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Passions in Poetry

Restaurant etiquette

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Skyfyre
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since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap


0 posted 03-03-2001 01:06 AM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

OK, here's one that's sure to have people on both sides of the fence:


When dining in a full-service restaurant, where do you draw the line between a 'standard' tip (15% or so) and a lower tip (or none, for that matter) ..?

Let me give you an example:

Mike and I went to dinner tonight at a little Italian bistro that we have been meaning to try for about a month now.  When we walked in, no one greeted us at the door or even acknoledged us; after standing in the doorway for an awkward 5 minutes we finally seated ourselves.

For the next 20 minutes, we watched at least two parties who arrived after us 1)greeted, 2)seated, 3)have their order taken ... Mike was on the verge of getting up and leaving when a blonde (who was serving the table next to us) casually looked over and said "I'll get you two some menus" with a comic air, indicating by her tone that she realized we had been sitting there for some time without being offered so much as a glass of water.  We thanked her, and ordered our drinks right then to save time.

We waited another five minutes; I heard the blonde waitress offer our table to the other server on duty before she came out to bring us the menus but NOT the drinks -- we waited another 10 minutes for those.  When we had been there nearly an hour, the blonde once again returned and asked if we were ready ... LOL ... as you can imagine we were.  We placed our order, only to have our waitress discover that she didn't have her tablet with her to write it down.  She promised to remember it -- since she had just mentioned that she OWNED the place, I believed her.

A bit later we got our soup, which was lukewarm at best -- 15 minutes later, our drinks were empty, we were thirsty and getting lonely, when our waitress comes up and informs us that she went to check on our food, but -- surprise! -- she couldn't find our ticket (perhaps because she never wrote one).  Exactly what did we order again, ha-ha?  We reminded her, then waited another 20 minutes or so for cold entrees the likes of which could be found in a public school cafeteria.  I was SOOO disappointed with the meal.  Mike, on the other hand, was tired, still hungry, and livid.

I grabbed the check because I had the feeling Mike was on the verge of a 'dine-and-dash' ... and despite the fact that everything about the evening was a disaster, I left more than a 20% tip.

I suppose I am a sucker.  I worked in the restaurant business for a number of years and as such have a tendency to tip higher -- even when the service does not merit it.  As a waitress, I would have been embarrassed to give such poor service ... especially in such a small place (I counted 10 tables between 2 waitresses).  I would not have expected 10% -- much less 20+ -- had I given  the service I received tonight ... so why do I feel compelled to reward someone else for it..?

Is there a 'Tipaholics Anonymous' out there somewhere for ex-waitresses like me..?  


Linda


Poet deVine
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1 posted 03-03-2001 01:13 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

I would have paid the bill and left not one cent as a tip. Then I would ask for a 'comment' card on the way out and filled it out right there and handed it in.
Skyfyre
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since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap


2 posted 03-03-2001 01:28 AM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

Sigh, Sharon ... the more I think about it, the more I regret tipping like I did ...

The comment card was a good idea, but I doubt it would have done much good as the lady who served us was the owner.

Irie
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since 12-01-1999
Posts 1526
Washington State


3 posted 03-03-2001 01:56 AM       View Profile for Irie   Email Irie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Irie

I would have left NO tip....
NONE, notta.
In fact, I think I would have left or put in a major complaint before I left.

I tip what is deserved!
If we have fabulous service...then I tip well, etc etc etc.

I just had a similar situation.....
Eight of us (4 couples) went to Daniels Broiler the weekend after Valentines Day.
We go every year. This year we waited in the bar for an hour for our table. (we had reservations, 3 months in advance even)

Once we're seated...everything is fantastic.
Prompt service, attentive etc etc.
Aweomse food as usual. When the check arrives, we decide to put the entire bill on our credit card so we can earn the air miles.
Everyone agrees....and we'll figure everyone's totals later.
After viewing the bill...we realize that there are drinks on the bill that do not belong to us.
She fixes it.
Then one couple notices that the gift certificate they had was gone.
"OH yeah" she says, I forgot I picke that up already.
She leaves with the bill a second time to correct it.
Then after arrivng home, I sit down to figure everyon'e totals.

