Service with a shrug
June 3rd, 2011
12:45 PM ET
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The composed salad tasted of Spring, the Turbot special was sumptuous and buttery and the first glass of Prosecco di Valdobbiadene unexpectedly and delightfully dry. I would gladly have ordered a second, but the offer never came.

Nor did a check-in after the food arrived, a smile of any wattage, or any indication at all that we were welcome in the restaurant at 8 p.m. on a slow-ish Thursday evening. Just the check at the end. Was it something we'd done?

One of the first things my husband and I learned about each other - waaaayyyy back before I started editing a food site - was that we both love eating at restaurants, and that we go out of our way to get to know the staff.

Just a couple of nights before, we'd spent a chatty evening at our favorite neighborhood spot a few blocks a way. During the meal, which we spent sitting at the bar, the bartender e-mailed me a funny YouTube video she'd been showing me on her iPad, the chef and I chatted about a server who'd left – but with whom I'd just been exchanging Facebook messages, and we left with full stomachs and big smiles. And it wasn't just us; the same warm glow of welcome and hospitality was shone over everyone who walked in the door, whether they were regulars like us, or had just stumbled in off the street. As I've said to the owners on several occasions - we come for the food, and we come back and back and back because of the people who work there.

The same goes for my favorite taco dive a few blocks further down. There's a language barrier, but a lot of goofy smiles have gotten us through for years. The staff knows we're easy customers - never fuss if there's a wait, and always show our great delight in the food - and even if they can't get to us to a table swiftly on a bustling Friday night, they let us know they're glad we're there.

Perhaps that's a give and take I take for granted. I walk into a restaurant, smiling and assuming I'm in for an excellent evening. Plenty of people stroll in, just waiting for the staff to muck up, so they have the chance to vent the frustrations of the day and think for just one moment that they're in control of the world. I can only imagine how it must feel to take the brunt of that, night after night, and I hold members of the service industry in tremendous esteem for doing it with smiles on their faces and without a soupçon of customer slapping.

It was the indifference, I think, that unnerved me. If someone's having a bad day, it's often evident and it gives other people a chance to empathize. This was just - blank. What food do you want? Here it is. Now pay. I don't need a stranger to validate my existence, but I have this wacky notion that part of being in the hospitality industry would be to at least acknowledge a customer's existence.

Next time I'm in that neck of the woods and looking for a bite to eat, I might stop for a second and take a peek at the menu in the window to see if the Turbot is indeed the day's special again. Even if it is, chances are that I'll just shrug and keep on walking.

Previously - How about when customers are the one being jerks to the waitstaff?

soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. star

    Just had dinner at Ruth's Chris steakhouse in Parsippany NJ last night. Was struck by how every single person from hostess, to bartender, to waiters and busboys and even waitstaff who were not ours were friendly, cheerful, wished us a good evening, thanked us for coming, and went out of their way for us. in New Jersey, where service is known to be surly. I was so impressed! A mom and pop Italian eatery on the other hand, the other night, went out of their way to be rude to us from entrance to exit. I wont be back to them, but I will be back to ruth's Chris...and Im telling all my friends. Its a SERVICE industry, people. good food I can feed myself. I want good food and good service if Im paying an arm and a leg for it. A big shout out to Delicious heights in Berkeley Heights NJ as well. Excellent food and warm, proficient service.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  2. Trainer Mike

    I would be willing to bet that most of the comments about not tipping or no tips, period are coming from folk who have never worked in the service/hospitality/retail industry. I feel the world would be a much better place if we were all required to take some kind of work-study course in college (no matter your major or degree program) that sets you up in a restaurant for one semester and a retail job for the other.

    I have seen appalling service in my years in the food and retail game, but I have seen many more instances of customers/clients/guests mistreating their servers/sales people....calling them names, speaking down to them, treating them as second class citizens and all sorts of other impossibly rude behaviors. Now as a mangaer in my industry I get to help resolve customer service issues and I would be lying to say I didn't get a sense of satisfaction standing up for my staff and helping the upset party see that perhaps they were not as cordail as they could have been and were perhaps less aware of the situation as they first thought.

    Please be kind to your servers and waitstaff or anyone who is providing a service for you. You don't know what kind of day they are having nor do they know what you are carrying around with you. But, just as exemplary service make your day, an exemplary customer can make ours, and you know what? We'll remember you next time and the beer will be on us.


    June 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  3. lance corporal

    now if we could only get the people at the DMV working for tips......

    June 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • lance corporal

      yeah I had to update my license recently

      June 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  4. Valerie

    I think it says a lot about a person when they expect to be treated like a real life king or queen just because they are purchasing a meal......seriously.......I for one have never been a server, couldn't do it..the public is overall just plain nasty and do not exibit the same manners they expect from others.........

    June 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  5. lance corporal

    if you don't tip or don't tip well for good service you also probably are mean to pets, short tempered with children, pushy with co-workers, selfish as a lover, lie to your spouse, an irresponsible neighbor, a rude driver and an all around doosh bag who makes the rest of us happy people wish you would find you own planet to move to and make as miserable as you obviously are, I did fine dining when I was in college and know the value of good service and how hard it is to do well. it is one of the few jobs where someone can choose not to pay you or not pay you what is justified. only ill mannered low lifes don't take care of a good server

    June 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  6. lance corporal

    I'm an exc cook, if I want great food that's not a problem for me to provide, going out to eat is about something else, it is an experience and the wait staff is not the only consideration but is a large part of the mix and a bad wait staff or even individual on that staff can ruin an otherwise good time, the server is key to the expereince

    June 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  7. Tyrone

    I never tip, even when the service is good. It is not my job to pay the waitresses or waiters to work. It is their manager's job. If they are not getting paid enough they should look for another job. If you don't like working for minimum wage, go to college or get some skills training. Quit complaining, know your place in society.

    June 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • lance corporal

      look up doosh bag in the dictionary... you will see your picture

      June 4, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Briana

      tyrone, what you fail to understand is that most servers do not get paid minimum wage. you can find this information here throughout the comments or anywhere on the internet. i work at a restaurant and i get paid $2.84/hour. i rely on tips for my main source of income. if you received good service, i suggest tipping your server a decent amount. think of tipping as a contract between you and the server. i will treat you well if you treat me well. i will remember you in the future and i will treat you accordingly when you come back. if you have a problem with tipping a server, please do not come to a restaurant that has servers. please stick to fast food or cook at home. also, if you really have a problem with tipping, i'm sure there is a lot out there that you can do in order to improve the working conditions for servers like me. you could write to your congressman about requiring minimum wage for servers. thanks and please keep this in mind the next time you go to a restaurant.

      June 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Briana

      tyrone, one last thing. i am working on my master's degree in archaeology. i don't believe working as a server to put myself through school has anything to do with how i should be treated while trying to make a living. if you treat a server as someone "below you" in society, i don't believe you deserve the free service you have been receiving for years. you are not the king of your little city. for a society to work we must all treat each other with respect. like i said in another post, everyone you meet is fighting their own little personal battle, so please treat them kindly!

