Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly => Topic started by: Lisbeth on March 01, 2009, 10:23:22 AM

Title: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on March 01, 2009, 10:23:22 AM
1.  Tips are part of the cost of your meal in the US.  In most places, the tip should be 15%; in places with higher costs of living, like New York City and San Francisco, they go higher.  If the meal and service are adequate, not to tip is very rude.  However, a tip may be adjusted downward when service is inadequate.

2.  A customer has the right to expect:
-Prompt service
-Polite attitudes from staff and management
-A clean table and restroom
-Properly prepared food and drinks
-To receive what they actually ordered
-To be charged only for what was actually ordered
-To have coupons, discounts, and promotions honored by the restaurant within the designated time frame
-To know that food and drinks are not made with ingredients they must avoid
-Not to be disturbed by staff, other customers, or their children
-To be allowed to finish one's meal while the restaurant is open for business
-To have errors by staff in service or etiquette corrected

3.  Customers do not have the right to expect:
-To bring food or drink in from outside the restaurant
-To allow their children to roam about without supervision or to disturb others
-To treat staff with rudeness, regardless of problems
-To disturb other patrons, regardless of problems
-To demand any food or drink not on the menu
-To have properly cooked and served meals or drinks comped by management
-To linger once the meal has been paid for, especially after closing time
-To be allowed to smoke in "non-smoking" restaurants or areas of the restaurant

Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on March 01, 2009, 02:35:15 PM
Are we sure that 15% is the standard?  These days I think I've heard 18-20% is more standard.  (In Michigan, with a 6% tax, the trick seems to be if you're in a group that you add 25% to your portion, thus 19% tip with the 6% tax.) - Oh, and I'm not in a huge metro city like New York - I'm in Lansing, and do this no matter what city I'm in, be it big or small

My Dad, who goes out less, tends to start at 15% and take it up or down depending on the type of place - a diner/Denny's might get only 10%, an Applebee's/Chili's would get 15%, a Morton's/Bravo Cuccino would get 20%.  However, my husband and I go out often, as much as 3+ times a week to a sit-down, and we use 20% as our base (taking it down if necessary, and sometimes even going up).

Something to add to the tip section also, perhaps:
a) Tips should be based on any cost before coupon or other reduction - you tip based on the items you got, not what you actually pay for.  Thus if you have a two-for-one coupon, you double the entree cost for tip.  (If it's a two for $20 type special that the restaurant is offering on the menu, I'd tip on the $20.  But not if I had a 2 for $20 coupon that is not being used restaurant-wide- there I'd tip on the original cost)
b) Many people will calculate tip on the cost before tax.  This is etiquettely acceptable, but not required.  You may tip on pre-tax or post-tax cost, whichever is easiest for you.

In most parts of the country 15% is standard.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Hanna on March 01, 2009, 02:55:13 PM
I believe 15% is still acceptable, though some routinely tip 20%+. 
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: kareng57 on March 01, 2009, 03:01:27 PM
I'm wondering why the percentage is higher where the cost-of-living is higher, such as NYC (where I've never been)?  Aren't the menu-prices therefore higher - so the server would pocket more from a 15 or 20% tip, no matter what?
 
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: shadowfox79 on March 01, 2009, 03:07:16 PM
I'm quite glad I live in the UK, looking at these tip quotations.

In the UK, standard is 10%, if that. Wait staff are paid a higher wage (i.e. the restaurant pays them for service, rather than the customer) and this is reflected in the food prices. Essentially, we tip if service is good - that's it.

10% is considered very good in the UK, and certainly not expected. Wait staff have been known to appropriate my 50p change as their tip - in which case, since I'm generally a good tipper, they're welcome to it.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Hanna on March 01, 2009, 03:07:28 PM
Can I add:  Do not bring your monkey out to dinner unless it is a service monkey.
;)
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on March 01, 2009, 03:13:23 PM
I'm wondering why the percentage is higher where the cost-of-living is higher, such as NYC (where I've never been)?  Aren't the menu-prices therefore higher - so the server would pocket more from a 15 or 20% tip, no matter what?
 

I'm in Chicago, and I consider an average, competent but not exceptional in any way service tip to be 15-18% (I figure out about what it should be at 15% and round up).  I tip a little extra on small bills, just because I feel cheap leaving a $1 tip, and it definitely increases as service improves.

ETA:  I also tip on the final bill, after tax (which is HIGH in Chicago), so it may actually end up being a lot higher than 15% of the pretax bill.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on March 01, 2009, 03:18:34 PM
I'm wondering why the percentage is higher where the cost-of-living is higher, such as NYC (where I've never been)?  Aren't the menu-prices therefore higher - so the server would pocket more from a 15 or 20% tip, no matter what?
 

The menu prices may be somewhat higher, but not necessarily in proportion to the cost-of-living.  Sometimes the costs of food, union dues, passing inspections, and so on are higher too, and restaurants aren't able to pass them on to their patrons without a huge drop in business.

Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: RoseRose on March 01, 2009, 11:04:39 PM
I tip 15% (and round up), and all the people I know do the same.  15%, and rounding either the tip, or the bill, to the next highest dollar, or on larger bills, even amount.

Of course, in MyState, it's one of the states that doesn't have server wage, rather they get minimum wage (meaning that waiters and waitresses make more than I do, as I get minimum wage, and no tips).
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Alida on March 01, 2009, 11:19:20 PM
Are we sure that 15% is the standard?  These days I think I've heard 18-20% is more standard.  (In Michigan, with a 6% tax, the trick seems to be if you're in a group that you add 25% to your portion, thus 19% tip with the 6% tax.) - Oh, and I'm not in a huge metro city like New York - I'm in Lansing, and do this no matter what city I'm in, be it big or small.

I tipped my standard 20% when in Lansing and East Lansing and have been thanked as if it was a rare, large tip.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: caslyn on March 02, 2009, 10:54:07 AM
No snakes!

I'm in the UK and I tip 20% as standard as does everyone I know.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on March 02, 2009, 11:42:06 AM
Don't expect a refund of your meal if you have eaten a large portion of it and have not notified the resturant staff that it was not what you ordered or 'to your liking.'  If you eat it, you should pay for it.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: POF on March 02, 2009, 12:06:40 PM
Note: - never been a waitress - so this is from a customer viewpoint. 

Decide on your meal in a timely basis.
It annoys me no end ( and it has to goof up the waitstaff ) to go out with my parents and my father is too busy holding court and talking to look at menu. My mother on the other NEVER can decide what to order. I mean - it's food - it's a meal - we are not buying a new house here folks.

The poor server will come back several times before they will order .THEN they complain because the food takes too long and the table who sat down after us has there food and of course my Dad will stiff the wait staff on the tip. ( DH or I make it up )

Now - we do not need to rush - but seriously - pick something out!  With my picky 11 year old - I try to look at a menu with him online before we go - I also set some limits - he can order the petite steak but not the lobster. he can get an appetizer - but must share it with brother. he can change his mind at the restaurant and often will - but he is not starting "cold".


Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: MrsJWine on March 02, 2009, 12:14:05 PM
Something a lot of otherwise courteous and wonderful people don't think of:  Don't let your child play with the sugar packets on the table unless you plan to use every single one that he touches.  Your server (if he is doing his job correctly) will have to throw those out, unless he knows for a fact that your child has very clean hands and didn't put any to his mouth.  If you do let your kid play with them, don't attempt to put them back in the caddy, especially if some have fallen on the floor.  If your server doesn't have to throw them away, he does have to put them back in a particular way, and stuffing them in willy-nilly isn't helpful.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: snowball's chance on March 02, 2009, 02:27:53 PM
-To be allowed to finish one's meal while the restaurant is open for business

I think this needs to be elaborated on, b/c it's a common misconception in restaurants that it's polite for a customer to show up 10 minutes before Closing Time and expect to be seated.  You wouldn't appreciate it if your boss assigned you a 45 minute task at 4:50.  I used to get this when I worked retail, but at least in that case, I think customers at least thought they would be in and out.  I couldn't even order and eat a Happy Meal in 10 minutes.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: hobish on March 02, 2009, 02:34:10 PM
Are we sure that 15% is the standard?  These days I think I've heard 18-20% is more standard.  (In Michigan, with a 6% tax, the trick seems to be if you're in a group that you add 25% to your portion, thus 19% tip with the 6% tax.) - Oh, and I'm not in a huge metro city like New York - I'm in Lansing, and do this no matter what city I'm in, be it big or small.

My Dad, who goes out less, tends to start at 15% and take it up or down depending on the type of place - a diner/Denny's might get only 10%, an Applebee's/Chili's would get 15%, a Morton's/Bravo Cuccino would get 20%.  However, my husband and I go out often, as much as 3+ times a week to a sit-down, and we use 20% as our base (taking it down if necessary, and sometimes even going up).

Something to add to the tip section also, perhaps:
a) Tips should be based on any cost before coupon or other reduction - you tip based on the items you got, not what you actually pay for.  Thus if you have a two-for-one coupon, you double the entree cost for tip.  (If it's a two for $20 type special that the restaurant is offering on the menu, I'd tip on the $20.  But not if I had a 2 for $20 coupon that is not being used restaurant-wide- there I'd tip on the original cost)
b) Many people will calculate tip on the cost before tax.  This is etiquettely acceptable, but not required.  You may tip on pre-tax or post-tax cost, whichever is easiest for you.

ETA: modified for missing punctuation

Whether it is Denny's, HoJo, or your friendly neighborhood greasy spoon those servers are still taxed according to the bill. Uncle Sam doesn't care whether it is one or five star dining.

Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Alida on March 02, 2009, 02:50:15 PM
Quote
-To know that food and drinks are not made with ingredients they must avoid

The customer has the right to know that, but they also have the responsibility to ask about ingredients, as servers most likely won't have a clue what the customer is allergic to.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Dindrane on March 02, 2009, 03:01:40 PM
I haven't heard of the standard rate of tipping going above 15%.  I personally will usually tip 20%, because it's easier, and it's not usually that different from 15%.  I figure if I'm not going to figure out the tip exactly, I may as well err on the side of generosity.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: snowball's chance on March 02, 2009, 04:27:17 PM
-To linger once the meal has been paid for, especially after closing time

I would say this is generally the rule, unless it's off-peak hours.  Perkins or Denny's at 3 AM on a Tuesday when your party is the only one there -- not a big deal.  Same place at 11 AM on Sunday -- rude.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: kareng57 on March 02, 2009, 09:06:59 PM
I'm wondering why the percentage is higher where the cost-of-living is higher, such as NYC (where I've never been)?  Aren't the menu-prices therefore higher - so the server would pocket more from a 15 or 20% tip, no matter what?
 

The menu prices may be somewhat higher, but not necessarily in proportion to the cost-of-living.  Sometimes the costs of food, union dues, passing inspections, and so on are higher too, and restaurants aren't able to pass them on to their patrons without a huge drop in business.




I understand, but 20% is still as high as I would go, even in a expensive city.  Most restaurants make a huge markup on beverage purchases, for example.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on March 02, 2009, 09:16:22 PM
I'm wondering why the percentage is higher where the cost-of-living is higher, such as NYC (where I've never been)?  Aren't the menu-prices therefore higher - so the server would pocket more from a 15 or 20% tip, no matter what?
 

