One of my friends recently put an article on her facebook page about the treatment of workers in the food industry. (Found here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/12/the-20-million/) Sadly it is very true.
Do you tip 20%? I have two jobs at two different restaurants, one as a server and one as a dishwasher at a very upscale restaurant, and I am thinking about getting a third job just to make ends meet. I already work 40 hours a week and have class for 32+ hours, but a lot of my money to do things like buy groceries and pay rent, is completely reliant on how much people tip me. (And remember, just because someone works in the service industry, does not mean that they are a drug addict, alcoholic, or stupid! I am studying to get my masters degree, I need money for school loans, not cocaine).
Servers are people and do make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are not their fault (there is the kitchen staff, bartender, busser, and host all in the mix too), so justifying a 10% tip on a $230 bill for a demanding table of five because the price of the wine you were drinking was $2 more than you thought it was going to be really, really sucks.
How do you tip your server? Do you actually treat them like a person with phrases like please and thank you? When they ask how you are doing, do you return the question?