OH MY.....
We were over charged a HUGE amount!
An extra bottle of wine.....
The gift certificate was only half the amount......
Extra glasses of wine.....
Over charge of glasses of wine.....etc etc.

After discovering this I called the manager who disputed this with me for several minutes on the phone.
FINALLY.....he decided that I was right and was going to credit the amount to my card.
$82.61 in fact.
After tipping her MORE than the over charge on our bill.....
I wonder........
Did she try and "pad" the bill???????

Anyway linda.....sorry to rant like that....
So.....Like I said... I tip what they deserve.


~Sheri

"The things that come to those that wait may be the things
left by those who got there first"






[This message has been edited by Irie (edited 03-03-2001).]
Elizabeth Cor
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since 10-13-2000
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Oregon (yeah!)


4 posted 03-03-2001 04:08 AM       View Profile for Elizabeth Cor   Email Elizabeth Cor   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Elizabeth Cor

I almost ALWAYS over tip (for the very same reasons)... even if the service is mediocre, and especially if the place is packed or overstaffed. And there are ways one CAN determine if the fault is that of the server or the resturant. HOWEVER, I won't stand for "bad" service...

In this situation, I would have A) not left a tip and B) INSISTED that our meal be paid in full by the resturant... Actually, I can't imagine sitting there that long... I would have grabbed a waitress myself in under 15 minutes and I probably would've walked into the kitchen after half an hour LOL ...

Btw, what does Mike do in these situations?
Nan
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5 posted 03-03-2001 08:18 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

This sounds like a "no-tipper" to me... You think she really owns the place?

I'd be inclined to play with her a bit - because I'm a wench... Maybe I'd be standing there paying my bill - leaving no tip, of course - discussing with my dinner partner how much I was enjoying my new job - critiquing restaurants for our local newspaper...
Denise
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6 posted 03-03-2001 11:15 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Good one, Nan! Linda, I was a waitress too and tend to tip over and above what is deserved, but what happened to you two is outrageous, simply outrageous. I think I would have left the place after the first ten minutes. If she is indeed the owner that place won't be in business for too long. Is she is an employee, she won't be there for too much longer. I hope you find a place to spend your money that appreciates the business!
Severn
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since 07-17-99
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7 posted 03-03-2001 12:26 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

You could always just come live in NZ where tipping isn't mandatory, where waitresses/waiters are paid by wage or salary...saves lots of hassle.

I'm quite bemused by the whole tipping thing.

It's like tax here too: Paying more than the advertised price - it's all very weird.

I have always felt that if you WANT to tip then go ahead - if not, then stuff it! Lol. I know - that is absolutely no help at all...

K



...and I have found a lifetime can be lived in one moment...
Dopey Dope
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8 posted 03-03-2001 01:22 PM       View Profile for Dopey Dope   Email Dopey Dope   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dopey Dope

I would have left.......man o man.....even reading that story pissed me off. Sounds like your husband and you SHOULD have dined and dashed haha.
I couldn't have taken that kind of treatment.



I was born myself, raised myself, and will continue to be myself. The world will just have to adjust.

I'm in love with my shadow
I admire it daily
Skyfyre
Senior Member
since 08-15-99
Posts 1966
Sitting in Michael's Lap


9 posted 03-03-2001 01:35 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

Ack!  I am a sucker, it appears ... LOL

Oh well -- what's done is done.  I console myself with the knowledge that we will never go back there again -- which is significant, because Mike and I eat out a lot.

As far as whether the lady who served us really is the owner:  I heard her scolding the other waitress while I was there and then complaining about her to the next table (how tacky!), so I assume she was telling the truth.  Personally, every restaurant owner I've ever known would never stand for such bad service in their place, much less give such bad service themselves, but then this is California -- maybe the rules are different here LOL.  I have noticed that waitresses out here tend to be much less attentive than the ones I was used to back east.

Beth, if it had been up to Mike, we would have left after 15 minutes of sitting and being ignored.  If he had paid the bill, though, I have a feeling he would not have left one cent as a tip -- and apparently he would have been right.  As it was, I had to hear him grumbling "Well maybe next week we can go back and let her pour spaghetti sauce on us in the hopes of getting 30%!! (we have a long-standing argument about overtipping for poor service; but this was easily the worst we have ever received, and this INCLUDES Denny's LOL)

Never fear, I'll not be the sucker again -- I told Mike he is to handle all tipping from now on!  

