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Old 02-28-2011, 09:46 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by cmarchibald View Post
I'm torn on this issue. I completely understand why, as a diner, one would not want to be rushed or feel restricted to any kind of time limit. However, as a former server, I recall all too well the nightmare of customers who would occupy a table in my section for 4 hours or more, costing me tips, only to stiff me in the long run with a stingy tip. As a server I had no problem with people wanting to take their time, I just wished they understood that I paid my rent one tip at a time, and that by taking a table in my section for a long time I couldn't "turn the table" in order to get more tip by sales volume.

I once had a table with 4 adults. When they sat down they told me they were old friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time and wanted to visit, and warned me that they would be there for awhile. I smiled and told them they were welcome to stay as long as they like, and that I would stay out of the way and allow them to visit but always be nearby if they needed anything. I kept their drinks flowing, I kept their dishes cleared, I gave them plenty of space.....they stayed in my section for 6 hours. Their bill was over $150 and their tip was $5. On the way out they thanked me profusely for taking such good care of them, even stopped my manager to tell him how much they'd enjoyed their meal and my service. That's great, thanks, but it doesn't help me pay the rent. And the reality is that those people cost me about $100 in tips that night....between what they should've tipped for their meal and the amount of time they cost me in turning tables.

Servers live on tips, they still make only $2.13 an hour in almost every restaurant in the US. So if you want to sit in a restaurant for 6 hours and visit with friends, by all means, knock yourself out....but please remember that you are costing your server money, and if your service was really good or outstanding.....tip accordingly.
You know what...When I am at a restraunt longer than the meal, I always tip extra for that time there. It is just the moral thing to do for those who aren't getting tips on that table. Actually, I wouldn't stay if they are busy enough to have more customers at the table. The times I have stayed were when they weren't busy anyway, and then I still leave extra tip. It is just the right thing to do.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:58 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Pacanis, this is what I was going to say about cell phones.

I think there is seldom a reason to have a cell phone in use during a dinner at a restaurant. Granted there are exceptions.

When we were in Aruba a couple of weeks ago we went to dinner at a nicer restaurant. We seldom get out of there for less than $200. for the two of us.

A young couple (late 20s, early 30s) came in for dinner. He had a portable hot spot wireless, connect to the internet thingy and two smart phones. She had one smart phone. From the moment they sat until they ordered, they did not speak. They were online. All through dinner until we left, they were on their phones. If I was with a young lady that looked as good as she did, I sure wouldn't be on the phone.
I have 2 BlackBerrys, yes.....2. I have one through my US based mobile provider that has international roaming and works everywhere I go in the world....even worked in Baghdad! I keep that so my family always has a way to reach me. I have a second one through a local mobile provider here in the Philippines. I have both of them with me at all times and use them 'til the batteries run dry. However....

I do not use my phones in restaurants. If I check messages at all it's only briefly to make sure I'm not missing something urgent, otherwise they stay in my purse. If I get a call I either ignore the call so I can call them back later, or step outside the restaurant to talk if it's important. I turn my phones off in movies, I don't talk on them in stores, and even in my own house if I have to shout to be heard by the person on the other end of the line I'll step outside so I'm not bothering anyone else around me. I take cell phone etiquette VERY seriously, and I am die-hard addicted to my BlackBerrys.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:02 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by chopper View Post
You know what...When I am at a restraunt longer than the meal, I always tip extra for that time there. It is just the moral thing to do for those who aren't getting tips on that table. Actually, I wouldn't stay if they are busy enough to have more customers at the table. The times I have stayed were when they weren't busy anyway, and then I still leave extra tip. It is just the right thing to do.
And god bless you for that, chopper, seriously.....if everyone had this attitude then no server would care how long you sat at their table. Unfortunately many people don't.

I would wager this kind of policy is more to help the servers than the restaurant, but it may depend on the size of the establishment. Others here have suggested that a small business may be hurt badly by not being able to turn the tables quickly enough....that may well be true. However I know what kinds of things the restaurant made big money on when I was waiting tables and bartending. The highest profit margins are in the booze and the sodas, desserts and appetizers a close second. As long as a table is ordering drinks, appetizers, dessert and at least one of the patrons goes for a higher priced entree, the restaurant is doing just fine. The server is hurt the most when the tables don't turn.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:55 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by PattY1 View Post
Fine dining in MHO is paying far too much for far too little food that is artistically stacked on a plate encircled with goo and sprinkled dried herbs.