The menu prices may be somewhat higher, but not necessarily in proportion to the cost-of-living.  Sometimes the costs of food, union dues, passing inspections, and so on are higher too, and restaurants aren't able to pass them on to their patrons without a huge drop in business.




I understand, but 20% is still as high as I would go, even in a expensive city.  Most restaurants make a huge markup on beverage purchases, for example.

In NYC, the local etiquette is that a tip is 25%.  The markups are subject to higher sales tax and other higher costs that are driven by the rental and real estate markets.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Black Delphinium on March 02, 2009, 09:19:07 PM
A sidebar-while it is not rude to ask for minor changes to an item on the menu(sauce on the side, no onion in your salad), there are limits to how far you should go.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: FoxPaws on March 02, 2009, 09:36:33 PM
With my picky 11 year old - I try to look at a menu with him online before we go......
I do the same thing with my 82 year old vision impaired Mom!  :) Seriously, this is an excellent suggestion for anyone with food issues, allergies, or even budget constraints.

I would also like to add:
Call ahead and find out if a restaurant is child friendly before taking the whole family. If they don't have booster seats or a kids menu, look elsewhere. Be honest with yourself about how well your children can/will behave in an adult setting.

Be realistic about wait times. If you had to circle the lot three times to find a parking space, chances are you'll be waiting awhile for a table. If your goal is to make the 8:00pm movie, a 7:00pm dinner at a popular sit down restaurant may not be a good choice.

If you realize after being seated that the restaurant is too expensive, doesn't serve what you like, uses MSG, etc., it is okay to tell your server you've changed your mind, pay for your drinks, and leave. It is NOT okay to just skip out, or to berate/complain to the staff about things beyond their control.

It is also okay to ask to see a menu before being seated.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: kareng57 on March 02, 2009, 10:20:22 PM
I'm wondering why the percentage is higher where the cost-of-living is higher, such as NYC (where I've never been)?  Aren't the menu-prices therefore higher - so the server would pocket more from a 15 or 20% tip, no matter what?
 

The menu prices may be somewhat higher, but not necessarily in proportion to the cost-of-living.  Sometimes the costs of food, union dues, passing inspections, and so on are higher too, and restaurants aren't able to pass them on to their patrons without a huge drop in business.




I understand, but 20% is still as high as I would go, even in a expensive city.  Most restaurants make a huge markup on beverage purchases, for example.

In NYC, the local etiquette is that a tip is 25%.  The markups are subject to higher sales tax and other higher costs that are driven by the rental and real estate markets.


Ah well, guess I'd better stay away from there.  I doubt whether we could ever afford it anyway, even without inflated tips.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: MDefarge on March 02, 2009, 10:50:42 PM
I'm wondering why the percentage is higher where the cost-of-living is higher, such as NYC (where I've never been)?  Aren't the menu-prices therefore higher - so the server would pocket more from a 15 or 20% tip, no matter what?
 

The menu prices may be somewhat higher, but not necessarily in proportion to the cost-of-living.  Sometimes the costs of food, union dues, passing inspections, and so on are higher too, and restaurants aren't able to pass them on to their patrons without a huge drop in business.




I understand, but 20% is still as high as I would go, even in a expensive city.  Most restaurants make a huge markup on beverage purchases, for example.

In NYC, the local etiquette is that a tip is 25%.  The markups are subject to higher sales tax and other higher costs that are driven by the rental and real estate markets.


Ah well, guess I'd better stay away from there.  I doubt whether we could ever afford it anyway, even without inflated tips.

Huh, interesting, I'm in NYC, have a wide range of friends, who go to all sorts of restaurants, and in an informal poll I just conducted - none of them tip above 20% as a general rule.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Dindrane on March 03, 2009, 07:40:36 AM
The one and only time I was in NYC, I was told by my friend (who was born and raised in NYC) that I should leave a 20% tip.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Kaylee on March 03, 2009, 08:14:42 AM
I've lived in NYC for more than 20 years and I would also say that 20% is still a standard here.  I'm an ex-waitress and tend to overtip accordingly, but I wouldn't say that people expect 25% by any means.

I also, as a former waitress, disagree that it is rude to order a meal 10 minutes before a posted closing time.  If you want to be truly delicate about the situation, if you get to the restaurant and it is obviously on the verge of closing (no one left, cleaning up is going on), it's nice if you can go elsewhere and choose to do so.  But it is not rude to order a meal during the time that the kitchen is open.  Restaurants don't expect to close their doors the moment the kitchen closes; if my restaurant closed at 11, I never expected to leave much before 12:30 or 1, because people would still be there finishing their meals anyway.

It is on the...less polite side...to camp out at a table while the busboys are putting up the chairs on the tables elsewhere in the restaurant, but as long as you just order, eat and leave in a reasonably timely fashion, you shouldn't worry about it.  We have ways of dealing with latecomers that minimize the inconvenience, such as it is, on the whole staff--usually there is one person who takes late tables (and the tips) and the rest of the staff finishes sidework and can leave.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: a clever screenname on March 04, 2009, 12:40:37 PM
If you are given a free meal by management (due to your close friendship with owner, or if you are a visiting famous personality)  it is polite to still tip the waitstaff as if you were paying for the meal.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: MDefarge on March 04, 2009, 01:08:59 PM
If you are given a free meal by management (due to your close friendship with owner, or if you are a visiting famous personality)  it is polite to still tip the waitstaff as if you were paying for the meal.

In my opinion, YES, you absolutely tip as if you'd paid for the meal - same as when you have a coupon or other discount, you tip on what the original amount would have been.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: katycoo on March 04, 2009, 05:24:23 PM
This is so handy.  I have no idea how to tip as its not common in Australia.

I only ever tip if my service has been exceptional.  And then it is abbout 10% depeding on the money I have.  I'm not going to make a fuss over small change.
The wages for waitstaff are much higher in Australia - they are paid to give standard service by their employer.

Do you tip at fast food chains too? Or only al-a carte dining?
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Dindrane on March 04, 2009, 05:30:01 PM
Tips are expected in restaurants where you are waited on by someone.  In other words, where you sit down at a table, and then someone gets you drinks, takes your order, brings your food out, and acts as your cashier when you're finished.

If you go up to a counter to order, no tip is expected, especially if you collect your own food once it's ready.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: kareng57 on March 04, 2009, 08:00:07 PM
This is so handy.  I have no idea how to tip as its not common in Australia.

I only ever tip if my service has been exceptional.  And then it is abbout 10% depeding on the money I have.  I'm not going to make a fuss over small change.
The wages for waitstaff are much higher in Australia - they are paid to give standard service by their employer.

Do you tip at fast food chains too? Or only al-a carte dining?


They're not "expected" at counter-service places.  However, it's getting more and more common to see tip-jars at coffee bars, fast-food places etc.  There's even one at the local meat market.

Aren't these people just doing their jobs?  That's what I try to do too, and no one tips me.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: RoseRose on March 04, 2009, 08:53:41 PM
This is so handy.  I have no idea how to tip as its not common in Australia.

I only ever tip if my service has been exceptional.  And then it is abbout 10% depeding on the money I have.  I'm not going to make a fuss over small change.
The wages for waitstaff are much higher in Australia - they are paid to give standard service by their employer.

Do you tip at fast food chains too? Or only al-a carte dining?


They're not "expected" at counter-service places.  However, it's getting more and more common to see tip-jars at coffee bars, fast-food places etc.  There's even one at the local meat market.

Aren't these people just doing their jobs?  That's what I try to do too, and no one tips me.

I don't tip regularly, but I did tip at this counter place near campus, where I always get the same thing.  One time, I was waiting outside (visible through the window) to finish a phone call, and when I came in, my order was ready and waiting.  I tipped that time, for service "above and beyond".  I'm also planning to leave a ridiculous tip there when I move away from *CollegeTown*, for general good service.  So, counter places, I'll tip for "above and beyond"
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Black Delphinium on March 05, 2009, 07:17:05 AM
Is it a meat-market that does custom cutting to order? I tend to tip for any personalized service-taxis, sit-down restaurants, dry-cleaning...
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Ezeesee on March 06, 2009, 04:39:36 PM
Quote
No snakes!

I'm in the UK and I tip 20% as standard as does everyone I know.

I'm also in the UK, and I agree with the PP about only tipping for exceptional service. In my 18 months working as a waitress I was only tipped once (by an American family now that I think about it), and none of us working there ever expected any tips. I nearly always tell taxi drivers to "keep the change" though, although I think I read in another thread a while ago that this is rude?
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on March 06, 2009, 05:22:37 PM
This thread wasn't really meant to be a tipping thread...my point was that in certain places like NYC and San Francisco, where the cost of living is high as compared to the rest of the US, the tip needs to be higher-from 20% rather than 15%.

Also, when it comes to finishing meals, I agree that it really is inconsiderate of a customer to come in shortly before closing and expect full service.  However, if a customer came in at a reasonable time during regular business hours, they should be given a reasonable amount of time to finish and not rushed into finishing and leaving.

Sorry for any confusion.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: serenitynow on March 07, 2009, 09:47:43 PM
This is so handy.  I have no idea how to tip as its not common in Australia.

I only ever tip if my service has been exceptional.  And then it is abbout 10% depeding on the money I have.  I'm not going to make a fuss over small change.
The wages for waitstaff are much higher in Australia - they are paid to give standard service by their employer.

Do you tip at fast food chains too? Or only al-a carte dining?


I'm in Australia too! I usually only tip when the service has been really good, or if I get a handful of small change back and the service hasn't been horrible - just easier to put it in the tip jar than in my wallet. I tip generously if the service has been decent and FH pays for the meal, and he does the same when I pay. A lot of the time it just comes down to convenience and practicality (being a pov student I'm sometimes broke and couldn't afford a tip even if I wanted to). I used to work in hospitality and the pay here is MUCH better than what (I hear) it is like in the USA.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: jane7166 on March 10, 2009, 07:57:52 PM
If you are a restaurant manager, please tell your servers that it is OK to stop harassing the customers after the first "no" when it is the custom for your operation to upsell. 

I realize that upselling actually works, which is why some restaurants continue to do it.  However, I don't think it works the way they think.  It may work once but I think it puts such a bad taste in the mouth of customers (pun only slighly intended) that it drives them away and there are no second visits.

I once was subjected to upselling from appetizer through dessert.  This guy pushed appetizers (no, we didn't get one, ) pricier cuts of meat (no, we didnt' do that either,) and actually asked me, when I asked what ice cream flavors they had for dessert, how about the bread pudding? It has ice cream on it!  Sheesh. 

I emailed corporate the minute I got home.  Got lots of apologies and promises of better treatment the next time I came in.  Didn't go back.  And, a few months later when this higher end steak chain opened another restaurant, the newspaper reviewer actually mentioned being annoyed by the constant wheedling of enticements which seemed only to pad the bill.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: JadeAngel on April 27, 2009, 01:18:51 AM
Just wanted to add;

If you have ordered communal dishes to share with the entire table it is polite to only take a small spoonful of every dish until everyone at the table has had a chance to sample it. If when the dish has been passed around the table there is still some of the food on it you can help yourself, but shovelling half of the meal onto your plate before anyone else has had a chance to try it is not okay (especially with expensive dishes like seafood)

Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: JaiJai on April 29, 2009, 02:59:39 AM
20% - wow! I was a waitress for years (a dingdangity good one too) and I never got more than 10% - ahh, the perils of living in the UK...

