Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Kaypeep on July 18, 2013, 02:07:54 PM

Title: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Kaypeep on July 18, 2013, 02:07:54 PM
I know, I know... ANOTHER tipping thread.

I went to dinner with my SO last night, his mom, and his uncle who was visiting from out of town.  Our waitress was not very attentive and there was a 15 minute lag on getting drink refils (2 bottled beers, 1 frozen drink that comes out of a dispenser and is not made my hand.)  Before she could bring the drinks, busboys delivered the entrees and we had some problems.  Missing food on seafood combo plates, lack of utensils, no ketchup or grated cheese on the table.  We asked the busboys for the missing items, they never brought them. When the waitress came with the drinks (the frozen drink was wrong!) we told her the same things and she took off but never came back.  My SO got the manager and explained the problems.  Manager came over with 2 busboys and attended to us, got us everything we needed, and then served us the rest of the evening, checking in with us, etc.  Manager also brought us all free desserts, free cordials, a plate of fresh fruit and THEN brought out a wrapped tray (about 2 pounds) of fresh, italian bakery cookies.  In other words, IMO, he was bending over backwards to make up for the earlier problems.

Now here's my dilemma.  My boyfriend paid the bill but his uncle wanted to leave the tip.  No food discounts were applied, though they didn't charge us for 2 of the alcoholic drinks.  Uncle and SO's mom felt that the tip needed to be cut severely to "send a message" that the earlier service was unacceptable and sub par.  My POV was that the matter was addressed and the manager over extended himself to fix the problem AND compensate us by giving us all the free desserts and after dinner drinks.  So for that reason, the tip should be at least the "standard".  I'm not going to debate what the standard percentage is here, my point is just that I felt that we should have tipped the standard because all in all, the dinner was saved and the "extras" made up for what was lacking?

My question is:  Do you agree that if poor service is rectified, and staff then go above and beyond to make up for the problem, that the tip should NOT be cut below what you consider standard?

(FWIW, I put additional money of my own and hid it under my dessert plate because it was the only way I saw the make up for the low tip that uncle left.  BF paid the dinner check but uncle insisted on leaving the tip in cash, and insisted it be below standard to "send a message" and future MIL supported this.  BF seemed to go along, but I think it was more about not arguing with them because there was no changing their minds.  When he and I dine out we are usually on the same page about these things.)
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: strawbabies on July 18, 2013, 02:13:59 PM
I guess it depends on who would be receiving the tip.  The waitress honestly didn't earn a tip.  The manager is most likely on salary, and was the one who really fixed the issues.  The busboys did eventually step up, but really messed up in the beginning.  I don't think there's any way of doing this that makes sure the waitress wasn't compensated for her substandard service.  Perhaps telling the manager that the tip was for the busboys only?
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Amara on July 18, 2013, 02:14:54 PM
Quote
Do you agree that if poor service is rectified, and staff then go above and beyond to make up for the problem, that the tip should NOT be cut below what you consider standard?

I'm with you. I'd overcompensate but I would hand it directly to the manager and thank him specifically for his kindness and attentiveness.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: unnalee on July 18, 2013, 02:15:59 PM
That's a tough one, and I'm not sure what I would do in that situation.  Yes, the manager made good for the lack of service at the start, but it's been my experience that the tips usually go to the waitstaff and maybe the bussers who served you.  They were the ones who dropped the ball in the first place. 

If the manager got a cut of the tips, then I think I would agree with you 100%.  But that's not something customers usually know about how a restaurant operates. 

Maybe I'd leave a smaller tip for the less-than-stellar waitstaff, but then call/write/email corporate or the owner praising the outstanding actions of the manager.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: CakeBeret on July 18, 2013, 02:18:38 PM
I would probably have left an average tip (~15%) and been done with it.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: ClaireC79 on July 18, 2013, 02:22:20 PM
who would be getting this tip?  The people who caused the problem? or the person who fixed them?  My answer would depend on that
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Zizi-K on July 18, 2013, 02:25:31 PM
I think you handled things absolutely right. Your future ILs's behavior was niggardly, and I would suggest having a conversation with your fiance about how to handle things like this in the future. I would have been embarrassed in your shoes to have them go above and beyond to make up for a mistake like that only to be rewarded by a crappy tip. No "message" needed to have been sent, since they already "got the message" when the busboys and manager sprang into action to correct the waitress' mistake. Your ILs were just being punitive, or taking advantage of the fact that they could justify to themselves a lesser tip.