Thanks all,


Linda
PhaerieChild
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since 08-30-99
Posts 1829
Aloha, Oregon


10 posted 03-03-2001 10:52 PM       View Profile for PhaerieChild   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for PhaerieChild

Having worked in restaurants for the last 12 years or so (on both sides of the line, cook and server) I can say that after reading this I would not have left her anything but a nasty-gram and I wouldn't have sat there more than 15 minutes. If she is indeed the owner, it will be a sure bet she won't be in business long....if she is but a server she won't be employed long. I know that once people work in the restaurant field they form an empathy for servers and the way they are compensated. This is a good way to weed out the incompetent ones though, by simply not tipping. If they make no money, they will go elsewhere for work. Or you can go the food critic way...I thought that was pretty funny and will have to remember that the next time I get crappy service from some psuedo-upscale restaurant.

How can you save me?
When the dark comes right in and takes me,
from my front walk and into bed,
where it kisses my face and eats my head. Shivaree
Swamp了aeryie
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since 12-04-2000
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fairyland....of course;)


11 posted 03-03-2001 10:59 PM       View Profile for Swamp了aeryie   Email Swamp了aeryie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Swamp了aeryie

i swear this exact same scenerio down to the very end, happened to me and a few friends,the lost ticket,the lukewarm food,10 minute intervals,the whole shabang. We left *NO* tip!! What's the point when service is that bad? My mother however,obsesses constantly on whether or not the tip was alright,lol

swamp


much madness is divinest sense,and much sense the starkest madness~Emily Dickinson
Sunshine
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since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


12 posted 03-03-2001 11:05 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Well I had thought this had ended, but since it hasn't...two cents here...

When I visit a restaurant the first time...not knowing what to expect, I become fairly observant...counting waitresses, attitude, cleanliness, etc....if you can see two out of three, but things aren't going right, I start asking questions..."someone sick?...on vacation?...problems?" because I am one of those who think there has to be a reason other than outright "I don't give a fig" attitude....

then based on the economy, if the service is mediocre to adequate...10%....if you can see everyone is trying to hedge against common problems....15%....but when the service is exemplary....I want to do 20% but usually have an argument so leave some on the check and sneak some back to the table....

but more than once on a personal basis I've let up to 50%....just because the waitress had a caring attitude....
Ron
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13 posted 03-04-2001 01:40 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Until I managed to sequester myself in a land without restaurants, I ate out a LOT. Probably 15 to 20 times a week. For about 15 years. Practice may not make perfect, but it certainly does make for established routine. Here are the "rules" I've acquired over those thousands of meals.

1. Never leave 15 percent. The whole idea of tipping is to insure that a return visit will find as good or better service, and that means being memorable. People don't remember "average."

2. Good service is defined as much by the circumstances as by the actual service. As many of you have mentioned, being unusually busy or short-handed can be forgiven. Intent and effort should be rewarded. I consider 20 percent a minimum for good service, but don't always go by percentages if the cost of the meal is relatively small. A quick sandwich and drink might only cost five bucks, but good service is usually worth more than a dollar. I rarely leave less than three dollars.

3. I try very hard to separate service and food. Food servers don't always have control over the quality of the food and should only be accountable for what they can control.

4. Poor service will earn, at best, a 10 percent tip. Strangely, I would say that most of the times I've had bad service was during the slowest hours, not the busiest. When it's slow, the servers either get side-tracked having fun or busy with sidework and ignore the customers. That's when I get irritated. There's an old code most food servers know, where a single penny denotes displeasure. So I usually leave a buck or two, something close to ten percent, along with a lone penny.

5. Really bad service get the single penny, without any accompanying real tip. That hasn't happened more than three or four times in twenty years, and I have never gone back to the restaurant. There have been more than those three or four times, however, when I've left the restaurant without waiting for the meal, invariably because of bad attitude rather than bad service. Haven't returned to those restaurant, either.

6. Only once in twenty years have I actually called a manager to the table and complained. Flirting is okay, I guess, but this particular waiter just took it way too far.

Common Server Mistakes

* When you get ready for work, please remember it's not a date. That hit of perfume or cologne is great for the dance floor, but not what I want to smell at dinner.

