Thursday Server Rants, Raves, and Tips

So because waiting tables is the majority of my life right now, I’m going to continue this weekly sort of rants & raves (when I remember, and if y’all are still liking it), and also include another “How to be a good diner” bit. Last week was about your kids, this week I’m looking at YOU. And your discounted food.

Let’s discuss discounts.  Say you’re out.  You have a coupon for a buy-one-get-one free something.  Or maybe it’s half price appetizers and cheap drinks for happy hour.  Or maybe you are so awesomely lucky you get a free entree!!

Servers everywhere: UGGGGGGGH.

Seriously, don’t get me wrong.  I freaking love coupons (coups, I like to call them…I go supes cray-cray for the coups).  I think they’re a great way to bring in business, and I totally understand that sometimes the reason you’re trying our restaurant is because of your coups.  Totally totally get it.

What I don’t get is when you think I didn’t do any work just because you had a coup.  I still brought you your $23 large pizza.  I still kept your drinks full.  I still smiled and chatted with you and got you forks and plates and your check in a timely, friendly manner.

I’m just sayin’…if you’re eating out, PLEASE look at the total amount BEFORE your discount when you are tipping.  Sure, if the server did a shitty job, tip what you feel is right.  But really think about it; did they treat you the same way they would treat a full-paying customer?  Probably.  So why do they deserve less just because you’re getting a deal on the food?  They don’t.  Unfortunately, most people DON’T think about it.

And like I said, I get it!  I go out for happy hour deals because they’re kickASS.  I love going to quality restaurants and getting quality food for a cheaper price.  But I always tip 20% on the happy hour prices.  If I am out to eat, and I have a free something coupon, I make sure I tip on the pre-discounted price.

Math time:
2 Waters: $0
1 order breadsticks: $6
2 salads: $5
Pizza: $23
FREE PIZZA COUPON: -$23
Total amount (w/ tax) pre-discount: $37.32
20% tip: $7-8
Total amount (w/ tax) POST-discount: $12.05
20% tip: $3 (if you’re lucky)

$7 vs $3 is a SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE!  $3 isn’t even 10% of the pre-discounted price!!  I’ll be honest…this is an exaggerated situation.  I have yet to have a customer with a free pizza coupon tip me that poorly.  But I guarantee it happens at other restaurants.  And it sucks.

Another sucky discount situation: the employee family & friends discount.  If you visit a friend at a restaurant and they give you the employee discount (or any discount) always always ALWAYS leave a generous tip.  Just because you’re friends doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tip.  Remember how the kitchen needs a tip-out, too?  Stiffing your friend: it’s not cool, guys.  And if you work at a restaurant as a non-server, and your family or friends come in, and you tell the server, “Hey, that’s my family/friends!” and the server gives them the family & friends discount, make sure your family/friends tip 20% pre-discount!  It’s just common courtesy.  Also if you don’t want the server to hate you for the rest of your working relationship.  😉

Now onto this weeks…

Rants

-Tables of high school senior/college freshmen boys who came in with mom & dad’s $100 bill, eat $55 worth of food, and left me $0.  Hmmm…sound familiar?  Maybe my last server rant blog.  Pass along my URL to your folks, would ya?

-Tables that complain to me about things I have NO CONTROL OVER.  If you have a major problem that I obviously cannot fix, please ask to speak to my manager yourself, or call the office.  This was so obviously out of my hands.  But thank you SO MUCH for your “keep the change” tip on a $40 tab…

Raves

-The table with the little girl a few nights ago…right after they ordered, they told me, “Can you bring a small plate so she can just get going on the Parmesan cheese?”  I was like, “…ok…”, dropped off the plate.  A few minutes later, I look back to see her plate completely covered in the grated parm we leave on the tables, and she was Licking.  It.  Off.  HAHA!!!!

-Ava or Mya (I’m not sure which is which :-\) from last week, who drew the Super Marg picture, had asked me about the word “Folks”.  I use it out of habit because the phrase “hey guys” is frowned upon by Applebee’s and my last restaurant job.  She’d never heard it, so we had a mini-SAT word lesson…I had written it out for her, and she kept trying to use it in conversation.  She came in again this week with her dad and was still trying to use it!!!  I was super excited.  Too adorable.

-Lastly, the large party: 45 of the nicest adults ever…

This also came with a big hug from the lady running it (seriously, they were so nice and patient).  Besides the noise level, it was a really easy group, but I definitely appreciated it and I was able to tip out the kitchen really well, plus the driver who helped me bus all the tables.  I was really grateful that this went as well as it did, especially after such a slow weekend all by myself, and another long one coming up.  CRAZY!  But it meant I got to do a little me-shopping.  Which I’ll tell you all about in the NEXT BLOG!

(And hopefully Henry will be back this weekend for some more classic Henry-isms.  Love that kid.)

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