Cutomers - if you can see the place is busy and/or short staffed, please allow a little more time. Yes, it's annoying, and yes, the manager should have more staff available, but sometimes it's an unexpected rush - and either way, it's extremely unlikely to be your waitress's desicion to work 20 tables by herself.

Equally, Wait-staff - if you are busy and customers may be facing a longer-than-normal wait - tell them! And apologise! Some people only have a short break, and may prefer to go elsewhere, which is their right. They are also much more likely to be be relaxed about waiting if you are polite and apologetic, rather than slamming their plates down after 40 minutes and saying 'well, we're busy!' when they ask how long it will be.
Jai
x
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: MrsJWine on April 29, 2009, 09:08:49 AM
Equally, Wait-staff - if you are busy and customers may be facing a longer-than-normal wait - tell them! And apologise! Some people only have a short break, and may prefer to go elsewhere, which is their right. They are also much more likely to be be relaxed about waiting if you are polite and apologetic, rather than slamming their plates down after 40 minutes and saying 'well, we're busy!' when they ask how long it will be.
Jai
x

I would tell people if we were short-staffed so they would know I wasn't just being lazy.  About a third or the time, they'd tell me it wasn't acceptable to make excuses.  Or something like that.  Blah.  So, customers, if your server tells you they're short-staffed, and she's running behind, unless you see obvious evidence otherwise, please take her word for it.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dtbrad on May 25, 2009, 04:48:00 PM
To all of those out there who like to have "lunch meetings" - it is NOT OK to go to a casual restaurant 45 minutes prior to your meeting, sit down in my big 6 person booth (which in America seems to be the preferable seating accomodation) while waiting for your guest and then proceed to take up my money making table for three hours and then tip me $3 on your $21 check.  I could have turned that table at least 4 times in that amount of time and in my opinion you just took that money out of my pocket.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Mahdoumi on June 01, 2009, 07:29:06 PM
Something a lot of otherwise courteous and wonderful people don't think of:  Don't let your child play with the sugar packets on the table unless you plan to use every single one that he touches.  Your server (if he is doing his job correctly) will have to throw those out, unless he knows for a fact that your child has very clean hands and didn't put any to his mouth.  If you do let your kid play with them, don't attempt to put them back in the caddy, especially if some have fallen on the floor.  If your server doesn't have to throw them away, he does have to put them back in a particular way, and stuffing them in willy-nilly isn't helpful.


I never considered this!  Thank you for posting it, and I will never allow my toddler to play with the packets, again!
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: MrsJWine on June 01, 2009, 07:37:15 PM
Something a lot of otherwise courteous and wonderful people don't think of:  Don't let your child play with the sugar packets on the table unless you plan to use every single one that he touches.  Your server (if he is doing his job correctly) will have to throw those out, unless he knows for a fact that your child has very clean hands and didn't put any to his mouth.  If you do let your kid play with them, don't attempt to put them back in the caddy, especially if some have fallen on the floor.  If your server doesn't have to throw them away, he does have to put them back in a particular way, and stuffing them in willy-nilly isn't helpful.


I never considered this!  Thank you for posting it, and I will never allow my toddler to play with the packets, again!

Thanks!  It's something I always wanted to say to people but couldn't.  And I know the nice, polite people would have felt really bad.  It wasn't ever anything I held against people (unless they were jerks anyway), but it was irritating.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Mahdoumi on June 01, 2009, 08:08:07 PM
I never considered this!  Thank you for posting it, and I will never allow my toddler to play with the packets, again!

Thanks!  It's something I always wanted to say to people but couldn't.  And I know the nice, polite people would have felt really bad.  It wasn't ever anything I held against people (unless they were jerks anyway), but it was irritating.
[/quote]

Thanks to you, I can now imagine how sorting through packets of sweetener can be so frustrating, especially during peak times!  Truly, this was the etiquette tip of the month for me.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 13, 2011, 03:30:41 AM
Bumping because I have a few to add from a server POV:

- Don't ignore your server or act annoyed when they come by to get your order/check on you/clear plates. You wouldn't believe how many people act like it's an inconvenience that I'm providing them service. This happens a lot with business people, but it's also common when 2 women are dining together.  If you don't want to be served, I suggest a fast food restaurant.

- If a phone call is really that important, take it outside.

- If you're dining in during Happy Hour and getting $100 worth of food for $50, tip accordingly. 18-20% on the $100 is not expected, but people tend to order more during HH and it's more work for the server overall. Getting half the usual tip for that much work sucks.

- If you're going to take up a booth for numerous hours during a rush, don't leave a few dollars because that table could have been turned a few times, giving the server more money. I had a couple sit in one of my booths for 6 1/2 hours the other night and stiff me on a $200 bill.

- Tell your server what extra condiments you'll need in advance, that way when your food comes, you're not waiting for anything while your food gets cold (ranch, extra plates, extra dressing, bread, hot sauce, etc). And please, if you need more than 1 item, tell your server all at once.

- Don’t interrupt a server who is attending to customers at another table. (You would think this would be common sense etiquette, but it gets broken a lot)

- Never put your hands on the staff. I've been grabbed once pretty hard, luckily it wasn't in anger or it would have freaked me out.

- If you're under 35 and order alcohol, have your ID ready. I find it odd when 22 year olds order alcohol, act shocked when I ask for ID, then have to dig through their purse while I stand there awkwardly silent.

- Ask in advance for separate checks and allow more time for dropping off of bills and payment tendering.

- Even if you see open tables, don't assume the hostess doesn't know what they're doing when they put you on a waiting list.

- If you would like to sit somewhere other than where the hostess takes you, don't demand a certain booth immediately. Understand that people are sat in rotation and your demand might take away from your service and the service of others.

- If you're in a hurry, let your server know in advance so they can drop off the bill and tender your payment fast. If you wait until a minute before you have to leave, the server might be swamped and not able to fulfill your request immediately.


I hope these didn't come across as rants, I meant them to be educational from the other side of the fence so the dining experience for everyone is easier and more enjoyable.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 13, 2011, 03:36:13 AM
To all of those out there who like to have "lunch meetings" - it is NOT OK to go to a casual restaurant 45 minutes prior to your meeting, sit down in my big 6 person booth (which in America seems to be the preferable seating accomodation) while waiting for your guest and then proceed to take up my money making table for three hours and then tip me $3 on your $21 check.  I could have turned that table at least 4 times in that amount of time and in my opinion you just took that money out of my pocket.

Word. The worst is when that entire party finally arrives and is ready to order, but the server might have recently been sat with another large party who requires their attention too. Server rotations happen for a reason and when a personal sits alone for a while waiting for the rest of their party, the timing might be thrown off for excellent service.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 13, 2011, 03:41:38 AM
Note: - never been a waitress - so this is from a customer viewpoint. 

Decide on your meal in a timely basis.
It annoys me no end ( and it has to goof up the waitstaff ) to go out with my parents and my father is too busy holding court and talking to look at menu. My mother on the other NEVER can decide what to order. I mean - it's food - it's a meal - we are not buying a new house here folks.

The poor server will come back several times before they will order .THEN they complain because the food takes too long and the table who sat down after us has there food and of course my Dad will stiff the wait staff on the tip. ( DH or I make it up )

Now - we do not need to rush - but seriously - pick something out!  With my picky 11 year old - I try to look at a menu with him online before we go - I also set some limits - he can order the petite steak but not the lobster. he can get an appetizer - but must share it with brother. he can change his mind at the restaurant and often will - but he is not starting "cold".

I love you for this one :) Definitely. One of my coworkers had a table the other day that gave her trouble like this. She got their drinks, went by the table twice to get their order, they weren't ready. She started taking care of her other tables and a few minutes later, the guy storms up to me and rudely asks "Can you find someone to take my order?!" The server overheard and came by 15 seconds later. He then chewed her out with "I was just about to walk out and tell your manager about how bad the service was!" Then when his food came out (hot out of the oven), he later claimed that it was cold after finishing it and saying it was fine to the server. Some people  :-\ :o
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Dindrane on September 13, 2011, 09:57:48 AM
- If you're under 35 and order alcohol, have your ID ready. I find it odd when 22 year olds order alcohol, act shocked when I ask for ID, then have to dig through their purse while I stand there awkwardly silent.

I'll be honest -- I don't think this is entirely fair.

I'm 26, and I don't look any older than my age.  I don't think there's any restaurant I frequent that cards me consistently every time I order alcohol.  I think the only place that cards me consistently is the grocery store.

And since I've been legally able to purchase alcohol for 5 years, ordering an alcoholic drink with dinner is about as noteworthy for me as ordering Diet Coke.  Honestly, I do sometimes forget that I sometimes get asked for ID if I order a glass of wine.  Even though I know precisely where my ID is and have a small enough purse that I don't have to dig for it, it still takes me a minute to pull it out.

With someone who is younger or looks younger, I can understand being less than impressed with having to stand around while they spend a long time digging through their purse.  But there are plenty of people under the age of 35 (or even 30) who only get carded sporadically, and I don't think it's fair to be annoyed that they didn't have their ID ready to hand to you when you asked for it.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 13, 2011, 12:44:26 PM
- If you're under 35 and order alcohol, have your ID ready. I find it odd when 22 year olds order alcohol, act shocked when I ask for ID, then have to dig through their purse while I stand there awkwardly silent.

I'll be honest -- I don't think this is entirely fair.

I'm 26, and I don't look any older than my age.  I don't think there's any restaurant I frequent that cards me consistently every time I order alcohol.  I think the only place that cards me consistently is the grocery store.

And since I've been legally able to purchase alcohol for 5 years, ordering an alcoholic drink with dinner is about as noteworthy for me as ordering Diet Coke.  Honestly, I do sometimes forget that I sometimes get asked for ID if I order a glass of wine.  Even though I know precisely where my ID is and have a small enough purse that I don't have to dig for it, it still takes me a minute to pull it out.

With someone who is younger or looks younger, I can understand being less than impressed with having to stand around while they spend a long time digging through their purse.  But there are plenty of people under the age of 35 (or even 30) who only get carded sporadically, and I don't think it's fair to be annoyed that they didn't have their ID ready to hand to you when you asked for it.

Most restaurants are supposed to card if you look 35 and under. Some (like TGI Friday's) say 40. If you're closer to 30, maybe have it easily accessible just in case (that's what I meant by have it ready, not necessarily in their hand, but ready to show). The restaurant I work at, if I don't card someone who's even 33 and they're a secret shopper, I can lose my job. I'm 25 and I always get carded at every restaurant I go to. Maybe it's a state thing because California is EXTREMELY strict with carding. The weird part is just their reaction "Oh, you don't know exactly how old I am to the date? But I turned 21 last week!" :p I just find it odd that it's state law to show ID and people don't expect it. I don't think it's unfair to expect to be carded when you're in your mid-20's. It just makes things go faster if you're ready.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Dindrane on September 13, 2011, 09:43:41 PM
It's not that I don't expect to be carded.  In an abstract way, I do, because I know there are lots of locales and businesses that have laws/policy to card everyone who looks like they could be under a certain age.

