On National Waitstaff Day, probably the most controversial subject about dining out always comes up: when and how much to tip.

What kind of tipper are you when it comes to dining out?  My rule of thumb is to tip 15% and then adjust up or down depending on the service I receive. Also, I have a large family with young children that can leave a dining area looking like a wildebeast herd has been through it, so I usually leave a nice one.

What do diners expect from a waitstaff while dining out? We found some interesting facts at restaurant.com.

Diners truly value the opinions of waitstaff when dining out.  The survey found nine out of ten (91 percent) respondents ask for a server’s recommendation before placing their order and nearly three-quarters (71 percent) are likely to order a dish their server suggests.


  • Familiar Faces – Nearly three-quarters of people (74 percent) have a preferred server at their favorite dining establishment and more than half (56 percent) have requested a particular server while dining out.
  • Just a Couple – 91 percent of survey respondents prefer their server check on their table once or twice, no more or less, after the food arrives.  Only six percent prefer a server to hover, checking back multiple times, and even fewer respondents (2 percent) prefer to call out if they need something.
  • They’ve Got Skills – When it comes to a server’s skills seven out of ten (72 percent) consumers are impressed when a server correctly remembers which member of the party ordered which dish. Meanwhile, four out of ten (44 percent) are impressed when a complimentary dessert is served to commemorate a special occasion.
  • Word of Mouth – Good news travels faster than bad, as over half of those surveyed (62 percent) have contacted a restaurant or written a review about an exceptional server while just half (51 percent) will do the same about poor service.

What are your guidelines for tipping, and what do you expect from a server? Leave us a comment.

Read some stories about bad dining experiences here.