Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Please Don't Stiff Your Restaurant Wait Staff

I wonder if most people are aware that wait staff make less than minimum wage. It is expected that they will make up the difference (and hopefully more) with their tips.

Of course lousy service should be tipped appropriately. But don't penalize your waiter or waitress for something that is not their fault.

For instance, I was out to dinner with my Dad and step Mom when in Florida. After sitting at our table for over five minutes with no service, I went up to the hostess and politely asked to speak to the manager. I explained our lack of service. He apologized and said he would check it out.

In no time, our waiter was at the table. The manager explained that our waiter had been assigned a job out of site of his station and the hostess did not know this. As soon as our waiter was made aware of us, we received excellent service and tipped him appropriately. (And, btw, we also received a complimentary appetizer from the manager as an apology.)

At a more recent restaurant visit, my husband received a dish he was not happy with at all. The waitress very politely removed it and took his order for another entree. The manager came over and apologized and admitted that they had changed suppliers recently and have had some complaints about the dish.

My husband's new entree was fine. When the check arrived, it was less than we expected. Upon close inspection, we realized that the manager had comped my husband's dish. Mentally we added the cost of the dinner into the check and tipped the waitress appropriately. She had handled the situation pleasantly, promptly and had informed the manager of the problem. She did her job. She deserved to be tipped on the full value of the meal.

So next time you have a restaurant problem, politely inform the manager. And don't stiff your wait staff if they were not part of the problem. Chances are, they'll be a part of the solution.

1 comment:

Kiki said...

You have won an award! Just come on over to my blog to pick it up :)