What I think is unfair is getting annoyed that someone isn't able to hand you their ID within 5 seconds.  Even knowing I sometimes get carded, it is not the first thing I think about when I order an alcoholic drink, because I don't always have to show ID (and I'm not going to bother getting it out if nobody asks me for it).  Even knowing exactly where my ID is, it might take me a minute or two to get it out.

Even if I know I'm going to need to show ID, I still might not have it in my hand when I order an alcoholic beverage.  If it's not in my hand, it's going to take me a short amount of time to get it out of my wallet inside my purse -- that's just the way it goes.

The only point I am trying to make is that you ought to give people the benefit of the doubt when you can.  Not everyone who doesn't have it ready to show you as soon as you ask for it is internally thinking you ought to know how old they are or that they shouldn't have to show it at all.  Some people just didn't think about needing it until you asked for it.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 13, 2011, 10:32:22 PM
I just wish people would do it more automatically when deciding what to drink. If I'm thinking about ordering alcohol, I always reach for my wallet and have my ID on the table (I have it in my hand at the grocery store). It's like when grocery shopping, it doesn't make sense to wait until after they tell you your total to reach for your purse and try to track down your money. You know you're going to have to pay, it's about being prepared.  A minute or two is a long time for a server to stand there, especially if they have other tables who are waiting for ranch before their food gets cold, need to be greeted before the 30 second mark (often restaurant rules), need to refill other drinks, etc. If you might be carded, maybe have your wallet lying on top of your purse so you can grab it. It might not seem like a big deal, but if every table does it and each table has 4+ people, it's time consuming. To speed things up, I usually say "I'll need to see everyone's ID who is ordering alcohol," otherwise they'll have me stand for 2-3 minutes just waiting to ID people. Parties of 20+? Forget it, my other tables are going to be waiting a while. Tables get the best service when they're organized. The people who do it the worst actually aren't the 25+ over crowd, they tend to grab their IDs fast, it's the 21-24 crowd. It's surprising too, because isn't part of the excitement of being that age being able to show people that you are legal? What happened to those days?  :P These are people who get carded every single time, they should know by now. I don't know why the light bulb doesn't come on.

We might just have to agree to disagree here. I work in a restaurant where we sell an equal amount of alcohol and food, most tables order alcohol and ID-ing is time consuming without people taking a while to track down their ID. Especially on a Friday/Saturday night or during Happy Hour.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 13, 2011, 10:39:27 PM
I thought of another:

- Don't give the server attitude if they card someone else at the table and not you. It doesn't necessarily mean you look old and it's nothing personal. It really puts your server on the spot.


^^^ Women use this one to fish for compliments and I think that might be a sin in eHell (I'm still pretty new, so I don't know if that breaks a rule, but it seems like it would). It's almost always: (If I card) You're only doing that to be nice. (If I don't card) Do I really look that old?

Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: demarco on September 14, 2011, 04:50:35 PM


- Never put your hands on the staff. I've been grabbed once pretty hard, luckily it wasn't in anger or it would have freaked me from your service and the service of others.

By the same token, servers, never put your hands on the customers. If this is designed to get you a bigger tip, it could well backfire.  My DH has been instructed to hand me the check if our food server has wrapped  her arm around him at any point during the meal. 


Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 14, 2011, 05:41:19 PM


- Never put your hands on the staff. I've been grabbed once pretty hard, luckily it wasn't in anger or it would have freaked me from your service and the service of others.

By the same token, servers, never put your hands on the customers. If this is designed to get you a bigger tip, it could well backfire.  My DH has been instructed to hand me the check if our food server has wrapped  her arm around him at any point during the meal.

I'm not a fan of that either, I don't think it's ever okay to touch a stranger without permission.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Onyx_TKD on September 14, 2011, 05:49:26 PM
Bumping because I have a few to add from a server POV:

[snip]
- If a phone call is really that important, take it outside.
[snip]

Is this based on people talking loudly on the phone, or talking on the phone while you're trying to take their order, or what? As long as the person stays at a normal conversational volume, and isn't on the phone while talking to you, I don't see how it affects you really.  ???
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on September 14, 2011, 05:52:38 PM
I'm 28, and rarely ever get IDed anymore.  I don't have any issue if I do get carded, but it definitely surprises me.  It doesn't take me long to get to my ID, because I just use a basic, very organized (the ONLY thing in my life that's very organized ;)) tri-fold wallet, but it wouldn't occur to me to intentionally keep my ID handy at a restaurant, because I don't need it 90% of the time.  I do think that if you're in an area where people card more vigilantly, or if you are (or look) young, it's a good idea to keep it handy.

I'm with you in theory on asking for condiments up front, but it doesn't work so well in practice.  I don't know if I need Tabasco for my chili until I taste it and realize it's bland, and sometimes I just don't know what comes with a dish - last weekend, DH and I both ordered shrimp dishes, but only mine came with cocktail sauce, so he had to ask for it once the food arrived.  I do tend to tip extra if we've sent the server running a lot.

I'm honestly not a fan of the "greet the table in 30 seconds" trend.  If it's just coming over and saying "Hi, I'm Joe, I'll be your server tonight," it's a waste of (the server's) time, and if it's "Hi, I'm Joe, I'll be your server tonight.  Can I get anyone a drink?" it's given me absolutely no time at all to figure out what I want to drink.  Give me a minute or two to actually check out the drink specialties or the wine list or whatever!

On a related note, I don't know that it's etiquette, really, but I wish restaurants would at least offer water now, when taking drink orders.  I can understand why it's not brought out automatically anymore (I'm sure it's a waste of time and water), but I don't like having to remember to ask every time, especially when I order something that's more fun drink than refreshing drink (like a glass of wine or a pina colada or something, instead of a Coke).  It seems like it would be more efficient to make it part of the "Can I get anyone a drink?" speech. 
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 14, 2011, 06:10:19 PM
Bumping because I have a few to add from a server POV:

[snip]
- If a phone call is really that important, take it outside.
[snip]

Is this based on people talking loudly on the phone, or talking on the phone while you're trying to take their order, or what? As long as the person stays at a normal conversational volume, and isn't on the phone while talking to you, I don't see how it affects you really.  ???

Usually a bit of both. People talking on their phones tend to speak really loud and 19 times out of 20, they're ignoring the server. The worst is when they raise their hand at you to shush you. Rude rude rude.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 14, 2011, 07:02:27 PM
I'm 28, and rarely ever get IDed anymore.  I don't have any issue if I do get carded, but it definitely surprises me.  It doesn't take me long to get to my ID, because I just use a basic, very organized (the ONLY thing in my life that's very organized ;)) tri-fold wallet, but it wouldn't occur to me to intentionally keep my ID handy at a restaurant, because I don't need it 90% of the time.  I do think that if you're in an area where people card more vigilantly, or if you are (or look) young, it's a good idea to keep it handy.

I'm with you in theory on asking for condiments up front, but it doesn't work so well in practice.  I don't know if I need Tabasco for my chili until I taste it and realize it's bland, and sometimes I just don't know what comes with a dish - last weekend, DH and I both ordered shrimp dishes, but only mine came with cocktail sauce, so he had to ask for it once the food arrived.  I do tend to tip extra if we've sent the server running a lot.

I'm honestly not a fan of the "greet the table in 30 seconds" trend.  If it's just coming over and saying "Hi, I'm Joe, I'll be your server tonight," it's a waste of (the server's) time, and if it's "Hi, I'm Joe, I'll be your server tonight.  Can I get anyone a drink?" it's given me absolutely no time at all to figure out what I want to drink.  Give me a minute or two to actually check out the drink specialties or the wine list or whatever!

On a related note, I don't know that it's etiquette, really, but I wish restaurants would at least offer water now, when taking drink orders.  I can understand why it's not brought out automatically anymore (I'm sure it's a waste of time and water), but I don't like having to remember to ask every time, especially when I order something that's more fun drink than refreshing drink (like a glass of wine or a pina colada or something, instead of a Coke).  It seems like it would be more efficient to make it part of the "Can I get anyone a drink?" speech.

When people can grab their ID fast, it's not an issue at all. But you wouldn't believe how many people keep their IDs out of a wallet and tossed into a large, full purse. Or not organized in a wallet where they have to go through 20 cards to find it. Agree fully with your paragraph :)

Of course needing things after tasting the food is different, but I would say that about 99% of the time, they wait until the food hits the table, don't touch it, then ask. Planning ahead is helpful for everyone and insures you get your condiments while your food is still hot. People shouldn't have to ask for ketchup with fries, that's one thing that really isn't included, that should come automatically. The reason I brought it up is I've seen customers get very upset if they don't get it immediately after asking, despite how busy the server is. That way the server has 10-20 minutes to get the ranch rather than 20 seconds, it's courteous :)

I agree about greet times, but sometimes people freak out if they wait even 30 seconds. When I see people sit down, I give them about 10-15 seconds, then stop by to say hi and drop coasters, then tell them I'll be with them shortly. That way they're acknowledged and they have time to decide on a drink.

I usually ask if someone orders a beer or cocktail if they want water, not if they order soda or iced tea because I would say that 99% of the time, they don't touch it. I do think it's funny that so many people don't see water as a drink. "Hi there, can I get you started with something to drink?" "No thanks, I'll just take a water." What were you planning on doing with the water if not drink it?  :P My boyfriend does that occasionally and I tease him.  ;D Usually when people are thirsty, they just ask for a water.  You'd be surprised how many people request water and not even touch it too.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: DuBois on September 15, 2011, 02:42:36 AM


A couple of rules for servers:

1) Don't ask me how my meal is when I have a mouthful of food! It is very annoying indeed.

2) Don't upsell me. I know what I wanted to order, and you trying to make money for the restaurant doesn't go over well. I'm in the UK, so it isn't to increase tips that they do this, but it's still annoying.

Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: a on September 15, 2011, 04:52:07 AM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: DuBois on September 15, 2011, 05:44:07 AM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.

Preach it! I actually wouldn't want to eat out in the US, because what would happen if I was unhappy with service? Would I still have to tip? I wouldn't want to, but might have to because of societal pressure. I also agree about the point about graduates. I am currently working towards a degree. I get some grant aid, and some achievement based bursaries.  I also work as a cleaner, for a modest sum. I would not expect to make big money working at a job that does not require a degree. If I did, I wouldn't be working toward a degree!
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Wonderflonium on September 15, 2011, 07:49:54 AM
2) Don't upsell me. I know what I wanted to order, and you trying to make money for the restaurant doesn't go over well. I'm in the UK, so it isn't to increase tips that they do this, but it's still annoying.

Often, the server doesn't have a choice. It's part of the job, and if (s)he doesn't do it and a secret shopper is watching, (s)he will be in trouble.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: DuBois on September 15, 2011, 08:01:09 AM
2) Don't upsell me. I know what I wanted to order, and you trying to make money for the restaurant doesn't go over well. I'm in the UK, so it isn't to increase tips that they do this, but it's still annoying.