* I'm often watching even when you're not standing next to my table, and my appetite can fluctuate a great deal depending on where you are placing your hands.

* If I overhear you dissing your last customer, I'm going to assume I'm next.

* Burn my steak, drop my bread, but please don't ever let me see the bottom of my coffee cup.


Nan
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14 posted 03-04-2001 09:58 AM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

... and DON'T make him peel his own shrimp!!!..
Poet deVine
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15 posted 03-04-2001 10:06 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine


With all the exposure lately of the nasty things cooks/servers can do to a meal, I would rather leave uncooked food or poorly cooked food on my plate than send it back to the kitchen. God only knows what they'll do to it!!!
Temptress
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Mobile, AL


16 posted 03-04-2001 08:00 PM       View Profile for Temptress   Email Temptress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Temptress

ARGGHH!!
I'm SOO soft when it comes to tips. Hardly, though, have I ever had a waiter or waitress that didn't redeem themselves in some way AFTER I complained and told it straight (as opposed to my husbands ten miles around the trees and bushes path). So, after redeeming themselves in some small way, I HAVE to leave them a tip because they, after all make some of their living on that; and Lord forbid that I should take food out of someone's mouth because no one deserves to starve no matter what they do or don't do! LOL! Sooo..am I too soft or what?

I have waitressed only once before and swore to never do it again. I was young and impatient..still learning. I still don't know if I could do it now, because in experiencing some sarcastically inclined mouths (mostly those of my in-laws) in life these days I think have adapted well to the ways of a sharp tongue! Sooo..that would get me in trouble. I mean..I already work at a restaurant, and it is very hard already not to just poke people's eyes out! LOL! Seriously..I've learned to control my mouth, moods, etc all in the interest of making the customer happy and making him go away! (just kidding about the going away part..or..am I? )

Soo..
again...I'm soft. Where my husband won't complain with gumption and I will, he won't leave a tip and I will.
Poet deVine
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17 posted 03-05-2001 10:59 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Ron, if you need help 'peeling your shrimp', let me know. (LOL)
WhtDove
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since 07-22-99
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Illinois


18 posted 03-05-2001 11:24 AM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

Sharon's right. How they spit on your food and such. Of course that's not everywhere, and those few 'bad apples' give it a bad name.

I would NOT have left a tip. If they were that disorganized and I had to wait that long, knowing my husband, we wouldn't have, we would have left.

I've had service like that, and it leaves me angry. Especially if there's no apology from those who aren't doing their job.

If this lady claimed to be the owner, I would have told her how disappointed I was in the whole package. Had she been the owner, and KNEW what was happening, if she cared at all about the 'name' above the door outside, and word of mouth from customers, she would have righted the situation. Maybe by giving a free meal. Maybe by making your next visit free.
LoveBug
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19 posted 03-05-2001 04:54 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

As the poor teenager I am, I usually leave a dollar tip! (Two at my favorite Mexican place!) I'm sorry!!!!!!

You guys think that's why I get such crummy service?

"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel."-Machiavelli

[This message has been edited by LoveBug (edited 03-05-2001).]
Michael
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20 posted 03-08-2001 11:43 AM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

Well, I refrained from replying to this for a time, (mostly because of the BAD taste that restaurant left in my mouth), but I will say this:


I NEVER stiff anyone on a tip. However, this was a definate "one cent" tip only because I would have wanted her to know she wasn't worth two.

That's all I have to say about it.

Michael
Dopey Dope
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San Juan, Puerto Rico


21 posted 03-08-2001 01:48 PM       View Profile for Dopey Dope   Email Dopey Dope   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dopey Dope

Well.......I USUALLY give tip....but.....I'm one of those mean, inconsiderate teens you're always afraid of.....so sometimes I don't......so HA!!!!
Beware resteraunt staff....cuz here I come!



I was born myself, raised myself, and will continue to be myself. The world will just have to adjust.

I'm in love with my shadow
I admire it daily
Acies
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Twilight Zone


22 posted 03-08-2001 07:28 PM       View Profile for Acies   Email Acies   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Acies

A tip to me signifies gratitude for one's service. If my service was the same as what you got, I'd definitely not leave anything and actually complain about it.

"So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this give life to thee." W.S.
 
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