The reason will floor you.
Restaurant bill
Credit: Getty / Fuse

When it comes to the delightful tradition of dining out, the rules we follow generally revolve around being a decent human–saying please and thank you, showing up on time for a reservation, tipping your server appropriately, etc. (Of course there are times when we think we're being kind and helpful, and it's just the opposite.

And while it's clear that many patrons have room to improve when it comes to these basic principles (we're all a little rusty due to this whole pandemic thing), we'd like to add another restaurant protocol recommendation, if we may:

At your next meal out, do NOT leave a blank copy of your receipt on the table when you leave. While 99.99% of servers would never dream of adding a generous tip to your unsigned, abandoned receipt (that's what you're there for!), there is the opportunity for this to happen if you leave a blank copy at the restaurant. Walking out without a receipt can also leave you unable to dispute a charge should the need arise.

While the merchant copy is what we think of as the only place to leave a tip, in actuality, either receipt can be used as a signed contract between the restaurant and diner, according to Thrillist. This means that if you sign and leave a tip on the customer copy and take the merchant receipt, your bill and server will still get paid. The important thing is that you leave a respectable tip, sign your name, and take a copy with you.

So now that the rules are set, go forth, say please and thank you, fill out that receipt respectably, and take the other one home.