I disagree. I make 15% - 25% from day to day, so I don't think my tips are suffering. This is just a low-end breakfast diner, nothing fancy. One reason I don't bust my ass to pre-bus is that as a customer, I always hate it when the server asks for my plate before I'm done (it's hard not to do that)...and it always seemed like kind of a chore for us to see who's done and who's not and then hand the server all our plates. So, as a server, if the table looks crowded and there's an obvious indication that something isn't being used, I'll offer to take it, but otherwise I let people munch.
My boss says it drives her crazy to see dirty plates on the table, however, and I don't have much of a choice in the matter now that she says she'll be "watching" me to make sure I do it "right."
What do you think? I should add, I do try to pre-bus more on busy days when it's imperitive to save time to free up tables, but when we're not busy it makes me really uncomfortable to prey on my tables asking for things as soon as they're done with them. But maybe you're experiences are different than mine. Is this bad service? Do you think servers are lazy who don't grab your plates as you're done with them and tip less because of it?