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Here’s a great tip – leave the waiter or waitress in the taverna or bar the customary 10% tip and you can be pretty sure of attentive service again next time.

Though maybe discreetly check with the waiter/waitress that they, not the owner, get the tips wink


How it works: more so traditionally but even now in some establishments, a person had to have two years experience working as a waiter's assistant before they could work as a waiter. As a waiter's assistant they can lay (and clear) tables, take bread out to new customers and (maybe) get and serve the drinks order - after two years experience of this they're deemed competent to take the food order, which would usually be served by a waiter, not an assistant waiter. Unless there's football on TV, then the waiters' assistants are deemed capable of doing the waiters' jobs.

So, if younger/junior staff seem unattentive it may not be the case, simply that they aren't allowed to attend to all your needs, such as taking the food order and anything to do with the bill. Of course, they won't get the experience if they aren't allowed to do it... Luckily, there's a lot of football on Greek TV.

Some waiters are paid a percentage of the night's bills, so if they're really busy they might earn a decent amount but, in May and October, they might work for a couple of euros a night. If they have any custom.

Otherwise, waiters are paid a wage plus tips. But... *some* taverna / bar (or hotel) owners take a cut even if they've been sat on their arse all night watching TV, or
keep all the tips. Of course, they're probably all smiley with the customers, that's how they get you to go back and put more of your money in their pockets.

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