I used to work as a server here in Quincy, and in those few years I learned one important lesson: Most customers in this area don't know how to tip.

It's worth noting that servers do not get paid minimum wage. Usually they get paid around $2 to $4 an hour which does not make for a very flattering paycheck most weeks. Servers depend on the tips to pay their bills, put food on the table for their families, and simply survive.

And hey, I get it. Sometimes the service is just not great. If you get bad service, take into consideration that that server might just be having a bad day, or they could be just off. You can still leave something. If your food isn't prepared the way you like, that's typically not the fault of the server. If the server makes an effort at correcting the mistake, it means they are trying to fix someone else's mistake. So please take that into consideration before stiffing your wait staff.

I haven't waited tables in a while now, but all of this annoyance resurfaced over the weekend. While out with my family eating breakfast at a Quincy establishment, I noticed a table of seven pay with cash and not leave ANYTHING for their server. Nothing! The waitress appeared to have done a good job and, from my vantage point, certainly didn't do anything that would warrant a zero percent tip. I did feel sorry for her because it not long ago I was in those shoes. And trust me, it's truly insulting to work so hard for nothing.

I was reminded of the time I had a table of nine at my old job. Their food was perfect, they had drinks the whole time, and I made sure their experience was a great one in hopes that they would return. Their bill was over $200 and they left me a five dollar tip. Five bucks. On a $200 tab.

And this wasn't an isolated incident.

It's hard to keep a smile on your face in instances like this. I suggest always leaving at least 15%, but 20% is preferred. Just keep in mind also, that the server also probably has to pay out each night to bartenders, bussers, and the host/hostess. Of my $5 tip, I probably walked away with a buck.

So just take a minute before you leave a table, evaluate the service, and leave a meaningful tip. I assure you, your waitstaff appreciates it.