      June 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  8. Tommy Jonq

    simple math. ever since the tech bubble recesion of 2001, we've been making less money. since the crash of '08, most of us can no longer make a living. no one is coming in, let alone tipping. those of us who knew how to good service have been starved out of the business. now, you're being waited on by someone who is willing to work for less than minimum wage. bon apetit!

    June 4, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  9. Slappy McDonger-Irish Pimp

    I give all my Good girls a 50% "tip" if 'ya know what I mean.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Hannah

      50% of two inches is still just an inch.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  10. Lorenzo

    Welcome to Europe.

    June 4, 2011 at 9:24 am |
  11. Alexis

    I've been a server for a few years and I can definitely say that good service does not necessarily equal a good tip. I've gotten many compliments over the years about my service and I try to do my best with everyone (and acknowledge and apologize for my mistakes) but many people simply do not understand how to tip and will leave me $5 on a $100 check after I've done everything for them. And believe me, servers DO remember who does and does not tip consistently. I believe a tip is a reflection of service, so if you routinely do not tip I will not bother giving you good service the next time you come in. I will not do anything to your food or make any mistakes but I sure as hell won't go out of my way for you. I save that for the customers who appreciate good service.

    A lot of people expect friendly service but they don't tip accordingly. I'm not asking for 20% all of the time, but when I try my hardest–especially on a busy Friday night–a 5% tip is just disrespectful.

    June 4, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  12. steeve-o

    Some people just shouldn't work in the hospitality industry, yet it has the stigma of being the job that anybody can do with little experience. How hard is it to bring someone their food? The answer is, harder than it may seem for some people, and those who do it the best work the hardest, and enjoy it the most. It takes personality, you need to be able to read people and effectively interact with every type of person and give them the service they desire. Not to mention juggle the mood swings of coworkers, kitchen staff and the boss as well. Some people are too self absorbed to be able to efficiently tend to the needs of several groups of people at the same time. It reflects in their tips, and then they get even more bitter.

    June 4, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Mike

      I agree with you in general, but a lot also depends on the personality of the restaurant, co-workers, and the clientele. I worked for a mid-range chain and loved it. I took a transfer to a different location (different city) and it was like stepping into a different world. My normal tips went from over 25% to under 10% simply by the different attitude of the customers. They were rude, un-reasonably demanding, and tremendously stingy. My favorite was Sunday when you would get tipped in 'Prayer' cards instead of cash. I am a fifteen year veteran in the hospitality industry all over the world and the experience of that restaurant still shocks me. I am not trying to get into horror stories, but it shows how disparate customer demands are.

      As someone above said– Give servers decent pay and let the establishments regulate the standards instead of using extortion to support uneven customer expectations?

      June 4, 2011 at 8:47 am |
  13. studdmuffins

    It's the totality of the experience. Were you seated promptly? Did they at least have water at the ready when you sat down after waiting for a table 15-30 mins? Were specials quickly rattled off or pointed out for you to peruse? There are times I would rather just be left alone as long as the food shows in a timely fashion, the order is correct, the food tastes good, and when I'm finished the server returns to remove empties then brings the check.

    Good servers know how to read body language, expression and inflection. If you're annoyed they will make it up through some gesture of appreciation. Simple gestures can increase the tip dramatically. My wife gets ticked because I'm the tipper, she uses a calculator.

    June 4, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  14. Ben

    I love reading all the delusional comments in here from waiters and waitresses who leave empty threats of messing with your food if you leave them an insult tip. You all expect like you have something owed to you and it's pathetic. No one owes you anything. If you suck at your job, you suck at your job. Own up to it. If you get called out for being a prick, own up to it. No one owes you a tip, you earn it. No one's going to give you a car, house, clothing, gadget or anything else either. You have to WORK FOR IT and in case you were sleeping when they handed out common sense, you're working in the service industry. You CHOSE that job. SERVICE. That's the imperative word here and it's part of the title of the industry in which, you have chosen to work! CAN YOU NOT FIGURE THAT OUT?

    June 4, 2011 at 2:26 am |
    • JIm

      I agree that there are lots of bad servers out there, but who do you blame? An industry for creating them? Customers for not understanding service and not demanding it from the establishment (not the server)? The lack of a decent minimum wage?

      That's right. I say pay them more on a base salary. Let tips be just that– a little extra for doing an above average job. With a higher base rate, you can demand better service from their employers. Without it, the employer feels very little responsibility for what the server does. In fact, a lot of restaurants are down right hostile to the server trying to take care of their customer. Unfortunately, if the kitchen, bar, hosts, managers, or bus staff hamper the service efforts behind the scenes the server is blamed by the customer.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:12 am |
  15. Mike

    From a business stand point, indifferent to bad service costs the restaurant money. As the article said. She would have ordered more wine, but the server never even asked. Dessert.... probably the same. Indifferent service limits the experience of the diner. What is good, could have been great. Think about the times that you discovered something new because a server asked if you have ever had it.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:25 am |
    • JIm

      Agreed. Servers work for the restaurant (despite the arcane pay system). They are the front line representatives. Consider them more as salesman working on commission rather than servers on tips. There is a selfish motive, but they also represent the company.

      BTW, management is there to do just that– manage. If they can't see a consistent problem on the floor (even without customer complaints) they are not very good at their job.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:41 am |
  16. dinnerdemon1-Fired

    Lol, that's why guys/girls like you don't last long in the resturants..."Waiting" for your ass to grow up.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:10 am |
  17. dinnerdemon1

    Just remember I will remember you. You want to tip light or leave a insult tip I will remember you. You really want to mess with the people who handle your food? Believe me your second visit you will have something tasty in your dinner and drink. I deal with thousands and thousands of jerks so I keep it for the real raging punk so think about it. I am waiting for you at your local favorite hangout so go ahead and cry to the manager and see where it gets you. hahahaha

    June 4, 2011 at 12:27 am |
    • Pattysboi

      Then PLEASE find a different job, as you should definitely NOT be in food service, unless it's McD's.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:47 am |
  18. Amber

    I've worked in the food industry for 7 years now, and totally agree that it is the server's job to make sure you are happy. You can usually tell from a table's attitude whether they want to talk to you or not, and I believe that if you don't do a good job, you shouldn't get a great tip.

    That being said, if anyone ever goes into a restaurant not expecting or planning to tip, you're a true ass.

    Even if the service isn't exactly what you want, unless they do something to purposely insult you, always tip. I know you work hard for your money, but these servers are too. If you give a server a 10% tip, most likely they will get the picture that they did a bad job.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  19. Josie

    I have enough friends and even family that has done waitressing as their job at one time or another. It's a miserable experience. I haven't done that but even fast food has their own issues.

