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A Server's Guide to Dining Out and Getting the Best Service.

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posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 03:09 AM
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Oh my goodness.

I don't eat out often, but there are 2 places in my town I LOVE going to, and it is only because of the servers.

I tip well - it doesn't matter who it is, whether it's at a bar, or a family restaurant... Even in a taxi, the odd time I'll ask the driver to stop off at a gas station so I can grab a drink, and I always come back with a treat for them, plus their tip.

I have to say it makes a huge difference - the service and tipping seem to go hand in hand. Places I go where I tip well, somehow the next time they remember my name, what I ordered, etc... and I'm sure to get amazing treatment from the staff on my return visits. Talk about buying people's love


There have been times where I've stopped off at a little Ma n' Pa type eat in restaurant just to grab a quick bite, and my bill might come to $10 or $15 and I've practically matched that with my tip because I feel guilty for just stopping in for something cheap and quick. But in my experience it basically guarantees me perfect service the next times I come back.

I have only ever had one bad experience, and I think like another poster, it was at a Denny's at some unGodly hour. Somehow it was PACKED, and I guess they were short staff members because everyone looked quite frazzled. The only seat was up at the bar area, so I sat down and waited to be served on. The waitress comes over and asks what she can get for me - I replied that I would like an orange juice, and she literally screamed at me "DID I ASK WHAT YOU WANTED TO DRINK??!!?"
Not funny at the time, I actually almost pooped my pants. She did apologize later though, and explained that they were in fact understaffed. She still got her tip but my goodness she was scary.

Love the thread - it's nice to look in on the other side, which I've actually never really considered before.




posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 08:19 AM
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reply to post by Cinquain
 


This is what I call balance. When I hear a co-worker complain "I worked so hard, did everything right, and still only got a 10%" I always say, it all works out in the end. Because their ARE people like you who go out of your way to take care of us, and make up the difference.
Cinquain, my poem friend, we sure do appreciate you and people like you. Thank you for your generosity.

POOOOOR Denny's, lol I'm sure they have plenty of great servers, we just aren't going to hear about them in this thread


Thanks for the post

edit on 4-8-2011 by MidnightSunshine because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:04 AM
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Let's counter balance this a bit. I have also had some amazing service. I remember a resteraunt a few years ago, went there frequently with friends. They had great pie (what can I say, I like my pie). There was a young kid working. He couldn't have been more than 16. I know from personal experience in this place that the waitstaff share tips. They all put it in a big pot and at the end of the night they share it. Personally, I don't like places that do that because it invalidates the need for consistant service.

This young kid was frazzled. He was running himself ragged, while a lot of the more experienced waitstaff were goofing off at the counter, etc. Despite that, my cup of coffee was never empty. Our food came out correct, perfect, and he wasn't overly hovering. He was an amazing server.

Before we left, I caught him out of sight of the manager and other staff near the bathrooms and slipped him an extra twenty. I told him he was the best server I ever had there, and I really appreciated his hard work. He was stunned. I told him to make sure he hid the $20 because he shouldn't have to share a tip for something he did all the work for. He smiled, nodded, and went right back to work. I really do hope he did not share it - he earned every bit of that. (Total bill was about 30-40 dollars as a reference).



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 11:21 AM
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reply to post by TLomon
 


It's a funny thing, people who love pie. Some pie lovers will travel a great distance for the "The best slice of coconut cream you ever had!"


Aw, TL, you seem like a real sweetheart, and a great Father/pielover, thanks for sharing a nice story



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:08 PM
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Ok so I’m going to share a story about a crazy lady. I’m sure writing the story, and you reading it won’t do it justice because this lady was whacked! She was a skinny older lady, probably 70 or more, and she was a beer drinker. I served her 3 16oz glasses. She had about an inch of beer left in the last one when I stopped by the table to see if she wanted another. And she says:
“NO, and I’M NOT paying for this one either!” I of course asked her why not.
“Welllll, there’s a fly in there” And I say, I don’t see any fly in there. She leans her old body up, face up close to the side of the glass looking in. Looks up at me and says:
“Well he was in there before. He kept flying all around (she’s swirling her finger around, dipping it in and out of the glass) and he was drinking my beer, he must of finished and flew away, and I’m not paying for it!! So, at this point I wanted to laugh so bad, but I didn’t. I say…Well that must be one heck of a fly, usually when they start drinking they pass right out!! So, do you want another beer?
She says “Of course!”
LOL note the whole time her old husband is just quietly smiling….I never did take that beer off the bill!



