I know I already posted this but I will repost. Three different tip situations over the weekend. First on Friday night a party of six goes to Red Lobster for the all you can eat shrimp quick seating, probably about 5 minutes to take a drink order and from there 15 minutes to take our food order. The waiter for the most part kept our drink order filled and got our seconds to us quickly, tip 12 %. On Saturday the same six went to a mexican restaurant after the OU-Texas game and all the depressed people had left then. We got seated right away 2 minutes to take a drink order 5 minutes to take a food order, food was out within 10 minutes, drinks never ran out tip 20 %. On Sunday we went to a chinese buffet with a party of 20, everything was chaos drinks were never filled bad service all around I am not sure if the put an automatic grat on there but tip 0% and well deserved.
imo you undertipped at the red lobster
why did you tip more in the mexican restaurant--as you described it the serve was about the same
the buffet question is a bit different because the waiter really doesnt do much except do drinks - refill water and take away your dirty dish in the event you go back for seconds-
large groups usually have an auto tip added bust i dont know if thats true in a buffet restaurant --- if there were no drinks i i personally would leave a buck or 2 at my place and i think everyone else should do the same
sure you will be getting many different answers to this one
I second lougees post. I don't get why you under tipped Red Lobster. Were both the Mexican and Reds about the same amount busy? When a restaurant is busy and I can see the waiter is running his butt off I am way more sympathetic to having to wait a bit for my turn.
As for the buffet, who knows, did they clear your plates well in between trips to the buffet? Tha is one of my pet peeves, I like the dirty plate gone when I get back to the table! Mind you a group of 20 is a bugger to serve. I hated large parties, everyone talks to you at the same time!
I think the waiter at Red Lobster could of done a better job. But what I failed to mention I wasn't paying for all six it was a three and the other family paid for three. The waiter at the mexican restaurant I never had to ask for a glass to be refilled or for the bill he was on the job. Maybe I could of tipped the other three percent at Red Lobster but I believe the waiter could of been a little bit better.
Sometimes people need to take into account what the server has to go through to serve you, for example; backed up terminals to place orders, unorganized work stations, improper seating(double seating), slow kitchen staff, other tables with overbearing want everything people, and just plain so so servers. Not to mention waiting at the bar to get drinks. I personally believe you get what you pay for and I really don't expect anything when I go to places like Red Lobster (if I go at all- to darn frustrating for me). Mexican restaurants tend to be better in service because they are service oriented. Also mexican food doesn't take long to serve up because most of it is cooked and then prepared into a burrito, taco etc... As for a chinese buffet, well I can't imagine expecting one person to be right there and ready to fill drinks for 20 different people that are needing filled at different times. If it's just soft drinks ask for a pitcher.
Buffets are a drag anyway, because everyone is needing everything at different times and there are only so many servers. I tend to like upscale buffets at places like the Hyatt.
I disagree with some of that. It isn't the patron's responsibility to account for operational difficulties. The patron's obligation is just to tip in accordance with reasonable and customary expectations with regard to good service. If there are operational problems making a specific server's job more difficult than in the typical restaurant, then that is an issue for the server to bring up with their management. Establishments that have poor management, should and do lose great servers to establishments with great management, simply because good management allows servers to be great servers, and get compensated as great servers.
True Bicker but have you ever read a sign at the hostess stand or had a server tell you that they have operational problems or bad management? No, so what happens is unsuspecting patrons have to find out from trial and error. Granted sometimes you find the exceptional server that just happens to be there because it's close to home, they have family that also works there, etc...
I don't go to restaurants that are known to have poor management due to corporate operations. I tend to like establishments that have started out small, local ownership and a made from scratch menus.
I have this saying "just because it has tablecloths doesn't make it a good restaurant"
BTW, it's useless to complain to poor management.
My point was that the operational problems have no bearing on the issue of compensation for service at a restaurant. The tip should be based on the quality of the service actually received, in comparison to what is typically considered good service.
I know what you're getting at but when you have a server that has many obstacles to overcome, service can suffer. That will effect the tip. You see, if the bartender is slow, the bus boy is slow, and the kitchen is slow service will suffer. These are all factors that a server depends on. So if the average person doesn't notice or take in the surrounding tables then they will make excuses for lowering the tip. Examples- it took forever to get the drinks, no one removed our plates, we didn't get water or bread, it took forever to get our salads, our entrees. Then it's where is the server? We want coffee, we want dessert we want our check. Quess where the server is waiting for drinks, waiting for food, waiting at a terminal to order, waiting for a manager to override a mistake, and then the server gets to the table and everyone is upset and complaining.
So if the server gets a dessert order, then food is coming out for other tables, or drinks for another table and then the kitchen is slow getting out desserts because they are all trying to get backed up dinner orders out. It's such a cycle.
"operational problems have no bearing on the issue of compensation for service at a restaurant" A server is just one part of the operation and to say that they are operating alone and able to control the situation is not reality.
Yes you are right but the original post made excuses for not tipping. I personally go to management for legitimate reasons. I will still tip on the original amount if the server was good and the "other" things were poor.
BTW where do you live? I live in Columbus, OH
I don't believe the original post communicated the experiences well-enough so that readers could adequately and fairly judge whether the discretion applied was sound or not. As such, what I inferred from the original post was basically, "We got good service and gave a good tip; we got mediocre service and gave a mediocre tip; we got bad service and gave a bad tip."
The way I look at it and instruct my servers to look at it is that they are the kitchen's customer and the bartender's customer. If they're not getting good service from them then, as a customer of their's, they should demand better. And if they get great service from them and therefore the server's customers get great service, then a tip to the kitchen and bartender would be appropriate.
Bicker no the original post didn't communicate everything, but what I got out of it was that the person took three completely different dining experiences and tried to explain reasoning on how they tipped. With my experience on both sides I just don't see how people can justify not tipping or what they use to gage reducing the tip.
One can not go to an "all you can eat" and expect perfect service. One can not go to a "discount chinese buffet" (on a Sunday - church crowd I'm sure) and expect anything, but getting food and some drinks filled on a consistant basis. As for the sports bar the poster said the place was cleared out, so of course they got good service. Most likely they were overstaffed because of a big game crowd, and most sports bars are good at fast drink service. The menu is pretty basic too, so of course the food was served quickly.
I guess I'm just trying to say one should compare apples to apples, so to speak.
Personally I don't eat at places like the original post mentioned, because I know that I would rather pay a little more to ensure that our service will be good. Higher end restaurants tend to have better service and better food.
Just exactly what is the difference between 12 and 15% at Red Lobster? A whole 50 cents per person, if that?
Seems cheap that if service is acceptable, and it sounds like it was, a party wouldn't leave the customary 15% minimum.
I normally leave between 10-15% at a buffet depending on service. Even if service is pretty bad, I think $1/person is a minimum at a buffet.
I also noticed the original post mentioned how long it took to get seated. Not sure if that means he/she judges the tip on this. But I don't think the wait to get into a restaurant should have any bearing on the tip. However, I've been told that sometimes when restaurants are extra busy, the wait staff will purposely serve you slowly so they don't get hit with more tables. I've seen that happen and I hate it. I'm one for getting in, eating, and getting out. I hate waiting for the server to finally "drop by". If I notice that, it'll impact their tip, but normally never below 15% unless they are really really bad.