A few years ago a friend and I were going to visit the city where she was from on a long weekend. My brother and his wife lived there as did a lot of her friends and so we decided to have a dinner out as a group. There were about eight of us, it was my birthday and we went to what was known as a great casual pub/bistro. Since it was my birthday my meal would be free and we were planning on having a few drinks too.
After being seated we noticed that it took a long time for our server to come to our table. The place was busy but well-staffed and we began to notice other tables that had come in after us getting their entrees before we got our first round of drinks.
We soon figured out why when we saw our server (who had finally brought our drinks) doing shots at the bar. She returned to our table a while later to take our dinner orders and she knelt down at the head of the table, propped her elbows on the table and began to take our orders. This was new. I’ve never had a server kneel on the floor before. She was in a skirt and the floor wasn’t what I’d call spotless but maybe I’m being a germaphobe.
My brother mentioned that it was my birthday and she said that yes, my meal was free.
Dinner was fun for the most part. Our server went to the bar and did a couple more shots and we were all a bit amused and annoyed by her because we had each only had one drink at this point and we were the customers.
When she brought the check to us we realized that she had charged my brother the full price for my meal. He waved her over and asked her to please correct it. She argued that no one had told her that it was my birthday but she huffed off to fix it.
The service was so bad that a couple of people just drew sad faces where the tip amount was supposed to be. We all believe in tipping and most of us over tip but this was beyond bad service.
We left soon after and, as we were all walking down the street, we heard a woman shouting, “Bellini! Bellini!”, over and over. We turned to see what was going on and were baffled to see our server running after us waving a slip of paper in the air. She told us that she called us Bellini because that’s what a couple of us had been drinking.
She was waving the incorrect check with my meal at full price and telling us that we hadn’t paid for it. A few of us started to explain that that was the one with the mistake and that she had fixed it and we had paid the correct one. She was adamant that no, this was an unpaid bill and that we needed to pay it. Finally I told her that I would call her manager to make sure that her register balanced and that I would cover anything that we hadn’t paid for to get her to stop shouting.
I did call her manager. I called him to let him know that he had a drunk server literally chasing his customers out the door. Not one of us ever went back there but we’ve all laughed about this a few times over the years. 0605-14