by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

Having been a waiter for many years at varying levels of restaurants, I appreciate you mentioning the tipping out at “fancy” places to busboys, barbacks, food runners and the like. In the “fancy” places I've worked, the percentage of my tips that I actually took home was less than 40%. Also, our concept of “good service” varies depending on the place and occasion. If a diner is busy and the food comes out in a hectic manner, the customer is sympathetic to the server and might say, “wow, they work you hard here.” But if you received that level of hectic service in a fancy place on your anniversary dinner, you would think the service was bad.

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