    No one should walk into a fast food place, place their order, sit down...expect the workers to bring their food out to them, and then LEAVE a huge mess to clean up. Yes we are paid more then waitresses, but we also deal with a LARGER crowd on a daily bases. Same with coming in 5 minutes till a resturant closes, a large group to order...and stay there to eat. No one can leave until the last costumer is gone because we can only do so much while there are costumers in the building, this goes for any resturant from your top of the line to McDonalds. And please just like waitresses, just because a person works in fast food does not mean they are uneducated and lower then my area many are collage students working to get through school. My little brother being one of them!

    June 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  20. BrittanyB

    no matter how great the food is I will not return if the staff is rude. they can say hello to a small tip with a report to the manager. although i have noticed in the past in most cases if the waiter is rude managment is as well. i dont mind waiting for a table or for food if iam treated well because unexpected delays can come up, thats life. if i see another customer being rude to a good waiter i will say something due to the fact that waiters are not really allowed to stick up for themselves, you know the whole 'customer is right' crap which is not always true. i have left after are drinks were served before after being treated like crap and went home my husband is an excellent cook so we don't go out much anyway and when we do i expect to be treated right and i dont treat them with disrespect. bottom line no matter what job you have be happy and thankful you have one do what you do with pride and be the best at it. if it is possible to get another do it theres somebody who will be glad to take your place.

    June 3, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • JIm

      You are so right about management. If there are service problems, 9 times out of 10 it is an attitude that starts at the top.

      Being in the hospitality business for a long time, I have learned to recognize management from the kind of atmosphere surrounding the servers. Indifferent management, absentee management, frat boys managers, dish-rag managers, lecherous man-children - I can tell them all just by watching the dining room in action (or the kitchen in open formats). It really doesn't matter what star the restaurant is.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:49 am |
  21. SAW

    After a hitch in the Navy, I worked 3 concurrent bartending jobs while working on both my BS and then, MBA. (I knew that I didn't want to make a "career" of working in the service industry, but I also realized some folks have little opportunity otherwise.) I worked very hard at displaying an eager and welcoming disposition. I was usually tipped very well. Today, I hold my servers to the same standard. It actually bothers me to leave a sub-par tip....but my money is hard earned, too. You give me substandard service, continually screw up the order (unless it's obvious it's the kitchen staff's error), or leave me to feel like I'm here for your convenience and not the other way around, you'll see it reflected in your substandard tip.....just sayin.......

    June 3, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • suzyqn

      Very well said. I had 22 years in the food service industry. I really enjoyed the work and the people I met along the way, for the most part. But if something is amiss, I reflect it in the tip if it relates to the service. If it's the kitchen or something out of the server's control, I take it up with management the next day. BUT I will also call management the next day if the service was exemplary. I think it's only fair.

      June 3, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
      • Catastrophe Waitress

        Thanks so much for touching on a subject not many have addressed- exemplary service! It should always be acknowledged, as receiving accolades where they're due keeps us servers sane and happy and encourages us to continue to provide good service. It's easy to become apathetic about your job when even your best efforts go unnoticed and unappreciated. If you're a diner who was impressed with your service but think that it's too much trouble to approach the manager about a good server, please rethink it. You could make somebody's day- we just don't hear the good stuff often enough!

        June 11, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • JIm

      A real problem is that most people don't really know what good service is. You sound like you understand it. Mistakes happen. Service is how it was handled when they occur. Did the server check on you so you could tell him/her? Did he/she instantly try to take care of it? Did they inform a manager if it was bad enough?

      That is good service. So many idiots out there. though, don't even understand etiquette, much less service. I am constantly surprised when out with friends, how many of them blame their server for something they have done (sending the wrong message, not telling the server something was wrong, guzzled drinks at a superhuman rate, still reading their menu, holding the check in their hand, not saying they were in a hurry, etc.). Good servers take their cue from customers.

      June 4, 2011 at 3:00 am |
  22. Jimmy-James

    I prefer a server who is not friendly. The caveat is that they have to be good at their job - as in take my order, keep my drinks filled and have the correct food come out. I do not go to a restaurant to socialize with the staff, much like most servers don't actually care about the musings of their customers. When I get a chatty server, it is almost always (for me) worse than a bad server - I have friends for that and the server has a job to be doing, and that job is not being my friend.

    June 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  23. Elizabeth

    I don't return to restaurants where we don't get good service. For indifferent or inadequate service, I'll typically tip 15% instead of my usual 20-25%. Having worked in a restaurant, I know how important tips are and I've only once or twice given insulting tips of 10%. The only time I would do this is when the server was malicious, insulting, or completely negligent. I know the difference between kitchen issues, a bad day, and someone who just needs to find a different job because they have no business interacting with the public. As much as the public needs to be aware of the importance of tips to the server's payment, servers need to be aware that service is a part of their jobs.

    June 3, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  24. ngc1300

    I always leave a tip of between 15 and 30% depending on service. Only once have I left less than that. My wife and I had dinner at one of the more upscale restaurants in our area, and at the end of our meal she asked for a doggie bag. The server brought it, then left to figure the tab. When he came back with the check, he asked her, "What else made its way into that bag?" She promptly asked to speak to the manager, who explained that they had been losing flatware. He bought us a couple of drinks and apologized profusely. The server had been on track for 30%, but he wound up with 1 cent. If I'd been a little faster, I would have answered his question with "Your tip".

    June 3, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Pattysboi

      Oh, THAT server would have been FIRED, then and there, were I the manager. There is NO cause for rudeness.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:50 am |
  25. Small Talk

    If you go to a restaurant for a social experience with the server you must have a pretty dull life. Of course I'm a regular at McDonalds myself... oops... no wonder.

    June 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  26. Atlanta Cook

    Poor or no service = 1¢ tip and mention it to the manager on the way out. American Express shows the tip separately on my statement. There is always a reason. I've done it 5 times. Twice in LA.

    June 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • BigRed

      I am a server. I know your type. If you were choking to death on a dinner roll I would laugh in your face. You are not human.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:44 am |
      • Smackles

        Yeah, dude is a total azz wipe. If the restaurant caught on fire and he fell down on the way out, I'd jump over and keep right on trucking.

        June 6, 2011 at 7:34 am |
    • Mark

      ...another di ck...

      June 6, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  27. Apelwod

    I value good service, and actually am low maintenance. I don't want to be hovered over – just ask me once how my food is after you drop it off, ask me if I want a refill and try to sell me something. If you'd like a bigger tip, ask me if I want more wine or dessert. Chances are, I probably do. Don't make me feel like I'm pestering you if I want to buy food in your establishment. And please – do NOT stand off to one side where I can see you texting while I'm trying to flag you down if I need something, like my check. I've been noticing more waitstaff texting lately, and that's a big turnoff to us returning to your establishment. Don't you WANT us to buy more things so you get a bigger tip?

    June 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  28. Owen

    I don't take indifferent service personally as long as the wait staff doesn't take not getting a tip personally.

