What To Tip Your Server

In a previous post we asked, “What kind of tipper are you?” Today we are going to provide you with some information on how much to actually tip your server.

If you already fall into the Big Tipper category, good news, you get to leave class early. Everyone else, please pay close attention, because there will be a pop-quiz after the lesson.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Many places may already include the 10% gratuity on the bill, but if you are levelling up to Big Tipper throw in that extra 10% anyway.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Australian servers are usually paid a higher than North American wage to begin with, so tips are not usually required. The unfortunate part is this sometimes shows in the level of service you will receive, but if you get an exceptional server show them you appreciate it by adding the standard 10-15%

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Bolivia is another country that automatically includes the gratuity in your bill. The benefit being the server always gets a tip, even if they don’t deserve it. So if you get great service feel free to add a little extra. Again, we suggest the standard 10-15%.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Brazil will have a standard 10% service fee already included in your bill, so there is no need to tip any extra, but of course, by all means do so if the service was excellent.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Generally, the standard 10% is reserved for ‘nicer’ establishments. For those hole in the wall type of places, leaving your change will usually suffice.

Minimum tip: 15-20%
Caveat: Some establishments will automatically bill in a gratuity of 17-20% for parties over a certain number, so make sure to check your bill for a service fee before you calculate your tip.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Unless of course the gratuity is already added to the bill. But as mentioned above, even if it is, feel free to leave a little extra.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Not only is tipping not required in most areas of China, but at one time it was actually against the law!

Minimum tip: 7-10%
Caveat: Many establishments will add a service charge of 8-10%, but it is still recommended to leave an additional tip so the total equals 15-18%.

Costa Rica
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most places in Costa Rica already include a 10% service fee on the bill, so a tip is usually not required. Just check to make sure, or leave an additional 10% if the service was good.

Minimum tip: 10-15%.
Caveat: The minimum tip of 10-15% is usually reserved for nicer restaurants. Anywhere else you would usually just leave your change.

Czech Republic
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There will typically be a service charge included in the bill, but it is always nice to round up the tip to 15% if you receive great service.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Denmark does not have typically have a tipping culture, but like many other countries, leaving a little something for the server is always appreciated.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: A 10% service fee will already be tacked onto your bill, so although a tip is generally not required, adding an additional 5-10% is customary.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most of Egyptian bars and restaurants already include a 10% on the bill, but if you are feeling like a Big Tipper feel free to add an additional 5-10%.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is not really a tipping culture in Estonia, but it is considered usual practice to leave a 5-10% tip a nicer restaurants when going out for dinner.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is no tipping culture in Finland, but you can try to leave the standard 10% for excellent service.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most bars, restaurants and cafes will automatically include a 15% gratuity on your bill, so additional tipping is not required, but definitely appreciated.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Germany has a similar tipping policy as France, so if the service fee is not listed on your bill consider leaving a 10-15% tip.

Minimum tip: 10-20%
Caveat: Your bill may include a service fee but it is customary to add an additional tip up to 20%, including the fee.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Most places will not add a service fee, so it is customary to leave the 10% in cash for your server.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is not a big tipping culture in Iceland. That being said, there is already a 15% service included in your bill, so if the service was great think about adding an additional 5%.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Some of the nicer restaurants will already include a 10% service fee, but it is still customary to leave 5-10% for your server.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: A 10% gratuity will automatically be added to your bill, regardless of the service you receive. So if you get great service add 5% for your server.

