Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tipping


Last night was my sister-in-law's, Akiko, birthday. We went to a local restaurant that a good friend of ours is the manager. Whenever we go there we usually get REALLY good service since he is usually sitting at the table with us chatting. Well, last night, our friend wasn't there and it was a completely different dining experience...
Now before I get into the service, I feel compelled to let you know I was a waitress for 2 years out of college. I worked as a bartender as well. Before I worked there I never knew you tipped the bartender. I figured I'm walking up to the bar, why should I tip? Also, I waited mostly on card players. Ugh, they are the worst!!! A mug of domestic tap was $1.50 and I would be paid with two one dollar chips. Most players would get annoyed when I would leave the .50 change (you NEVER assume a tip and there were lots of times I never got tipped) The one time I didn't leave the change immediately, the guy chased me down, yelled at me for assuming my tip, told me had intended on tipping me and then handed me a quarter (which I smiled and thanked him for). A lot of the staff I worked with would only wait on the "big tippers". I waited on everyone else. I was also the only non smoker, so I actually worked my entire shift. I was a good waitress. I took the job seriously and did a good job. After all it isn't brain surgery. And because of my years in the trenches, I feel the same way today as I did then: you never assume a tip. Now back to last night...
When we got there it was busy. It was all you can eat fish and chips night, so it was hopping. We got seated quickly but then had to wait forever to place an order. Akiko and I got the dinner special which came with a shrimp cocktail and salad. Joji and Ben got fish and chips and Joji's mom ordered soup and Sammie a grilled cheese.
We ordered at 6:00, had to ask twice for bread and didn't get our entrees until 7:00. I ordered my steak medium rare and it was WAY over cooked. They brought Sammie the wrong thing and they were very slow on busing away the dirty dishes (a pet peeve of mine)
So here comes the bill and it's $140. Now this server, who was not a good server, is going to get a twenty-thirty dollar tip, just because?? Doesn't seem fair. It seems the restaurants should pay decent wage and not expect the customer to make up the difference. Tip actually stands for "to insure promptness". I guess this server missed the memo.

3 comments:

Marie said...

Bravo. After spending many years as a waitress in a big tourist town locally I know what it means to provide good service and since I did it both in a pancake house and as a bartender, my tips ARE based soley on service and not obligation!

Jenny said...

I think we are rather fortunate in Australia - we don't have the culture of tipping, although it is far more common these days.
We tip for good service when we go out, but not always.
I remember, when I first travelled to Europe, being horrified with tipping...even to the ladies who held open the toilet doors for me!

Felicia said...

Although I've never waitresses I've had many friends who have so I appreciate how hard the job is. I always tip well for good service but I just can't bring myself to do it for lousy service.