    June 3, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
  29. rock climber

    I have worked in this business for a very long long time. I believe that as a server it is your priority to see to the needs of a customer with a smile on your face. True everyone has a bad day. Life gets in the way. Sometimes it is even hard to smile when your boss just raped you across the coals and the only thing you want to do is go home and cry. But no you have to suck it up and do your job! I like to eat out but find that I am way too critical when it comes to my service. I give the best I expect the best. If I don't get it than I will leave a ten percent tip. If it was really bad I will ask management to send someone else over. You as a customer go out to enjoy yourself and should never be treated unimportant even if you throw water on us! You must always smile and care if not get out!

    June 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  30. workshardforher$

    I value GOOD Service and my tips alway reflect that. If it's bad....I won't be back and I'll be sure use word of mouth to share with others! I met the rudest waiter EVER on Hanover St in Boston. Check out the on-line reviews for Bella Vista. I've never seen one restraunt get that number of bad reviews and all based on the same waiter!

    June 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  31. Waitress in N.C.

    I can relate to guy and lots of waiters and waitresses probally feel the same way deep down. If a server is insulting sure complain. Bad service , sure complain. More than likely if you are good at what you do your boss will know and write it off as a bad day. But personal insults and or mistreating of restaurant employees for any reason is unacceptable in my opinion. Leave a bad tip and don't come back. We are all people in different professions and we ALL have bad days and unfortunate things happen. Lets be courteous and treat people as they want to be treated.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  32. Foodie

    While i don't agree with Guy , it sounds like he is saying if you get bad service leave a bad tip. Just don't treat wait staff like that are garbage and attack them on a personal level. I agree that they are not there to be your best friend but provide a service. If you connect with them on a personal level great! If not tip according to there service and move on with your day. We are all human with problems and i would say we all display sociopathic tendencies in one way or another. Can't we all just get along?

    June 3, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • DoctorDan

      I don't think anyone's suggesting that we should respond to bad service by attacking the staff personally or treat them like garbage. No, they're not there to be my best friend, but they ARE there to see if I want another glass of wine, to make sure I'm happy with the food and to ask if I might want dessert. If they do none of these things and are surly to boot, most managers will want to know about it because the offending staff is costing the restaurant repeat business. Yes, we all have bad days, but if part of your job is to interact with the customer and you can't compartmentalize your ill will, you are, again, in the wrong business. Guy says pretty plainly that if you complain about his service, he's going to do everything he can to make your entire life miserable. How about just trying to do a better job of dealing with the public instead, Guy?

      June 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  33. Just a guy with everyday problems like everyone else

    We can all have bad days, that is a fact. If i deserve a bad tip that is one thing but to be insulted or mistreated by you for your own jacked up reasons is unexceptable.To have you go out of your way to try and cause me stress and or try and get me fired because you feel like i didnt give you enough attention on a personal level and connect with you is not my problem. I am just a person with everyday problems like everyone else. Leave me a bad tip and call it a day, I'll know why. I won't need you asshole comments. I handle your food jackass and you leave a vast majority of personal info from your appearance, what car you drive, license plate ,your name if you sign up for any email offers or incentive programs, your email and or address as well as a phone #.The internet is a powerful tool with all your personal info just floating around.So if you treat me bad for your own insecurities i will take your information and any detail i can find, scour the internet to find out everything i can about you and where you work and call and complain to your boss about how poorly you perform or come to your work and treat you like shit.Or maybe if i see your car around while im out i will key the crap out of it . I might possibly just punch you in the face if we were in public and you were a complete douche. Karma is a bitch have a nice day.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • @Guy

      And that all would be considered a felony assault. So you Fu*k with me, I'll make your life a living he!!

      PS. Don't drop the soap!

      June 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • vivvo

      um... no. u r not an everyday guy. you display sociopathic tendancies.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Moteasir

      The waiter lost a sale and a better tip. He maybe lost the restaurant a new customer too. Why? Because he didn't care. See how long he gets to keep his job.
      So yeah, don't do your job and expect your boss to hear about it. This is the real world and that practice is universal. Don't blame your customer for you getting into trouble, its all your own karma, if there were such a thing.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • DoctorDan

      You're REALLY in the wrong business.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • lulzboat

      Psycho much? Wow.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • Ben

      You're a douchebag. You're not only a douchebag, you're the epitomy of a douchebag. You're the effin' definition of douchebag. Thanks for your hollow threats. Please do yourself a favor and go through the trouble of hunting someone down for calling you out for being the turd you are, approach them as you say you would and do to them what you wish you could. When you get shot in the face, clubbed in the head with any assortment of blunt objects, showered with pepper spray, thrown in jail or simply pummeled within an inch of your life, please come back here and tell us about it. I would love to read that story.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • Jayne

      Dont F@!$ with the people that handle your food! If you're an a$$, you may bet more than you've bargained for.... a little "extra something" in your iced tea, and you'll gulp down booger tea while I smirk from the kitchen. You'll never know what I did, but I will. Passive agressive, you say? Maybe, but the satisfaction's totally worth it! =P

      June 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  34. gsopinion

    I actually prefer a skilled waiter who anticipates my needs, pays attention to detail, but who leaves me alone to chat with the other people in my party. I don't want the wait staff to constantly interrupt my conversations with annoying questions, or worse yet join in our conversation. And I'm sure they don't want to feel obligated to be everybody's "buddy" just to get their tip. BTW, my husband prefers waitstaff to call him "Sir" rather than "Buddy" or "Dude".

    June 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • lulzboat

      It depends where I am. Obviously if I am at some social area like a bar, sure the help can chat us up- and make bigger tips. I have a friend who is a bartender and he stopped treating people like customers and more like friends and his tips went Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy up. On the other hand, if I'm out to dinner with a lady friend or family, LEAVE US ALONE. It's not a party. You're not welcome. But please, DO be friendly, DO notice when our drinks are getting empty and don't make us ask you for a refill- ask us. Check back at least ONE TIME after you deliver the food to make sure all our needs are met. And don't wait til our meal is over to ask if we need anything. Also don't treat us like we're an intrusion. Seriously, it's not that hard.

      June 3, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  35. Lincoln Place

    Witty banter is always welcome but I came to the restaurant to eat and visit with my friends, not make new ones with the staff. No one checked-in after the food arrived? Then they assumed everything was great and that you wanted to be left alone. If it's not right I'll let you know; otherwise leave me alone.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • The Smart Aleck@Lincoln Place

      Wow. Holier-than-thou much?

