National Waitstaff Day, Vol. 18, Issue 18

Today, May 21, is another one of those Internet Holidays, National Waitstaff Day, “created to show appreciation to and thank all waitstaff for making our dining experiences enjoyable ones.” Many of us can remember waiters and waitresses who Saved the Day, either by salvaging a situation with a Misbehaving Child, helping present a birthday dessert with Just One Candle, or ensuring that an allergy is appropriated attended to. If you’re dining out tonight, be generous.

It’s also Perfectly Proper to share this reader comment after Etiquetteer’s recent column on tipping:

“My daughter was a waitress once, and it’s a hectic job with long hours (early for breakfast or late for dinner) and surly patrons. They are poorly paid and rely on those tips. On a $50 dinner, 15% is $7.50, and 20% is $10. So we’re talking about two dollars a fifty stinking cents. Really? That doesn’t mean anything to most of us, but it can be significant for the waitress, especially when taken over the night. 

“And large groups are harder work, so 15% is closer to stiffing than generous.

“Finally, breakfasts are usually significantly cheaper than dinner but require the same amount of work, so 20% is usually too low. 

“I’d just recommend people think about what they’re tipping.”