Waiter Rant: Tips from The Waiter

Image courtesy CartoonBank
Image courtesy CartoonBank
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Show Response:
I am a vegetarian, often eating out with colleagues -- who choose the restaurant. I don't want to make myself the center of attention. My usual tactic is to try an aside to the waiter, explain my need, and ask for advice and assistance. That does not work in seafood restaurant -- if I have to go, I have dessert.
Once I asked for a pasta and wild mushroom dish, hold the meat, and the chef sent the waiter back to tell me that he would not waste his mushrooms on me. I had coffee.

Nan, Akron

Please comment on the proper greeting of customers. There is something that annoys me (I'm in my 60's) when a young person comes up to our table and says "Hi Guys, want something to drink?" and then walk up to the table every 5 minutes and interupt a conversation (while you are trying to make a point to a client). I eat out every day and realize many times servers are not professionals. But the basic polite issue goes a long way.
Has your guest every dined in Europe? What are his experiences? The waiters I know there are unbelievably proud of their profession and are trained, usually in high school.


My wife and I usually leave 20% tips. She was a waitress and a hostess and knows/understands the needs of waiters and waitresses.
My question- if you truly have bad service is there a way to address this without offending the waiter/waitress? We usually leave 10 to 15% for bad service.

Mark, Kent

I am enjoying your show and have an urgent question. A few months ago we went to a new restaurant that opened next to a theater we frequent. It has received rave reviews and the food is very good. Although we arrived 1 1/2 hour before curtain, we had a bad experience where the food was cold and arrived 15 minutes before curtain We had to inhale our food and rush to make the curtain. While we were waiting for our food we noticed a waitress in the section next to us who had very a bad business experience with my husband. As a result she lost her job and is now supporting herself waitressing. My husband says she did not see us but I contend that she did and that resulted in our poor service. I really don't blame the waitstaff for sticking together, and I must admit I would likely be guilty of sabotage if I was in her position. We want to try the restaurant again but given our past experience I am reluctant to do so. My husband refuses to see the problem. Am I over reacting? Is it safe to try the restaurant again? Did we simply not give enough time to eat and make the curtain?
Kathy, Berea

Great show. I'm a pizza delivery person in Mayfield. We consider ourselves wait staff and we are paid in that way too as our shop starts drivers out at $6.00 an hour. We are often tipped but frequently we are not - we do get a gasoline reimbursement of $1 per hour but if you are taking a 12 mile round trip delivery you actually end up paying out of your pocket to do the delivery. Waiters in restaurants make so much more money in tips than we do - and they don't have to get on the road and take their lives in jeopardy to get the customer their food - We also have to take orders, make pizza, clean, wash dishes, take the trash out etc for $6 an hour!
Thanks for your show,


I always tip 20% for average to above average service (even more for excellent service). But I’ve had a few discussions with friends that resulted in a wide range of opinions on how much to tip when service is poor. Some say I should still tip 15%. I feel I’m a sucker for falling for this one size fits all strategy as it rewards the server for poor/indifferent service.
Jim, Cleveland

I have all but stopped going out to eat. Knowing how to cook, I became tired of bad food and bad service being passed off as something special. And the last time I was treated to a professional wait staff it was in Europe.
Bradley, Lakewood

I'm a pizza delivery driver - we make less than minimum wage and rely on tips to earn the bulk of our pay. When we aren't one the road - we are making pizza, washing dishes and cleaning. Although we get $1 per delivery to cover our gasoline - you would be amazed at how many customers do not tip. On a really busy shift, you might be able to deliver to 3 customers - if they all do not tip, not only have we lost our own money due to gasoline costs, but we only earn $5 per hour.
Great show,

Brent, Strongsville


Steve Dublanica, The Waiter

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