      June 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Moteasir

      The waiter lost a sale and a better tip. He maybe lost the restaurant a new customer too. Why? Because he didn't care. See how long he gets to keep his job.
      So yeah, don't do your job and expect your boss to hear about it. This is the real world and that practice is universal. Don't blame your customer for you getting into trouble, its all your own karma, if there were such a thing.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
      • Moteasir

        oops wrong spot

        June 3, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • JIm

      I am a private person as well, but they need to check on you. To come by and ask how everything is does not mean they want to make friends, but they want to give you an easy opportunity for contact (for more wine, dessert, correct mistakes). That is just good service. A really subtle waiter works in subtle ways that you don't even notice– such as using that as an opportunity to evaluate your needs up close.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  36. DoctorDan

    I'm a decent enough cook. I go out to dinner for the service, the settings and food I can't or won't bother to cook myself. If the wait-staff acts as if I'm an unpleasant intrusion on their evening, I tip lightly and tell the manager why I'm doing so. If it happens a second time, I don't go back. There's a reason it's called a SERVICE industry.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  37. Mare

    If the service is bad, I may try it a 2nd time, if the food was good. I'd just chalk up the 1st experience to the server having a bad day. If the 2nd visit is just as bad, then I won't return, I won't tip, and I will complain to management, or corporate.

    I have worked in the food service industry, and I know how things are, but I also know that if you are miserable, and don't take care of your customers, they won't be back, and take care of you. You are in the business of pleasing people, if you can't do it, find another job – back of the house maybe.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  38. imadome

    @ southsidemike –
    I work at a restaurant part-time where all waitress are paid $2.50/hr, you are expected to make the rest of your living on tips. So, please stay away from restaurants, and stick to fast food where you grab your bag from your car and leave. Thanks! Have a great day!

    June 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • The Witty One@youradome

      "Pay all employees a fair or agreeable wage for their work, then charge me a fair price for your product or service."

      I think he addressed the 2.50 per hour thing....just sayin'.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
      • imadome

        jus sayin.. that I cant make that change in company policies... so until that is made law, well please keep in consideration of what waitresses/waiters are paid. Thank you!!!

        June 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
      • The Witty One@youradome

        I feel ya! If only it were that simple. Hopefully folks like him do stick to the fast food places. Of course, you and I will still be paying for his health care later in life if that turns out to be the case :)

        Take care!

        June 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  39. Amanda

    If you've never worked as a server you will never know how horrible the job can be or how difficult it is to work for tips. I agree with an earlier post, servers would be much more likely to be okay with their job if they didn't have to do a tap dance for tips. Some of the expectations people have are ridiculous. You can do everything humanly possible to try to make their experience fantastic and they will still leave you a terrible tip. Not to mention the fact that the majority of people treat you like you are sub-human, uneducated, or ignorant. Not every server is going to care, and I know that, there are some really bad servers out there who don't even try, but the majority are not like that. So many just end up jaded after a while because of how horrible people really can be to them. I am so glad I got out when I did because that job was really making me hate humanity.

    So, all in all, indifferent service can be disappointing, but it might just not be a good day for that person. You should not entirely shut a person or place down just because of one experience.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • DoctorDan

      I worked as a bartenderr and waiter for twelve years. While I agree that a certain small percentage of the customers are outright a**holes, it is a small percentage. Most people are out to enjoy themselves and will be grateful – and will materially show that gratitude – if you help them have a good time. If a server routinely finds him/herself complaining about what jerks the customers are, he/she is in the wrong business.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  40. angel

    With people that go into a new place to dine after knowing the places you love it will be different and remeber you cant bace your oppinon on thet one server she or he could of been haveing a bad night you already stated that your regular placeses the servers let go of that days triumphs and bad things that happen so you new expereance of a new place might have been someone eltses bad day and unfoutunely you paid the price of not having the smiles let me get to know you that the person might normaly be like

    June 3, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  41. JB

    I usually chalk bad service up to bad restaurant management. Whether I go for the extra glass of wine, coffee and dessert is very dependent on the "hospitality" I get. And that's very dependent on the server. The owner may not care how big a tip I leave, but they darn tootin' should care about the incremental revenue that goes with selling a piece of pie.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Anyone

      People who assume they can go into a restaurant and treat the staff poorly or not tip need to understand that you should always be gracious to anyone who handles your food. Your purchase (menu price) buys food, it doesn't buy the ability to treat people badly. Tips are customary in the USA. For those commenters who say they never tip, I can promise you that the staff is aware of you(all of them not just the server you screwed over last time) and they have gotten something more valuable than a tip from you on return visits. Guaranteed! They definitely got the last laugh.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:01 am |
      • Stephen in Durham

        I agree that one should not be rude and should try to understand if the fault is actually the server's versus the bartender or the kitchen. However, I am not going to pay 20% for crappy service.

        June 4, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Anyone

      Sorry, JB, I didn't mean for my comment to be a reply to you. Was supposed to be a comment on the forum. My apologies.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • kiki

      They don't. It is much more lucrative for the server to get you to pay your check and replace you with another diner who will order alcohol and an entree. Waiters hate it when you order dessert and coffee. FYI.

      June 6, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  42. Annie

    If the service is bad, its's a 3-5 star restaurant and my tip is already included i will tweet about how bad the server was and I will put there name out there. I will let everyone know what restaurant it is and the time of day I was there.

    June 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  43. southsidemike

    Who Should We Tip?

    Who Exactly Should We Tip And What Should We Base It On? Who do you tip?

    Do you tip a limo or cab driver? What about a bus or L-train driver.
    Do you tip your barber for cutting your hair, but not your tailor for altering your suit?
    Do you tip the plumber, locksmith, carpenter, or house painter for their services?
    Do you tip the police or fire departments for their everyday lifesaving service?

    I?ve talked to all sorts of people and people are really weird about tipping.

    They tip a cabdriver for a 5 minute ride, but not the guy who spent six hours fixing their car.

    They tip a dealer in Las Vegas whose main job is to take their money, but not their priest or rabbi for saving their soul.

    They tip a bartender for pouring a beer, but not the librarian who helps find that research for a big report.

    They tip the doorman for blowing a whistle for two seconds for a cab but not the sports coach who spends months of his/her valuable time to teach their kid?s sport team.

    We tip a housekeeper who cleans a hotel room but they don?t tip the dental technician who cleans their teeth

    What do you base your tip on?
    It is not based on the low salary of service workers, because I know you don?t tip the kid at McDonalds, the clerk at Wal*Mart, the cashier or bag boy at the Grocery, or Home Depot guy who mixes your paint.

    It is not based on the level and quality of service received, because I know you never tip your pharmacist for filling your prescription, or the doctor who ?serviced? your body, or your nurse in the hospital. Not to mention, your dentist or vet.

    It is not based on everyday dealings with people, because I know you never tipped your office mail room people, or your children?s teachers, the school crossing guards, the school bus driver, the guy at the toll booth, or even the newspaper you see every day at the train station.

    To me tipping is an out-of-date, archaic, unfair, unjustified shake down of the American consumer. Pay me an extra 15-20% and I will do my job! Sounds like pure extortion.

    Pay all employees a fair or agreeable wage for their work, then charge me a fair price for your product or service.

    No tips. Period.