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 02:41 PM
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Ah, yes! The whole 'sharing tips' thing I can't stand either. There unfortunately are a few coffee shops I go to a few times a week, and the service is great with a few people. The others are so bad, though, that I don't leave a tip because I know the others are going to get a portion of that. Handing the server a personal tip just for themselves will often be refused, as keeping tips is something they can be fired for and not something they want to risk.

I've had waitresses treat me extra special after coming in for coffee after a surgery - I've had taxi drivers stop the meter and pull over at the side of the road so I could look at a rainbow I showed excitement over


Going out is an experience - everyone is making everything run smoothly so you can enjoy your evening. Even if it doesn't always look like it, I'm sure most are trying their hardest, so just be nice and tip. As a 23 year old female who doesn't have a clue about cooking, I've relied heavily in the past on restaurants, and I fear for the day I have to cook for a family.
I'm telling you it's worth the extra few dollars. Though as I said, I actually can't recall ever having a bad experience, but I'm young yet.
edit on 4-8-2011 by Cinquain because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by Cinquain
 


"Service and tipping seem to go hand in hand."

Well they shouldn't. I should not have to bribe someone to do their job properly.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 07:05 PM
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Originally posted by InvisibleAlbatross
reply to post by Cinquain
 


"Service and tipping seem to go hand in hand."

Well they shouldn't. I should not have to bribe someone to do their job properly.


I agree that it shouldn't necessarily be that way - but just from my own experience, it is. I really don't like that basically you are bribing someone to do their job properly, but it's true for me. I tip well, and I'm treated like gold. I leave a good tip and the next time I'm in the restaurant it's like they're greeting an old friend. But I see where you're coming from - I think most know that going into an industry where it's literally your job to serve people and wait on others, you should be a people-person. It's not the most 'glamorous' job out there, but a good attitude can really make a difference.

I worked at an organic food shop a few years ago doing night shift, and I LOVED it. My customers made it worth it - I hated the job, but I loved the people who would come in. We weren't tipped - we weren't even allowed to pick up a penny off the floor and keep it. It just seems like kind of a give and take - I treated everyone kindly and after a few months, people would come in specifically to see and talk to me every night, and it's nice, you know? Even customers that all the other employees hated and complained about I had no problems with because I didn't treat them like they were an inconvenience.

I think everyone should have a job where they have to be of service to other people - it's not always easy but it teaches you a lot about yourself and others. I have SO many stories, and met so many people, it was honestly one of the best/worst jobs I've ever had.

Wow I'm rambling... but yeah, I agree with your point



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 08:15 PM
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Originally posted by InvisibleAlbatross
reply to post by Cinquain
 


"Service and tipping seem to go hand in hand."

Well they shouldn't. I should not have to bribe someone to do their job properly.


If tipping were a bribe, it would be done in advance of service. Tipping follows service, and therefore is more like a thank you.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 08:22 PM
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It's funny but until I vacationed in the US, I'd heard about tipping but never actually did it myself. Usually in the UK, unless it's a high class restaurant or one of those gastro-pubs that serve food as well as alcohol, if you try to tip somebody they stop you and give you the change if they notice you walking away.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 08:34 PM
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reply to post by MidnightSunshine
 


Oh wait, I can already hear your reply "Thank You? Thank you for what? Doing your job? Isn't it your boss's responsibility to pay you?"


