You landed a sweet coupon for ‘buy one entree, get one free’ at your favorite eatery, but you’re leery about actually cashing it in. Sure, you’re into saving money, but will you come off looking like a cheapo? Will the waiter snicker behind your back? Not in the least. “In my opinion I don't think coupons are bad at all because it gives people a reason to come back. I am all for the restaurant being busy every weekend so I can have more change in my pocket”, Matt Dragone, a server at Bertucci’s, told RedPlum.com. But Matt, along with other veteran servers, will tell you that there are a few simple rules to follow to ensure that your dining experience is a pleasant one for all involved.
RedPlum asked over 100 servers what tips they would offer to restaurant patrons using coupons. Here’s what they all had to say: Be kind to your server. It may seem like a no-brainer, but kindness goes a long way. “Waitresses understand trying to save a little money and as long as the customer is polite I wouldn't think anything of (a patron using coupons)”, says waitress Andrea Start to RedPlum.
Tip should be based on the pre-coupon total. Every server RedPlum polled agreed that leaving a tip on the original amount of the bill – pre-coupon discount – is the single most important factor in them coming away from a coupon user without a bad taste in their mouth.
Don’t skimp. Your tip should reflect the level of service you received. Most servers agree that 15-20% is an adequate amount to tip for good service. “I would never look down on anyone for using a coupon, as long as I still got a decent tip. Ultimately, that's all your server cares about”, says Amanda Truscott, a former waitress. [RedPlum.com]