Often, the server doesn't have a choice. It's part of the job, and if (s)he doesn't do it and a secret shopper is watching, (s)he will be in trouble.

Yeah, it's a dilemma. But it is still very annoying if done agressively.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 15, 2011, 11:47:27 AM
2) Don't upsell me. I know what I wanted to order, and you trying to make money for the restaurant doesn't go over well. I'm in the UK, so it isn't to increase tips that they do this, but it's still annoying.

Often, the server doesn't have a choice. It's part of the job, and if (s)he doesn't do it and a secret shopper is watching, (s)he will be in trouble.

Exactly. And you'd actually be surprised at how many people take you up on the upsell offer. "Would you like to add a soup or a salad for $2.95 more?" "Yes! That sounds great."
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: 567Kate on September 15, 2011, 11:53:36 AM
On a related note, I don't know that it's etiquette, really, but I wish restaurants would at least offer water now, when taking drink orders.  I can understand why it's not brought out automatically anymore (I'm sure it's a waste of time and water), but I don't like having to remember to ask every time, especially when I order something that's more fun drink than refreshing drink (like a glass of wine or a pina colada or something, instead of a Coke).  It seems like it would be more efficient to make it part of the "Can I get anyone a drink?" speech.

In areas with a drought, this is often policy not to offer water, only to bring it when asked. I was recently in Vegas and the waiter couldn't even let one person order water for the table: he needed to hear everyone say that they wanted it.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 15, 2011, 11:59:50 AM
I get that a lot, people ordering water for everyone, and then 95% of it doesn't even get touched. It's a waste of water in the cup, dishwashing water, straws, and time to clear the table. I'm an environmentalist, so seeing it drives me crazy  :P Most people just don't drink water, which is weird to me because I LOVE water. It's my favorite drink  ;D
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: violinp on September 15, 2011, 12:22:50 PM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.

Preach it! I actually wouldn't want to eat out in the US, because what would happen if I was unhappy with service? Would I still have to tip? I wouldn't want to, but might have to because of societal pressure. I also agree about the point about graduates. I am currently working towards a degree. I get some grant aid, and some achievement based bursaries.  I also work as a cleaner, for a modest sum. I would not expect to make big money working at a job that does not require a degree. If I did, I wouldn't be working toward a degree!

Gahr, usually, if the service is atrocious, I'd tip 10 percent. 15 is normal, and 20 is for excellent. Now, I can think of times I wouldn't tip, but those instances would be so egregious that I'd be calling a manager and a lawyer at the same time.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on September 15, 2011, 01:40:35 PM
On a related note, I don't know that it's etiquette, really, but I wish restaurants would at least offer water now, when taking drink orders.  I can understand why it's not brought out automatically anymore (I'm sure it's a waste of time and water), but I don't like having to remember to ask every time, especially when I order something that's more fun drink than refreshing drink (like a glass of wine or a pina colada or something, instead of a Coke).  It seems like it would be more efficient to make it part of the "Can I get anyone a drink?" speech.

In areas with a drought, this is often policy not to offer water, only to bring it when asked. I was recently in Vegas and the waiter couldn't even let one person order water for the table: he needed to hear everyone say that they wanted it.

That makes perfect sense somewhere like Vegas.  I live in Chicago, though!  We have a whole giant lake at our disposal.  I don't mind that it isn't brought automatically, but I do wish it was offered, because I grew up with it being brought automatically, and it's hard to get my mind to readjust to having to ask for it :P
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: DuBois on September 15, 2011, 01:52:52 PM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.

Preach it! I actually wouldn't want to eat out in the US, because what would happen if I was unhappy with service? Would I still have to tip? I wouldn't want to, but might have to because of societal pressure. I also agree about the point about graduates. I am currently working towards a degree. I get some grant aid, and some achievement based bursaries.  I also work as a cleaner, for a modest sum. I would not expect to make big money working at a job that does not require a degree. If I did, I wouldn't be working toward a degree!

Gahr, usually, if the service is atrocious, I'd tip 10 percent. 15 is normal, and 20 is for excellent. Now, I can think of times I wouldn't tip, but those instances would be so egregious that I'd be calling a manager and a lawyer at the same time.

Yeah, I guess that that's where the cognitive dissonance comes in for me. I couldn't tip 10% for atrocious service, as in rude, inattentive, lazy, something like that. Even if that was epected, it would just seem like rewarding a bad job.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on September 15, 2011, 01:58:13 PM
Yeah, I guess that that's where the cognitive dissonance comes in for me. I couldn't tip 10% for atrocious service, as in rude, inattentive, lazy, something like that. Even if that was epected, it would just seem like rewarding a bad job.

Actually it's not though because the server pays income taxes at 15% of their tips total at the end of the year.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: DuBois on September 15, 2011, 02:05:23 PM
Yeah, I guess that that's where the cognitive dissonance comes in for me. I couldn't tip 10% for atrocious service, as in rude, inattentive, lazy, something like that. Even if that was epected, it would just seem like rewarding a bad job.

Actually it's not though because the server pays income taxes at 15% of their tips total at the end of the year.


I had thought that servers were taxed on 8% tips. But either way, if service is really, really bad, then presumably the server is in the wrong job. I'm not talking about just being a bit slow, I mean rude or totally forgetting food, that kind of thing.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Dindrane on September 15, 2011, 11:07:31 PM
In my opinion, it is appropriate to speak with a manager if you (in general) don't wish to leave a tip.  It gives the restaurant an opportunity to address your complaint, and if nothing else, makes it clear to them that your not leaving a tip is intentional and not an oversight.

If the service is not great, but it's not bad enough to speak to a manager, I personally just calculate 15% down to the last penny and forget about it.  My time is worth more than the money at that point, since I'm not willing to do anything to "fix" it.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: lollylegs on September 15, 2011, 11:45:22 PM
In my opinion, it is appropriate to speak with a manager if you (in general) don't wish to leave a tip.  It gives the restaurant an opportunity to address your complaint, and if nothing else, makes it clear to them that your not leaving a tip is intentional and not an oversight.

I imagine the feedback would also give the server the opportunity to improve his/her service.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: stargazer on September 17, 2011, 01:11:02 PM
1.  Tips are part of the cost of your meal in the US.  In most places, the tip should be 15%; in places with higher costs of living, like New York City and San Francisco, they go higher.  If the meal and service are adequate, not to tip is very rude.  However, a tip may be adjusted downward when service is inadequate.


I haven't read the entire thread (one of my own pet peves, sorry) but I disagree with the SF one.  Reason being it is part of CA and here servers must be paid minimum wage outside of tips (there are a few states with this law), not 2.30 per hour or other numbers I've heard in other states.  I still tip, and probably overtip in most cases, but there is no need to go higher in SF unless you want to.  You'll already be paying more for your meal so the tip will automatically be higher and their minimum wage is the highest in the US.

http://www.minimum-wage.org/states.asp?state=California
California has one of the highest state minimum wage rates, and the San Francisco minimum wage of $9.92 per hour is the highest minimum wage in the United States. Unlike many other states, tipped employees in California are also entitled to the full minimum wage of $8.00 per hour.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 17, 2011, 11:13:33 PM
Even as a server, I barely make a living wage working full time with occasional overtime. I'm in California and I make $8 an hour, but my paycheck is tiny because the government takes taxes from our tips from it. I know I make more than someone in another state in terms of base pay, but even with that extra amount, it still doesn't make up for the cost of living (more than double than some places, a 1 bedroom apartment starts at 1k here, some areas have Studios that start at $1,500, like Irvine). According to CNBC, Hawaii and California tie as the states with the highest cost of living. 18-20% is more standard now, sadly many people, even with excellent service, only tip 8-10%. Why? Because they don't care.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on September 17, 2011, 11:22:00 PM
8 to 10% is too low if the service is good, but as a Chicagoan, I don't think I should have to pay more than the typical 15% (for average, competent service, of course I'd give extra for great service).  Cost of living is higher, which means my restaurant bill was higher. If I pay $15 for that meal instead of $10, the server is getting a correspondingly higher tip already.  Not to mention, I have my OWN higher cost of living and low salary to deal with.  I wouldn't skimp on a tip, but mathematically speaking, the "higher cost of living" argument just doesn't make sense to me.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 17, 2011, 11:33:58 PM
Not all restaurants charge more because of the area. If I'm remembering correctly, prices for food are about the same in Texas and Florida as they are in California (lived in those states for a year). I say 15% is standard for so-so service, it goes up from there.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: heathert on September 18, 2011, 06:15:23 PM
I understand that servers need to turn over their tables but is it possible to let them know that you may linger slightly longer than normal but you will compensate them for it so they won't hover or keep asking you "Is there anything else?" Sometimes I just like to read the paper for a bit or something. I don't mind leaving extra money during this time but frankly I get very annoyed with the fast casual places trying to shove you out the door.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on September 18, 2011, 11:52:44 PM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.

And keep in mind that unless the restaurant is busy all the time, the server might not make that much money through the week for the hours (s)he worked. While a server may make $30 per hour on a busy Friday or Saturday night, they may not be making even close to that on the other days of the week.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on September 19, 2011, 12:59:49 AM
Rough night at the restaurant, so I thought I'd add a few:

-If your table has candles on it, do not play with them and dump wax all over the table.

-Please do not pick off food or try to pick off food from your server's tray as she's carrying it. It's unsanitary; you could cause a mess, and it might not even be your food. Sit down, and someone will bring you your food.

-Do not put personal belongings in the middle of the floor.

-When your server asks if you have any allergies, please tell her the foods you are allergic to, no matter how ridiculous you think it is. This applies even when you think you are ordering something that does not contain an allergen. Allergies are not just limited to fish and nuts. Do not tell your server that you have no allergies, and then blame the restaurant or server when your mouth starts to itch after eating the tuna salad because you neglected to mention to your server that you are allergic to apples.

-If you break something, tell your server! Do not try to hide the broken wares. It's dangerous. Someone could really hurt himself.

-GUM: Do not put it underneath your plate or other dishes. Most people don't like touching other people's chewed gum. Servers and the kitchen staff aren't exceptions. It's disgusting. Either use a tissue or paper napkin. If you have nothing on your person to dispose of it, and the restaurant has linen napkins, either dispose of it in the bathroom (in the trash) or ask your server for a paper napkin.

-The table is not your trash can. Do not dump the contents of your wallet or purse on to the table for your server to throw out.

-Do not snap your fingers.

-Do not go into "employee only" areas.

-Do not barge into the kitchen to scream at the kitchen staff/chef.

-In restaurants attached to hotels/inns: just because you are staying at the hotel/inn, doesn't mean that you have priority over others who are eating there. If there is a wait for a table, you will have to wait like everyone else unless you have a reservation at the restaurant.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: a on September 19, 2011, 06:31:45 AM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.

And keep in mind that unless the restaurant is busy all the time, the server might not make that much money through the week for the hours (s)he worked. While a server may make $30 per hour on a busy Friday or Saturday night, they may not be making even close to that on the other days of the week.