    June 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • joe

      Amen, brother.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Keyhole Joe@southsidemike

      Thanks for your comments Ira Goldstein. Bet a good way to loose you in a car chase is to drive through a toll booth.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • imadome

      I work at a restaurant part-time where all waitress are paid $2.50/hr, you are expected to make the rest of your living on tips. So, please stay away from restaurants, and stick to fast food where you grab your bag from your car and leave. Thanks! Have a great day!

      June 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • preachonit

      Amazing how these responses miss the point of southsidemike's post. Please respond to the post as written instead of just vomiting out your responses. I see wisdom here.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • James

      You are a parasite. You feed off the unpaid for service of others. The world does not owe you anything. ALWAYS TIP YOUR SERVER.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
      • TI

        ok i get that the server gets paid next to nothing and they live off the tips they receive but that isnt the costumers fault, its the servers fault for having that job in the first place. in this respect servers are the parasites, not the customer!

        June 4, 2011 at 5:32 am |
      • Briana

        TI, how dare you call servers parasites? i am a server and i happily provide great service everyday (even when dealing with customers who are less than friendly from the beginning for no reason). i have put up with so much from being screamed at over a simple misunderstanding to being degraded by complete strangers. to say that it is "our fault that we have this job" is an insult. even though it is not my career, i know others who are perfectly content making this their lifetime career. they enjoy doing it because of the guests who do come in and treat us with mutual repsect. i am a server in order to put myself through graduate school. everyone is fighting their own battle, so please treat them kindly.

        June 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • sonas76

      Having worked in a restaurant while I was in college, I always make sure to tip. I know how much servers make per hour.

      As for the other service people in my life, I try t show kindness. I am one of those people who sticks with the same group of 'service providers' for many years at a time. My mailman, my kids Doctor, my own Doctor, the guy who's worked on my cars for 20 years, the neighborhood pharmacy I've used for over a decade, my excellent garbage collectors, etc., I don't tip per se, but I have showed my appreciation.

      I've baked them cookies, made them cakes, cut them flowers from my garden, given them bottles of wine, knit them scarves and many other things over the years. I have also called their companies and supervisors to say what a great job they are doing. All these folks have helped me out in many ways over the years, why not show some appreciation instead of just sneering and saying, "Oh well, it's just their job." ?

      June 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • maxine

      If the server is rude, they get a crappy tip. I really don't want a chatty server, just keep me in drinks and get my food correct

      June 3, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Booger

      COMMUNIST!! (smirk)

      June 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • TI

      im not saying i wont tip a good service but i dont think it should be something they twist your arm about. a tip is for services rendered, services done well. it shouldnt be an obligation and it shouldnt be forced upon you and moreover, you shouldnt have to feel like a horrible person for not giving it.
      I have a full time job where i make commission, sometimes this means i barely get any wage but since im not in the food industry so i dont get tipped even tho i do a lot of work for the customer. you dont see me getting snippy because i dont get hand outs, nor do i expect it.

      June 4, 2011 at 5:41 am |
    • Hannah

      So it's the server's fault they don't make $10 an hour? If this is how you feel about life, move to Europe. Until then, please tell me you're eating at home everyday.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • leatherface

      You tip people who provide services who' s bill (or pay) doesn't include labor and is not in their job description Haircutters, waiters, postal, garbage, sry, SANITATION, cabbies, do a job to provide a service and if the go above and beyond they get a tip. Tailor I'm on the fence about. Bus drivers, train conductors police and firemen no. Unless they are giving special or preferred treatment. Teachers yes. (Christmas gifts and end of year thank yous).Librarians, who goes to libraries anymore for research? Toll booth, no. Unless they let me cut in front of everybody. Newspaper stand guy yes. Get it now, you cheap s.o.b.? Hope you enjoy your spit laden food and crappy service you receive everywhere.

      June 5, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  44. Don

    Bad or indifferent service in a restaurant is reflected in the tip. I've even been known to leave an insult tip if the service is real bad. Once I left 3 pennies!

    June 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • To dongless Don

      ...di ck...

      June 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
      • Pattysboi

        No, it's common sense. This is how I figure it. Good service, tip. Bad service, NO tip and I might even speak to the manager.

        Simple as that.

        June 6, 2011 at 3:35 am |
      • Mark

        Pat, I bet you are a spoiled brat and a royal pain in the azz to wait on.

        June 6, 2011 at 7:10 am |
    • Margaritta Steward

      A tip is gratuity for good service. Gratuity is a two way street. Just don't burn bridges with the waiters/waitresses if you plan on coming back.

      June 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
      • The Witty One

        Back in my ol' pizza delivery days, TIPS stood for "To Insure Prompt Service".

        June 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
      • James

        If "TIPS" really stood for "To Insure Prompt Service" you would give the tip upfront thereby ensuring prompt service. Besides, that's the wrong word anyway. You wouldn't "insure" service you would "ensure" service. So it would be TEPS.

        June 3, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
      • Just Me

        In the beginning, tips DID stand for "to insure promptness" and WERE given up front. Before correcting others you should be sure what you think is correct James.....

        June 3, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
      • James

        No, "tips" is not an acronym for "to insure prompt service."

        June 4, 2011 at 4:55 am |
      • Sarah Michele

        I agree, in a restaurant, the tip is mostly reflective of the service I get. You can be pissed at the world, but you should be at least courteous to me or take the day off and let someone else get the 20%(if you do your job) tip.

        June 4, 2011 at 9:24 am |
      • Mike2

        (Critique or correction) I believe you hit it on the head–"INSULT". There is no need for that. If you have bad service speak to a manager so that it can be made right. An insult tip does nothing but insult.

        (Insult) You are an idiot.

        (see the difference?)

        June 6, 2011 at 5:28 am |
      • The Witty One@James

        in·sure (n-shr)
        v. in·sured, in·sur·ing, in·sures
        a. To provide or arrange insurance for: a company that insures homeowners and businesses.
        b. To acquire or have insurance for: insured herself against losses; insured his car for theft.
        2. To make sure, certain, or secure. See Usage Note at assure.

        Just take a gander at number TWO....bitch.

        June 6, 2011 at 9:42 am |
      • Voice of reason

        Actually, James is right. To insure something requires securing the insurance before the event. You cannot buy car insurance to cover an accident after the accident has already happened. Ensure means to make sure or certain of something. The correct phase would actually be "to make sure of prompt service," not "to insure against bad service." (You could not, for instance, give a waiter a $5 bill at the beginning of service, and then ask for it back if you were unhappy.)

        The word "Tip" actually came from a completely different source that actually the link to snopes tracts fairly well.

        However, Witty One, I believe you were just saying that to make the point that in your day tips were given for good service, not expected for bad service. So I'm sorry to have split hairs, because I know it's not what you meant.

        June 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
      • Merriam-Webster@TWO & Voice of reason

        Careful. Keep up this "defining" stuff and you, two too, will be accused of jack-a$$ery.

        June 6, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
      • Voice of reason

        Valid point.

