Valentine’s Day Is One of the Best Days for Restaurant Servers

Tip well, lovers.

National Journal
Elahe Izadi
Add to Briefcase
Elahe Izadi
Feb. 14, 2014, 9:06 a.m.

I grew up in a res­taur­ant, spend­ing my teen­age years and early twen­ties wait­ress­ing. And my fa­vor­ite day out of all 365 was Valentine’s Day.

Why? Be­cause of money.

Yes, it may sound de­press­ing that a wo­man in the prime of her youth looked for­ward to spend­ing her Valentine’s Day wait­ing on love­struck couples. But think about it: a res­taur­ant packed with couples, or­der­ing only the finest things on the menu. That means small parties (which is less work) with lar­ger-than-usu­al bills, equal­ing lar­ger tips. And the ab­so­lute worst day of the year to go stingy on tip­ping is on the day you’re try­ing to im­press your sig­ni­fic­ant oth­er. I eas­ily walked away with double what I nor­mally made in tips on a typ­ic­al busy, week­end night.

There’s plenty of grumbling from those who ad­vise for­sak­ing a res­taur­ant din­ing ex­per­i­ence be­cause of pricey, fixed menus. But not all res­taur­ants have fixed menus on this day, and people still drop a lot of money. The av­er­age diner plans to spend $74.19 eat­ing out on Valentine’s Day this year, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tion­al Re­tail Fed­er­a­tion.

New York diners ex­pect to spend an av­er­age of $158.43 on a din­ner for two to­night, ac­cord­ing to Za­gat’s 2014 sur­vey. That’s quite a bit high­er than the av­er­age New York­er spends on a typ­ic­al meal out, at $48.56 per per­son.

Valentine’s Day is the second busiest night of the year for res­taur­ants, second only to Moth­er’s Day, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tion­al Res­taur­ant As­so­ci­ation. But for many serv­ers, Moth­er’s Day isn’t as at­tract­ive of a work­day; it typ­ic­ally con­sists of large parties with de­mand­ing re­quests who of­ten dine dur­ing lunch hours, when meals tend to be cheap­er.

And many couples go to their fa­vor­ite res­taur­ants to eat, says the res­taur­ant or­gan­iz­a­tion. Sure, there are bad, reg­u­lar tip­pers out there, but diners have more of an in­cent­ive to tip serv­ers well when they will face them again.

No mat­ter where you stand on wheth­er the fed­er­al min­im­um wage — par­tic­u­larly for tipped work­ers — should be in­creased, do your loc­al serv­ers a sol­id to­night: eat out and tip well. It’s the Valentine’s Day gift they are count­ing on. 

Catherine Hollander contributed to this article.
What We're Following See More »
RELIEVES MARK TONER
Former Fox Anchor Heather Nauert to Be State Dept. Spokeswoman
32 minutes ago
THE DETAILS
NOT WORRIED ABOUT BUDGET NEUTRALITY
Trump Wants to Slash Corporate Rate to 15%
2 hours ago
THE LATEST
PROMISES “MASSIVE” CUTS
Trump Tax Reform Package Coming Next Week
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Trump today said he'll be releasing his tax reformpacakge next week around the 100-day mark of his presidency. He promised that "businesses and individuals will receive a 'massive tax cut ... bigger I believe than any tax cut ever."

Source:
ONLY BROAD PRINCIPLES
Mulvaney: Tax Reform Details Won’t Be Released This Week
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Despite President Trump's announcement that his tax reform proposal would be released this week, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney now says it will be ready in June. This week's announcement will be limited to "specific governing principles."

Source:
OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS
Trump To Sign Order Calling For Expanded Drilling
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Donald Trump is expected Monday to sign an executive order which will mark his administration's first action on offshore oil and gas drilling. The order is expected to call for a "review of the locations available for offshore oil and gas exploration and of certain regulations governing offshore oil and gas exploration."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login