Minimum tip: 12%
Caveat: In Israel some establishments will charge the standard 12% service fee, so it is customary to tip your server 12% if the gratuity is not built in.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Service fees are usually not charged on the bill but double check to make sure before leaving a tip.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is no tipping culture in Japan, but it’s not a bad idea to leave something for really good service.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: The majority of restauarnats and bars already include a 10% tip in the bill, but it is customary to round up or leave your change for your server.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Service fees are automatically included in the bill, so no additional tip is required. However, it is customary to leave your server a tip if you are happy with the service.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: A service fee will be included with your check and it is not common practice to leave an additional tip for your server in Paraguay.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most palces will include a 10% tip on your bill, if they don’t leave your server 10-15% depending on the level of service they provided.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Even though some restaurants may add a service charge of 10% it is still customary to tip your server an additional 10% on top of your bill.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Tipping is customary in Romanian, everywhere from a restaurant or bar to taxis and even the hospital. Since tipping is expected the level of service you receive may be low. So for great serive add an additional 5-10% of the minimum.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Although the bill may not include a service or gratuity charge, it is advisable to provide your server with a 10% tip in cash.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There is already a 10% service fee included in yoru bill, so although tipping is not required it appreciated if you round up your bill and leave the change.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: There isn’t a big tipping culture in Slovenia, however in tourist areas it is customary to leave a 10% tip.

South Korea
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: South Korea does not have a big tipping culture, so even though no tip iss required it is always nice to leave a little something for your server.

Minimum tip: 5-10%
Caveat: It is customary to leave your change or round up your bill in Spain. For nicer places a 5-10% tip is customary.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Sweden, like many other European countries, does not have a big tipping culture. Since there is no service fee included in the bill it is always nice to leave the server a little something if you are so inclined.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: The majority of places will already include a 15% service fee, so unless your server provides you with top of the notch service, no additional tip is required.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: It is customary to leave your server 10% in cash, even if a service fee is charged on the bill, although this rarely happens.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most places in Taiwan already includde the service fee of 10%, if not leave 10-15% depending on the level of service.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Many nicer establishments may include the 10% service charge, but if not leave the standard 10% for your server.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Leave up to 15% for good service and try to tip your server in cash.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: For really good service you may consider leaving an additional 3-5%

United Arab Emirates
Minimum tip: 15-20%
Caveat: In reality, 20% is really the minimum, and if you want to get extra special service make sure you tip the maitre d before you are seated.

United Kingdom
Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most places already have a service fee built in, so leaving a tip is not always required, but will likely not be turned away if you are feeling generous.

Minimum tip: 15-20%
Caveat: Much like Canada, some establishments in the US will add a gratuity to your bill for larger parties.

Minimum tip: not required
Caveat: Most restaurants and bars will already add a 10% service fee to your bill, so essentially a tip is not required. However, if you receive excellent service a 5-10% additional tip is always appreciated by the server.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: Some establishments may include the 10% gratuity, so for those places a tip is not required, but it never hurts to leave a little extra.

Minimum tip: 10%
Caveat: For nice restaurants you may consider leaving a little extra than the standard 10%

What are some of the destinations, and their tipping policies, that we have left off the list? Leave your answers below in our comment section.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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Five Ways Bars Get You To Part With Extra Money

Going out to party can be expensive. We all know this. Not only are drinks more expensive to purchase at a bar or club then they would be to buy at the liquor store and drink at home, but drinking establishments seem to find ways to make you part with extra money all the time.

Is it greediness or just pure capitalism at its finest? Either way it sucks to be on the receiving end of price gouging. So if you are going to go out to party, and lets face it, sitting at home drinking can only be so much fun, then beware of these five ways that bars get you to part with extra money:

Cover Charge

Oh cover charge. Not only are drink prices marked up exponentially, but also the fine drinking establishment owners want to further gouge you before you even enter the bar. I guess the cover charge is their way to prepare you for the expensive night ahead. If you are like me and don’t like to pay cover charge, check out tips #2 and #3 of our Miser’s Guide To Clubbing.

Coat Check

After shelling out $5 to $10+ already you are now in the bar, but before you can even think about getting a drink you have to pass the next gatekeeper. Yes, I’m talking about the coat check girl. Many bars, and especially clubs, have a mandatory coat check rule, and even though you have already paid cover, some clubs want a little more money before they let you buy a drink. Is it fair? I don’t think so. That’s why you will see the #4 tip on the Miser’s Guide To Clubbing is to leave your coat at home.

