Tag Archives: Olive Garden

Saturday Salutations: Tipping Your Conscience

17 Feb

The sunshine was inviting, but the outside temp was still a little chilly, well, at least for Texas. It was one of those stay under the covers kinda days, and since my morning writing group was cancelled, that’s just what I did. Of course, that doesn’t last too long when you have a nine month old puppy the size of a Shetland pony barking incessantly.

My Saturday usually entails taking care of the dogs, checking emails and Facebook, calling Mom, frantically trying to type something witty to take to writing group, and fighting with an uncooperative printer. Then I’d scurry off to the Square for our meeting, have lunch at Snug, and walk around visiting with friends. Yep, pretty much my routine every Saturday.

Today was pleasantly different. After taking care of the dogs, a leisurely cup of tea and the newspaper were my companions. I watched more mindless television and did all that email stuff. But, something strange happens when you are used to scrambling around. You start to get antsy by noon. So, I called my friend, Della, and we met at Olive Garden for lunch. I know what you’re thinking, “Yuck! Olive Garden?” But, it was a brisk soup and salad kinda day, so there!

Our young waiter’s name was Jake. He probably wasn’t old enough to shave yet, but he was very attentive and did a great job. Jake brought us more salad, refilled drinks, and pretty much worked his butt off for his little measly compensation. I have this philosophy about tipping at restaurants. It really isn’t the amount of your bill that you should use to calculate for your tip, but the amount of service and the circumstance.

I have been to fancy-dancy restaurants where the waiter comes by a couple times, pours some expensive wine and gets 20% of a $400 check for a couple minute’s work. Poor Jake hustled for about an hour and a half, probably stopped by ten times, and my bill was $7.50. I ask you, how is that fair? 20% would have only been $1.50, and a lot of people don’t even tip 20%. I left the kid $11, and even felt guilty about that. That’s over 40%, but the young man treated us like royalty and deserved every penny.

On our way out, I made sure to tell the hostess that Jake was an excellent server. I find that people tend to complain about poor service, but rarely compliment good service. So, think about that the next time you go out to eat. Tip your conscience, not the numbers. All the Jakes in the world will appreciate it.