Is no

Week before last, I was in Austin for a conference. Had a good time, learned some new things. The last night I was there, I went out to eat with a friend. Chose a restaurant that was rumored to have good food and great atmosphere. Apparently, rude bartenders aren't considered "atmosphere." Long and short, the girl did 3 things you should never do when working in a restaurant (really, anywhere, if you ask me).

First, after we ordered margaritas in the bar, she asked for her tip. This is a big no-no. I don't care that it's customary that people tip bartenders and waitstaff, they shouldn't expect it and then ask for it when they don't see it. For the record, had she waited 2 seconds, I was going to drop money in her tip jar. My response to her asking for her tip was to tell her "not now that you've asked."

Second, when I went back to the bar to order a bowl of queso, she told me that it cost $6. Fine, I handed her $10. She gave me back $3 in change. Now, math may not have been my strong suit in school, but I can add and subtract pretty well. I told her that I thought maybe I'd not been given the correct change--trying to give her an out and save face. Nope. She informed me that she'd kept her tip off the top of her change. "No, honey, that's called stealing, I'd like to see your manager. Right now."

Third, while waiting on the manager to come over, I happen to see a copy of the menu and discover that an order of queso is $5, not $6.

Recap: The 3 wrongs against a customer committed here are: presumption, theivery, and lying.

It only got worse. The manager tried to stick up for her-"well, she only makes 2 something an hour and they all work for tips really." I really don't find myself giving a damn. It maybe have been a few bucks and some bad service, but damnit, she should've known considerably better.

My best friend, R, is a waiter who has berated me about my poor tipping habits for years, even before I knew him as a waiter. It's an ethical thing for me. I tip what I feel is appropriate for the service I've received, and I don't tip because it's customary. If you provided poor service, then you don't deserve a tip. If you made me feel like the only table you had to serve, I'll tip generously. I've been known to tip anything from a dollar or two, to 40% of the bill. A couple of times, at the restaurant R works in, I've tipped the bartender 50-100% (though he did comp one of my drinks that night I tipped 100%). It goes back to my work ethic, whether you love your job or not, you should be willing to give better than average or minimum service. My tip is a tangible appreciation of your good service.

Anyway, that's my rant. After R ranted about people who don't tip at all, period or who short tip fabulous service, I knew I'd eventually get around to posting my thoughs on it. Didn't think it would take a rude, unethical bitch to jumpstart the entry.
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2 Response to "Is no"

  1. VikiBabbles says:
    Apr 18, 2005, 11:58:00 AM

    Maybe you should have pointed out to the bartender that if he paid his employees a higher base salary, they wouldn't have to insult the customers by 1. asking for a tip and 2. lying, cheating, and stealing.

    I would suggest writing a letter to the owner of the restaurant.

  2. jayne says:
    Apr 18, 2005, 6:19:00 PM

    I see your point, but the base salary is irrelevant--I don't know of any restaurants that pay a decent wage. Waitstaff and bartenders nearly always have to live off tips. They know that going in, and if they feel obligated to take home better money, then they should go find better paying jobs.

    I did write a letter to the owner. No response. Surprise, surprise.

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