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Old 02-01-2019, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default Local service

I think there are some over expectations on this part of the forum, especially on the shoulder seasons. I worked at a local restaurant a couple of summers. Especially in the spring and fall, it was local trade. I recall, after going to college, my parents stopped in and wrote that "Bob X, a local general contractor, was pouring coffee and taking orders " Made sense to me as I had done the same thing when I was not an employee, but had helped out to keep things working. I know those days are gone, but I think newcomers (less than 30 years, to be generous for age) need to have an understanding of what it takes to run a seasonal business. Everybody helps!!. If you have to get your own extra water or napkins, that is not to complain about. You should be posting on TripAdvisor or FB about how friendly everybody is/was or how you were welcomed into the local atmosphere. If you've never been on the other side of the table/bar, here's your chance. Just be a good Scout and help out. We've done this in the Lakes Region, pubs in London and in Greece. Just be helpful and don't knock the staff for being overwhelmed. Be warned, you'll start over-tipping. And ask to help before you just jump in. There's a knack to this stuff.
Help, don't complain. Oh! A big smile, nothing else, is good hep too.
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Old 02-02-2019, 05:59 AM   #2
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Question Or, Maybe, Only One?

Been to Katie's Kitchen in Wolfeboro?

At most, I think their "staff" is two people!
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:01 AM   #3
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Default An interesting discussion...

During a boring Saturday, pre-Superbowl night...

Although I agree with the fundamental issue of helping out...and I have got up to get my own water refill frequently, do you tip the same for service not rendered? Tips have gone from 15% to 20%, and has service improved?
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:24 PM   #4
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Default Service improved?

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During a boring Saturday, pre-Superbowl night...

Although I agree with the fundamental issue of helping out...and I have got up to get my own water refill frequently, do you tip the same for service not rendered? Tips have gone from 15% to 20%, and has service improved?
Maybe tips went to 20% when kids learning New Math couldn't figure 15% in their head. I giggle to myself when I see people take out their phone when the check comes to figure the tip.
Service HAS improved, but that may be because I go to better restaurants now. I've learned to be a better customer by asking more questions when I'm in a new place, and being very clear about what I want and when I want it. Learned some of this from watching my grandchildren (8 & 10) interpret the menu and then negotiate their order with the server. If we're a repeat and we've had good service, we ask to be seated "in Linda's section" when we make the reservation. "Linda" knows she's been requested before we're seated, and yes, the service is better.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:35 PM   #5
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My wife and I went out to dinner with another couple last summer in the Boston suburbs. I always have cash on me and the other couple always pays with credit. We usually make the night of it so we occupy the table for a few hours and we leave a good tip of 25% because of it.
This particular night I could tell the waiter wasn't pleased because his table wasn't turning over. We got the bill and the couple we were with demanded to pay so I left the tip in cash in the middle of the table. When the waiter came back and saw there was no tip added on the credit card tab he lit into us for not leaving a tip and occupying the table all night.
I reached to the middle of the table and grabbed the tip I had left in cash and told him "for that outburst you're not getting this" and we walked out. We've never been back to that establishment.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:58 PM   #6
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When I was much younger I performed a lot of manual hard physical labor and I was always taught by my father to respect others that perform these difficult service tasks. As such since I was a small child I have always been kind and courteous to wait staff and I even go as far as to assist with gathering dirty dishes or piling them to assist. I have almost always could the staff to be extremely appreciative of the help no matter what type of restaurant (high end, family style, pub ect...) and hopefully it means better service for me and a better tip for them. In contrast I had always found my ex father in law to be extremely tough on the wait staff and obten found it embarrassing to dine out with him
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Old 02-04-2019, 03:17 PM   #7
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My wife and I went out to dinner with another couple last summer in the Boston suburbs. I always have cash on me and the other couple always pays with credit. We usually make the night of it so we occupy the table for a few hours and we leave a good tip of 25% because of it.
This particular night I could tell the waiter wasn't pleased because his table wasn't turning over. We got the bill and the couple we were with demanded to pay so I left the tip in cash in the middle of the table. When the waiter came back and saw there was no tip added on the credit card tab he lit into us for not leaving a tip and occupying the table all night.
I reached to the middle of the table and grabbed the tip I had left in cash and told him "for that outburst you're not getting this" and we walked out. We've never been back to that establishment.
5% more than average to occupy a table for a few hours, preventing, what, two more turnovers? How incredibly generous.