Oh, and don’t forget to tip the coat check girl, especially if she has a funny tip jar, otherwise she may accidentally misplace your coat…

Any time you are required to check your coat you will receive a coat check stub. These things are super easy to lose, especially after a few rounds. Most coat check policy states that if you misplace your ticket you will have to wait until the end of the night to retrieve your coat. In order to avoid this situation use your cell phone and take a picture of your stub, that way if you lose it you have a backup.

ABM Machines

Anytime a bar or club has one of those non-banking institution affiliated ABM machines you know you are going to be in for a real price gouging. As the image above shows, the owners of these terminals are pretty much allowed to charge whatever they like. I’ve seen some as high as $15! The worst part about these machines is that many times the owner of the club also owns the machine. Gouged again and you still haven’t gotten your drink. Check out tip #6 at the Miser’s Guide To Clubbing for some ideas on how to save money.

Bottle Service

By no means a mandatory charge, but bottle service is another way a bar will try to get you to part with extra money. Since everyone wants to be a VIP many clubs now cater to your narcissistic desires. For $140+ (and that’s on the cheap side of things) they will provide you with a bottle of vodka, some mix and a private section of the club so you can feel extra VIP. Oh, you’ll also have to pour the drinks yourself, so you are kind of paying out of your own pocket to work at the club. Again, it is not a mandatory charge, but for the same cost, if not lower, you can simply order your drinks at the bar like everyone else and best of all, have a professional make them for you.

The Upsell

Oh no, not the dreaded upsell. From the simple Do you want fries with that? to extended warranties on your gadgets, lets face it, no matter where you go, you are constantly being offered the upsell. Bars and clubs are no different: “Do you want the 16-oz or the 20-oz draft?”, “Vodka Martini? Do you want Grey Goose?”, etc. Now that you have finally paid your way into the bar and are ready to order a drink, don’t be afraid to ask for a price list. This will help you avoid the dreaded upsell and make a more informed decision on what to order.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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How To Read The Economy Based On Sales Of Alcohol

When our current recession began way back in 2008, people began scaling back on all non-essential items, from big-ticket items such as cars, real estate and vacations, to smaller expenses like eating and drinking out. One of the industries that seemed to be recession proof was, and continues to be, the alcohol industry.

Even while the unemployment rate soared, alcohol sales have consistently risen each year since 2008. However, the key to reading the economy based on sales of alcohol is not how much people are purchasing, but rather what brands they are purchasing and where they are consuming their alcohol.

In the summer of 2008, PennLive.com, a comprehensive news and information website for Central Pennsylvania released an article, “Alcohol sales thrive in bad economy – July 12, 2008″. In it, vice president in client service and beverage alcohol for Nielsen’s polling service Danny Brager stated that, “Alcoholic beverages are withstanding the economic slowdown very well, compared to other categories that might be considered indulgent or non-necessities. To many consumers, alcoholic beverages are an affordable luxury.”

A year later, the Maneater, the official student newspaper of the University of Missouri, reported in their article, “As economy flops, alcohol sales soar – March 10, 2009″, that the sales of alcohol continued to rise. According to the article, in 2008 both Pennsylvania and Connecticut reported a rise of 4.7% in alcohol sales. The Division of Liquor Control for the Ohio Department of Commerce also reported that alcohol sales rose 4.75% from 2007 to 2008.

By 2009, it was also apparent that the alcohol shopping habits of consumers had changed, as shown by this quote from Victor George, the owner of Stadium Market, “If we’ve seen anything, it’s not less sales, but we’ve just been selling less expensive liquor.” George went on to say that the lower-end vodkas had been selling better than the high-end ones.

Jump ahead two years to 2011 and the story hadn’t changed much. Alcohol sales were up by nearly 10%, and consumers were purchasing, and consuming, more fiscally minded. In the article released by CNN Money, entitled, “Alcohol sales thrive in hard times – June 9, 2011″, Esther Kwon, the alcohol industry analyst for Standard & Poor’s, had this to say, “People will buy less and they will move to different venues, meaning moving to home instead of a bar. But people will continue to drink, regardless.”

