We’re excited about Part 4 of our series “The Art of Etiquette”! As women who seek to further God’s kingdom in our day-to-day lives, we are entrusted with the responsibility to govern the hearts of ourselves and our families. Whether you’re single, married, with children or an empty-nester, these simple and practical tips on behavior, manners, conduct and etiquette will inspire and encourage you to continue to serve the Lord with excellence.
Now, grab yourself a cup of tea and let’s journey together through “The Art of Etiquette”!
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. | 1 Corinthians 10:23
Etiquette Tip #9: Restaurant & Gratuity Etiquette
Eating out may be a very common part of your lifestyle or it may be reserved for special occasions. Regardless of the situation, when someone serves us, we should be grateful. Many who work in the restaurant industry face hectic days and overwhelming rush hours, so always treat others with a friendly face and kind words.
Although manners to practice in restaurants vary depending on the situation, but for the most part you can observe the following:
- Keep track of your “free-range children.” 😉 Even if you are trying to engage in conversation with adults, keep track of your children, try to keep them in their seats and do not let them wander.
- Food is traditionally served from the left side and removed from the right side, so be mindful of this to avoid awkward collisions with the server. Glasses are filled from the right.
- When finished, place your silverware together on the plate at the 5 o’clock position and place your napkin on the table to signal to the server that you are done.
- Alert the server ahead of time if the checks will be split among the table.
- Do not snap, clap, wave flamboyantly, or do anything else obnoxious to get your servers attention. Simply make eye contact or use the servers name if you need to speak with them (it’s a good idea to ask them their name upon being seated if they haven’t offered it yet).
It is customary in America to tip those who serve you, especially in restaurants. Keep in mind that most waiters and waitresses make a base salary far less than minimum wage and the rest of their income is comprised of tips.
Here are a few general guidelines for tipping:
- Tip a “Full-Service” server 15-20% pretax (if you want to give an 18% tip, a quick way to calculate that in Tennessee is to double the 9.25% tax at the bottom of your receipt – so if you pay $3 in tax, you know you’re safe to leave a $6 tip).
- Tip a “buffet or pickup” server at least 10%.
- There’s no obligation to tip for take out, but 10% is nice if they do extra (like curbside or if the order is complicated).
- Tip $2-4 for food delivery.
- Tip your valet $2-5 when your car is returned.
And while we’re talking about tipping, here’s a few suggestions for non-restaurant services:
- When you get a haircut, manicure, pedicure, or spa service, tip 15-20%
- For room service at a hotel, tip 15-20%.
- Leave $2-3 per night for hotel housekeeping.
- Tip your taxi driver 15% and add $1-2 if they help you with any bags.