September 13 2006

You have to be kidding me…

This story got my blood to boiling. It would seem waiters and waitresses are beginning to fight back over tipping and going as far as forming organizations to mandate a minimum tipping procedure and establishing websites to report “bad tippers”.

Here’s a couple ideas for these poor disgruntled souls:

1. Don’t act like I should accept food from you like some grand gift from the Greek Gods. I came in, I sat down, I ordered it, now bring it to me without that tone of “Aren’t you grateful?”!

2. I’m a big coffee drinker, if I ask for a refill, I expect it within 4 – 5 minutes, not 15. (actual story) You also should be making enough rounds of your tables that you can spot the lack of coffee for yourself.

3. If you make a mistake, you make a mistake, we’re all human. Don’t get pissy with me because you didn’t take the order down correctly.

4. This goes to the kitchen staff too, if you run out of a part of my meal, have the balls to tell me, don’t just assume you can substitute any old ingredient. Last time I checked, Ceaser Salads were supposed to have Parmesan cheese, not Swiss. One week I came in, it had Parmesan, the next week was Swiss, the following week was Parmesan. Just tell me you’re out of Parmesan because I FREAKIN’ HATE SWISS CHEESE!

The bit in the story about the web sites where wait staff can report bad tippers did make me laugh though. Um…how exactly will this work? Are wait staff going to start asking your name at the beginning of a meal, run to the back, use a computer to go that web site, look up a name and go “A-HA! You’re getting crap service you bad tipper!” Please.

As I have said before, I do tip, and will continue to tip, but to EXPECT a tip is just wrong. It was started as a reward, and I still view it as such. If it is a resturant I eat at weekly, like the local Ruby Tuesdays, I tend to be more giving with the tip, because, well, they might remember me the following week if I’m not. If I’m out of town on business though, watch out, I become much more critical of the service. It is very, very rare for me to tip under 15%, but I have done it a few times when the service has been lackluster.

The idea of this waiter organization mentioned in the article reallyg ets me though. They want to force their employers to slap on a 20% gratuity on to every bill. How about instead of attacking your customers, you talk to your employer about what they pay you? Because, guess what, any restaurant that slaps an automatic 20% gratuity on my bill, no matter the size of the party, I will stop eating there and then you will receive 20% of nothing. Sound fair?

I have nothing against 99% of the folks out there who do this thankless job, but the 1% who seem to think this is a war with their customers irk me and ruin it for everyone. I work with the public everyday, I know how stupid odd they can be, but don’t treat all your customers like enemies and you will get a lot farther. I don’t feel I ever make truly odd requests, and honestly, I even hate making substitutions on a meal because i know it can cause problems, just do your job well and we’ll get a long fine. Do your job badly, like in the examples I gave above, and then we’ll have a problem.

So, when you see me walking in and you want to run my name through any websites, make sure to look for Juan Phillip…not Sean P. Aune, because I will be using an assumed name from here on out after this entry.

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