It's a thank you for the good faith. Servers take a $2.83 per hour job ( so that restaurant owners can sell food at a reasonable rate) on good faith that they will be tipped, provided the service is adequate.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by curious7
 


I wonder what servers wage is where you live, do happen to know? Is the cost of restaurant food comparable from here to there?



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by MidnightSunshine
reply to post by curious7
 


I wonder what servers wage is where you live, do happen to know? Is the cost of restaurant food comparable from here to there?


Well depending on the stock market, prices are either usually equivalent to the US dollar or half the price. When I was in the US last (2008), something costing £10 here was something like $5 in America or such.

Servers.....well other than the aforementioned few places, there's a fixed minimum wage that every industry has to adhere to with the amount per hour dependent on age of employee. Otherwise I think tips for those few types of places that allow them are between 10-20% depending where it is, whether there's a limit.

Wait, I just remembered. Christmas Eve 2004. Me and a few friends at an Indian restaurant until 2am with only one other table wielding diners (makes sense considering it was early on Christmas morning) and the staff catered to us the whole time we were there. When I say staff I mean servers, chefs, manager, putting on an Iron Maiden CD that one of our party had because we were regulars anyway and it was Christmas so why not.

Very generous tip left for those guys.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:43 PM
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reply to post by MidnightSunshine
 


It's more like a bribe for next time. A few posters have pointed out that one should tip well to ensure good service in the future. The server's paycheck should ensure I get good service.



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:47 PM
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Edit: You answered in your previous post.


edit on 4-8-2011 by InvisibleAlbatross because: (no reason given)


I do find it funny that people say food prices would skyrocket if we abolished tips, when we have evidence from many non-tipping countries that this is simply not true.

The best story about tipping I have heard was from my Korean friend. He had been here for a couple years and was used to tipping. When he went home, he took a cab from the airport and tried to tip the driver. The driver got irate, demanding that he take the money back, because he did not need charity.
edit on 4-8-2011 by InvisibleAlbatross because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 10:57 PM
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Don't make me ask for refills or more drinks, ask how the food is just one time, bring me my bill as soon as I'm done eating, not 20 minutes later. That's pretty much all I expect and I tip fairly well. Mess that up and you're lucky to get a dollar. I've actually had to get up and find a tea pitcher myself several times. Unforgivable. I might as well be at home doing it myself.

I used to have a job as a waiter so I know what's possible and when my waiter is just back in the kitchen flirting with the other waiters or chef. Generally I get good service everywhere but there are times I just can't believe how bad the help is. :shk:



posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 01:46 AM
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reply to post by InvisibleAlbatross
 


Let’s say a large restaurant is opened 12 hours a day, with an average of 7 paid servers per hour. That’s 84 hours per day paid to servers, or 2520 server hours on the payroll per month.

At $2.83 per hour that restaurant would pay its servers $7131.60 per month

If the servers were all paid $10.00 per hour they would pay $25,200.00 per month

That’s over an $18,000.00 difference.

I don’t understand how the prices on the menu wouldn’t be different???



posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 11:42 AM
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Why should you tip? It is amazing how often this question is asked and debated. To me the answer is painfully obvious. When someone asks me why people should tip, I answer their question with a few of my own. Do you want hot food? Do you want your drink refilled? Do you want the person taking your order to care about the quality of food you are going to eat? The answer to these questions is always yes. So why would a person that is getting paid hourly whether you eat there or not care about any of those things if there is nothing extra in it for them? The acronym T.I.P.S. has been said to stand for: Tipping Insures Prompt (or Proper) Service.




Your server does pay income taxes. In absence of proper documentation of tips, the government will look at the servers food and beverage sales and base their taxable tip income on a percent of it. So if you do not tip the server, it has actually cost the server money to serve you. See the IRS tipping tax laws.



Believe it or not, servers do not always get a paycheck. Sometimes, because of the taxes they pay and/or deductions, servers must pay in additional money to cover the taxes rather than get a check.



