Students’ guide to dining: don’t forget to leave a tip

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As students grow tired of the cafeteria food and McDonalds, the idea of hitting up the local Mexican food joint or Italian bistro becomes more
appealing. Almost everyone loves indulging in their favorite dishes at restaurants. Whether it is chicken crispers at Chili’s, pizza at BJ’s, or
the soup and salad at Olive Garden, we all have a menu and food selection that fits our taste perfectly. The tips below are some unspoken rules for getting the most out of your favorite restaurant.

1. Please and thank you

Politeness is key when dealing with restaurant staff. Servers, bartenders and hostesses have feelings just like anyone else, and appreciate when they are treated respectfully. It seems simple, but these little words go a long way in the service industry.

2. Call ahead

When planning on visiting a restaurant with more than six people, call 30 or
more minutes ahead to give them adequate time to make arrangements for your party. This helps the restaurant run smoothly and ensures that you will be seated quickly.

3. Speak up

Mumbling is one of the hardest things to deal with when trying to figure out what someone wants. Make sure to speak clearly when your order is being taken. Confusion and miscommunication can ruin an outing with friends or even worse, a date.

4. Communicate your needs

Drinks are bottomless at most restaurants, and many patrons take advantage of that. If you find that you go through more than three drinks during your visit on most occasions, let the server know that you tend to drink quite a bit so that they can be prepared to refill your glass often. This works in the patron’s favor by keeping the glass full, and gives food servers a heads up on the task ahead.

If your food comes out wrong or doesn’t taste very appetizing, ask to speak to a manager. Most restaurants will be happy to pay for your dish and replace it with something better, even free dessert.

5. Tipping

The green-eyed monster strikes again! The standard tip is usually 15-20 percent for good service. For bad service, a minimum of 10 percent is the
going rate. Remember, servers in the area are paid $2.13 an hour and rely on tips to pay rent, bills and in many cases, their child’s food. Servers are
also quite good at remembering faces, so leaving an appropriate tip can ensure that you receive good service the next time you visit.

Author: Mateo Gamboa

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