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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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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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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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Old 03-01-2011, 10:12 AM   #71
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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.


I am sorry you have never had the opportunity to experience a truly fine dinner, then. If that is the highest compliment you can pay to a fine dining restaurant. It's not something to indulge in every week, or regularly in any way, but for those very special occasions, the meal, the service, the ambiance can be truly mind blowing.
Quote:
What things?
Those things I spoke of in the above paragraph.

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


Going out to dinner is "part" of a evening, not the whole event.
I'm sorry you feel that way. For me and my family and friends, going out to dinner IS the evening. And it doesn't have to be a 3-Star to be an event. And when "all the stars are aligned" it doesn't have to be an expensive dinner to be incredibly special.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:24 AM   #72
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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.
I know all that. Sadly, all too many consumers don't get it. In large cities in the US, the going rate for tips is 20%. As an industry person, I ALWAYS tip at least that. And if I'm out with someone who is the payor and I see them short-tipping, I will make up the difference. I am in no way affluent, money-wise, but short-tipping service persons is totally unacceptable.

[For the folks who will read this and say they short tip for poor service, I say this to you. When the service is poor, have an immediate word with the manager or owner (if on premises). And before you short the server, be sure alert them that the attention they are giving to the details of your meal is not acceptable. Everyone has a bad day. but servers are not entitled to take that out on their customers, just as you are in error when you short tip for what you perceive as poor service w/o taking some action to correct it.]

Were your experiences in the US or Philippines? I have no clue what the customs are there.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:47 AM   #73
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When did 20% become the accepted tip? 15% has always been the norm. Now I see restaurants helping you out with tipping guides with 18%/20%25%... rarely do they mention the standard 15% anymore.

If I get horrible service I will short the tip. If they don't want to do their job I don't want to pay them, however I also tip more when I get good service. Sadly the standards for good service seem to have gone down while the standards for acceptable tip have gone up.

And yes, I have waited tables.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:48 AM   #74
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[/COLOR][/B]

I am sorry you have never had the opportunity to experience a truly fine dinner, then. If that is the highest compliment you can pay to a fine dining restaurant. It's not something to indulge in every week, or regularly in any way, but for those very special occasions, the meal, the service, the ambiance can be truly mind blowing.
Those things I spoke of in the above paragraph.

[COLOR=magenta][COLOR=black]
I'm sorry you feel that way. For me and my family and friends, going out to dinner IS the evening. And it doesn't have to be a 3-Star to be an event. And when "all the stars are aligned" it doesn't have to be an expensive dinner to be incredibly special.


Amen, June.

Your gracious recommendations of Taillevent and Willi's Wine bar come to mind.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:49 AM   #75
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When did 20% become the accepted tip? 15% has always been the norm. Now I see restaurants helping you out with tipping guides with 18%/20%25%... rarely do they mention the standard 15% anymore.

If I get horrible service I will short the tip. If they don't want to do their job I don't want to pay them, however I also tip more when I get good service. Sadly the standards for good service seem to have gone down while the standards for acceptable tip have gone up.

And yes, I have waited tables.

My standard is more like 25%. Particularly if I have had good service and plan to go back.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:05 AM   #76
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[For the folks who will read this and say they short tip for poor service, I say this to you. When the service is poor, have an immediate word with the manager or owner (if on premises). And before you short the server, be sure alert them that the attention they are giving to the details of your meal is not acceptable. Everyone has a bad day. but servers are not entitled to take that out on their customers, just as you are in error when you short tip for what you perceive as poor service w/o taking some action to correct it.]
While I understand the sentiment behind this, I am not sure I agree that the patron should have to speak their mind before short tipping for bad service. It should not be on the patron to have to do something about it. Servers rely on tips and I feel they should be tipped fairly. If they do not do what is expected of them that one vehicle for conveying that is the tip. Some patrons would find it uncomfortable to have to talk to someone and let them know their employee did not do a good job. My wife is a manager of a call center. She spends all day telling people what they are doing wrong. When she goes out to eat it is to get away from the stress of work. She hates telling people what they are doing wrong. At work it is her job and she gets paid for it. Out to eat it is not her job and she should not have to do it.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:38 AM   #77
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While I understand the sentiment behind this, I am not sure I agree that the patron should have to speak their mind before short tipping for bad service. It should not be on the patron to have to do something about it. Servers rely on tips and I feel they should be tipped fairly. If they do not do what is expected of them that one vehicle for conveying that is the tip. Some patrons would find it uncomfortable to have to talk to someone and let them know their employee did not do a good job. My wife is a manager of a call center. She spends all day telling people what they are doing wrong. When she goes out to eat it is to get away from the stress of work. She hates telling people what they are doing wrong. At work it is her job and she gets paid for it. Out to eat it is not her job and she should not have to do it.
I'll agree with this. The tip should most definitely reflect the service given, be it more or less that the "expected" amount. I don't go to a restaurant to verbally tell someone or their boss what kind of job they are doing.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:50 AM   #78
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When did 20% become the accepted tip? 15% has always been the norm. Now I see restaurants helping you out with tipping guides with 18%/20%25%... rarely do they mention the standard 15% anymore.

If I get horrible service I will short the tip. If they don't want to do their job I don't want to pay them, however I also tip more when I get good service. Sadly the standards for good service seem to have gone down while the standards for acceptable tip have gone up.

And yes, I have waited tables.
20% has been standard for at least the past 5 years, Frank. Some folks sadly insist on sticking to the old standard. In 2011, $2.13 an hour is really not a living wage.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:55 AM   #79
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Amen, June.

Your gracious recommendations of Taillevent and Willi's Wine bar come to mind.
Jenny, I'm a big collector of what I call "fine dining at bargain prices" restaurants. I'm only too happy to overtip the servers in those places.

In France, however, a sizable tip is part of the bill one pays, so when one wishes to reward exceptional service (or a bunch of freebies from the chef) 5-10% is considered really generous.

One of my favorite fdbp places is next door to Willi's (same owner) called Maceo. Gorgeous, historic room, fantastic food, exemplary service.... click on the name for details.
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:38 PM   #80
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Although short tipping or no tipping do send messages, the servers for the most part, IMO, have no idea whether they were due to bad service, cheap customers, or European tourists (in case of no tip).
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