        And by valid, I mean: sound; just; well-founded; producing the desired result; effective; having force, weight, or cogency; authoritative.

        June 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
      • The Witty One@voice of reason

        This is another one of those arguments that won't ever end. Insure vs ensure. Pro life vs. Pro choice. Vegan vs. non vegan. To eat horse or not to eat horse.

        Technically James was correct, I agree. And I thank you for seeing the point of my argument.

        And there really was a sign by the delivery exit at the pizza place...I swear!

        June 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
      • The Witty One@Merriam-Webster

        I'm already a jackass.

        June 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
      • Merriam-Webster@The Witty One

        I disagree. You're The Witty One. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

        June 6, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • James

      Most servers have to tip out other employees (busser, bartender, food runner) at the end of their shift. When you don't tip it costs your server money out of their own pocket. It's not juts that they don't get paid for the service they provided you, it's that they had to pay for the privilege of serving you.. ALWAYS TIP YOUR SERVER.

      June 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
      • Tom

        I will NOT...repeat...will NOT tip a server just because he or she gives me a plate of food. If he or she gives me great service, I will tip very good...if I get bad service, I leave a bad tip or no tip. It is not my responsibility to provide for their livelihood. A tip is just that. Monetary reimbursement for good service. NOT a requirement. If ya want a tip, EARN it.

        June 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
      • lulzboat

        Sorry you chose a profession that relies on handouts. Not unlike the person on the corner. If you come to our table and offer crummy service, you're getting a crummy tip. If you come and offer great service, you're getting a great tip and we'll try to sit in your section each and every time. Just because of your choice of occupation don't think you're somehow entitled and don't have to do your part of the work. Call me names all you want but it won't fix your bad attitude and thus your poor tip.

        June 3, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
      • James

        You guys do not know how the restaurant industry works. When you don't tip, you are getting a service you didn't pay for. The cost of your meal does not include the cost of the service. The servers in most states are paid below the minimum wage meaning that their paychecks are for $0. Meaning the restaurant- their employer- pays them nothing (it all goes to taxes). Servers therefore essentially work solely for the customer. As customers you have the choice of where to dine. If you don't want to pay for service, go find a restaurant that doesn't use servers.

        Even if your service is poor, you still had someone bring you food and drink. Maybe the server wasn't as friendly as you'd like or maybe they screwed something up. That doesn't mean that their labor is now free for you. Imagine if the whole world worked that way. When you screw up at work is your pay docked? "Well, there was a typo on your TPS report so you don't get paid today." "Well Jones, you worked hard today but I really didn't care for your attitude, so you worked for free today."

        When you don't tip it not only means that your servers labor was free, it often means that your server had to pay, out of their own pocket, just to wait on you. Most servers have to tip out the busser, bartender, and food runner. These tipouts are usually based on what the server sells, not how much money they made. If I sell $1000 I have to give the busser $25, the bartender $20 and the runner $15. So no matter what I made in tips, since I sold $1000, I have to tipout $60. So if you come in and have a $100 meal, it costs your server $6. If you stiff them on the tip, they aren't just out of your tip money, they're out $6 from their own pocket.

        The system is stupid and wrong but until it changes, everyone has to play. Those that don't tip FOR ANY REASON are parasites.

        June 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
      • Hannah

        I worked in the service industry for years. I completely disagree with you. I wanted to make money, so you can bet that I was cheerful ALWAYS. Sure, you're going to get jerks who still don't tip, but if I go somewhere and the server is a jerk, he's not going to be getting any of my money. It's his job to bring me my food and to make me feel welcome in his establishment, and if he's only doing half of that, he gets nothing.

        June 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
      • Valerie

        I'm done reading comments............yours were everything that needs to be said. Good posts James!!!!!

        June 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  45. The Witty One

    I would think that at a X-star restaurant, part of those stars would be because of the service. If I go to a 5 star place, I sort of expect good service. But then again, if I have someone serving me, I sort of expect them to be at least a little friendly.

    June 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Shirley U Jest


      June 3, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
      • Booger

        (Don't call me Shirley).

        June 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  46. Evil Grin

    Service is a big deal when for me when I'm eating out. I mean a big deal. Good service will make up for less than stellar food, but if I get five star food and one star service, I'm not likely to come back. I'm not talking about a waiter who makes mistakes, but if they are indifferent or downright rude, that can end my relationship with the restaurant. On the other hand, if you make me feel like you're glad I came, I'll come back over and over.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • TxPresby

      Totally agreed!

      June 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  47. Sir Biddle

    Service is not quite half but gets there as far as enjoying a night out. If the service sucks, your tips sucks. I don't need to find a new best friend, but lighten up a bit. You didn't get drafted to do this job, you chose to do it. If you're having a bad day, I'll give you a little slack, but take out your days issues on my dinning experience and I have no problem let you know it via the gratuity line. Been in those shoes before and you have to work and earn your tip, mirroring your customers personality always paid off in the end.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  48. JBJingles

    If I'm dining alone, which is frequently at lunch and they are indifferent, it would make me feel lonely and I may not go back, but if I'm with hubs or friends, then I really wouldn't care.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • whataloser

      dining alone...f'ing hilarious. get a friend for lunch. you can pay for company as well.

      June 4, 2011 at 10:01 am |
      • Slappy McDonger-Irish Pimp

        Speaking from experience there eh MOOCHER?

        June 4, 2011 at 10:10 am |
      • @whataloser

        Seriously? You have to pay people to eat with you? Talk about insecure. I am secure enough in my self-worth to have the occasional lunch on my own when friends or co-workers are tied up and can't join me. How pathetic are you?

        June 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Mike2

      I dine alone a lot, and I don't mind a few friendly words, but often servers think that I want a friend. I don't. Nothing is more annoying to me than an overly friendly server.

      June 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
      • Stephen in Durham

        Here! Here! I really don't care what their name is or what their favorite thing on the menu is. Service should be attentive but essentially invisible.

        June 4, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
      • Angry Server@MIke

        Next time you stop by my restaurant and identify yourself as someone who doesn't want to be bothered, I'll make sure your scalding hot order ends up in your lap. (Oops, sorry!) Then your tiny, traumatized, burnt d!ck attitude will match what's in your shorts.

        June 6, 2011 at 8:54 am |
    • Ralph

      i LOVE eating alone. I like being able to savor the flavors of my food and not have to banter with anyone. But a quiet waiter is not a bad waiter nor a waiter that does not care. The waiter mentioned in the article was BAD. He really did not care at all about customer service. I've had waiters who realized I am out for a quiet night and come by quietly to refill my water and ask politely if I needed anything else. Customer service in the US sucks in general.

      June 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
    • Maverick2591b




      What the frack is "hubs"? Are you referring to your "husband"? Are you so hip that he is your "hubs"? Why not "primary peep" or "current housemate"? Perhaps you wouldn't mind being referred to as a "wiffer", though I could come up with a few others.

      "Hubs" us from quasi-hipsters that think they are clever and pithy.