And I do NOT think it is necessary to attempt to direct the tip. The waitress is obviously not going to get it. (I highly doubt she's still working there.) Either the manager would take it for himself, or he would have split it amongst the busboys. It really doesn't matter, because the tip signifies your appreciation for the service, including everything they did to make up for their mistake.

I think the idea of giving an official complement about the manager to corporate or the owner is a great one. In future, your fiance would have every right to say "Thanks Dad, but this one is on me, and that includes the tip. I will "send the appropriate message." I've got it handled." If he can't disagree with his parents about something like this, or just take control of the situation, I would be potentially concerned when bigger issues come down the line.

Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: cass2591 on July 18, 2013, 02:49:02 PM
In order to ward off any further mod reports. the word "niggardly" does not mean what people believe it to mean, and in fact it's a perfectly inoffensive word. Here's the Merriam-Webster definition:

Adjective

Not generous; stingy: "the company was particularly niggardly with salaries"; "serving out the rations with a niggardly hand".
 

Adverb
In a stingy or meager manner.
 
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: lowspark on July 18, 2013, 02:49:41 PM
We-elllll..... I tend to overtip so I probably would have tipped based on the fact that they bent over backwards to make things right in the end. I'm not sure it would have occurred to me at the time to work out who was getting the tip and if the manager was on salary, etc.

On the other hand, when I'm with other people and they are picking up the tab, I try to distance myself from getting involved in how much is being tipped. I don't want to be in the habit of noticing how much is being left and putting myself in the place of feeling I need to make up the difference.

In this case, since they were having this conversation right then where you obviously had to hear it, I know it's hard to stay out. I probably would have excused myself and gone to the restroom as soon as the discussion started just so I wouldn't have to be in on it. (That's just me.)

I think you were fine to add the extra tip since you felt it was warranted. If I were in the place of your SO, I'd leave the tip I want regardless of what Mom & Uncle said. I'm paying the bill, I'm leaving the tip. And I always pay with a credit card so it's really my business and only my business what I fill in in the tip line. If Uncle wants to leave additional tip or pay me back or whatever, fine. But as much as I don't want to get involved how much other people are leaving for a tip, I don't want anyone policing me either.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on July 18, 2013, 02:52:05 PM
I would not tip the waitress very much.  But I would seek out the manager and give the rest of my normal tip to him to distribute to the two busboys who eventually helped get it sorted out.

That waitress did not deserve the tip, IMO.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Dindrane on July 18, 2013, 02:53:48 PM
I think what to leave for a tip in this type of situation depends very much upon the specific circumstances.

It's possible and perhaps even common for an otherwise fine server to provide poor service because of things going on in the restaurant that are out of his/her control. For example, if a bunch of large parties come in, or the kitchen is messing up orders, or the bar staff is being slow about drinks, or they're short-staffed--any of those things could cause a server to give poor service when, under other circumstances, the service would have been fine. Sometimes the customer can see stuff like that going on, and sometimes the customer is totally unaware of it.

The other thing to note is that comped items and extra attention from the manager shouldn't really be related to the tip to the server. The manager is just as motivated to comp things if the poor service is caused by restaurant-wide factors as he/she would be if the poor service is caused by the server alone. The goal for the manager is to get you to come back, and the free stuff is meant not to compensate you for the poor service (not exactly), but to leave you with a favorable impression of the restaurant as a whole. It's meant more to offset poor service than actually address it.

So I think the logic behind your BF's uncle's decision is not actually flawed (though I don't necessarily agree with his decision). The stuff provided by the manager is a separate issue than the tip, and shouldn't factor in. Where I would differ in his decision is that I try to give waitstaff the benefit of the doubt. Barring clear evidence that the server could have provided better service and just chose not to, and especially when there is clear evidence that the server was working against long odds, I generally assume the service they provided would have been acceptable under other circumstances, and leave at least my usual tip. I'm not going to punish the server for, essentially, fighting an losing battle they didn't create.

