Many of us haven't been out for dinner in a restaurant since COVID hit last year. A lot of our favorite places to enjoy a meal had to reinvent how to serve us all last summer. Many places became outdoor and take out restaurants for the first ever in the entire time they've been open.

Obviously thing are starting to look like they did before the pandemic. More and more of our favorite food places are getting back to indoor dining.  And soon those empty tables in between people will be gone as well in restaurants in Poughkeepsie, New Paltz and even Beacon.

The person I have on my mind as we all start thinking about going out to dinner again is my waiter or waitress. They are the folks who really felt the effects of what COVID did to the dinning industry. Many people who were waitstaff in our Hudson Valley restaurants had to wait to get their jobs back. They had to accept that they would make as much money when they went back due to the lowered capacity and they also now had to work with a mask on for their entire shift.

So why am I bring this up? The reason is I want everyone who is getting back out there to enjoy a meal inside a restaurant to realize that our waiters and waitresses still need our help. We need to be patient and appreciate how hard they are working so that we can enjoy our dinner out.

In the past if you were one of those folks who reduced your tip based on the service and you always started at 15 percent take a moment before you fill in the blank on the credit card slip or put cash in the check holder and ask yourself, Did I have fun being out again? Was it just good to be able to order food and have it brought to the table? Did I miss this all last year? If you answer yes to any of those questions then stick some extra cash in the check holder because it couldn't have happened without your waiter or waitress.

And if it is this Friday that you decide to go out you should know it is National Waitstaff Day according to the National Days Calendar so that night you have to leave at least 20 percent for a tip.


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