Today is National Waitstaff Day which was created to show appreciation and thank those who make dining out pleasurable while at the same time encourage restaurant owners and managers to recognize their dedicated waiters and waitresses. 

A server at a Denny's in California (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Nobody seems to know who created National Waitstaff Day but I would guess 99% of those in the business have no idea there is a day named them and at the same time they should not expect any recognition from their bosses.

Since I have brought the subject up let’s talk about the people who do this, some as a career and others while working their way through college or for other reasons.   Servers are a big part of going out to eat and they can easily make or break a meal and dining experience.

To me it starts at the beginning as there is nothing worse than being sat by a hostess and then waiting endlessly for someone to come over and at least acknowledge they know you are sitting and will get to you shortly.  I have sat at a table and watched waitress and waiter stream pass me like I was invisible and then when someone finally comes over instead of apologizing for the delay the first words out of their mouth are “do you know what you want?”  That often sets the tone for the evening.

Of course the one thing they can’t do anything about is bad food and it should not be reflected in the tip they receive.  Rarely do I complain about food and I don’t know that I’ve ever sent a meal back. If it’s bad I just know that’s a restaurant I will not be coming back to.  Sometimes though you might not have a choice and all you want is the server to at least show concern and do what they can.  However if they blow you off or ignore your concerns then you can do the same when tipping time comes.

Of course a good waitress or waiter can make dining out an absolute pleasure even if the food is just average. Those who are professional and throw in a nice personality and positive attitude are good for the customer, business owner and themselves because it should and does reflect in the gratuity they receive.

As for that age-old issue of tipping well I’m a believer that if you don’t want to leave a fair tip then don’t go out to eat. 15% should be the minimum but I usually start at 20% if the server has done a good job. Of course if you feel the service was poor and led to a bad dining experience then it’s up to your discretion to give less.

Most waitresses and waiters work very hard for their money and put in long hours on their feet.  They are often the middle person between demanding customers and a kitchen staff they can be difficult to deal with. So today on National Waitstaff Day show your appreciation and leave an extra buck or two