Even if the quality of service is within the control of the server, the comped stuff from the manager wouldn't matter. In that case, since the manager was showering me with free goods anyway, I would tell them that I thought the service was abysmal, and that I was not going to be leaving a tip because of it. The fact that they gave me some freebies might convince me to return to the restaurant in the future, but it wouldn't induce me to leave a tip that I thought was unwarranted. As a general rule, though, if I think the service is bad enough that I'm not inclined to leave at least my standard tip, then I need to make sure the manager knows about it. I don't leave less than 15% without saying something, because I can't guarantee otherwise that the message will be "the service stinks" and not "Dindrane is a stupid cheapskate."

I was actually in a somewhat similar situation recently, and I tipped what I normally would. We ended up with worse-than-usual service at a restaurant we go to regularly, but it was the end of the day and there was waitstaff clearly getting ready to end their shifts. Thus, the restaurant was somewhat short-staffed, and there was some pretty obvious confusion created by some people continuing to wait on customers while others were leaving.

So even though we had a hard time getting our server's attention, it was mostly because she was busy. We ordered drinks that we had to ask for again (because they forgot), and our food took forever, but it seemed to be a result of the general confusion. Someone who I think is the manager ended up helping to serve us, and he apologized for the service without us actually complaining about it. He also comped our drinks and gave us a coupon for a free appetizer the next time we went. I wouldn't always count the coupon as an acceptable response, but since we weren't actually planning to complain and were definitely planning on continuing to eat at the restaurant, we appreciated it. The overall experience ended up being a net positive, even though it did not start off all that well. The service provided by our actual waitress wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible and there were extenuating circumstances. So I gave her the benefit of the doubt and left my usual tip.

Plus, we like that restaurant and eat there a lot. I tip better at restaurants where I'm a regular, because if the waitstaff remembers me at all, I want it to be because I leave decent-to-good tips, not because I'm stingy.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: HappilyInsane on July 18, 2013, 03:02:00 PM
Managers do not ( or at least, SHOULD not) share in the tips. The Manager stepped up and made things right , took care of your table himself, and offered extra compensation and because of that, you paid full price for your meals. That made things equal, in my opinion, and the tip to the waitress and busser would have reflected the previous bad service.

If the Manager had corrected the immediate problems (missing and incorrect items) and then assigned a different waitress to my table for the remainder of the meal, then I would have tipped at my normal percentage.

 I commend the Manager for handling your table himself, (The bussers he brought along to help would have been doing things at his direction, not of their own accord) but at the end of the day, the tip is a reward for good service from the waitress..not the management.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: bonyk on July 18, 2013, 03:13:06 PM
If this was a restaurant I go to a lot, then I would tip my normal amount.  If not, I would tip about 5% below my normal amount.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Lynn2000 on July 18, 2013, 03:15:37 PM
Interesting question. To start with a tangent: I think Uncle was rude for insisting that he be the one to leave a tip, so he could leave a small amount as a message. If BF is paying the table's bill, BF gets to decide what the tip is and pay it, OR he can agree to someone else's offer to leave a tip if he wants. But, it sounded like Uncle wasn't asking BF, "Can I get the tip?" It sounds like he was telling him, "I am getting the tip, and I'm going to make it low!" Basically undercutting BF's authority as the bill-payer, and for a stated negative reason that BF might not have agreed with. I could see BF not wanting to make a scene, though, and I think it was okay for you (the OP) to leave extra tip money if you genuinely thought that's what your BF would have done if he'd had the chance.

