Restaurant servers have an expression that they don't always share with all diners: "If you can't afford to leave a tip, you really should eat at home."
We all know that their base pay is so minimal, it wouldn't cover the expense of getting themselves a cup of coffee on the way home from a shift. For whatever reason, the custom in America is to tip the server, and I think we should.
Now, we didn't all sign a contract that pays us 75 million clams, as Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco did, but still, it was generous of him to leave a $150 tip at a restaurant in Pittsburgh the night before the Ravens beat Pittsburgh in the NFL playoffs. His tab was $208, so a tip of a yard and a half comes to about 72%, which is a tad higher than most of us can manage, but still, we tip as we can. 15 - 20% is the way to go.
I have dined (once only!) with people who say, as the check sits gathering dust on the table, "Well, she took almost 2 minutes to get over here and greet us, and the drinks took another 3 minutes, and she didn't bring enough butter for the rolls, and I think my Steak Tartare was too rare and the Vichyssoise was cold, so we only have to leave a 5% tip."
There are people whose days are made all the sweeter by the very prospect of chiseling someone else out of money they deserve to have. Thank you for not being one of them!