Here’s a rare example I can give of shitty service my friends and I received. It happened so long ago, and it’s never happened on that level again. A few friends of mine and I decided to go to our favorite Denny’s-like restaurant after work one Friday night. It was one thing after another all made worse by our server’s attitude. Seating us at a dirty table then throwing US a bar towel so WE could clean up the mess, not bringing our requested condiments out with our order (we ordered them up front so we wouldn’t be running her back and forth) and then slamming them down on the table when she DID bring them. She told me I had to pay for my portion of the meal if I wanted to step outside for a smoke. ???? So, we’ve finished our meals and are getting our money together, the consensus being that despite the deplorable service we’d leave a good tip. After all she might have just been having a bad night. A few minutes later she comes up to our table and says point blank, “Could you guys just LEAVE.” Everyone at the table gave her an incredulous look but it was me she was looking at. “Don’t look at me like that,” she said and walked away. We were stunned. There was absolutely no reason for that. We had been more than patient with her, always a “please” and “thank you.” We were willing to forgive everything else, but this was the last straw. We pulled back our tips, paid for the meal, then left. I thought about calling the manager, then again, I’m a non-confrontational wuss. That was the only time in eight years I did not tip. In fact, we went back there the next week and tipped 50% because the service was so awesome. I guess the point of this story is, true shitty service is a rarity and not to be confused with a server being dead on their feet, or having a full section, or other things beyond their control.
I have been a waitress for 2 years now to pay my way through college. There are times when my job really sucks, but then again there are times when I meet people who put a smile on my face, and make my job enjoyable. The other day I was waiting on an older couple who came in and requested the section I was working ten minutes after I had been cut. I was a little irritated because I was ready to go home, and because I saw them from across the restaurant and just KNEW they weren’t going to tip. They were a very friendly couple. Not too needy (as some older people can be). They had a simple order, and so I was able to do my side work as I waited on them. Just about halfway through their meal another server came up to me and said that her table wanted to pay for my table. I looked over at the paying table and saw that they were a young couple. I smiled to myself and thought how nice it was that they were paying for this older couple. You hear of these sorts of things happening, but usually it is the other way around; An older couple paying for a young family. Well just as the young couple was leaving I went over to them and thanked them for their act of kindness, and the young man replied “It was my pleasure. Anything to show gratitude for a service member.” And then he motioned to his head like he was tipping his hat, and left. I hadn’t really noticed that the older man was wearing a hat. I went over to the table to check on their meal, and gave a quick glance at his hat. I caught the words “Purple Heart” and “WWII” and immediately thanked the man for his service, and shook his hand. I told them that their meal had been taken care of by another table, and that I was going to buy their desserts. The older gentleman struck up a conversation with me, and I learned that he had been injured in the war by flying people out of the combat zone, after being told not to go back because it was too dangerous. This man was 95 years old. As they were getting up to leave the! y handed me $10 and thanked me. I gave him a hug and thanked him again. I would have been just as happy not to receive a tip.
I’m not a server, nor have i ever been. But i am a client that appreciates all that is done in the restaurants that i go to. I have given tips that were ridiculous by any standards but my servers have always appreciated it.There was one server that i will never forget. It was in an Olive Garden In New Jersey. My Girlfriend and i were seated promptly and immediately the server was at our table. He may have been a little bit more excited then i was used to, but right on point with everything. The check may have been a little bit over $100. I left a $60 tip in the check book and proceeded to leave. As i was walking to my car he chased me ( a good 50 Meter run from my table) to make sure that i intended to leave that. It shocked me a little, but i appreciated it that much more. He wished me a very good night and could not stop saying thank you. I’m not sure if this post is relevant to this page, but i just wanted to say thank you to all the servers here that take pride in their job and make my experience worth it.
Note on receipt says:
Thank you for your excellent service
Normally I tip, but I have twins on the way so have to prepare. I am truly sorry
I have another way you could “prepare”…don’t spend the money to eat out…
I am not and never have been a server in a restaurant. I am, however, in a service industry. The best point I make to people complaining about tipping a server in a restaurant is to look around. Are they busy or not? Does it look as if they are understaffed? Is your server polite(even though he/she obviously wants to strangle someone). If all of these are yes my server gets a HUGE tip(I’ve been known to leave $100 on a $9 bill) If I answer no to ALL of them I will not tip. Any mixture creates a calculation based tip according to strengths and weaknesses(yeah I said it–weakness) of the server. These are just a few example questions, the point is to be aware of your surroundings and don’t punish the hard worker that is overloaded. This is where the people “preaching” about hard work and motivation not being rewarded, can put their money where their mouth is.