How to Be a Good Customer: Part VI

It is once again time to burst through the walls of good customer service and customer/server/bartender interactions! Welcome to Part Six of our fun times spent in the restaurant industry!!

Pay attention to discounted prices!

Every so often, there is a discount on the food or drinks at a restaurant. Perhaps there is a special going on. Maybe you’re using a coupon that you got in the mail. In the case of my restaurant, we have half price appetizers every single night after 9pm. If this is the case, you need to look at the original price of the item. If you are purchasing these items at a discounted price, you should not be tipping at the lower cost. If it was before 9pm, and you ordered two trays of mozzarella sticks, the total price would be double than during half price appetizers. Unfortunately, you ordered the food when it was half price, but the server still performed the work and duties as if it was the original price. Why should the server be punished and not paid the appropriate amount in tips because you got a cheaper price for your food? Instead of your bill being the normal price, it has been discounted, so you should tip your server the appropriate amount based on the original price. Now, if your food has been comped due to an issue with the restaurant, you should still tip based on the original amount unless it was the service that ended up being the issue.

Your kids are customers as well, and this isn’t your house.

One of the common misconceptions regarding restaurants is that we are willing to cater to every whim your kids require. We understand greatly that your children are young and naive. Life works that way, and no matter how hard many of us try, kids will be kids. I understand that kids will be messy. The restaurant understands that your kids will be loud. Everybody has an understanding that kids are going to be a pain. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect anything less, however, this is not an excuse that parents should use. When you bring your kids into a restaurant, it is the equivalent of bringing your kids into a stranger’s house for dinner. We will serve your children with the same respect with which we serve you. With that in mind, why would you trash the table, allow them to throw food everywhere, and then not clean it up? Treat the table at the restaurant the same way you would treat your table at home. Clean up after your children, please.

Ordering something to-go from the bartender/server does not negate the tip.

If you come into the restaurant with the sole intention of ordering food to-go, the same rules apply as if you were eating at the restaurant. When you sit at the bar, order a few drinks, and then order food to take home, you should still be tipping like normal. Even though the bartender might not be bringing you condiments, bussing your plates away, or running food to you, he or she still made drinks, rang in the food, and bagged it up. You should already be tipping the bartender for making the drinks, but the food increased the price of the bill, so your tip should increase as well.

We don’t control the prices of items set by the restaurant.

Sometimes, you order a dish and realize you want another condiment or sauce for it. It is an often thing that those sauces and condiments will cost extra to receive. For instance, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants charges $1.09 for a small bowl of sour cream. Now, I hate that they charge more than a dollar for a little bit of sour cream, but it is not the server’s fault. They don’t set the prices for condiments and sauces. Why would I take out my frustrations on another person for doing their job? Why would I lower his tip because I disagree with the price? If I was legitimately and truly upset at the cost of the item, I would need to talk to the manager with the intention of passing the word along to the ownership. Taking my frustrations out on the server is not only unfair, but petty. Either accept that some things are going to cost extra or don’t order it at all.

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