What things?

I have never in my life just hung around in a restaurant for longer then a cup of coffee after a meal.

Going out to dinner is "part" of a evening, not the whole event.


Fine dining, in my mind, includes:
  • excellent food
  • excellent service
  • lovely table settings
  • nice surroundings

It's lovely to dawdle over dessert and coffee with a nice after dinner drink and gab with ones sweetie or friends.

And yes, one should tip accordingly. As long as you are spending well, you can use a decent percentage. As soon as the spending goes down, you should add extra for occupying the table.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:57 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
Fine dining, in my mind, includes:
  • excellent food
  • excellent service
  • lovely table settings
  • nice surroundings
It's lovely to dawdle over dessert and coffee with a nice after dinner drink and gab with ones sweetie or friends.

And yes, one should tip accordingly. As long as you are spending well, you can use a decent percentage. As soon as the spending goes down, you should add extra for occupying the table.
Amen.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:25 PM   #66
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Fine dining, in my mind, includes:
  • excellent food
  • excellent service
  • lovely table settings
  • nice surroundings
I expect all of that at any good restaurant. You know, the ones that serve Food, not over priced "Works of Art.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:30 PM   #67
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Fine dining, in my mind, includes:
  • excellent food
  • excellent service
  • lovely table settings
  • nice surroundings
My dh says that he feels like he gets all of this at the house when I serve dinner, and it is better than going out. The funny thing is, he actually does mean it. I do love that man!
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:58 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmarchibald View Post
I'm torn on this issue. I completely understand why, as a diner, one would not want to be rushed or feel restricted to any kind of time limit. However, as a former server, I recall all too well the nightmare of customers who would occupy a table in my section for 4 hours or more, costing me tips, only to stiff me in the long run with a stingy tip. As a server I had no problem with people wanting to take their time, I just wished they understood that I paid my rent one tip at a time, and that by taking a table in my section for a long time I couldn't "turn the table" in order to get more tip by sales volume.

I once had a table with 4 adults. When they sat down they told me they were old friends who hadn't seen each other in a long time and wanted to visit, and warned me that they would be there for awhile. I smiled and told them they were welcome to stay as long as they like, and that I would stay out of the way and allow them to visit but always be nearby if they needed anything. I kept their drinks flowing, I kept their dishes cleared, I gave them plenty of space.....they stayed in my section for 6 hours. Their bill was over $150 and their tip was $5. On the way out they thanked me profusely for taking such good care of them, even stopped my manager to tell him how much they'd enjoyed their meal and my service. That's great, thanks, but it doesn't help me pay the rent. And the reality is that those people cost me about $100 in tips that night....between what they should've tipped for their meal and the amount of time they cost me in turning tables.

Servers live on tips, they still make only $2.13 an hour in almost every restaurant in the US. So if you want to sit in a restaurant for 6 hours and visit with friends, by all means, knock yourself out....but please remember that you are costing your server money, and if your service was really good or outstanding.....tip accordingly.
I totally agree with what your saying... I tried to stay off this thread because we already had a previous thread where everyone had viewed there opinions already, but alas here I am... From what I understand Andy was not asked, or told he had to leave, but took a tiny little, please be considerate, comment to heart... Sorry but I think if you not asked to leave, which no smart businessman would do, I would think you would ignore it and not let yourself be all consumed with policy...
If the management would have asked you to leave, different story, but why let your evening (or your whole next day) be crapped by a tiny little statement that was not even imposed on your evening...
That being said i'm going to call the restaurant tomorrow and speak to the manager to see what their policy is...
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:09 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by PattY1 View Post
I expect all of that at any good restaurant. You know, the ones that serve Food, not over priced "Works of Art.
I guess we define fine dining differently.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:26 AM   #70
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... but why let your evening (or your whole next day) be crapped by a tiny little statement that was not even imposed on your evening...
Why do you think my evening and next day were crapped? They absolutely were not. I simply posted here to get others' opinions. After I saw the fine print on the menu it was discussed for less than a minute at the table and didn't come up until later that evening at home when I thought it would be interesting to get more opinions. We have certainly gotten a lot of opinions and some are more upset by it than I have ever been.
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