maintenance and I brought you everything you asked for very promptly and with a smile on my face the whole time."

They were a very nice table and but I just find it very odd that people periodically ask if they've tipped properly. I understand if someone else at the table asked if the tip was alright because they know their dining companion doesn't always tip properly but what is a server suppose to say when they are asked by the person who is paying? I just said that it was fine and left it at that because I didn't want to make the situation any more awkward or make the woman feel cheap.

Now, this was not the diner's first visit to the restaurant and she actually used to date someone who used to work there so she definitely knew the price point well before receiving the bill. She dropped names of other staff whenever I went to check up on the table and she kept asking for different cutlery, plates, etc. after I brought her the usually things. I understand wanting things that will make your visit more comfortable and I am more than happy to bring you those things but I thought that she should have requested these things at the beginning instead of making someone make two trips considering she was familiar with the restaurant.

I know some people will say that the service may not have been up to par but I definitely know that it was (servers know when they're giving crap service).

Should I have told her that her tip was below average?

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  1. I'm sure there's a nice way to let her know. Perhaps something like "I haven't had a chance to check. If it would make you more comfortable, I can get you a calculator to help determine percentage."

    5 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      Wow, tough one. Does she usually ask this question? Was she sincere?

      If yes to both, I guess you could answer a question with a question and ask her what percentage she meant to leave and then tell her that 20% is the norm. Or should be.

      1. re: dolores

        This was the first time I've served her table so I have no idea if she asks this to all the servers. She seemed more clueless than sincere but either way, if you're asking your server that question, you probably know the tip isn't really okay.

        1. re: wildphoenix

          You're dead on. She knew perfectly well that the tip was inadequate.
          By saying that to you, she put in an uncomfortable situation while giving the rest of her table the impression that she tipped well. What a miserable thing to do!
          If anyone ever has the nerve to do that again. Turn it around. Smile politely and say in a voice able to be heard by the rest of the table. "I hope you were plaesed with my service. Most of my wonderful customers/patrons generously leave me leave me the standard 20%, but by all means, you do whatever you wish". You have one of the most difficult jobs. Anyone who would put you on the spot by asking you that ridiculous question, more than deserves that kind of response.

          1. re: wildphoenix

            I completely agree. She would have never asked that question if she knew the tip was okay. How low!

            I believe the best response to that is just as Mojo said "20% is standard but I can get you a calculator if you'd like".

            That is AWFUL to ask a server. She is just cheap and trying to make herself look good in front of her guests.

            1. re: xena1441

              Gawd, I can't tell if it's more nervy or tacky, or if it's a dead heat. People like that are very, very low.

      2. I don't think there is an appropriate,professional way to say that someone's tip is not good enough. I would have said, "of course, ma'am. Thank you." then i would have sighed in the back and hoped that next table went better.

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