As to the main question: I think I would have left my standard tip. I wouldn't want to worry so much about the restaurant policies and who's going to get what. If the meal ended as a net positive experience for me (as Dindrane said), I would leave the tip I usually leave in such circumstances, and let the employees sort it out. (I do usually pay with a credit card and write the tips directly on the receipt, as opposed to leaving cash on the table that anyone could pick up.) I feel like, the business already got the message, that's why the manager came over and attended to you and tried to improve things. And, I suspect that changes in tip amounts do not send as clear a message to the servers/restaurants as some people might think--"Oh, only 11.73% tip! I knew I should have brought him one more refill before he left!" This is what my dad seems to think, anyway...  ::)
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Sharnita on July 18, 2013, 03:17:53 PM
When it is a kitchen mistake the waitress can't help then I tip like I normally would afyer the problem is fixed. That beinng said, I wouldn't really see cookies as.a fix.for a messed up entree as "fixed" for example. Cookies are nice and might be a bit of a help but if the enyree is wrong I.want a brand new entree that is correct. Same with.apps, drinks, whatever they got wrong. The cookies can make up for the delay in time.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: cwm on July 18, 2013, 03:31:53 PM
Okay, the first part about the uncle wanting to pay the tip, that's completely inappropriate IMO. The person in charge of the tip is the person in charge of the bill. If someone else wants to add MORE to the tip, they are always free to do so, but you cannot force the person paying the bill to tip less than they want to*.

Secondly, I won't speak for anyone else. But if I went to a restaurant and was treated that poorly by the waitstaff, if there were no other circumstances that I could see to explain it, I wouldn't tip as much. If it was absolutely swamped and there was only one waitress, she may just be extremely busy and not notice the drinks you need. Or remember exactly what they were.

The wrong entree problem had absolutely nothing to do with the server or the busboys, and their tip should not have been affected by it. That was a mistake by the kitchen. I will never penalize waitstaff for a kitchen mistake, and I will always give the waitstaff the benefit of the doubt. If it was fixed promptly by the manager, then I don't see a problem with it.

*My aunt is notorious for trying to control other people's tips. She and my uncle were treating all of uncle's siblings and their spouses to dinner one night. The service was wonderful, the food was great, and my dad wanted to leave an extra tip for the server in cash on top of whatever my uncle left. My aunt,  his SIL, actually took the cash he set down and tried to put it into her pocketbook because, in her words, "That waitress didn't deserve that much extra." The audacity of not only trying to dictate if someone else offers extra tip money, but to try to take it herself, appalled me when I heard the story.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: MrsJWine on July 18, 2013, 03:42:55 PM
I think it's highly unlikely the manager would even be able to accept the tip. In my experience, this is a huge no-no, both for the culture of restaurant work, and as far as the rules go; any halfway decent manager would give it to whomever he felt deserved it. I think it's also highly unlikely he would give it to the waitress, and I don't think the food screwups would have been the busboys' fault to begin with. So I would have tipped the standard amount, maybe a little higher, but definitely not lower. And I would have given it to the manager ("This is for the busboys."). I wouldn't give it to the busboys directly because that would put them in the awkward position of having to decide whether or not to share it with the waitress.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: jaxsue on July 18, 2013, 03:43:19 PM
Okay, the first part about the uncle wanting to pay the tip, that's completely inappropriate IMO. The person in charge of the tip is the person in charge of the bill. If someone else wants to add MORE to the tip, they are always free to do so, but you cannot force the person paying the bill to tip less than they want to*.

Secondly, I won't speak for anyone else. But if I went to a restaurant and was treated that poorly by the waitstaff, if there were no other circumstances that I could see to explain it, I wouldn't tip as much. If it was absolutely swamped and there was only one waitress, she may just be extremely busy and not notice the drinks you need. Or remember exactly what they were.

The wrong entree problem had absolutely nothing to do with the server or the busboys, and their tip should not have been affected by it. That was a mistake by the kitchen. I will never penalize waitstaff for a kitchen mistake, and I will always give the waitstaff the benefit of the doubt. If it was fixed promptly by the manager, then I don't see a problem with it.

*My aunt is notorious for trying to control other people's tips. She and my uncle were treating all of uncle's siblings and their spouses to dinner one night. The service was wonderful, the food was great, and my dad wanted to leave an extra tip for the server in cash on top of whatever my uncle left. My aunt,  his SIL, actually took the cash he set down and tried to put it into her pocketbook because, in her words, "That waitress didn't deserve that much extra." The audacity of not only trying to dictate if someone else offers extra tip money, but to try to take it herself, appalled me when I heard the story.

Per the bolded: my late MIL was known for that. It was embarrassing. We would wait until she left the restaurant, then leave more money on the table.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: MrsJWine on July 18, 2013, 03:46:40 PM
Okay, the first part about the uncle wanting to pay the tip, that's completely inappropriate IMO. The person in charge of the tip is the person in charge of the bill. If someone else wants to add MORE to the tip, they are always free to do so, but you cannot force the person paying the bill to tip less than they want to*.

