Appreciating great service

A waiter attends to a customer at the Kigali Serena Hotel. File photo

Recently, after a long day, I needed something to quench my thirst. I went to a nearby restaurant where I was warmly welcomed by a waiter with a smile. He pulled out a chair for me to sit, like I was on a date. While I made myself comfortable, he bowed his head and placed the menu on my table and then waited for me to make my order.

I looked through the menu for some time, then made my order. When I asked how long my order would take, he said about 15 minutes. Well, in about seven minutes, he was back with my food. But after every five minutes, he would check on me to make sure that I was okay, or if I needed anything. If you ask me if I will be going back to that restaurant, definitely.

The minute I was done eating, the waiter was there to clear the table and he humbly asked me if I’d enjoyed my meal. Of course I did.

Guilt would have killed me if I didn’t give him anything. As he went to bring my bill, I put his tip on the side, and he was extremely happy to receive it. He again pulled my chair out for me as I stood to leave. He thanked me for eating there and said, “Madam, it will be a pleasure having you back any day, enjoy the rest of your evening.” I was wowed.

It is in my nature to tip people, especially when I receive the best service. I usually offer tips in salons and restaurants. Tips are a simple gesture of appreciation for one’s service. They motivate the service provider to do even better.

It’s not a must to tip always but do so once in a while, and if you can. You don’t need to give a lot of money. Some of these workers could really use the extra money. Imagine a waiter who never gets a minute to sit down or eat anything because he is busy serving customers, and at the end of the day, he is paid much less than the effort he puts in. With a tip, you can make his day a little better. Of course that tip will not solve his problems, but it is a good way to say ‘thank you’.

How about tipping your house maid? Maids are hardworking people, they make sure everything at home is neat, food is on the table, kids are fine, clothes washed and ironed. Regardless of the monthly salary, they need a tip, especially on the days they have done extra work. Sometimes they sleep very late and yet they have to wake up early, but who will appreciate them, if you don’t?

If you can’t tip, at least appreciate them with a gift. Cleaners ensure that the offices and toilets are clean. I highly doubt many would handle their job for even a day. Let us recognise the hustle of those who offer the best services. However, tips should not be bribery.