      June 6, 2011 at 8:45 am |
      • MalaDee@Mavd!ck

        Who peed in your corn flakes? I applaud them whomever they are. Now eat up!

        June 6, 2011 at 8:47 am |
      • The Lisper

        I need to take a pithy right now and know where I'm aiming.

        June 6, 2011 at 8:55 am |
      • Jerv@Maverick2591b

        Seemed to me she was using the term "hubs" in an endearing kind of way not some quasi-hipster bull crap. Over react much?

        June 6, 2011 at 8:57 am |
      • JBJingles@Mavedick

        As I am a regular here, I often refer to my husband as the hubs, just an endearing and shorter version for posting. I would love to think of myself as a "hipster", but alas I am not that clever. And as for your moniker, a "Maverick", really?? Get over yourself!

        June 6, 2011 at 11:54 am |
      • Truth@Mavedick

        Your table for one in the stfu cafe is waiting. I urge you to take it immediately.

        June 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  49. The Smart Aleck

    "I find it disappointing, but if the food is fine, I'll probably be back " This is the closest choice one to how I would deal It's more like a minor let down. There's no way would I let that keep me from going back.

    If the food is good, the service is good but the server was, as the article said, indifferent, then I'll chalk it up to someone having a less than perfect day and move on.

    June 3, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Mildred

      I'm with you on that. Now if I go back and the service is just as disappointing, or I observe this from several servers... then I'd reconsider.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
      • The Smart Aleck@Mildred

        Agreed with a caveat: if upon repeat visits, the servers are consistently in poor moods, then I have to chalk it up to management.

        June 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Catastrophe Waitress @The Smart Aleck

        Agreed agreed agreed! I've been a server for years and have learned to do my job incredibly well and that's usually reflected in my tips. However, I recently found myself working for a particular company that (to make the bottom line better) was consistently taking away the resources I needed to provide good service, and the managers did nothing but shrug their shoulders and follow suit. It can be discouraging and disheartening to go to work every day for management that can't or won't stand behind their servers. I recently left my job there, after four and a half years, and I definitely noticed a decline in the service I provided by the end, but at the same time was too apathetic about creating repeat customers for a company I didn't respect to care. Maybe it's a subconscious form of sabotage- after all, if all the servers in a restaurant are indifferent and unhappy and it means that the guests stop returning, management might finally take a look around at the problems they're causing.

        June 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • conradshull

      If the server is indifferent, I chalk it up to the server being an a**hole.

      June 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
      • Stage Director@shullow

        Bravo! I bask in the glory of your brilliance!

        June 3, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Raymond

      Unfortunately, in the U.S. most wait staff are students who have not been trained at all by management so I do not expect any kind of professionalism in wait staff. They just don't have a clue about pouring wine from the right, serving the dishes from the right, removing plates from the left, etc. There are possible exceptions but only in high end and expensive restaurants. It is not always these students' fault if they do not know how to serve. I have travelled in many foreign countries where professional waiters are the norm and it is always disappointing to come home after such great experiences and encounter the typical wait staff in U.S. restaurants.

      June 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
      • Mike2

        That is absolutely ludicrous. I have served in everything from 5 star to diners. Serve to the right, clear to left? Yeah, in the nicest restaurants, but not in your average week night out kind of place. Not where students will be servers. If that is your standard of service you are delusional. Standards are different around the globe, but give me a friendly and competent student over a stiff professional performing to meaningless rules any day.

        June 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        Your comment completely misses the point of the article. Serving on the right, etc... is not what this article was about. Its about whether you feel welcomed in the establishment and whether the staff is willing to do what it takes to please the customer. Good service essentially goes as follows. Welcome the customer with a smile, apologize if their is a delay in being seated or served; check with them at least once between appetizers and the main course, and once after the main course is served to make sure everything is ok.. and never let the water glass get empty (Though it is not necessary to refill it with every sip either). And ultimately, make sure the customer is enjoying themselves.

        June 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
      • TxPresby

        I have to agree with Raymond. It isn't difficult to learn to serve from the correct side whether you are a professional waiter or a college student. It is a sign of caring and professionalism regardless of the price of the restaurant. The other thing that goes along with this is DO NOT reach across my plate to serve someone else, fill their water glass, etc. Also, DO NOT clear my plate until I place my napkin on it. This is all just common etiquette.

        The point of the article that some people are missing is not that the server was having a bad day, it is that the server seated them, took their order, brought their food and then the check without ever checking back to see that everything was okay. That isn't a bad mood. That is a lack of genuine service.

        June 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
      • kiki

        Any well-trained server will tell you that the rule is 'leave left, remove right.' All the times that I presume you have been fuming about the incompetence of your servers, you have been wrong.

        June 6, 2011 at 12:16 am |
      • Rob

        I work in an upscale restaurant. I take care of my guests as if they were at my own house, and anyone who has visited my house knows they need and want for nothing and we have a good time. I have more call tables than anyone I work with, and I work with top notch people. This article is right on. As a server, put your bad day in your back pocket, and have fun with the people in front of you. Too many times I have been told that my service and attitude made the evening fun and "we will ask for you next time." I like writing my own check when it comes to service. When someone goes out to eat, they want to have a good time. So have a good time with them, you might find that, as a server on a bad day, you may have a good day. You'll make a new friend, a regular return, and make a little more money as the reward. Have a good day waitstaff!!!!

        June 6, 2011 at 9:36 am |
      • Megan

        @TX Proper etiquette isn’t covering your plate with your napkin to let the wait staff know you are finished eating. It is placing your fork and knife together on the plate. You can fold your napkin and place it along side of the plate as well.

        June 6, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Person

      A few years ago a well-known Japanese chain had a promotion to build business at their sushi bar. Loving sushi, we took our family there every week all summer. During that time, we realized that no matter how often we showed up and sat at the sushi bar, they were never going to learn who we are or what we like, or even notice that we've been repeat visitors. When the promotion ended, we went back to our old haunts and haven't looked back.

      June 5, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • jpip

      When I worked in food service, I was always taught that a good server is "friendly but not familiar" (along with: always have a sense of urgency, spring to your step, purpose to your hands in pockets, etc, etc).
      I don't expect to make a new friend when I go to a restaurant, but it sounds like the server in question failed to perform his/her duties if he/she didn't return to the table until the check was presented. The author has a right to be miffed because it sounded like she wanted at least another glass of wine.

      June 6, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  50. The Witty One

    This should be a good one!

    Swords at the ready guys!

    June 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • The Smart Aleck

      Locked & Loaded, General TWO! LOL!

      June 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
      • The Witty One@TSA

        Once this article hits the main cnn page things are going to pop off!

        June 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
      • The Smart Aleck@The Witty One

        Do you think it'll take that long? :D

        June 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
      • The Witty One@TSA

        I have noticed a direct correlation between number of comments on the "touchy" articles and links to the main page.

        June 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
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