By the end 2012, it began to look like there may be a chance for economic recovery, as reported in the Royal Gazette’s article, “Surging liquor sales defy recession – November 22, 2012″. They reported that, “according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the US, sales of “high-end” alcohol increased in by 5.3 percent in 2011. In 2009, high-end alcohol sales decreased by 3.5 percent.”

As of January 2013, there were more signs of economic recovery. Not only were sales of high-end alcohol on the rise, up 15.9% for super premium vodkas, as reported by Time Magazine (” Cheers! Increase in Liquor Sales Bodes Well for Economic Recovery – Jan. 31, 2012″), but wholesale liquors were also on the rise. According to Matt Mullins, a spokesperson for the Department of Liquor Control, “The wholesale of liquor to restaurants and bars is a good indicator of the strength of the economy,” Mullins said. “We have seen the wholesale of liquor to restaurants and bars increase the past two years.” (From: “Alcohol sales may indicate improving economy – January 28, 2013″).

To further the positive outlook of the economic rebound based on alcohol sales, the Time article also mentioned David Ozgo, chief economist for DISCUS, stating that consumers are once again purchasing high-end spirits, which indicates, “a classic pattern we see during a recovery. During a recession, we see consumers go to value brands”.

This shift from consumers buying low-end value brands to purchasing high-end brands, both in the liquor stores and in restaurants and bars, can be seen as a very positive sign for economic recovery, both for bars, liquor stores, spirits manufacturers, and even the economy as a whole.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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LOL Tip Jars [PICS]


Very rarely will you see a bartender or server with a tip jar. In fact, the only time you may ever see one at the bar or club would be with the coat check girl. But just imagine how you could make a killing as a bar server toting one of these bad boys around:

Sexual Tip Jars

Pop Music Inspired Tip Jars

Caution: Justin Beiber fans may be offended

Just For The Fun Of It

Political Tip Jars

Religious Tip Jars

Tech Savvy Tips Jars – The DipJar

Okay, not so much funny as it is cool. Now back with to the LOLs.

Just For The Pun Of It

Tipping Isn't a City in China

Movie Reference Tip Jars

Plain Ole Greedy Tip Jars
Best tip jar sign

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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Top Five Expensive Bar Drinks To Enjoy At Least Once In A Lifetime

Many people have tight budgets and strict schedules, but everyone should put that aside at least once in their lifetime and splurge. Here at BarWhiz we’ve decided to turn to those who want to accomplish this, and love a good cocktail.

These are the five most expensive bar drinks in the world, for someone who appreciates his drinks, this just might be what he needs to enjoy at least once in his lifetime (or perhaps more if you can afford it):

1. Ritz-Paris Sidecar – $1,670


This beverage is served in the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Hotel located in Ritz-Paris, France.
The ingredients are Cointreau orange liqueur, lemon juice, and cognac made between the years 1830 and 1870. The grapes used were right before grape vines were infested by the plant lice known as phylloxera. The original sidecar was first created in 1922 at Buck’s Club in London, England before it was introduced to Paris patrons.

2. Platinum Passion – $1,500


This drink is sold at the Duvet Lounge in New York where patrons are served on actual beds instead of bar stools or booths. This consists of L’Esprit de Courvoisier cognac which is $6,000 per bottle and was enjoyed by Napoleon in the 1800s, passion fruit syrup, wildflower honey, sugar, wild berries, lemon juice and brown sugar. The glass is decorated with an actual blooming orchid flower.

3. Merchant Hotel Mai Tai – $1,480

Mai Tai

This treat is available at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
This contains lime, orange culacao liqueur from Holland, rock candy syrup, French Orgeat almond flavoring, mint leaves and a special seventeen year old Jamaican rum of which only six bottles were produced. Ninety percent of the rum sales in Jamaica are J. Wray Nephew rum. This company started as a tavern in 1825, and their award winning rum accounts for ninety percent of the rum sales in Jamaica. The original mai tai was created in the United States in 1944 at the Polynesian themed bar Trader Vic’s in Oakland, California.