Secondly, I won't speak for anyone else. But if I went to a restaurant and was treated that poorly by the waitstaff, if there were no other circumstances that I could see to explain it, I wouldn't tip as much. If it was absolutely swamped and there was only one waitress, she may just be extremely busy and not notice the drinks you need. Or remember exactly what they were.

The wrong entree problem had absolutely nothing to do with the server or the busboys, and their tip should not have been affected by it. That was a mistake by the kitchen. I will never penalize waitstaff for a kitchen mistake, and I will always give the waitstaff the benefit of the doubt. If it was fixed promptly by the manager, then I don't see a problem with it.

*My aunt is notorious for trying to control other people's tips. She and my uncle were treating all of uncle's siblings and their spouses to dinner one night. The service was wonderful, the food was great, and my dad wanted to leave an extra tip for the server in cash on top of whatever my uncle left. My aunt,  his SIL, actually took the cash he set down and tried to put it into her pocketbook because, in her words, "That waitress didn't deserve that much extra." The audacity of not only trying to dictate if someone else offers extra tip money, but to try to take it herself, appalled me when I heard the story.

Per the bolded: my late MIL was known for that. It was embarrassing. We would wait until she left the restaurant, then leave more money on the table.

My grandpa was kind of like this. He meant to be generous but was just completely out of touch with standard tipping practice. So, different motivations, but still completely mortifying. We always discreetly found a way to get back and get a tip to the server.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: mime on July 18, 2013, 03:50:25 PM
I agree with HappilyInsane. I'd assume the manager is not sharing in the tip so it would reflect the poor service of those involved. In return for the manager's efforts, the restaurant would get my future business and keep me from telling my story to discourage family and friends from going there.

I do think it was inappropriate for the uncle to want to pay the tip, though. I've always assumed the tip amount was at the discretion of he-who-buys-the-dinner.

Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Surianne on July 18, 2013, 07:59:15 PM
From what I'm used to, the tip would have been for the waitress, not the manager.  Based on the atrocious service, I likely would have tipped nothing, but would have thanked the manager for doing his best, and followed that up with a letter/email/call to the owner if appropriate.   

I am normally a very generous tipper, but if a waitress/waiter doesn't take care of me and doesn't apologize (I will cut lots of slack for a busy night) I don't see the point of giving her/him extra cash.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Kaypeep on July 19, 2013, 08:56:35 AM
I think you handled things absolutely right. Your future ILs's behavior was niggardly, and I would suggest having a conversation with your fiance about how to handle things like this in the future. I would have been embarrassed in your shoes to have them go above and beyond to make up for a mistake like that only to be rewarded by a crappy tip. No "message" needed to have been sent, since they already "got the message" when the busboys and manager sprang into action to correct the waitress' mistake. Your ILs were just being punitive, or taking advantage of the fact that they could justify to themselves a lesser tip.

And I do NOT think it is necessary to attempt to direct the tip. The waitress is obviously not going to get it. (I highly doubt she's still working there.) Either the manager would take it for himself, or he would have split it amongst the busboys. It really doesn't matter, because the tip signifies your appreciation for the service, including everything they did to make up for their mistake.

I think the idea of giving an official complement about the manager to corporate or the owner is a great one. In future, your fiance would have every right to say "Thanks Dad, but this one is on me, and that includes the tip. I will "send the appropriate message." I've got it handled." If he can't disagree with his parents about something like this, or just take control of the situation, I would be potentially concerned when bigger issues come down the line.

Thanks everyone for your feedback.  I didn't give much thought to who gets the tip, I think my thought process was more along the lines of the bolded above, and that's why I didn't feel right leaving a low tip.  The busboys who came with the manager were different than the ones who assisted previously, so it was like we got a whole new team of people and I didn't want to penalize the 2nd crew because the first were lacking.