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Old 02-04-2019, 03:29 PM   #8
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5% more than average to occupy a table for a few hours, preventing, what, two more turnovers? How incredibly generous.

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I think $100 tip on a $400 tab is a respectable tip. It's not like we sit there and just take up space when the ladies are drinking $15 dollar martini's. This is not your run of the mill franchise restaurant. Anyway, he got nothing for disrespecting us!


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Old 02-04-2019, 03:33 PM   #9
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I think $100 tip on a $400 tab is a respectable tip. It's not like we sit there and just take up space when the ladies are drinking $15 dollar martini's. This is not your run of the mill franchise restaurant. Anyway, he got nothing for disrespecting us!


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It's not even close to a respectable tip for tying up a table for a few hours. Even at only turning over two tables, the server could have made $160 at 20%. Add a third in a few hours, and he's at $240.

You really showed him who's boss, though.

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Old 02-04-2019, 03:45 PM   #10
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It's not even close to a respectable tip for tying up a table for a few hours. Even at only turning over two tables, the server could have made $160 at 20%. Add a third in a few hours, and he's at $240.

You really showed him who's boss, though.

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Sorry but I disagree and he got what he deserved with that attitude. We go out to eat at least 3 to 4 times a week and never had an experience like that before. It's not like he only has one table to service. He's lucky I calmed down and left without calling over the manager.

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Old 02-04-2019, 04:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Biggd View Post
My wife and I went out to dinner with another couple last summer in the Boston suburbs. I always have cash on me and the other couple always pays with credit. We usually make the night of it so we occupy the table for a few hours and we leave a good tip of 25% because of it.
This particular night I could tell the waiter wasn't pleased because his table wasn't turning over. We got the bill and the couple we were with demanded to pay so I left the tip in cash in the middle of the table. When the waiter came back and saw there was no tip added on the credit card tab he lit into us for not leaving a tip and occupying the table all night.
I reached to the middle of the table and grabbed the tip I had left in cash and told him "for that outburst you're not getting this" and we walked out. We've never been back to that establishment.
To prevent this from happening again my suggestion would be to hand the waiter the tip instead of leaving it on the table unattended. I never leave cash on a table unless the waiter is standing there.
Being a waiter is one of the hardest jobs to have and sometimes it's because of people like you.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:19 PM   #12
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Sorry but I disagree and he got what he deserved with that attitude. We go out to eat at least 3 to 4 times a week and never had an experience like that before. It's not like he only has one table to service. He's lucky I calmed down and left without calling over the manager.

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If we have a party where some are paying credit and some cash or leaving a cash tip we always put it in the card folder with the credit card this way tere is no mistake.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:25 PM   #13
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To prevent this from happening again my suggestion would be to hand the waiter the tip instead of leaving it on the table unattended. I never leave cash on a table unless the waiter is standing there.
Being a waiter is one of the hardest jobs to have and sometimes it's because of people like you.
I'm in a service business and I would never treat a customer like that. I didn't leave the money unattended. We were still sitting at the table. In retrospect I should have put it in the check but we did not deserve that kind of treatment. I'm sorry but a waiter with an attitude needs to get a different job.

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Old 02-04-2019, 04:39 PM   #14
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Default You're kidding, right?