Your server has to tip too. It is very common for a waiter or waitress to have to tip out their supporting staff, ie; the bartender, buss person, food runners and others. Bartenders may have to tip out their bar backs. These tips are based often on the sales of the server, so if you don’t tip them, in addition to the 8% the government gets they often have to shell out money to the support staff putting them further in the hole. Sometimes the support staff is tipped a percent of the servers tips. So not tipping the server is the same as not tipping any of the hard working support staff in the restaurant.
source



posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by MidnightSunshine
reply to post by InvisibleAlbatross
 


I don’t understand how the prices on the menu wouldn’t be different???


Sure they would, and if they were too high, you would not have customers and not have a job. But I'm not buying $10 cheese burgers at your restaurant and giving you a $2.00 tip. It is not at all unusual for four people to pay in excess of $200 for a meal: Filet mignon, a bottle of wine that costs five times as much as the grocery store, and you're there. Examples: Ruth's Kris Steakhouse, the Melting Pot, nearly any restaurant that's not a buffet in Vegas. Indeed, any restaurant that uses cloth napkins and doesn't have a vinyl floor. So you've spent less than ten minutes with me total and I'm supposed to give you a $40.00 tip. So if you can handle five tables an hour you're making more per hour than I do in a day. Of course, if you work at Denny's that doesn't apply, but I don't go to Denny's.

The thing is, you are working in an industry by choice and now you're trying to dictate to me how to treat you. I appreciate the insider knowledge, but you've got your priorities backwards. I'm the decision maker here--not you. I am the customer here--not you. In your last post you quoted someone saying if I want my food hot I will tip well. If I want the waiter to care, I'll tip well.

What??? Isn't the food supposed to be hot anyway? Do you mean to tell me that you will have a non-caring (read: bad attitude) about serving me unless I tip well? No. Here's a wake-up: Bad attitude = Fired! I am really sick and tired of this entitlement attitude whereby I'm supposed to feel sorry for someone or that I "owe" them a good living. A tip is EARNED. It's not mandatory and it should not be expected. If you don't like those terms, get another job.



posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Like it or not, in the restaurant business, tipping is expected. If it weren’t we would be making 10-20 dollars an hour. It’s your choice to dine is a full service restaurant. If you don’t like tipping, you could go to Burger King, a buffet, order in, or cook at home. I’d like to see a server spend 10 minutes or less with a customer, that’s ridiculous, I’m available to my customer for the duration of their time in the restaurant.

Say you and your family come in on a Friday night. I have 5 other tables all in different stages of service, and I have organized my thoughts and actions so well that you want for nothing. You are greeted, and treated with respect through out. You aren’t rushed through your order, I take the time and have the knowledge to answer any and all questions concerning the menu. Your glass only empties when you decline a refill, I bring someone a water when they are the only one to refuse the 3rd glass of wine, on a hunch. Your child is whining so I slide crackers and applesauce on the edge of the table and hand your child a sheets of stickers that I keep in my apron. I plate the pizza the kids ordered so you don’t have to worry about it. Extra plates, napkins, dressings, gravy, and condiments are there w/o request. I’ve served your food and haven’t forgotten any of the special requests, it’s hot, and pleasing to the eye. I see you drop your fork or spill a drink from across the room and I stop what I’m doing to come to assist you. I’m always within reach but never hovering. Your salad is finished before you get your entrée, and I don’t try to clear dishes before you’ve finished eating. I make sure after your meal is finished there is no clutter of dishes in front of you, I wipe up that blob of mayo on the table so no one sticks their arm in it. I bring togo containers, with out you asking and offer to place your leftovers in the boxes for you. I bag them so you aren’t juggling boxes out the door. You are offered coffee tea and desert, and I bring the check soon after. You leave and forgot your cell phone on the table, I stop what I’m doing and run it out to you in your car.
I go to collect the charge slip off of the table and see you have left me $8 on an $80 check…LOL do you think things would be the same next Friday? Sure I would respect you, and your food would be hot…but that’s about the only guarantee I can give ya.



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