Waiters feeling the pinch as consumers tighten up

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As the video below explains, suddenly frugal consumers are eating out less -- and tipping less. One bar owner told NBC that customers are still spending the same amount -- but tipping 10% or 15% instead of their customary 20%.

If you're a customer, don't be a jerk: if you can afford to go to the restaurant , you can afford to leave a solid tip. Being a stingy tipper isn't frugal; it's rude. If you're feeling hard up for money, try cooking at home or going to less expensive restaurants.

If you're a server and you're not making as much as you used to, this may be a time reevaluate the service you provide and look for areas to improve. Boom or bust, the best servers will earn the best tips. For some tips on better serving, check How to Be a Waiter and How to Be a Great Waitress, both from wikiHow. If you're feeling really ambitious, there are a few books on the subject. Two of the highest-rated on Amazon are Clam Chowder: The Server's Field Manual and Tips: the Server's Guide to Bringing Home the Bacon - The Customer Speaks To Every Waiter, Waitress, and Restaurant Manager In America -- Make More Money!

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