I didn't think it was too rude of uncle to offer to leave the tip because he was visiting from out of town and had been a guest for 2 weeks at FMIL's house where he had been treated the whole time, and I think he was trying to treat us for a change to thank everyone for their  hospitality, but SO wouldn't allow it and his mom has not once picked up a tab in all the years I've been out with her (though she rarely dines out anyway and if she does it's as very inexpensive places or fast food. She doesn't like "fancy" restaurants.)  Uncle also had the biggest and most expensive meal (huge lobster platter with about 6 other types of seafood added in) and I think that's why he was also trying to cover some of the cost of what he ate because it was a lot! (and good for him, he enjoyed it!)  It was an informal dinner, so no real "host", just family going out to enjoy seafood because uncle lives mid-country and missed fresh seafood.  In theory, we could have all just chipped in and paid our own way, there was no reason for anyone to pay it all themself.

Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: VorFemme on July 19, 2013, 09:51:40 AM
In order to ward off any further mod reports. the word "niggardly" does not mean what people believe it to mean, and in fact it's a perfectly inoffensive word. Here's the Merriam-Webster definition:

Adjective

Not generous; stingy: "the company was particularly niggardly with salaries"; "serving out the rations with a niggardly hand".
 

Adverb
In a stingy or meager manner.
 


Reminds me of the person who raised a stink about the labeling on the ink cartridges for the printer....that had "black" in three languages on them (Spanish word for black is "negro" - I don't remember the French word, sorry).  But she was convinced that having that word on there was racist.....

+++++

More to the point of the tipping situation - I have been a waitress.

There were times when the number of people who were coming in completely overwhelmed the number of staff on hand that evening (new movie theater on a weeknight when the two cooks and one waitress were usually BORED due to not many people wanting pizza - and nobody goes to a pizza joint for a beer, as it is not a bar & I was the waitress who was wishing she could be identical triplets).   

I have also seen times (as a waitress and as a customer) when there was adequate staff - but one of more of the "coworkers" quite obviously didn't feel like working that night and was passive-aggressive about not pulling their fair share of the workload (overheard comments from my coworkers or the staff when I was walking past a wait station on the way to the restrooms, if I was a customer).

Not knowing which situation was going on in the OP - I think that a slightly lower tip to the waitress (5% or so off the standard percentage in that area) and a letter to corporate (if a chain or owner/management if a single restaurant) praising the staff members who stepped up and tried to make up for the earlier failings was in order for the manager (as they don't usually get tips).
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: miranova on July 19, 2013, 10:02:12 AM
I would not want the waitress to receive a standard tip either, since she didn't earn it.  If that makes me stingy, then I have to wonder what the point of tipping is in the first place.  Managers don't keep tips, that is not how they are paid.  It is within their job description to fix problems and are paid a salary for it.  The manager did exactly what he was supposed to do, which was fix the issue and try to leave a good taste in your mouth when you left.  The tip doesn't go to him. 

I will never understand this idea that a server that doesn't actually attend to the table at all deserves to be paid as if she did.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: amylouky on July 19, 2013, 12:36:03 PM
I see the manager's reward for fixing the problem as that you are not going to call corporate and complain, and you may return to the restaurant in the future since he did make it right in the end. I think a good "tip" for that would be to call corporate with praise on how the manager took care of you once it was known there were problems.
I wouldn't have left the normal tip amount for the waitress. She didn't do her job, and she deserted you. That doesn't deserve a full tip.
I will say, though, I might reconsider if it was obvious that there was a reason for the bad service. If they are obviously short staffed, having mechanical problems, etc. then the bad service may not have been the fault of the server. It's usually hard to figure out if that is the case though.. was your server running around like crazy serving ten tables at once? Or was she chatting with coworkers or just disappearing for 20 mins even though she only had two tables?
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Hmmmmm on July 19, 2013, 01:10:19 PM
Managers do not ( or at least, SHOULD not) share in the tips. The Manager stepped up and made things right , took care of your table himself, and offered extra compensation and because of that, you paid full price for your meals. That made things equal, in my opinion, and the tip to the waitress and busser would have reflected the previous bad service.

If the Manager had corrected the immediate problems (missing and incorrect items) and then assigned a different waitress to my table for the remainder of the meal, then I would have tipped at my normal percentage.

 I commend the Manager for handling your table himself, (The bussers he brought along to help would have been doing things at his direction, not of their own accord) but at the end of the day, the tip is a reward for good service from the waitress..not the management.

