Yesterday afternoon Sarah and I went out to eat for her birthday.
Our waiter was very friendly.
After we paid, as our server was about to walk away, I said, “Oh, wait—we have something for you.”
He came back and I handed him a “Good Person Comic”. I try to give waiters gospel tracts in person now rather than just leaving it on the table. It’s more personal and it often opens a door for conversation.
He stood there for a second looking at it and muttered something…. which I can’t remember. It wasn’t exactly unfriendly, but it prompted me to ask, “Do you get many of those in here?”
“Oh yeah—all the time,” he said.
“Really? So can I just ask you something—do you notice a difference in how much people tip when they give these out?”
“Yeah, it’s lower.”
“Really?” we asked.
“Do you think people think of the tract as part of the tip?!” Sarah asked.
“Yeah, it seems like they do,” he affirmed.
“That’s really sad.”
“You know the coolest one of those we’ve seen?” he lit up and laughed, “There were these cards with insects on the front. They were like baseball cards, but with insects! That was so cool,” he said.
We nodded and smiled, wondering if those were from us. Later that day, Sarah remembered being at that same restaurant with my grandparents a few weeks previously and leaving several insect animal card tracts. So we were glad to hear they were well received. (They almost always are. If you’re interested, see these “Creation Cards” [smile])
Our waiter also shared a story with us of his conversation with some people who were pushy about their beliefs and aggravated him.
“Well, different people have different motives,” we mentioned.
“For us,” we said, “we pass these out everywhere—and it’s not because we are trying to get people to our church or anything — it’s just because we believe it’s the truth. And for us, if we didn’t share it, it would be kind of like knowing the cure for cancer and not saying anything.”
“Yeah, that’s a good perspective to have,” he said.
Our waiter yesterday was not the only one who has told me that “people who leave tracts tip less.” I remember one waitress who told me she dislikes Sunday afternoons because of all the stingy Christians. And I’ve heard similar reports from other sources as well. Of course, it isn’t true across the board, and I’m sure servers who are already antagonistic towards Christianity are extra sensitive to this and may exaggerate the statistics they share. But whatever the case may be, if we are going to be imitators of God (Eph. 5:1), we must be generous!
Please do not read this and be discouraged about giving tracts to servers! Just remember to tip well with your tract.
Here are a few other suggestions:
1) Try to get to know your waiter/waitress. If we are friendly and enjoyable to serve, it lays a great foundation for then sharing about the Lord.
2) Try handing them a tract in person instead of leaving it on the table. Even better, give them something bigger like a DVD or book.
3) Pray for them even before you arrive at the restaurant.
I had prayed yesterday morning that we would be able to witness to our waiter at lunch. Although the talk with him wasn’t what I was expecting, I think it was beneficial. I think the gentle explanation with the tract was what that guy needed at that time.