Merry Christmas; Tip Your Waiter

Christmas Shopping and a Meal Out

It’s mid-December and the Christmas shopping season is in full swing. Friends and relatives of every type are hustling and bustling from store to store knocking items off their gift list. In that rush, a meal out is often in the cards.

Christmas is often a season of happiness and mirth, carols and jingle-bells, Santa photos and candy canes. However, the feeling of joy and love is often in left in the trunk of the car with the Christmas presents and fruit cake when it’s time to sit down at a restaurant. 

Just let that waitress take two extra minutes bringing your water to the table and her tip has already decreased by half. “Merry Christmas to you Beth; too bad you weren’t a bit quicker to my table.”

Take a Deep Breath and Relax

Take a good look around the restaurant. Is it busy? Did you have to wait a bit to be seated? Guess what…, when Jeff comes around to greet you and ask for your initial drink order, he has probably been running his feet off. Greet him with a smile and ask him how his day is going. It’ll let him know you’re not a self centered jerk, and it’ll remind you that the universe doesn’t revolve around yourself. 

If things are busy and your order is taking a bit, don’t be afraid to get his attention and ensure you’ve not been overlooked. However don’t be an ignoramus. Be polite and act like someone who has just been out shopping for Christmas presents, not like someone doing their best impression of Charles Dickens’ Scrooge.

It’s Christmas, Give a Little

See those waiters and waitresses? They probably weren’t vacationing in the Caribbean last week. They probably didn’t arrive at work in their plush new Mercedes.  They’re probably driving a twenty year old Honda Accord with balding tires and praying the tank of gas lasts long enough to get back home again. 

Oftentimes waitstaff are working for minimum wage. While it’s true that a good waiter or waitress can do well on a busy night, many states allow the abhorrent practice of paying below minimum wage and allowing the tip factor to bring the pay up to the minimum wage mark.  These are not people getting rich, they’re people trying to make a living and you have the ability in the half-hour it takes to eat that bacon-burger to impact their day.

Be nice. Be polite. When the meal is over and you’re deciding how much to put into the tip-line – when you’re deciding whether they “deserve it” or not – remember the “Reason for the Season.” Remember what the Christmas holiday is about at its’ core; it’s a message love. It’s a message of receiving a gift of love we didn’t deserve.  Remember that message this holiday season and put a little extra on the tip line… whether you think they deserve it or not!

…and if you’re going to justify a meager tip with the old line “Well finances are a bit tight right now,” then maybe you should just go to McDonald’s. No tipping required.

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