This. A tip is to pay for service. For half your meal, you received very poor service from the waitress and bus boys were were in charge of providing service. I see no reason to tip them at the normal standard.

If the manager had assigned the table to a different server, I would have tipped that server at the standard rate.

But I've always been taught that managers and owners should not and do not accept tips. If they have to step in to remedy a situation then it is partly that they weren't doing THEIR job of training competent staff or in assuring they had sufficient staff available.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: miranova on July 19, 2013, 01:41:51 PM
Even if there is a reason, the bottom line is, either I received service or I didn't.  Even if someone has too many tables, why would they expect to be paid from a table that they weren't able to actually serve? 


Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: amylouky on July 19, 2013, 01:45:33 PM
Even if there is a reason, the bottom line is, either I received service or I didn't.  Even if someone has too many tables, why would they expect to be paid from a table that they weren't able to actually serve?

I guess the point I was trying to make was, the manager may have been trying to make up for a failure on the part of the entire restaurant that caused the bad service. I used to wait tables, and being shortstaffed was HORRIBLE. You'd have twice as many tables, be running around like a loon, and not be able to provide 100% service.. then end up making nothing in tips.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: MrsJWine on July 19, 2013, 02:22:03 PM
Even if there is a reason, the bottom line is, either I received service or I didn't.  Even if someone has too many tables, why would they expect to be paid from a table that they weren't able to actually serve?

I guess the point I was trying to make was, the manager may have been trying to make up for a failure on the part of the entire restaurant that caused the bad service. I used to wait tables, and being shortstaffed was HORRIBLE. You'd have twice as many tables, be running around like a loon, and not be able to provide 100% service.. then end up making nothing in tips.

Tangent: A lady actually chewed me out one day when I had half of the restaurant by myself and could not keep up. Most of the servers hadn't shown up that day. I don't remember why; maybe it was the flu going around, but I do remember that they weren't just lazy no-shows. I was really apologetic, explained what had happened while trying not to sound like an excuse-maker (if I'm angry about something, I like to know that someone has a reason and isn't just lazy). She told me that it was still our fault because we weren't prepared. By... magic? I don't know.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: miranova on July 19, 2013, 02:29:29 PM
Some people will never be happy.  I am extremely forgiving if I see the server running around and working and doing their best to get to each table.

Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: ydpubs on July 19, 2013, 02:39:01 PM
Managers are not supposed to get tips, so what I would have done is stiffed the waitress and put the tips directly in the hands of the bus boys. That message needed to be sent to her for her horrible service.

(I have worked in many restaurants from high end to casual.)
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: lowspark on July 22, 2013, 08:35:16 AM
Given the OP's update, well, my first thought is that yeah, y'all should have let Uncle just cover the entire tab. Sometimes being polite entails allowing someone do something for you. I know that has nothing to do with the tip question so I don't mean to derail.


Tangent: A lady actually chewed me out one day when I had half of the restaurant by myself and could not keep up. Most of the servers hadn't shown up that day. I don't remember why; maybe it was the flu going around, but I do remember that they weren't just lazy no-shows. I was really apologetic, explained what had happened while trying not to sound like an excuse-maker (if I'm angry about something, I like to know that someone has a reason and isn't just lazy). She told me that it was still our fault because we weren't prepared. By... magic? I don't know.

Well, to be honest, if a restaurant is that short staffed, then they need to close off part of the restaurant and only serve the tables that they can give reasonable attention to. I know it's not the waitstaff's fault that they are understaffed, but why should the customers suffer for it? I'd rather be told there will be a long wait for a table (and make my own decision as to whether it's worth the wait) or turned away than to be seated as if everything is business-as-usual and then get bad service because the establishment is stretching their staff too thin.

Yeah, it's a bummer to turn customers away, but I think it's bad business to knowingly give bad service. It's not fair to the staff and it leaves an impression on the customers. That lady should have chewed out the manager/owner, not the waitress.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: TootsNYC on July 22, 2013, 08:58:58 AM
I've had waiters* mess up, and then try very hard to fix things and make it right, etc., and I've tipped them big.

I've had waiters be truly overstaffed and frazzled and provide less than stellar service but are trying hard, and I've tipped them big.

