Question About Tip

February 5, 2010

in Tipping & Etiquette Stories

I decided to sneak out with my daughter for a certain dessert. We arrived there and got a table quickly, and ordered a single dessert to share. The waiter never brought us water. After 10 minutes I had to flag down another waiter to ask for water. It took another 15 minutes to get the dessert.

I realize that waiters work for tips and the order was small, so we ate quickly since it was almost dinner time. I left a $2.50 tip on a $7.60 bill (which I hope is enough?).

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

m February 6, 2010 at 3:47 am

Definitely adequate. As a server, I'm always happy with more than a dollar or a dollar fifty on a small bill. Even if the quantity isn't much, I appreciate the percent and the thought that goes into it (i.e. realizing you low total and taking up table time during prime hours)


ND March 6, 2010 at 11:09 pm

No, it's not when a server could have filled that table with people who were actually going to eat a FULL meal and tip on a bill that was more than ten bucks. Next time you just want dessert, go to Dairy Queen and let the server make more than 2.50 per hour.


Jack February 18, 2018 at 8:30 am

Amd while you're doing that, they should never eat out again.


Serenity March 11, 2010 at 10:22 am

did you ask for water? or just assume they'd bring it? a lot of places only serve it on request in the interest of conservation, and in Cali, where I am, it is now LAW that it is served only on request. Therefore, if you tell me you want "nothing" to drink, 'nothing" is what you'll get.


Jack March 26, 2010 at 1:06 pm

You ate dessert before dinner? A certain dessert? Are you for real? How old are you? Have you ever been out on your own before? OMG where do these people come from?


Jacob April 29, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Sounds a bit high considering the service you got, but definitely a nice tip for the bill.


Carrie April 30, 2010 at 12:47 am

I think that tip is fine. I would probably leave at least five, though, since his table was taken up. However, it sounds like he was rude to you, so really, you could have left a smaller tip. Servers (myself included) shouldn't treat guests differently just because they order something cheap. Don't assume that someone's going to give you a bad tip. I would suggest that if you don't mind it, go into the bar area next time. That's where I work and we're used to having smaller food orders.


Kristen June 2, 2010 at 1:53 pm

That seems appropriate if you got good service, but it sounds like you were ignored. I wouldn't have left more than a dollar (and I usually tip 25-30%) if I had to wait 10 minutes for drinks and 15 minutes for a dessert — come on!!

If the restaurant was VERY busy or your server was way overloaded, I would have been understanding, but it sounds like they just wrote you off as not important.

When people order just dessert, I take care of them as quickly as possible because the quicker I let them eat, the sooner they leave and I have another free table. $2 for 15 minutes of a closed table and running a couple drinks and a dessert is plenty.

I work in Texas so we get paid $2.13 an hour, I might add.

You did more than I would have done in that situation; good for you. 🙂


MM June 29, 2010 at 5:15 am

I tip 20%, and anything below $10 I leave $2 as a matter of course.

I don't get the comment from Jack; it seems silly to assume that the OP had dessert before dinner.

When I was younger I was always absolutely delighted to sneak out for a dessert–it made my day.


Jack June 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I'm sorry I just don't get the "sneaking out for dessert" thing. Sneaking from what, who?

As far as the tip goes, considering the poor service, I wouldn't have left anything, and I wouldn't have felt guilty about it. For decent service I would have left about $2.00.


MM June 29, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I don't think of it as sneaking out against the will of anybody, necessarily, though it may be the case. In my mind the phrase refers to going out for dessert after dinner at home. It's just something out of the ordinary and fun.


Peace Lover June 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Perhaps they were sneaking out against the will of the OP's partner. It is quite common for a parent to spoil a child without the other parents approval. Sometimes even at my age I sneak away a little midnight snack to satisfy my sweet tooth "giggle"


Imjustawaitress November 7, 2010 at 9:51 am

Did you order water and the server forgot to bring it to you? Or did you not order water assuming that the server would read your mind? I'm assuming this is what you said (considering the background story you gave) "We are JUST going to have the dessert." That to me would mean nothing else but dessert, including a drink. Also, if you order one thing to share – how much hovering do you want your server to do??? And you did get water – even if it wasnt from your server, you got what you wanted – which sounds like good service to me! The tip was fine – you did take up a table meant for dinner service – but as long as you didn't linger, you are fine. Next time, don't assume you got bad service if you got exactally what you asked for!!!


Holly February 25, 2013 at 3:35 am

Speaking as a server, we are told we need to greet our table within 30 seconds. You shouldn't have had to specifically request a drink, you should be asked what you would like to drink. The server should be back every 5 minutes or so to see if you need anything, or at least walk by & look to see that you seem content. And ANY guest deserves treated the same regardless if they have a $5 check or $105. On small checks like yours, a few dollars is a nice tip based on percentage, considering the service you got. For good service I would have left $3 or $4, but in your case, $1.


Sarah February 26, 2013 at 2:43 am

You're taking up space. I never, ever leave anything less than $5.


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