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To prevent this from happening again my suggestion would be to hand the waiter the tip instead of leaving it on the table unattended. I never leave cash on a table unless the waiter is standing there.
Being a waiter is one of the hardest jobs to have and sometimes it's because of people like you.
Last time I checked, biggd, his wife and their friends were the customers. In the service industry, the customer is ALWAYS right, even when they are wrong. Like biggd, we like to take our time eating (2 hours), enjoy a cocktail or two, and then the meal when we're ready. The LAST thing I want to see is a server, who is serving me, annoyed by my preferences in eating. The fact that biggd noticed that the server was annoyed indicates that the server failed.

For the record, I'm pretty sure there are much, much harder jobs. Personally, I couldn't do it since I can't walk and chew gum at the same time. However, a server with a great attitude goes a long way in overcoming other deficiencies.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:40 PM   #15
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I'm in a service business and I would never treat a customer like that. I didn't leave the money unattended. We were still sit at the table. In retrospect I should have put it in the check but we did not deserve that kind of treatment. I'm sorry but a waiter with an attitude needs to get a different job.

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Did the waiter give you good service during the meal?
The poor waiter probably lost over $200 for the night because you felt insulted. I sure have a hard time understanding why you couldn't have explained to the waiter that the tip is on the table instead of on the credit card. He might have apologized to you if you did.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:42 PM   #16
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Last time I checked, biggd, his wife and their friends were the customers. In the service industry, the customer is ALWAYS right, even when they are wrong. Like biggd, we like to take our time eating (2 hours), enjoy a cocktail or two, and then the meal when we're ready. The LAST thing I want to see is a server, who is serving me, annoyed by my preferences in eating. The fact that biggd noticed that the server was annoyed indicates that the server failed.

For the record, I'm pretty sure there are much, much harder jobs. Personally, I couldn't do it since I can't walk and chew gum at the same time. However, a server with a great attitude goes a long way in overcoming other deficiencies.
The waiter was absolutely wrong but the whole situation could have been avoided if the tip was in the pocket folder with the credit card payment
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:13 AM   #17
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The audacity of some people. Listen to this: last night, my barber asked me to get out of his chair when my hair was done so he could serve other waiting clients. I couldn't believe it! And I was gonna tip him an extra buck and everything!

And then--THEN--I was sitting in the car wash with my kids for an hour because they love the "octopuses," and the guy was all, like, "there are other people to serve, sir," and I was livid. I WAS GONNA TIP HIM A SILVER DOLLAR!!!

I just don't get it--what happened to that America I grew up in?!

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Old 02-05-2019, 07:28 AM   #18
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The audacity of some people. Listen to this: last night, my barber asked me to get out of his chair when my hair was done so he could serve other waiting clients. I couldn't believe it! And I was gonna tip him an extra buck and everything!

And then--THEN--I was sitting in the car wash with my kids for an hour because they love the "octopuses," and the guy was all, like, "there are other people to serve, sir," and I was livid. I WAS GONNA TIP HIM A SILVER DOLLAR!!!

I just don't get it--what happened to that America I grew up in?!

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If that barber or that car wash was serving martini's at $15 a pop I would be sitting there all night.
When you go to eat in the North End most of the restaurants are small and they need to turn the tables over. So most of them don't serve desert or after dinner drinks. This encourages people to get up and walk around to the other establishments like Mikes Pastry and other cafes.
They don't give you attitude through out the meal so you will leave ASAP!
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:50 AM   #19
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The waiter was absolutely wrong but the whole situation could have been avoided if the tip was in the pocket folder with the credit card payment
The bad attitude started long before the check came. So I was giving him a good tip that he didn't deserve.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:04 AM   #20
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If that barber or that car wash was serving martini's at $15 a pop I would be sitting there all night.
And here's where we disagree. It doesn't matter how much someone is paying; if patronizing an establishment that makes money on turning over tables--obviously a dinner theater, etc. is different--then respectful customers wouldn't hang around for a few hours. Especially if the compensation to the servicing party is a measly 5%. I have no issue with taking one's time, but "a few hours" at a table is rudely excessive to the server, other patrons, and the restaurant as a whole.