4. Kentucky Derby Mint Julep – $1,000

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs, United States
This has been the favorite beverage served at at the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky since 1938. Also known as the Early Times Mint Julep Ready to Serve Cocktail, the ingredients include bourbon, sugar, water, ice and mint leaf and is served in a special collectible glass.

5. Bentley Sidecar – $550

Sidecar Cocktail

This less expensive version of the Ritz-Paris Sidecar is available in various establishments in New York. This alternative consists of Australian Hennessy Ellipse cognac which provides 43.5 percent alcohol in one glass. This strong brandy provides a unique taste sensation that some drinkers say lasts up to 24 hours.

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Bar Whiz Buzz Kill – States with toughest DUI laws

Chinese Don't Drink and Drive Sign

We hear it time and time again, “Don’t drink and drive.” Each year there are thousands of deaths and injuries attributed to drunk drivers. Yet in spite of this, many take their lives and the lives of others into their hands by getting behind the wheel after enjoying a drink or two, or more.
Bar Whiz trusts that our readers are smart enough to hand the keys to someone else. For those who still think it’s worth the risk (or have an extreme invincibility complex), here are a list of states where the punishment for a DUI is pretty severe.

1. Washington State
1. Legal limit: .08
2. Fines: Up to $5000
3. Jail time: Up to 1 year
4. Drivers License: Suspended for 90 days even if not convicted

2. Virginia
1. Legal limit: .08
2. Fines: Minimum $250
3. Jail time: None
4. Drivers License: Revoked for one year with or without conviction

3. Georgia
1. Legal limit: .08
2. Fines: $300-$1000
3. Jail time: 10 days – 1 year
4. Drivers License: Suspended for one year

4. Arizona
1. Legal limit: .08
2. Fines: $250 fine plus $1000 in assessment fees
3. Jail time: Minimum 10 days
4. Drivers License: Suspended for one year for refused breathalyzer test. Installation of ignition device (breathalyzer device that won’t start car if you’ve been drinking)

5. Alabama
1. Legal limit: .08
2. Fines: $600-$2100
3. Jail time: Up to one year
4. Drivers License: Suspended up to 90 days

6. Massachusetts
1. Legal limit: .08
2. Fines: $500-$5000
3. Jail time: Up to two and a half years
4. Drivers License: Suspended for one year

7. Texas
1. Legal limit: .08
2. Fines: Up to $2000
3. Jail time: 72 hours – 180 days
4. Drivers License: Suspended for one year plus fees of up to $2000/year for 3 years to keep it
These DUI penalties are all for first offenses. If they are that bad the first time around, just imagine how much worse they get for those who refuse to learn their lesson. And this is just one part of the punishment. Auto insurance companies have their own individual, and costly, punishments for those convicted of a DUI.

The moral of the story is simple: Instead of hoping that you don’t get caught, just get a taxi.

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How To Make A Killing As A Bar Server


Although a tight fitting tank top and a pair of orange short-shorts won’t hurt, showing some skin isn’t the only way to make a killing as a server. When it comes to making great tips, whether you work at a bar, a club, or a restaurant, it all boils down to one thing, the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Although simplistic, the ethic of reciprocity encompasses the concept of the hospitality industry as a whole. So simply put, in order to make a killing as a bar server, just follow the Golden Rule. If that simplified explanation is a little too vague for you, maybe this 18-step guide will help to shed a little light:

Step #1 – Introduction


After you guests are seated, the first thing you should do is introduce yourself to your table. Give them your name and make them feel welcome. Although this should go without saying, many servers neglect to do this simple step. Not only will it make your guests feel welcomed, but also if you should provide excellent service, they will remember your name and ask for you the next time they visit your establishment.

Step #2 – Eye Contact

Fresh pair of eyes

Your first impression is always the most important, so besides making sure you are neat in appearance, during your introduction it is very important to keep eye contact with your guests. Not only does it show confidence, but it also makes the guests feel that they have your undivided attention.

Step #3 – Smile

Not too gummy of a smile

This should go without saying, but even if you are having a bad day, your smile is one of the most important things you have in your arsenal. No one wants to deal with a grumpy server, so keep it light and show them that you are happy to be there, even if you are not.