Mopsy, I'm wondering if the situation is different in the UK, which is what I referred to - it sounds like you meant the US? This is UK guidance on tips:

'Cash tips paid directly to you by the customer
If you get cash tips direct from the customer without involving the employer, you'll have to pay tax on them - but not National Insurance contributions. You are responsible for telling HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about these tips and you'll have to show them on your Self Assessment tax return (if you fill one in). You'll need to keep a record of the tips you get so you can do this.'

I know for a fact that not all waiters/waitresses do inform the Inland Revenue about their tips.

Re their income: even if they have less busy Mondays e.g., they will still be paid at least minimum wages in the UK. So I'd say a tip is an extra bonus, not a necessity, and based on that I was very surprised to read that someone in the UK paid 20% tip as standard.

Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 19, 2011, 09:00:40 PM
Rough night at the restaurant, so I thought I'd add a few:

-If your table has candles on it, do not play with them and dump wax all over the table.

-Please do not pick off food or try to pick off food from your server's tray as she's carrying it. It's unsanitary; you could cause a mess, and it might not even be your food. Sit down, and someone will bring you your food.

-Do not put personal belongings in the middle of the floor.

-When your server asks if you have any allergies, please tell her the foods you are allergic to, no matter how ridiculous you think it is. This applies even when you think you are ordering something that does not contain an allergen. Allergies are not just limited to fish and nuts. Do not tell your server that you have no allergies, and then blame the restaurant or server when your mouth starts to itch after eating the tuna salad because you neglected to mention to your server that you are allergic to apples.

-If you break something, tell your server! Do not try to hide the broken wares. It's dangerous. Someone could really hurt himself.

-GUM: Do not put it underneath your plate or other dishes. Most people don't like touching other people's chewed gum. Servers and the kitchen staff aren't exceptions. It's disgusting. Either use a tissue or paper napkin. If you have nothing on your person to dispose of it, and the restaurant has linen napkins, either dispose of it in the bathroom (in the trash) or ask your server for a paper napkin.

-The table is not your trash can. Do not dump the contents of your wallet or purse on to the table for your server to throw out.

-Do not snap your fingers.

-Do not go into "employee only" areas.

-Do not barge into the kitchen to scream at the kitchen staff/chef.

-In restaurants attached to hotels/inns: just because you are staying at the hotel/inn, doesn't mean that you have priority over others who are eating there. If there is a wait for a table, you will have to wait like everyone else unless you have a reservation at the restaurant.

Word!

My company solved the wax dilemma by switching to electric candles. It's safer for kids who have parents who don't watch them too.


Would like to add:

-If a restaurant gives you a pager and you decide you don't want to wait for a table, return the pager. They are very expensive (about $30 EACH) and when people take them or toss them, it makes it harder for the hostesses on a busy night to do their jobs because they run out. It's a mess when you're telling people to return for a pager, then they don't come back and yell at you for skipping them on the list. Yelling out the party's name in a completely full restaurant on a Friday night is pointless, no one can hear you.

-If you pay half in cash and half with a credit card, make sure you tip on the full amount. This happens about 9 times out of 10: If the bill is $100, a group might give me $70 in cash and ask to put the rest on the card. Then they only tip on the $30.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 19, 2011, 09:08:55 PM
I know this thread is old, but I’m amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means we’d spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) I’d pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip it’d be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but I’m being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate – probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe I’m not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess I’m just happy I live in a country where people don’t have to depend on other people’s goodwill to pay their bills/that I don’t ever have to tip if I don’t want to and nobody can say anything about it.
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.

And keep in mind that unless the restaurant is busy all the time, the server might not make that much money through the week for the hours (s)he worked. While a server may make $30 per hour on a busy Friday or Saturday night, they may not be making even close to that on the other days of the week.

Yeah, my tip out is 35%: Bussers, Food Runners, and Bartenders. That's a large chunk.

And you're 100% right (as you know, you're a server  :P), the money is not guaranteed. Some sections are crappier than others, sometimes you get campers who stay your entire shift, taking up that table, and only tip a small amount (a month ago, a party of 2 stayed in one of my booths for 6 hours, had a $200 bill, tipped me $0), you never know how many people at each table you'll have (Today, I had a lot of 1-2 tops, while everyone else had 4-8 on average, the tip difference is huge), you might go 2 hours without a single table, you might have to do 1-2 hours of side work, which cuts the hourly wage quite a bit, etc. Then after that, you tip out. Business has been slow for the last 3 months too, so I'm getting less hours. Money isn't consistent and it's hard to live like that. Even after saying all that... I do love my job. I'm a mover, so it's perfect for me. I just wish people weren't so rude and cheap. Sometimes it's not even cheap though... if someone has $50 to spend on beer, I fail to see how they can't afford to tip.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Miriam on September 21, 2011, 10:43:30 AM
When I worked in a restraunt it amazed me how crazy people could be.

I was whistled, snapped, and coughed at like a simple dog. I was probably rude but I never responded to any of these gestures and when yelled at later, I just let them know that I am a person and they are welcome to address me as such. Man the many times I could have been fired for sticking up for myself.

Oh and, for the love of everything you hold dear, if you want a flippin' booth..ASK. Don't tell me after I seat you, because most of the time booths fill up fast and you may have to wait.

Also assault isn't cool. Don't throw your salad at me because you want it for free. Don't throw your pager at me because you waited ten minutes though you SWEAR you've waited for an hour (our timers actually time! what a crazy concept, I know how long you've really waited..). Don't throw a menu at me because there's a random spot of food on the panel. Don't throw your money at me, because if it falls in between certain places, tough luck everything is nailed to the floor can't and I can't retrieve it. You think I rolled my eyes at you (though I've been up since 4am it's now 2pm my replacement hasn't come so if my eyes flutter, sorry) don't throw your coffee at me. That one really hurts and my managers will not let me go home or to a nearby doctor until my shift is finished.

Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Black Delphinium on September 21, 2011, 10:59:40 AM
Your managers wouldn't let you leave to be treated for burns?! I'd love to know who you worked for so I could avoid eating there.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 21, 2011, 12:15:11 PM
When I worked in a restraunt it amazed me how crazy people could be.

I was whistled, snapped, and coughed at like a simple dog. I was probably rude but I never responded to any of these gestures and when yelled at later, I just let them know that I am a person and they are welcome to address me as such. Man the many times I could have been fired for sticking up for myself.

Oh and, for the love of everything you hold dear, if you want a flippin' booth..ASK. Don't tell me after I seat you, because most of the time booths fill up fast and you may have to wait.

Also assault isn't cool. Don't throw your salad at me because you want it for free. Don't throw your pager at me because you waited ten minutes though you SWEAR you've waited for an hour (our timers actually time! what a crazy concept, I know how long you've really waited..). Don't throw a menu at me because there's a random spot of food on the panel. Don't throw your money at me, because if it falls in between certain places, tough luck everything is nailed to the floor can't and I can't retrieve it. You think I rolled my eyes at you (though I've been up since 4am it's now 2pm my replacement hasn't come so if my eyes flutter, sorry) don't throw your coffee at me. That one really hurts and my managers will not let me go home or to a nearby doctor until my shift is finished.

Good for you! I've never told anyone off, but I've been tempted to. I'm anti-confrontational though. I've never had anyone throw anything at me, but if I did, I would literally have a guy follow them out to their car, get their license info, and press changes for assault.

I agree about the booth thing, ask at the hostess desk. We write down wait times, so we know exactly if the person is lying.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 21, 2011, 12:26:54 PM
- There's a reason a hostess tells you "It will be about 20-25 minutes." It's an estimate, there's no way to be sure when customers will leave. Don't freak out, stay calm. I can't even count the number of times people have freaked out for waiting 5 extra minutes beyond the estimated quote time.  ::) It's not like we can go up to people and say "Alright, others are waiting for this booth, you need to get out."

- If you don't make reservations on a Friday/Saturday night for a large party, don't give the hostess or manager a hard time if they quote you 2-3 hours, there's nothing they can do. Those who called in advance get the tables first. I've had so many people try to "talk the manager into giving them a table," but physically, there are no tables available, I'm not sure why people can't comprehend that.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Miriam on September 23, 2011, 12:24:47 PM
Your managers wouldn't let you leave to be treated for burns?! I'd love to know who you worked for so I could avoid eating there.

Nope. They would if they thought the person was intoxicated, but the corporate is so effed up that if a customer attacks me somehow I was in the wrong and the "customer is always right" stupid crap.

It was a southern french bakery, bistro chain mostly in Texas.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Twik on September 23, 2011, 12:33:12 PM
Well, your burns would be the same whether the customer was drunk or cold sober when they scalded you. One would think they'd want to avoid having their staff lost because of injuries that had not been promptly attended to, but some places do fail at the "long-term thinking" level.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on September 23, 2011, 04:05:43 PM
Just because something came out wrong from the kitchen, don't assume you're getting your whole meal for free.



Story on that: It was a super slow day at my last serving job. A couple came in and was really particular about their food. I was rolling silverware and listening. I have a really good memory and I listened to all of their requests. They were sharing a burger and when it came out, the man (note that this is a couple in their 40's or 50's) said "I ordered it with Cheddar instead of Swiss. We don't want to wait for another to be made, it took long enough before, we're just going to go." They got up and left without paying for their shake too. I overheard them order, he did NOT request a different cheese, they didn't wait long (we checked the time on the ticket, it was 8 minutes for a Medium Well burger, not bad at all), and they didn't even pay for what they did eat. I was shocked. The waitress even read back the order, so there was no reason for him to be mad. Some people you just can't please.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on October 05, 2011, 07:06:31 PM
Just because something came out wrong from the kitchen, don't assume you're getting your whole meal for free.



Story on that: It was a super slow day at my last serving job. A couple came in and was really particular about their food. I was rolling silverware and listening. I have a really good memory and I listened to all of their requests. They were sharing a burger and when it came out, the man (note that this is a couple in their 40's or 50's) said "I ordered it with Cheddar instead of Swiss. We don't want to wait for another to be made, it took long enough before, we're just going to go." They got up and left without paying for their shake too. I overheard them order, he did NOT request a different cheese, they didn't wait long (we checked the time on the ticket, it was 8 minutes for a Medium Well burger, not bad at all), and they didn't even pay for what they did eat. I was shocked. The waitress even read back the order, so there was no reason for him to be mad. Some people you just can't please.
Don't you just love it when people use the "I've been waiting so long!" line when they haven't been waiting long at all?  ::) I was working a mother-daughter tea, and I saw this mother-daughter pair come in through the door, the hostess seat them, and then I walked over to them. The mother said, "We'd like some water. We've been waiting 10 minutes."  I privately rolled my eyes, and bit my tongue to keep from saying, "In what? Dog time? I just saw you walk through the door. You have not been waiting 10 minutes."

Back on track:

-Do not pester your server about marking down the price of your food/drink because another restaurant has a lower price or because you could buy XYZ food or ABC wine in the grocery store. This isn't a flea market. Wine is one of the most marked up items in a restaurant, so don't expect liquor store/grocery store prices.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: POF on October 05, 2011, 07:44:18 PM
Just because something came out wrong from the kitchen, don't assume you're getting your whole meal for free.



