Odds are, you’re not tipping your server enough. Without tips they’re generally paid only a few bucks per hour before taxes, and tips usually need to be shared with other servers, runners, and bussers as well. You should always plan on tipping 20 percent unless the service was egregiously bad, and there are a handful of little extra things servers do that should have you reaching a little deeper into your pocket when the bill arrives.
Make Multiple Trips to the Kitchen
Every time you ask your server to get you something they need to walk across the dining room, get it (sometimes this requires asking a cook for it), then deliverit to you. The more you make your server walk, they higher their tip should be (That includes asking the kitchen whether or not that soup has cream in it).
Comping Drinks if the Kitchen Goofs Up
If the kitchen makes a mistake, a great server makes sure that the table doesn’t suffer for it. A free drink or dessert works wonders, and all it usually takes is a little nudge from the server to management.
Anticipating Your Needs
If you find yourself saying “You read my mind!” at any point during the meal, boost the tip.
When They Know the Menu Inside and Out
There’s nothing like asking a specific question about a specific menu item and getting a precise answer. Especially if it’s a special.
They Toss in a Little Something Extra
If you were a big fan of that one particular chocolate cookie on the cookie plate and let your server know, a great server will take note and bring you a couple extra, on the house. That’s how you get a bigger tip.