The Proper Way to Treat Your Waitress

August 15, 2007, 9:30 am; posted by
Filed under Articles, Chloe  | 4 Comments

We have been called to be servants to those around us, slaves for Christ, and yet so often we scorn those who serve us. One waitress wrote that church groups were usually the ones who treated her poorly, then left a small tip. How do you treat those who serve you? Do you show them God’s love, or remind them why they don’t go to church? Here are the four most common types of people I’ve come across in my two months as a waitress. Try to guess which one you are and which one you should be.

This type of patron is usually on the higher end of the economic scale, or he doesn’t have much in the way of a personality. Friendly banter is lost on him, and he avoids eye contact. He may talk on his cell phone while ordering, or completely ignore the waitress because he wants to finish his conversation. He rarely tips, and he’ll send the waitress back for things one at a time — water refill, coffee refill, hamburger not well done, ketchup, more napkins — rather than asking for all that he knows he needs at once.

This type of patron could either be on the high or low end of the economic scale. The richer patron generally assumes that anyone in such a dead-end job must be an idiot, and deserves the treatment he’s dishing out. Who knows? Maybe he will inspire her to actually do something with her life! The poorer patron believes the world owes him something, and considers the waitress below him, because everyone else acts like he’s below them. This type of patron leaves a tip in relation to how hard the waitress worked — the harder she worked for him, the smaller the tip. He also abuses the waitress for what is usually the cook’s fault; shoot the messenger, and all that.

Piece of Meat
This type of patron is a man (though if the server is male, the patron will be female), and is usually the age of the waitress’ father or grandfather. He thinks she’s there for his viewing pleasure. Sometimes he’s younger and unattractive, but fancies himself God’s gift to women. More often than not, he’s looking for free food. He doesn’t realize she gets hit on about twice a week, and asked out once or twice a month. He also doesn’t realize that he looks like a lobotomized pig compared to her crush/boyfriend/fiancé. No matter how he flatters her, she doesn’t feel pretty when she’s working. She feels sweaty and sticky and covered by the stench of French fry grease and dried ketchup. His phone number will line the trash bin along with all those other dopes, and he will be ridiculed in the kitchen.

This type of patron is kind, has probably been in the waitress’s shoes before, or just realizes that her job is not easy. He is gentle, tells her it’s fine if she messes up, and he leaves the proper tip (but doesn’t overly flatter her). A variation of this patron is the one who comes in often, and has both a “usual” and a sense of humor. This patron knows why the waitress looks stressed and will be sure to ask how school is going and how her family is doing. This patron tries not to leave too much of a mess on the table. Once in a while, he might even pray for the waitress.

Your waitress is a person. She has emotions, bad days, fears, and a life outside of work. Her dog gets hit by a car, her grandpa is dying of cancer, but she has to come to work anyway. She will usually do her best to keep you happy (if only because she really needs that tip), but she isn’t perfect, and she can’t always bend over backwards for you. And more often than not, she really, really doesn’t want your phone number.

Serve those who serve you. Please, respect your waitress.


4 Comments to “The Proper Way to Treat Your Waitress”

  1. Karen on August 15th, 2007 1:19 pm

    I hate waiting tables with a passion. I think its from the devil

  2. David on August 16th, 2007 4:11 pm

    We had a large group Christian thing at Howard Johnsons one time and one of our men also managed the restauraunt. When we were getting toward the end of the evening he introduced the waitress and told us “Give her a good tip.” Immediately someone yelled out “Here’s a great tip…Jesus loves you!”. When the laughter died down he said “She wants proof.”

  3. Karen on August 16th, 2007 9:24 pm

    Yeah one of the things that really bothers me is people who leave a tract on the table with a crappy tip. because a) if you had asked I could have told you I was saved and b) it really doesn’t show love or sacrifice, like Jesus would.

  4. Ethan Sjolander on August 26th, 2008 10:34 pm

    So what’s it considered when one leaves a $10 tip on a $10 bill but doesn’t ask for (or leave) a phone number? As is my usual Modus Operandi.

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