I love the restaurant where I work. Most of the time, I have great regular customers who come in. I have one regular customer, however, who never tips any of the servers. She always seems to enjoy her food, and I have seen her gesturing as though she's relishing every bite. Whether she's alone or with others, she has never once left a tip, and I am starting to resent it. What can I do?
Sincerely, Tipped Off
Dear Tipped Off,
Ouch! It would be hard to be helpful and smile for this serial penny-pincher who loves the food but doesn't tip for the service. Customary sit-down tip in our modern world is 15-20 percent, more if you had wildly good service, and I would think only less in extreme circumstances. Short of asking her if there was a problem with the service—I'd check with management before doing that—I am not sure you can approach it. Maybe she's on a tight budget and only comes to dine when she has a little money to spare. While not ideal (she should work that 20 percent into her splurge), it could explain her noted relishing of the food and lack of tip. Even in 2016, some are unaware of tipping etiquette. This is hard to correct without confrontation. If asking is a no-go, then smile through it and hope your good-server karma will bring in someone who isn't ignorant of proper tipping protocol to offset her faux pas.