Here’s a tip for ya . .

I support the opportunity to tip those in service to me.  It gives me a chance to offer immediate feedback.  Whether the server is intelligent enough to take the feedback as an opportunity to improve is always questionable.

There are pros and cons when tips go into one pot that is divided up at the end of the day.  I like the idea that the person who clears my table or makes my drinks will get a portion of a tip I leave at the table.  Unfortunately, a poor server will not make tips that reflect the service the bartender may have given me.  Likewise, customers may tip lower for a meal that did not meet their expectation, and yet was brought to them with exemplary service.

If possible, without asking, I will always know my server’s name.  When I receive extreme service in one direction or another, I think it is important to let his or her manager know what is happening in the establishment.  I recently filled out one of those surveys from the link at the bottom of my receipt.  I was so very impressed by the young lady who waited on our table, I made sure to plug her once or twice in the survey.

This is one of those establishments where the servers sit down at the table with you in hopes of charming their tips right out of your pocket.  This person performed none of that silliness.  She didn’t even smile in abundance.  What she did offer was very professional service, help in navigating the menu, advice on how to order exactly what we wanted, certainty when we requested a substitution (even though she admitted later she hadn’t known how to enter it in the register), and of course, prompt delivery of our appetizer and meal.  I saw her checking on us out of the corner of her eye while waiting on another table, clearly a multi-tasker!  Oh, and did I mention she called me “Miss?”  Okay, okay . . . I’m a sucker for flattery.  But she did it in a way that I think she calls every woman that, not to gain tips, but because she knows it makes us smile.

Now, take the coffee shop.  I really just don’t understand the concept of the tip jar.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE to tip my barista for a job well done.  But why is the tip jar at the beginning of the process?  For what am I tipping . . . the HOPE of great service?  Is it a bribe to make a good drink?

For instance, this “cappuccino” I am drinking right now is not a bad drink for a latte.  But I didn’t order a latte.  I ordered a cappuccino.  I don’t mind lattes, so I didn’t say anything, but I saw right off that she was making a latte and not a cappuccino.  I heard the person behind me ordering his cappuccino, and she asked him if he liked it dry or wet.  As I am writing this, I am wondering if he had a different cashier, because I wasn’t asked if I liked mine dry or wet.  It wouldn’t matter.  Lattes don’t come in dry or wet.  They are not cappuccinos.

And so I didn’t circle back to place a tip in the jar, like I am often seen doing.  Does the barista think me a bad tipper?  She might if the jar was at the end of the line, so she could get immediate feedback, but as I said, the jar is at the beginning.  Is it possible they have a signal to make a bad drink for a non-tipper?  Yes, of course it is.  Life isn’t easy as a non-confrontational, passive-aggressive customer.  Too bad there isn’t a link to a survey at the bottom of my receipt.

IMG_20130329_090450_261
Not a cappuccino.
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10 thoughts on “Here’s a tip for ya . .

  1. In a restaurant I leave a tip for the service I get from my waiter, not the quality of the food as I see that as a completely different subject. I have been to the coffee shops where the tip jar is next to the register (beginning of the line) and that makes no sense to me. You must have been having a good day to drink what you didn’t order. I joined friends one night to celebrate a birthday at a seafood establishment. One person ordered a shrimp meal, when it was delivered to the table he was told they made the wrong meal, but that was okay because the lobster was a more expensive meal and he would only be charged for the meal he ordered. He was never asked if this was okay with him, and he doesn’t like lobster. That is one time the food and service were tied together and reflected such in the tip.

    1. I can’t believe they just delivered the lobster without asking first! He should have been told what his options were; getting lobster or waiting a few extra minutes for shrimp. I LOVE lobster. But that doesn’t mean I would gladly interchange them. It is a different meal. Crazy!

      I am highly non-confrontational. Not one of my better qualities. I do like lattes. But I was in the mood for a cappuccino. It was still a nice morning. Writing, drinking coffee, people watching. Mmm . . . perfect way to start a day!

      1. I like lobster myself, but like you if it wasn’t what I ordered I wouldn’t have been receptive to receiving it. Nope, the waitress set the plate in front of him and told him it was an upgrade and walked away never asking if that was okay with him. He didn’t want to make a scene so he didn’t stop her, but wouldn’t eat it as he doesn’t like it.

        Sounds like you had a lovely day despite the mistake.

  2. Ahh … I generally tip when at a restaurant. I tend to tip fairly well…more out of laziness on my part. Get the bill. Move the decimal to the left one place…10%, add half that, 15%…round up to the nearest 50 cents or dollar.

    If service is really bad, then I leave 10%.

    Most times if I have less than stellar service, I attribute it to a bad day they are having. I used to work in food service for a short while…and know how hard it is … and know a lot of the ‘normal’ restaurants tend to pay lower, assuming that the server is making up for it in tips … which I found was not true … many do not leave tips at all. (By ‘normal’…I mean non-high priced restaurants.)

    What I find really bizzare though? That the meal that a lot of people expect fast service at is breakfast. And breakfast also tends to be cheaper than dinner. So the meal that wants fast service, cheaper food, and cheeriness … gets the smallest tips. That has always seemed bit unfair to me.

    1. I believe I will start to add a little more tip to my breakfast meals to make up for the yahoo sitting next to me not tipping at all! I tip like you do. The worst tip I ever gave? At a buffet where our dishes just kept piling up because you have to take a new one and there were 4 of us at a small table. We had no where to put them. Then I needed to take a pill, and took a sip out of Bubba’s soda. I saw the guy look at me and couldn’t wait to see the bill. YUP! He charged me a whole soda for the sip I took from his. I felt if he insisted on that, he should have brought me a full soda and explained that the free refills were not for sharing. So I tipped 10% minus the cost of the soda, and did my math on the bill so he could see it. I am still surprised that he had the observational skills to see me take that sip, but he didn’t see we had no where to set our dishes. Worst. Service. Ever.

      1. He charged you for taking a feckin sip of soda? Oh my goodness..he sounds like he is just a dork and was being a jerk to me.

        I like how you took the cost of the soda off of the tip…and especially so that he could see what you did.

        Again, I often think if service is bad of someone is a bit rude…that they are just having a bad day … and if someone (me for instance) treats them nice then their day will go nicer. But in your particular instance … that was not rude or bad service … that was purposely going out of his way to do something mean. He is lucky he got any tip at all that day.

      2. Kind of how I looked at it. But no tip he would just assume we forgot or didn’t think we had to tip at a buffet. Bad tips sends a message!

  3. When I think about tipping, I always think of the episode from Third Rock from the Sun, where he lays the pile of dollar bills on the table and tells the waitress that it represents her potential tip. I do the same thing in my head! lol I might do it this way because I used to be a waitress/bartender.

    1. Love it! I kind of do that too. I really am not a tough customer, but I appreciate that some people are. It’s a tough job, so someone really has to screw up for me lower my tipping standards. Sometimes it’s like they are TRYING to get a bad tip. And then I know that they all go into that pot at the end of the night, and I hate to penalize the great server I didn’t get by tipping low for the bad one I got! Too soft, right?

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