Story on that: It was a super slow day at my last serving job. A couple came in and was really particular about their food. I was rolling silverware and listening. I have a really good memory and I listened to all of their requests. They were sharing a burger and when it came out, the man (note that this is a couple in their 40's or 50's) said "I ordered it with Cheddar instead of Swiss. We don't want to wait for another to be made, it took long enough before, we're just going to go." They got up and left without paying for their shake too. I overheard them order, he did NOT request a different cheese, they didn't wait long (we checked the time on the ticket, it was 8 minutes for a Medium Well burger, not bad at all), and they didn't even pay for what they did eat. I was shocked. The waitress even read back the order, so there was no reason for him to be mad. Some people you just can't please.
Don't you just love it when people use the "I've been waiting so long!" line when they haven't been waiting long at all?  ::) I was working a mother-daughter tea, and I saw this mother-daughter pair come in through the door, the hostess seat them, and then I walked over to them. The mother said, "We'd like some water. We've been waiting 10 minutes."  I privately rolled my eyes, and bit my tongue to keep from saying, "In what? Dog time? I just saw you walk through the door. You have not been waiting 10 minutes."

Back on track:

-Do not pester your server about marking down the price of your food/drink because another restaurant has a lower price or because you could buy XYZ food or ABC wine in the grocery store. This isn't a flea market. Wine is one of the most marked up items in a restaurant, so don't expect liquor store/grocery store prices.

People do this  ??? ???
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on October 06, 2011, 02:16:42 PM
Just because something came out wrong from the kitchen, don't assume you're getting your whole meal for free.



Story on that: It was a super slow day at my last serving job. A couple came in and was really particular about their food. I was rolling silverware and listening. I have a really good memory and I listened to all of their requests. They were sharing a burger and when it came out, the man (note that this is a couple in their 40's or 50's) said "I ordered it with Cheddar instead of Swiss. We don't want to wait for another to be made, it took long enough before, we're just going to go." They got up and left without paying for their shake too. I overheard them order, he did NOT request a different cheese, they didn't wait long (we checked the time on the ticket, it was 8 minutes for a Medium Well burger, not bad at all), and they didn't even pay for what they did eat. I was shocked. The waitress even read back the order, so there was no reason for him to be mad. Some people you just can't please.
Don't you just love it when people use the "I've been waiting so long!" line when they haven't been waiting long at all?  ::) I was working a mother-daughter tea, and I saw this mother-daughter pair come in through the door, the hostess seat them, and then I walked over to them. The mother said, "We'd like some water. We've been waiting 10 minutes."  I privately rolled my eyes, and bit my tongue to keep from saying, "In what? Dog time? I just saw you walk through the door. You have not been waiting 10 minutes."

Back on track:

-Do not pester your server about marking down the price of your food/drink because another restaurant has a lower price or because you could buy XYZ food or ABC wine in the grocery store. This isn't a flea market. Wine is one of the most marked up items in a restaurant, so don't expect liquor store/grocery store prices.

People do this  ??? ???

Oh yes, people do this.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on October 06, 2011, 02:20:30 PM
Just because something came out wrong from the kitchen, don't assume you're getting your whole meal for free.



Story on that: It was a super slow day at my last serving job. A couple came in and was really particular about their food. I was rolling silverware and listening. I have a really good memory and I listened to all of their requests. They were sharing a burger and when it came out, the man (note that this is a couple in their 40's or 50's) said "I ordered it with Cheddar instead of Swiss. We don't want to wait for another to be made, it took long enough before, we're just going to go." They got up and left without paying for their shake too. I overheard them order, he did NOT request a different cheese, they didn't wait long (we checked the time on the ticket, it was 8 minutes for a Medium Well burger, not bad at all), and they didn't even pay for what they did eat. I was shocked. The waitress even read back the order, so there was no reason for him to be mad. Some people you just can't please.
Don't you just love it when people use the "I've been waiting so long!" line when they haven't been waiting long at all?  ::) I was working a mother-daughter tea, and I saw this mother-daughter pair come in through the door, the hostess seat them, and then I walked over to them. The mother said, "We'd like some water. We've been waiting 10 minutes."  I privately rolled my eyes, and bit my tongue to keep from saying, "In what? Dog time? I just saw you walk through the door. You have not been waiting 10 minutes."

Back on track:

-Do not pester your server about marking down the price of your food/drink because another restaurant has a lower price or because you could buy XYZ food or ABC wine in the grocery store. This isn't a flea market. Wine is one of the most marked up items in a restaurant, so don't expect liquor store/grocery store prices.

I HATE that, people do it often. The problem is, people often think they're right. People don't have a sense of time when they're waiting. That's why our restaurant writes down times when they're put on a waiting list. That way if someone comes in and says "We've been waiting an hour!" we can reference the time on the wait sheet.

Word.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on October 06, 2011, 02:29:52 PM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.

Had to quote this, had a really, really bad night the other night. My Monday night shift was good, made money. On Tuesday, I worked 6 hours and made.... $20. It's not consistent. It doesn't matter if I make $100 one night, my next night might be so bad that it wasn't worth the gas money to drive to work. Also, shifts are extremely hard to get right now, so I'm only getting 3 shifts a week. Serving isn't stable. Most graduates at least have a stable income and hours.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: a on October 06, 2011, 04:08:56 PM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.

I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.

Had to quote this, had a really, really bad night the other night. My Monday night shift was good, made money. On Tuesday, I worked 6 hours and made.... $20. It's not consistent. It doesn't matter if I make $100 one night, my next night might be so bad that it wasn't worth the gas money to drive to work. Also, shifts are extremely hard to get right now, so I'm only getting 3 shifts a week. Serving isn't stable. Most graduates at least have a stable income and hours.

Hi dks,
I know the situation is different in the US and that you have to really on tips, so my example only refers to the UK. I have never met anyone in the UK who tips 20% regularly. In the UK you get a minimum wage (which is not that much lower than a graduate might earn for a starter admin job. The current minimum wage for UK is £6.08 (if aged 21+); there are many graduates earning £10 or just over with no chance of any tips (and too often high expectations on putting in free overtime hours!)
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: AlwaysQuizzical on October 06, 2011, 08:25:55 PM
I was whistled, snapped, and coughed at like a simple dog. I was probably rude but I never responded to any of these gestures and when yelled at later, I just let them know that I am a person and they are welcome to address me as such. Man the many times I could have been fired for sticking up for myself.

This reminds me of a disagreement I had with my Mom. She is against getting the attention of waitstaff, I'm all for it if you're polite.

We were eating at a restaurant right before going to the theater (which we told the server when we sat down), the check was slow in getting to us and my Mom was afraid that we wouldn't make it to the play. I told her to wave at the waitress and ask for the check. She told me that it would be rude to interrupt her and that we should just wait. I disagreed and the next time I saw the waitress I put up my hand with two fingers up (like hailing a cab), the waitress made eye contact and nodded then walked away. The way we were seated meant my Mom didn't see me wave. A few minutes later the waitress came with the check and my Mom said, "See, I told you she'd come by soon" then a few seconds later suspiciously asked, "You waved didn't you?"

When I'm in a restaurant and I need something I will put up my hand to get their attention, I never yell though I will say excuse me if they're walking past and I need something. I get where my mom was coming from because the waitress was helping others, but we needed to leave, and I don't think I interrupted her work. Now I'm worried I have the wrong idea.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: RainhaDoTexugo on October 06, 2011, 10:08:52 PM
I don't see anything wrong with politely flagging down your waitress.  Snapping fingers or whistling or saying "Hey, you!" aren't the way to do it, but a friendly wave should be fine.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on October 06, 2011, 11:51:02 PM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.


I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.

Had to quote this, had a really, really bad night the other night. My Monday night shift was good, made money. On Tuesday, I worked 6 hours and made.... $20. It's not consistent. It doesn't matter if I make $100 one night, my next night might be so bad that it wasn't worth the gas money to drive to work. Also, shifts are extremely hard to get right now, so I'm only getting 3 shifts a week. Serving isn't stable. Most graduates at least have a stable income and hours.

Hi dks,
I know the situation is different in the US and that you have to really on tips, so my example only refers to the UK. I have never met anyone in the UK who tips 20% regularly. In the UK you get a minimum wage (which is not that much lower than a graduate might earn for a starter admin job. The current minimum wage for UK is £6.08 (if aged 21+); there are many graduates earning £10 or just over with no chance of any tips (and too often high expectations on putting in free overtime hours!)

I wasn't referring to the percentage, just the assumption that the server makes great money and has a consistent flow of customers. I've read others online "break it down" mathematically (they'll say a server can have 4 tables that each seat 4, that's 16 people at a time, average meal percentage, 15% off that, etc), but I was just saying that it doesn't work like that. Sorry, I wasn't meaning to call you out, just point out that the idea isn't completely right.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on October 06, 2011, 11:54:02 PM
I was whistled, snapped, and coughed at like a simple dog. I was probably rude but I never responded to any of these gestures and when yelled at later, I just let them know that I am a person and they are welcome to address me as such. Man the many times I could have been fired for sticking up for myself.

This reminds me of a disagreement I had with my Mom. She is against getting the attention of waitstaff, I'm all for it if you're polite.

We were eating at a restaurant right before going to the theater (which we told the server when we sat down), the check was slow in getting to us and my Mom was afraid that we wouldn't make it to the play. I told her to wave at the waitress and ask for the check. She told me that it would be rude to interrupt her and that we should just wait. I disagreed and the next time I saw the waitress I put up my hand with two fingers up (like hailing a cab), the waitress made eye contact and nodded then walked away. The way we were seated meant my Mom didn't see me wave. A few minutes later the waitress came with the check and my Mom said, "See, I told you she'd come by soon" then a few seconds later suspiciously asked, "You waved didn't you?"

When I'm in a restaurant and I need something I will put up my hand to get their attention, I never yell though I will say excuse me if they're walking past and I need something. I get where my mom was coming from because the waitress was helping others, but we needed to leave, and I don't think I interrupted her work. Now I'm worried I have the wrong idea.

It's absolutely fine to get a servers attention, it's how one does it that can be a problem. I've had people yell at me while talking to another table. What you did was absolutely fine and I hope my customers do that when they need my attention. Sometimes servers just don't want you to feel like they're smothering you, so they don't keep stopping by every few minutes. You can absolutely flag them down that way.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: a on October 07, 2011, 06:35:18 AM
I know this thread is old, but Iím amazed that someone in the UK would tip 20% as standard. That would make for a very good salary for waitresses/waiters in restaurants I typically frequent.
Hourly wage: approx £6 (minimum).

For a normal weekday meal (which means weíd spend 1.5 hours tops in the restaurant) Iíd pay around £30 for 2 people. This includes a main each (say £7-9 each), one or possibly two starters (£3-5 each), two or possibly three drinks (£3-5 each).
If we paid a 20% tip itíd be £6. The person serving us would have at least 2 other tables (normally more but Iím being very conservative) to serve. If they eat as little/much as us and spends as much time, this waiter would take home £14 per hour with an extremely conservative estimate Ė probably more.