Step #4 – Menus

You Wanna Take My Picture!

Menus can get dirty, so before you had them to your guests make sure they are clean. Hand them out individually, starting with the children’s menus first, followed by the eldest female at the table and then everyone else.

Step #5 – Quality Check


Depending on the type of environment where you work, you may not have a chance to do quality check of the table. Therefore , you should not only ensure that it is clean while you are introducing yourself, but that it is also set properly. If anything is missing, or looks low, make sure you replace or replenish it right away.

Step #6 – Drink Orders


After you have introduced yourself, quality checked the table and handed out the menus you’ll want to take drink orders. Many times your guests will be thirsty, so be prepared; they may already know what they want. Drink orders can take some time to be filled, so while you are waiting it is a good policy to return to the table with water for your guests immediately after the drink order has been placed. Don’t forget, a slice of lemon on a glass of water can go a long way.

Step #7 – Specials

French Cafe

After you have taken the drink orders, but before you leave the table, make sure you explain what the specials of the day are and ask your guests if they have any questions about the menu.

Step #8 – Know The Menu


This is probably the most important aspect of serving. Servers who are familiar with the menu, to the point that they know what each dish is comprised of, will almost immediately earn a higher gratuity, especially from those guests who are concerned about what they eat. By having the knowledge to quell the concerns of your guests, and readily answer any of their questions, your confidence in your knowledge of the menu will help put their worries at ease.

Step #9 – Upselling

"WingHouse", Clearwater, FL - Aug, 2011

Many restaurants encourage upselling, and although it can be a great tactic to increase the amount of a bill, thereby increasing your overall gratuity, many times upselling can sound forced and unnatural. Remember the Golden Rule here, if you yourself would not appreciate the upsell than you should not try to push it on your guest. Upsells are usually best given before the guest has made up their mind, so after dropping off the drinks and before coming back to take their food order, mention the upsell items at that point.

Step #10 – Taking Orders

Taking the Order

Listening skills come into play here, and it is very important to listen to what a customer orders, especially with those customers that are concerned about food allergies or make multiple modifications. Although there are many schools of thought on how to properly take orders, specifically if you should write them down or not, it is at your own discretion what you feel most comfortable with. Whether you are going to do it by memory or write it down, it is extremely important to repeat back the order to customers. Wait until the entire table has finished ordering and then repeat the order in full. It looks very impressive if you can do it by memory. Orders should always be taken from the eldest lady at the table and then working clockwise. When customers are ordering appetizers, never assume that they will be shared or that they want them with their meal, always ask how and when they would like it served.

Step #11 – Quality Check Food

final touches

Always quality check the food before bringing it to the table, especially in the case of customers with food allergies or modifications. The server is the last line of defence before the food is brought to the customer, so make sure you do your due diligence and confirm that the meals are correct.

Step #12 – Serving Food

Lunch in Maastricht

In a best case scenario all your for orders will be ready at the same time without any mistakes, so when serving your guests, just as with order taking, the meals should always be served to the eldest lady at the table and then clockwise from there. If you are able to, serve from the right. Ask to make sure everything is okay and if they would like anything else. This is a good time to check drink levels as well. If anything looks low, ask if they would like to replenish it. In the case of water, make a note and come back to fill their water glass.

Step #13 – Refilling Drinks


When it comes time to replenish drinks, such as water, coffee or tea, never refill the drinks over the table. Not only is it dangerous, as you may spill hot liquid on a guest, but it can also be intrusive. Always remove the guests glass to refill it.

Step #14 – Two-Bite Rule

Nom nom nom

In most cases, a guest will know if they like their meal within the first two bites. Give them a few minutes to get settled in before heading back to check on them. If something is wrong with the meal you do not want to make them wait for you to return. Although it may be impossible to time it, try not to show up at the table mid-mouthful. If anything is wrong with the meal take responsibility for it, apologize and rectify the issue as quickly as possible. In the case of things like hair, spoiled or undercooked food, voiding the dish from the bill is recommended. The two-bite rule goes for all courses of the meal, from appetizers to desserts.