And I ain't sho' where you be from, but $15 fo' a martini ain't no high-rollin', homie.

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Old 02-05-2019, 08:10 AM   #21
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And here's where we disagree. It doesn't matter how much someone is paying; if patronizing an establishment that makes money on turning over tables--obviously a dinner theater, etc. is different--then respectful customers wouldn't hang around for a few hours. Especially if the compensation to the servicing party is a measly 5%. I have no issue with taking one's time, but "a few hours" at a table is rudely excessive to the server, other patrons, and the restaurant as a whole.

And I ain't sho' where you be from, but $15 fo' a martini ain't no high-rollin', homie.

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At 25% that waiter is making $3.75 for every martini he just has to bring to the table. Dining out, to me anyway, is not just a "chew and screw".
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:15 AM   #22
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The bad attitude started long before the check came. So I was giving him a good tip that he didn't deserve.


Understood. I think I missed that in your post.


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Old 02-05-2019, 10:41 AM   #23
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If that barber or that car wash was serving martini's at $15 a pop I would be sitting there all night.
When you go to eat in the North End most of the restaurants are small and they need to turn the tables over. So most of them don't serve desert or after dinner drinks. This encourages people to get up and walk around to the other establishments like Mikes Pastry and other cafes.
They don't give you attitude through out the meal so you will leave ASAP!
As someone who dines in the North End on a weekly basis, I disagree that most don't serve dessert* or after dinner drinks. Almost always get an espresso martini or a port or two after dinner. Yeah, they certainly like to turn tables over, but not in a pushy manner.

What you're also failing to account for is that servers make a very very low wage. I don't know what it is now but last I heard it was about $2-3/hr. So, while you were enjoying your 3 hour meal with expensive martinis you likely made the server wait on you for under $10 before taxes. I don't care how many other tables the server had, that's just straight disrespectful and greedy regardless if you received sub par service or not.

Tip amount is always a matter of personal opinion. To me, you have to do something significantly wrong to earn under 20%. I'm not saying under 20% isn't justified, but I can't recall a situation where I flat out didn't tip...even on the most nominal of checks. Seems like putting the cash on the table instead of with the check was the triggering mechanism. But justifying no tip based on a servers reaction that DEPENDS on tips after waiting on you for hours...my opinion is pure disrespect.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:33 AM   #24
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Well I guess the majority here doesn't mind being verbally abuse when dining out. Not me, I won't stand for it!
I return to the establishments that treat me with respect, which is 95% of them. I work just as hard for my money as they do, if no harder.
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Old 02-05-2019, 11:34 AM   #25
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My wife and I went out to dinner with another couple last summer in the Boston suburbs. I always have cash on me and the other couple always pays with credit. We usually make the night of it so we occupy the table for a few hours and we leave a good tip of 25% because of it.
This particular night I could tell the waiter wasn't pleased because his table wasn't turning over. We got the bill and the couple we were with demanded to pay so I left the tip in cash in the middle of the table. When the waiter came back and saw there was no tip added on the credit card tab he lit into us for not leaving a tip and occupying the table all night.
I reached to the middle of the table and grabbed the tip I had left in cash and told him "for that outburst you're not getting this" and we walked out. We've never been back to that establishment.
I would've fired this waiter .

I train my staff to understand that some people may come to a restaurant in a hurry and others may be joining friends or family they haven't seen in a very long time which may lead to an extended visit. We are in the business to accommodate both and therefore need to recognize who is who. I discourage our staff from looking at an individual tip. I encourage them instead to look at the end of the month total and ask them self if it was worth it then.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:12 PM   #26
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Well I guess the majority here doesn't mind being verbally abuse when dining out. Not me, I won't stand for it!

I return to the establishments that treat me with respect, which is 95% of them. I work just as hard for my money as they do, if no harder.
I don't get verbally abused because I don't create situations that inspire resentment.

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Old 02-05-2019, 12:22 PM   #27
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I would've fired this waiter .

