Photo: FabrikaCr (iStock), Graphic: Nicole Antonuccio
The Salty WaitressSalty Waitress is The Takeout’s advice column from a real-life waitress that will teach you how not to behave like a garbage person while dining out—and maybe in real life.  

It’s a holiday week, but guess who has to file a column for you hungry bastards? Poor Salty. So I’m exacting my revenge with one-line answers to the absurd (and very real) questions you’ve asked over the past few months. The first edition of this series is here. Happy Fourth, ya weasels.


Dear Salty,

How do you think servers feel about my husband and I playing cards before our meal arrives? We only do this at casual, more relaxed restaurants and pubs, and we clear a place for the dishes as soon as we see the server coming to our table with food.

Thanks,
Cribbage Nut

Dear Nut,

No one cares if you’re playing cards, folding origami, or building a ship in a bottle as long as you make space for the food.

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XO,
Salty


Hi Salty,

The drivers of these ride share services provide valuable services for customers that otherwise may face a DUI charge after dining out. Is it proper to tip them for their service and what is the going rate to determine the proper tip for rideshare drivers like Lyft or Uber? Not driving DUI, do the proper thing.

Best regards,
Joseph

Dear Joseph,

The app itself suggests tip amounts. Click one.

Yours,
Salty


Hi Salty,

I have a question that might be a little weird. When I am at a bar and have a few drinks I have an irrational fear of forgetting to pay the bill. When I typically order my last drink I will go ahead and ask for the tab. I then pay for the bill and leave tip, usually in cash. Is it bad that I have decided to close my tab when I will be taking up a seat for another 10-15 minutes finishing my drink? Also, is it rude to leave the the cash tip sitting there so I don’t forget when I leave?

Thanks for your help,
Paranoid about Paying

Dear Paranoid,

This is normal and you’re fine.

Deep breaths,
Salty


Hi Salty,

My girlfriend and I try to go out to a fancy restaurant once or twice a month as our budget allows. These dinners usually have wine pairings and I’ll be the first to admit I know very little about wine so I just go with the flow on the restaurant’s recommendation and haven’t been let down. This weekend I experienced something new. Music pairings. They had background music that would immediately be cut for the introduction/song pairing of the dish with an explanation of why the song paired well with the dish. Not live music fyi. It made me laugh and I’m not upset just baffled. Is this a new thing or am I just out of the loop?

Best,
Ray

Dear Ray,

This sounds stupid.

Hugs,
Salty


Hi Salty,

At my job, I’m regularly required to order sandwiches for clients that come into the office each day. These orders are classified as tax exempt, and we’re only authorized to pay for the exact, tax-free amount of the sandwich. We pay in cash, and we aren’t allowed to tip anything, even spare change. We see the same few delivery people several times a week; some of them take the lack of tip in stride, and continue to be friendly; others don’t. One guy once punched a wall on his way out; another started singing a made-up song to himself as he walked away—the only words we could here were, “karma, karma...”

We aren’t allowed to use department funds to tip, and I can’t ask my team to do it out of their own pockets (nor could I afford to do that for long myself, as we’re ordering something like 15-20 sandwiches a week); do we just put up with them hating us? Try to explain to each individual delivery person that we aren’t allowed to tip? On the rare occasion when we order something for ourselves, and pay with our own money, we tip generously, but I know that’s not enough to offset the bad impression we’re giving the rest of the time. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Jessica

Dear Jessica,

Your office’s policy on this is fucked. Start tipping on delivery or stop ordering in.

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Smooches,
Salty


Got a non-stupid question about dining out etiquette? Or are you a server/bartender with a horror story the world needs to hear? Email us: salty@thetakeout.com.

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