January is Be Kind to Food Servers Month, a time to recognize the contributions of people who help make our dining experience more enjoyable.
So why should we be kind to food servers?
Well, first of all, because they're people. People who are trying to make a living like the rest of us, and usually at less-than-minimum wage. The expectation, of course, is that tips will make up the difference in their wages so they reach at least minimum wage.
So where does that different come from? Well, from you and me, of course.
And how much should it be? Well, an industry standard for tipping is about 18 percent. And if you want to simplify it, make it 20.
That means if you have a meal for two and the bill is $25, then you should tip about $5, making a total bill of $30. Even if you dine at Buck's Grill and enjoy the $4.95 burger and fries special, you should throw in another $1 for a tip.
It doesn't end with tipping, though. Being kind to food servers means putting yourself in their place. How would you feel if people jumped all over you whenever their mashed potatoes were too cold, their soup too hot, human hairs the same color and texture as those on the cook's head prominently visible through the kitchen window were adorning your eggs or cockroaches were napping in your creme brulee? Is that the food server's fault? Did the food server deliberately wait to serve your mashed potatoes and gravy until they were cold? Was it the food server who deliberately heated the soup to scalding, like a medieval warrior protecting the castle battlements? Was it your young, flaxen-locked food server who yanked those gnarled, gray hairs from her head and put them in your eggs? Or was it your food server who searched the kitchen floor relentlessly for cockroaches, just so she could place them in your creme brulee? Of course not.
It was the cook!!!
So don't blame your food server.
Blame the cook.