Ooooooooooooooh campers annoy me. Don’t get me wrong. As a restaurant customer, you are entitled to eat and relax at your own pace. But please, be reasonable about it.
If the restaurant is really busy and most or all the other tables are full, please leave. You’re taking up space that another customer would like and preventing them from leaving me another tip.
Most of the time, I don’t mind campers. They generally don’t require much attention. But they do require some. If I have a couple other active tables, it’s easy to swing by with a pitcher and refill your tea or water. The more tables I have, the less attention I can give each table. Even if you say you’re fine, I still have to come around occasionally and see if you want anything. And if you haven’t paid yet, that’s just more attention that you will need and less attention I can give to my other tables.
If it’s closing time (or after!), please leave. There are some tasks that can’t be done while you’re here. The longer you stay, the longer I have to stay. Would you want to work overtime at $2.15 an hour? We don’t get time-and-a-half (and if we did, that’s still only $3.27!). Also, depending on the restaurant, your waiter might be responsible for back-of-house stuff. But he can’t take care of it because he has to be out front watching your table. Even if he cashes you out, we can’t close the restaurant until you leave—someone is going to have to stay and lock up.
I admit, I’ve camped before. Get to talking and time just slips by. Or during finals, go and hang out at 24-hour places like IHOP or Waffle House. But money makes things better and I leave a larger than normal tip, usually 25% plus a dollar per hour.
Should campers leave larger tips? How much?