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Old 10-11-2006, 12:00 PM   #11
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I too wouldn't of left him a tip at all. Considering the poor service and his inability to try and correct the problem. I too wouldn't hesitate to request a different waiter if you return and are told by the hostess he will be your waiter.
Luckily, I haven't had too many bad dining experiences though.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:02 PM   #12
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I had a bad service experience on Sunday when I went out for lunch with my friend for her birthday. There were five of us and we went to a Mediterranean restaurant that always looks busy in St Christopher's Place in London. It was a late lunch so quietening down at about 3.30pm. We were seated outside and the first problem was the drink I ordered didn't arrive with the others, 25mins later I asked where it was and the waiter said they couldn't make the smoothie I wanted and so I ordered a cola instead. That's fine but he could have let me know about the problem first.

The starters took 40 mins to arrive and were cold and not very tasty whilst we had to wait another 45 minutes to receive our main courses. This was after one of us went inside to find the manager to complain. By this point three tables that had arrived after us had already eaten and left and there were five tables around us outside which had the dirty plates and glasses etc on them still. There were no waiters outside at all most of the time.

After complaining to the manager, he quickly came outside and cleared our table of the starter plates (had been there for 30minutes!) and some of the plates from surrounding tables. He apologised and the food came out 10 minutes later. I believe they lost our order! The food wasn't even that great. Two girls had ordered salad and the majority of it was just chopped red onions and cucumber and they charged 12 ($24) a plate. I had stuffed aubergine which was not so bad but probably the best meal of all ours.

The manager offered us complimentary wine and we said we would not be happy to pay the 12.5% service charge included in the bill later on and he understood and after we finished our meal he then offered us further complimentary coffee, teas and desserts.

I don't usually complain in restaurants because I think in England we have lower expectations of service and we put up with bad service a lot of the time but both the waiting staff and the kitchen were bad on this occasion and complaining to the manager really did help make the meal better, especially for my friend.

Tips are usually included here in a service charge of 12.5% and then you can leave extra if you wish so it's not the same as in the US. Waiting staff generally get paid more per hour here to begin with.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:42 PM   #13
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Thanks for your input everyone. Looking back on it now, after reading your posts, I am a little upset that I left him 15%. Next time this happens I will not be so kind.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
As long as we accept and tolerate poor performance, we might as well be considered enablers....
You are SO right, Hopz.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:01 PM   #15
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Sorry GB... that kind of thing just ruins a night out.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:07 PM   #16
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Luckily we did not let it ruin our time. My meal was still pretty good (the steak was cooked perfectly) and the company was top notch (wife and daughter) so we just laughed about it after the fact
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:41 PM   #17
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I'm glad to hear that. Happy is good.
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:10 PM   #18
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Things screw up at restaurants.

The measure of a well run place is how they handle it.

Sounds like this was poorly taken care of and it is management that is to blame.
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:10 PM   #19
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i agree gb, 15% is a tip for satisfactory service, way too much in this case. if i were the waiter, i'd have thought you were ok with everyhting..
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:25 PM   #20
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As said before, sometimes everything can go wrong in a kitchen. Sometimes when the head chef makes a new soup or dessert that doesn't turn out right, he just shakes his head and says "It is what it is" It's not that the food is bad, its just that it doesn't meet his standards, though we will usually manage to sell all of his soups and desserts fairly quickly, no matter how bad he thinks they are; the customers still think its great food.

Also said before, there is no excuse for the front of the house to drop the ball because the kitchen messed up. Most folks realize that bad food is not the fault of the waiter, and will tip accordingly. The guy you dealt with was probably just one of the disgruntled waiters who was feeling resentful about his job for one reason or another. Maybe he had just gotten stiffed by another table. That's no excuse for his poor service, just saying that anyone who has worked in the front of the house has probably come across some waitstaff with poor attitudes toward their work and their customers. They expect the 20% tip, and feel the customers are obligated to pay it, because they took your order and handed it to the kitchen. I would have left a much lower tip for that waiter, if any, and if he ever waited on me again I would requet to speak with the manager and request a different server.
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