Friday, December 23, 2005

Hey big spender...leave me a tip!

As a long time waiter, I have experience the following more times than I care to remember:

A couple or family come in, and each person orders something like our Ultimate Feast (which in our market is around $22 per person). Now as a waiter, having waited on 10's of thousands of people in the years, I can tell from their dress and sometimes their hygene that these are not people who are financially well off. With hope that I am wrong, I give them the great service that all who work with me know is my standard. I train other waiters and management in training, so I have to know my stuff, and perform each day to maintain that standard. The end of the meal comes, and they get their bill, and end up leaving us what amounts to pocket change for our efforts. They are not leaving this craptacular tip because they got poor service, but they are leaving this terrible tip because they are selfish. Rather than ordering a meal that would have cost them $18 per person, and still been an exellent meal, so they can leave an appropriate tip, they have chosen to screw their service staff and spend every cent on themselves. These people require service staff to work for wages they would never accept if they had jobs. In many states (almost every state) in the USA most wait staff make far below the minimum wage in hourly pay. This is because their tips are exected to balance it out and bring them above the minimum wage. When I worked in another smaller rural state, our hourly wage was $1.85 per hour, when the minimum wage was $5.25 (yeah, that was a while ago). In most weeks we do not get checks from our hourly wage, because after taxes there was little or nothing left. Our take home is effectively what you leave at the table, so when you are stuffing yourself and not leaving enough money for your service staff at the end of the meal consider that.

With that being said, if I give you bad service I encourage you to stiff me (leave no tip) and tell a manager why. I am comfident that my customers will receive service worthy of a very good tip.

Please don't expect your service staff to work for less than you would be willing to work for. And if you have a small ticket total, still leave $2 per guest. Even if you just had coffee and dessert. I would be embarrassed to walk out of a restuarant after having my coffee cup refilled a half dozen times, someone brings me dessert, makes my evening enjoyable, and then leave some pocket change on the table.


two star general said...

I don't believe you should ever stiff your server regardless to how bad they are. If they are extremely terrible I will leave a dollar.

Lobster Boy said...

I know I'm not going to give a table bad service, especially not with the new stupid system that Red Lobster has forced upon us. So I'm willing to be stiffed if I ever in fact do give bad service. I'd rather someone tell me or a manager "here's why he sucked" and leave me no money.


Cricket said...

Some people's definition of "bad service" assumes that we cook the food, make the drinks, and have total control over our ticket times. I was cussed out by a (slightly sloshed) guest recently over a dirty fork (it had rice stuck between the tines--no, it shouldn't have been rolled like that, but I didn't see the silverware between the dishwasher washing it and the host rolling it)--fortunately, her very-embarrassed husband was paying the bill and realized that it wasn't my doing.

I'd rather be stiffed than get a fifteen-cent "insult tip," though--I can believe the stiffs are just ignorant, where the change-from-a-dollar folks are generally snotty and self-important.

Comment on your blog as a whole and the new sections--OB's always had a section policy like that, but at least at my Outback, they let us pick up extra tables if there is a "pop" and not enough on the floor--I've run with 5-6 tables on a 2-3 table section (that's max) for one turn. Some of us had been considering defecting to RL for the bigger sections--glad I didn't now.

Anonymous said...

it's means it is

its is possessive, the same as his and hers