I train my staff to understand that some people may come to a restaurant in a hurry and others may be joining friends or family they haven't seen in a very long time which may lead to an extended visit. We are in the business to accommodate both and therefore need to recognize who is who. I discourage our staff from looking at an individual tip. I encourage them instead to look at the end of the month total and ask them self if it was worth it then.
I was going to call the restaurant the next day and complain but by then I had cooled down and even though I wasn't happy I didn't want him to get fired.
I just refuse to go there even again.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:25 PM   #28
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I don't get verbally abused because I don't create situations that inspire resentment.

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Reread your posts. You've inspired me.

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Old 02-05-2019, 12:27 PM   #29
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I don't get verbally abused because I don't create situations that inspire resentment.

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I tend to agree. I tend to clear the air with the server at the outset regarding timing in a friendly manner. Enjoying the extra time is also why I tend to tip full amount on any bottle of wine ordered, too, even though there is limited interaction once selected and opened.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:48 PM   #30
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Reread you posts. You've inspired me.
Fair enough! You and I usually agree, though, and that can't happen forever, right?

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Old 02-06-2019, 02:15 PM   #31
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Here is a somewhat over-the-top dining experience. I remember seeing this in my distant youth. Some of you will enjoy it; some will, no doubt, not. To ensure this is on topic, I'll ask the questions: "Should the diners tip"? and if so, "How much"?

"The Restaurant Sketch"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9VLwV48OHs
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:54 PM   #32
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Welll. No check, no food, no tip. However, in the theatre you tip the usher, not the actors, so tuppence to the guy in the red jacket.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:08 PM   #33
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Some of you will enjoy it; some will, no doubt, not.
On a much more serious note there are more important things to consider with regard to your relationship with the waitstaff in a restaurant.

American Champagne

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Old 02-07-2019, 08:05 PM   #34
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$400 tab for tying up a table for 2 hours seems legit to me. It's not like they were sitting drinking free water for the 2nd half of their dinner. If the waiter had 4 tables and they were all tied up for 2 hours and he "only" made $400 that night, it seems pretty good to me. But waiter likely had more tables, and after the 2 hours were up, he at least turned them all once. When I read this thread, some of the opinions make me think that the tip should be based on the time you spend there. That'd be fine with me, as I can ring up a big tab in a short time.
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Old 02-07-2019, 08:10 PM   #35
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$400 tab for tying up a table for 2 hours seems legit to me. It's not like they were sitting drinking free water for the 2nd half of their dinner. If the waiter had 4 tables and they were all tied up for 2 hours and he "only" made $400 that night, it seems pretty good to me. But waiter likely had more tables, and after the 2 hours were up, he at least turned them all once. When I read this thread, some of the opinions make me think that the tip should be based on the time you spend there. That'd be fine with me, as I can ring up a big tab in a short time.
The time periods cited were "a few hours" and "all night." Two hours, though still a bit long, makes this a different discussion.

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Old 02-11-2019, 09:16 AM   #36
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I would've fired this waiter .

I train my staff to understand that some people may come to a restaurant in a hurry and others may be joining friends or family they haven't seen in a very long time which may lead to an extended visit. We are in the business to accommodate both and therefore need to recognize who is who. I discourage our staff from looking at an individual tip. I encourage them instead to look at the end of the month total and ask them self if it was worth it then.
Completely agree with baygo. I used to be in the restaurant business, so I understand that servers need to turn tables to make more $$. But I also understand that sometimes people want to sit and have a chat over coffee, dessert, or cocktails. And those people should not be concerned with doing that. With that said, I am usually not one to do that, we usually have a couple drinks, eat our dinner, and go on our way. But if I wanted to sit there and chat with my family, I certainly would, and would not regret it for a second. As with all aspects of life, you have to take the good with the bad.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:11 AM   #37
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Default Tip on table