Step #15 – Clearing

Dishes should only be removed when everyone at the table is finished, a caveat of course being if a guest asks you to remove their dish. Not unlike serving, dishes should always be cleared from the right, however the order is unimportant. This goes for both appetizers and mains.

Step #16 – Dessert


A dessert menu should always be offered, and in many cases it is customary to bring the dessert menu to the table and let the guests decide. First ask them if they would like any coffee or tea, paying particular attention to what they would like with it, be it milk, cream sugar, lemon or honey. Let the guest mull over the dessert menu while you are filling their drink order.

Step #17 – Handling The Bill

The Hands Signing the Check

When it comes to the bill there are many factors to take in mind, firstly, when to bring the bill. In most cases you let the customer ask you to bring it. Never assume that after their main course, or even dessert, that they are finished for the evening. They may want to add a few more drinks or even another bottle of wine, so patience is the key. That being said, many guests want to leave immediately after they have finished their meal, so ensuring that you make yourself available to them is the best way to go. Always ask how they prefer the bill; never assume that it is one bill. Split the bill according to your guest’s wishes, and if they only want one bill, never assume who is paying for it. The best tactic here is to place the bill in the middle of the table. Finally, offer to process the customers payment in the manner of their choosing, and in the case of cash, always bring back exact change. Unless they ask you to take it, always wait to the customer leaves before you retrieve the bill.

Step #18 – Thank Your Guest

Once the bill is paid that does not necessarily mean your guests are no longer under your watch. In the case of guests finishing up their drinks, you should continue to check in on them and attend to their needs. When they are ready to leave you can ask if they need any help, hailing a taxi, putting on their coats, etc – above all, make sure you thank them for coming.

This 18-step guide is just that, a guide. Following it won’t guarantee bigger tips, but it will definitely ensure that you will at least receive the minimum. Personality will help you to get a higher gratuity, so remember the Golden Rule and always strive to go above and beyond when it comes to your level of service. If you do it right, your tip may even look like this:


Author: Corey Rozon

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Conducting a Business Meeting in a Bar


There are times when you might want to conduct a business meeting in bar. The atmosphere tends to be laid back, and a drink or two can relax all parties involved.
The following are some helpful tips if you find yourself in a business meeting in a bar:

1. Get to know your Client. One of the great things about having a meeting in a bar is that it is a relaxed, informal atmosphere. Take advantage of this and try to get acquainted. Business deals often turn out for the best if all parties involved get to know each other.

2. Know the Bar. Having a meeting in an unknown establishment can result in some awkward situations. For example, it could be karaoke night, and listening to people belt out their favorite tunes in a manner that sounds like a yowling tom cat in heat might make it hard to concentrate on the meeting.

3. Choose a Bar with Appropriate Lighting. Too dim and it is hard to see your client and any related paperwork. At the other extreme, strobe disco lights may be distracting!

4. Choose a Bar that caters to business meetings. There are numerous bars that specifically cater to business meetings. By picking a bar like this you will automatically avoid some possible issues mentioned in this article.

5. Choose a Bar with Courteous Staff. The bar that you choose is, to some degree, a reflection of yourself. Dealing with staff that is efficient and courteous results in a great experience for your client.

6. Pick a table far away from any speakers. Yelling to be heard is an irritant to everyone at the table, and misunderstanding what is being said can have an immense negative impact on the business meeting results (e.g. I said 20% down payment, not 200%).

7. Take your time with your drinks. If you are a little nervous about the meeting then resist the urge to get a couple quick ones under your belt. Usually it’s a good idea to drink at the same rate as your client. Of course, if the client is putting them away in rapid succession then matching their drinking speed becomes a judgment call on your part (if this is the case then try to cover the most important points of the meeting as fast as you can)!

8. Finally, Relax and Enjoy the experience. If a client wants to have a business meeting in a bar then they are probably looking forward to an informal setting as much as yourself. Cover all business topics and also take the time for social chit chat.

Good luck on your next business meeting and be sure to tell us how it goes!

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