Sunday, September 26, 2010

Amateur Night

For those of you in the biz, you know that Friday and Saturday, while usually busy, are basically amateur nights at any restaurant -- at least as far as customers are concerned.  These are the days when first dates, family outings, etc usually take place, and they are also the days that people who have absolutely no business eating in a nice restaurant attempt to do so.

So it was no surprise that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF MY TABLES last night was shitty.  I don't know if the Hostesses are out to get me, or the quality of the people was just crap last night, but I ran around like a redheaded step child for pennies last night -- something I detest doing.  Look, I get it.  The economy is bad.  You are trying to impress your girlfriend by taking her somewhere nice.  You just got paid and you want to show off to some friends.  Personally, I wouldn't dream about going out to eat unless I had enough money to pay for my bill, at LEAST 20% for the tip, and am in the mood to be friendly to a complete stranger.

But these assholes?  No.  Every table I had felt ENTITLED to something free.  Every table I had felt that they had to have some assbackwards modification to their orders -- something that is a right pain in the ass on our computers.  No table, except my first one, left over 15%.  At first, I thought it was something I was doing...perhaps missing a step in the corporate brouhaha that is our job.  But after each table gave me their verbal tip (you know, 'service was great, keep it up, you did well', etc) I knew that wasn't the problem.  People were just cheap last night.

I would love to find out where these people work.  Perhaps take a few of my friends over to their place of employment, ask them for every modification possible on an item or service, tease them into thinking you are a good customer, and then say 'oh, i'm sorry, I don't have enough to pay you for your service.  Can I pay you 80% of what I should pay you?'  I bet each and every one of them would look at me like 'WTF!'  Exactly how your server feels after a shitty tip left by you.  Yes, I would rather have 0 tables than have 5 tables tipping me 10%.  Why?  Because I wouldn't have to bust ass for pennies.  I would actually make more by having less in this case.  After tip share (3.5%), taxes (around 9%), I would walk with maybe 1-2% total.   A waste of my time, IMO.

So to the general public who cannot, or does not, know how to tip, stay home and cook for your significant other.  If you really must go out, and you haven't grasped the concept of proper tipping, then go to McDonalds, or Ihop, or Waffle House or some diner somewhere where a $2 tip is acceptable.  If you really must go out to a nicer restaurant and you cannot afford a decent tip, then order a salad and a chicken...or sit at the bar where they are already tipped out by the servers so your tip doesn't mean quite as much (sorry bartenders, but you know its true) and make an hourly wage.  They can afford to absorb your cheapness -- I cannot.

I look forward to comments about all this in the comments section.