On the tab there is a line for the tip.....simply write "on table". Problem solved.
This is what I do when I leave a cash tip.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:18 AM   #38
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$400 tab for tying up a table for 2 hours seems legit to me. It's not like they were sitting drinking free water for the 2nd half of their dinner. If the waiter had 4 tables and they were all tied up for 2 hours and he "only" made $400 that night, it seems pretty good to me. But waiter likely had more tables, and after the 2 hours were up, he at least turned them all once. When I read this thread, some of the opinions make me think that the tip should be based on the time you spend there. That'd be fine with me, as I can ring up a big tab in a short time.
On the flip side, the other night I booked a reservation at a local restaurant. We arrived in plenty of time and could see our table. The party was finished eating but stayed to talk for quite a while (until the hostess said something to them) which caused us to wait for an extra 30 minutes. I was fine with it - but clearly the party that was lingering did not realize that others were waiting (or if the did, weren't concerned) . In my case I don't think the restaurant was cutting it too close on the time between reservations.

Some restaurants clearly state they are not looking to turn tables; "your" table is yours for the night. Others are looking to turn tables through reservations and/or walk-ins. Knowing the expectations of the establishment and stating yours if the plan is to linger makes good sense.

Still, though, no server should be rude.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:17 PM   #39
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Yeah, they certainly like to turn tables over, but not in a pushy manner.
I haven't eaten in the North End very often, but I do remember going to a place there several years ago. Our entrees were delivered to the table halfway through our appetizers and the check came along with dessert. We certainly felt like we were being pushed to leave as soon as possible.

On the other hand, my wife and I ate at a place in White River Junction one time when we were passing through. We were walk ins and the hostess told us the had a table available now, but it had a reservation in 1 hour. We gladly accepted the offer, put in drinks and apps as soon as our server came over, ordered entrees the next time she walked by, skipped desert, and were off the table in 45 minutes.

Like the poster above says, either approach is ok - it would just be nice to know about it up front.

Last edited by StevenGilford; 02-13-2019 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Adding another story
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:52 PM   #40
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I haven't eaten in the North End very often, but I do remember going to a place there several years ago. Our entrees were delivered to the table halfway through our appetizers and the check came along with dessert. We certainly felt like we were being pushed to leave as soon as possible.

On the other hand, my wife and I ate at a place in White River Junction one time when we were passing through. We were walk ins and the hostess told us the had a table available now, but it had a reservation in 1 hour. We gladly accepted the offer, put in drinks and apps as soon as our server came over, ordered entrees the next time she walked by, skipped desert, and were off the table in 45 minutes.

Like the poster above says, either approach is ok - it would just be nice to know about it up front.
Many of the smaller mom and pop eateries in the North End don't serve desert or after dinner drinks. They are so small that they need to turn the tables over quickly. There are desert cafes for that.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:27 PM   #41
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Many of the smaller mom and pop eateries in the North End don't serve desert or after dinner drinks. They are so small that they need to turn the tables over quickly. There are desert cafes for that.
I thought the reason for selling food was so that you could sell drinks which have big margins and many tables can be served by one bartender compared to several people in the kitchen.

If dessert cafes can make a profit on dessert (and drinks) why can't a restaurant make money on dessert & drinks when you're already at their table?
In my mind, a good server is a sales person as well. "You're going to love the Salmon, but "save some room for Chef Elmer's Kentucky High Pie". "You want fries with that? How about an apple pie for dessert?" I think there's money in the upsell.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:42 AM   #42
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I thought the reason for selling food was so that you could sell drinks which have big margins and many tables can be served by one bartender compared to several people in the kitchen.

If dessert cafes can make a profit on dessert (and drinks) why can't a restaurant make money on dessert & drinks when you're already at their table?
In my mind, a good server is a sales person as well. "You're going to love the Salmon, but "save some room for Chef Elmer's Kentucky High Pie". "You want fries with that? How about an apple pie for dessert?" I think there's money in the upsell.
Well the server at my table didn't think that way. Even though the girls were drinking $15 martinis he wanted us out of there.

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