In this case, the waitress didn't provide service really at all, so I wouldn't want to tip. And managers don't work for tips, so I would never tip him. His reward comes from his larger salary and from the fact that he *gets* a real salary.

I'd want to preserve my reputation as someone who tips well enough to deserve good service.

I'd want to be able to tip the bus boys (or anyone else who normally gets "tipped" and would end up stiffed if I stiffed the waitress), but I wouldn't know how to do it. I guess the suggestion of handing the tip to the manager and saying, "would you get this to the bus boys, and anyone else necessary?"





*male AND female
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Hmmmmm on July 22, 2013, 09:02:59 AM
Given the OP's update, well, my first thought is that yeah, y'all should have let Uncle just cover the entire tab. Sometimes being polite entails allowing someone do something for you. I know that has nothing to do with the tip question so I don't mean to derail.


Tangent: A lady actually chewed me out one day when I had half of the restaurant by myself and could not keep up. Most of the servers hadn't shown up that day. I don't remember why; maybe it was the flu going around, but I do remember that they weren't just lazy no-shows. I was really apologetic, explained what had happened while trying not to sound like an excuse-maker (if I'm angry about something, I like to know that someone has a reason and isn't just lazy). She told me that it was still our fault because we weren't prepared. By... magic? I don't know.

Well, to be honest, if a restaurant is that short staffed, then they need to close off part of the restaurant and only serve the tables that they can give reasonable attention to. I know it's not the waitstaff's fault that they are understaffed, but why should the customers suffer for it? I'd rather be told there will be a long wait for a table (and make my own decision as to whether it's worth the wait) or turned away than to be seated as if everything is business-as-usual and then get bad service because the establishment is stretching their staff too thin.
Yeah, it's a bummer to turn customers away, but I think it's bad business to knowingly give bad service. It's not fair to the staff and it leaves an impression on the customers. That lady should have chewed out the manager/owner, not the waitress.

POD to this. The woman shouldn't have chewed you out, but I can imagine being upset if told the reason I was getting subpar service was because management did not deal with an unexpected issue effectively.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: delabela on July 22, 2013, 09:32:23 AM
Eh, I would have tipped my normal amount.  The way they made up for the rough beginning would have satisfied me, and it does seem they went above and beyond.  I suppose one could spend time thinking about who might get what portion of the tip, but that's not really where I want to spend mental energy on a night I've gone out.  It's about the whole experience. 

I'm sure it's just me, but the fact that Uncle seems to have stated he "wanted to send a message" irritates me.  It just sounds so righteous.  Tip a lot or tip a little, but don't make pronouncements about why you're doing it.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on July 22, 2013, 10:26:20 AM
^ I would have tipped my normal amount, too.  But there is no way I'd leave it on the table for the waitress who messed up.  I would give it directly to the bus boys or to the manager to distribute to the bus boys.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: bopper on July 22, 2013, 11:42:43 AM
The waitress/waiter should be the quarterback of the team.  They should make sure that food comes out in the right order and in a complete manner.     If there is a kitchen issue, they should keep you up to date. If there are less servers than usual, they also could let you know so as to manage expectations.

Your issues were service issues.  In my mind, the waitress should get a poor tip. She did not provide good service.
The manager is like the coach.  He had to make sure that he didn't lose you as customers, hence all the goodies.
Title: Re: If they fix the problem, is the 'full tip' still warranted?
Post by: Eeep! on July 22, 2013, 12:16:55 PM
I've had waiters* mess up, and then try very hard to fix things and make it right, etc., and I've tipped them big.

I've had waiters be truly overstaffed and frazzled and provide less than stellar service but are trying hard, and I've tipped them big.

In this case, the waitress didn't provide service really at all, so I wouldn't want to tip. And managers don't work for tips, so I would never tip him. His reward comes from his larger salary and from the fact that he *gets* a real salary.

I'd want to preserve my reputation as someone who tips well enough to deserve good service.

I'd want to be able to tip the bus boys (or anyone else who normally gets "tipped" and would end up stiffed if I stiffed the waitress), but I wouldn't know how to do it. I guess the suggestion of handing the tip to the manager and saying, "would you get this to the bus boys, and anyone else necessary?"

This is where I fall too.





*male AND female