New York City’s second-phase reopening is now underway, which means restaurants are open for outdoor dining and we all learned how to make cacio e pepe for nothing. (Just kidding! Cooking is great!)
It’s been a long time since most of us were able to eat at a restaurant, and not just get a takeout meal to eat at home. So it’s possible some of the once-internalized dining etiquette needs some revisiting. As a reminder, patio dining is still dining, and you still need to tip at least 20% — you should consider going even higher than that, since your server is risking their own health and safety so you can eat out.
For those of you still feeling squirrely about eating out, or who like picking up meals and dining in the park or at home, remember that you still need to tip your server, much like you’d tip for delivery. Restaurants and restaurant workers have taken a big hit over the last few months, and servers who were previously eligible for unemployment are losing income now that they’re back at work, with capacity rules and continued COVID fears bringing in fewer customers.
So, tip at least 20 percent on your takeout/pickup meal and consider it an investment in a spot you like and hope to frequent again when the pandemic ends.