As you head out tonight to gobble up your favorite linguine, taco, pho, double bacon cheeseburger, pulled pork, bucket of kale, [insert food here], make sure to tip your server a little extra to show our collective gratitude for their often thankless service.
Servers work hard; folding napkins, running food, polishing flatware, stocking toilet paper, pulling doubles, smiling while they're being yelled at, working on their feet for countless hours at a time with nary a bathroom break, packing up leftovers, memorizing daily menu changes, cleaning tables, chairs, floors, you name it. And what do they get in return? The Federal minimum wage for waitstaff in this country is merely $2.13/hr. And while some states go above in beyond in compensating those in the service industry, here in Texas a server's hourly wage is the bare minimum.
While tipping is sometimes seen as an optional gesture in response to excellent service, the truth is that without tips, many full-time servers could find themselves below the poverty line. Tipping protocol is generally 15% of your total bill, though 20% is highly encouraged.
So make to sure tip generously tonight, bring flowers, leave a note, buy your server a drink, or at least give them some words of encouragement!