Before every customer gets to "dine out" at his/her favorite restaurant there should be a requirement for them to work as a server for a at least one week first! Like every server out there, I get to experience both ends of the spectrum. I dine out and get served, and in turn serve others. This occurs most regularly for me. I guess you could say that I'm quite experienced in both.
It's been a long time battle for American restaurant staffers to extract tips from certain foreign tourists. We know they know our culture before even leaving their own countries. Most of them, anyway. But still it seems that a lof of them come here and play the un-savvy traveler role with their servers. We feel that if you can afford, financially, to travel to another country, then you can afford to tip in bars and restaurants. Why don't they, then? Well, most tell me that they don't see why they should tip. I guess the answer to that is: for the same reason why, when asked for directions to Radio City Music Hall, a server doesn't direct these unsuspecting tourists to the south Bronx... because we have a conscience. We should look out for strangers, even if just on a human level. If you have an inkling of what a server does to earn their tips you'd gladly fork over the 20%. If you don't, then I suggest you read Why Tip the Waiter.
This post was not written by me, rather I found it on the net and thought it was great and needed to be shared:
As to the perception that a given customer only gets "a few minutes" of our time.
Before you arrived we rolled your silverware. Before you arrived we set your table.
We brewed your tea/coffee, sliced your lemons Set up whatever "complimentary" foodstuffs our restaurant offers, etc.
Every time I had a closing shift in the restaurant and was trying to get out at a decent time, seems like Murphy and his law got hungry and decided to pay me a visit. Either I’d get a table that walked in about 5 minutes before the kitchen closed when I hadn’t had one in an hour, or one of my existing tables decided they were going to hang out and tell campfire stories until the wee hours. Yes… those dreaded campers were the worst.
Every other table has left. Every other server has left. All the busboys and runners, it seems, are sitting at table 40 in their street clothes staring at me because they want to get “tipped out”. Even the manager seems like he has a date with Kim Kardashian in fifteen minutes because he keeps poking his head out of the office to see if everyone’s gone.