If I estimate 3 tables, one of which with 4 people instead of 2, and eating 25% more the hourly take home would be £23).
Maybe Iím not getting it but that is more than many graduates get, and they would pay tax on it.


I guess Iím just happy I live in a country where people donít have to depend on other peopleís goodwill to pay their bills/that I donít ever have to tip if I donít want to and nobody can say anything about it.

Had to quote this, had a really, really bad night the other night. My Monday night shift was good, made money. On Tuesday, I worked 6 hours and made.... $20. It's not consistent. It doesn't matter if I make $100 one night, my next night might be so bad that it wasn't worth the gas money to drive to work. Also, shifts are extremely hard to get right now, so I'm only getting 3 shifts a week. Serving isn't stable. Most graduates at least have a stable income and hours.

Hi dks,
I know the situation is different in the US and that you have to really on tips, so my example only refers to the UK. I have never met anyone in the UK who tips 20% regularly. In the UK you get a minimum wage (which is not that much lower than a graduate might earn for a starter admin job. The current minimum wage for UK is £6.08 (if aged 21+); there are many graduates earning £10 or just over with no chance of any tips (and too often high expectations on putting in free overtime hours!)

I wasn't referring to the percentage, just the assumption that the server makes great money and has a consistent flow of customers. I've read others online "break it down" mathematically (they'll say a server can have 4 tables that each seat 4, that's 16 people at a time, average meal percentage, 15% off that, etc), but I was just saying that it doesn't work like that. Sorry, I wasn't meaning to call you out, just point out that the idea isn't completely right.

Ah I see what you mean, no of course one cannot assume a constant flow of customers! Yet another reason why it is so unfair to make people work for completely unreliable 'pay checks'.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Raintree on November 19, 2011, 03:37:04 AM
My top restaurant peeves from a diner's perspective

1) Clearing plates and offering dessert when one diner hasn't finished their main course (that's usually me). That is my absolute number one peeve.

2) "Did you need change?" Yes, just bring it to me and I will then decide on an appropriate tip (I will tell them if I don't want change).

3) Putting MY dessert that I ordered in the middle of the table with extra forks. essentially offering on my behalf to share. Especially when everyone else specifically declined a dessert.

4) Not being given a glass for my beer, and instead expecting me to drink out of the bottle (yes I do ask for a glass, but it should have been brought automatically; this is a restaurant, not a barn.

Lesser peeves (minor really, but just things I don't particularly like):

5) Being presented with an extensive drinks menu and being approached with "Can I get you a drink?" the SECOND I sit down, before I've had a chance to have a look.

6)That whole squatting down to get to eye level when taking orders. I don't know, seems awfully familiar

From my limited time working at a restaurant, busgirl's perspective:

1) People who come in for a full meal 10 minutes before closing

2) Men who make crude comments to the staff, like a "compliment" on how the uniform fits, etc.

3)Snapping fingers, whistling, etc., to get staff's attention

4) When I attempted to remove appetizer plates trying to make way for the entrees that were arriving (ie if it appeared the person had finished but there was still food on the plate and I always asked first, "May I take your plate?") they'd grab onto it like a dog holding onto a bone and say, "Noooo!!!"

Oh I forgot one thing: drives me nuts when servers don't know that cutlery together in the 4:00 position means "finished" and cutlery apart at 4:00 and 8:00 means "not finished." I can forgive customers for not knowing this but if you work in the food service industry it's something you should know about.


Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: crella on November 19, 2011, 05:13:26 AM
Quote
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.


I'm sorry, but this just sounds crazy to me. The servers have to tip others!? Don't people tip the bartender themselves?

I ran a restaurant (a little place in a mall) briefly and one of the things that I was most shocked about, as it was my first time in the food business, was how far below minimum wage the pay in some places was. Newsletters from the Restaurant Association would carry reminders to pay 'at least $2.35 an hour' to servers, in a state where the minimum was at that time $7.65. Why don't restaurants have to pay their staff a living wage like other businesses do?


Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Yvaine on November 19, 2011, 05:21:05 AM
Quote
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.


I'm sorry, but this just sounds crazy to me. The servers have to tip others!? Don't people tip the bartender themselves?


They do if they go to the bar. The theory behind tipping out the bartender is that it's for the work the bartender does for the drinks that are brought to the table instead, like if you have a mixed drink with your dinner. (Or even for the soft drinks etc., in places where the bartender does those too.)
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Miriam on November 19, 2011, 12:03:52 PM
Quote
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.


I'm sorry, but this just sounds crazy to me. The servers have to tip others!? Don't people tip the bartender themselves?


They do if they go to the bar. The theory behind tipping out the bartender is that it's for the work the bartender does for the drinks that are brought to the table instead, like if you have a mixed drink with your dinner. (Or even for the soft drinks etc., in places where the bartender does those too.)

And also tip out the people who clean your table when you're finished. I usually have cleaned my own tables but many restraunts make you tip out anyway regardless if they're sitting in the back picking their nose or actually cleaning. Sigh. A lot of money gets lost going to the bartender, I guess that's why drinks are so overpriced at restraunts.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on November 19, 2011, 12:42:08 PM
Quote
Servers do pay taxes on their tips, and often, they don't get to keep all of their tip money. They have to tip out their bussers, the host(ess) and the bar tender (if there is one). Some restaurants require a mandatory tip out, meaning that a server has to tip out a % of the meal cost, not the tips earned.


I'm sorry, but this just sounds crazy to me. The servers have to tip others!? Don't people tip the bartender themselves?

The bartenders also make our drinks, in which we get tips for. One bartender will stand there and their sole job is make the servers drinks on a Friday/Saturday night. At my restaurant, we tip them 10%. We have bussers who clean our tables in addition to other things that help us (refill ice, bring us clean glasses, put candles out on the tables, etc). We tip them out 15%. Then we also have food runners who get the orders together for tables, make sure the timing is right for when the food is made (so it's not sitting in the window getting cold waiting for a well done steak), they garnish, and take it out to the tables. We tip them 10%. I tip out a total of 35%. If I make $75, I walk with $48. If I make $200, I walk with $130. It's a pretty big tip out, but the restaurant wouldn't run smooth without those people.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on November 19, 2011, 12:51:21 PM
My top restaurant peeves from a diner's perspective

1) Clearing plates and offering dessert when one diner hasn't finished their main course (that's usually me). That is my absolute number one peeve.

Most people don't feel this way though (regarding removing plates), so it's hard to know whether or take the empty plates or not. Some people will sit with their empty plate in front of them, then ask why you haven't taken it away. It's hard to know. What if the people have pushed their plates to the end? The only time I've ever offered dessert before someone was done is when another person was already asking for the check (requirement to offer dessert).

Quote
3) Putting MY dessert that I ordered in the middle of the table with extra forks. essentially offering on my behalf to share. Especially when everyone else specifically declined a dessert.

19 times out of 20, a single person will order a dessert for the whole table or after bringing the dessert, I'll be sent back for more spoons/forks. Or the person who ordered is trying to get the other person to share, so an extra utensil is brought just in case. There are numerous reasons a server might do this, most of the time it's not a bad decision.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Raintree on November 19, 2011, 04:55:52 PM
My top restaurant peeves from a diner's perspective

1) Clearing plates and offering dessert when one diner hasn't finished their main course (that's usually me). That is my absolute number one peeve.

Most people don't feel this way though (regarding removing plates), so it's hard to know whether or take the empty plates or not. Some people will sit with their empty plate in front of them, then ask why you haven't taken it away. It's hard to know. What if the people have pushed their plates to the end? The only time I've ever offered dessert before someone was done is when another person was already asking for the check (requirement to offer dessert).

Quote
3) Putting MY dessert that I ordered in the middle of the table with extra forks. essentially offering on my behalf to share. Especially when everyone else specifically declined a dessert.

19 times out of 20, a single person will order a dessert for the whole table or after bringing the dessert, I'll be sent back for more spoons/forks. Or the person who ordered is trying to get the other person to share, so an extra utensil is brought just in case. There are numerous reasons a server might do this, most of the time it's not a bad decision.

Probably better to ask the person ordering, "Shall I bring extra forks?"  But I was once out with two other people, and both other people said, "Nothing for me, thanks" when offered dessert. I ordered a dessert, and it was put in the middle of the table with extra forks. That puts me in the awkward position of feeling like I have to offer everyone a bite before moving it to its rightful place in front of me.

As for the removal of plates, I guess everyone has a different preference but I was taught to never remove plates until everyone is finished with that course, so that the remaining diners don't feel rushed. And also that it's rude as the person dining (or at least violates some kind of etiquette code) to push your plate away when you're done.

I can accept plates being removed before everyone's done, even though I don't like it much, but it really really bugs me when the server offers other people dessert while I'm still eating main course. Different scenario if everyone's just casually grabbing a bite on their lunch break, and one person needs to get back to work, another just joined in, etc, ie everyone's on a different schedule. But when you're all out to specifically get dinner together, if the server does this I am tempted to write to management and mention that their staff needs more training.

I am also uncomfortable with this when it's someone ELSE in the group that hasn't finished eating, not just when it's me.

Another thing I find off-putting is when they whip your plate away just as you're chewing your last mouthful and still holding the fork (yep, this happened) and asked if you want anything else. Sheesh, I know you want to turn over that table but it doesn't make for an enjoyable meal.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: SiotehCat on November 19, 2011, 04:58:33 PM
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: MrsJWine on November 19, 2011, 05:02:42 PM
Cutlery together at 4:00 is only helpful if it's a place where most diners will know to do that. At the places I've worked, if I attempted to take away plates based on the positioning of the cutlery, I'd have lost a lot of tips. My personal rule was to always ask until I was familiar with that particular diner's preferences.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: violinp on November 19, 2011, 05:13:55 PM
To the man who came in right as we were leaving last night:

It is not lawful to smoke in a restaurant in OurState and has not been for a couple years now. Asking loudly whether you had been put in the smoking section, at this late date, is...odd. However, that poor waiter was trying to do his job and tell you the answer to your question, as were your friends. Getting upset and calling the situation cow dung is not exactly the best way to go about this. I felt really sorry for your friends and SO, who were pretty well red - faced on account of your behavior.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Daffodil on November 20, 2011, 12:03:59 PM
Here is one that drives me insane - families who let their children run wild in restaurants.

The restaurant is *not* a funhouse. Your child(ren) need to remain in their seats and if they get up and start running around, you (the parent) are supposed to get them. It is not the servers job to gather your children and bring them back to their seat, they have better things to do than play babysitter.

Once when I went out to eat, a family did this. Their daughter was climbing over empty tables and around ours. She almost got hot food spilled all over her - and it wouldn't have been the servers fault. Where were the parents ? Sitting at their table, not caring.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Dindrane on November 21, 2011, 10:58:48 PM
<snip>
I ran a restaurant (a little place in a mall) briefly and one of the things that I was most shocked about, as it was my first time in the food business, was how far below minimum wage the pay in some places was. Newsletters from the Restaurant Association would carry reminders to pay 'at least $2.35 an hour' to servers, in a state where the minimum was at that time $7.65. Why don't restaurants have to pay their staff a living wage like other businesses do?

Restaurants do have to pay their servers at least minimum wage in every state I know about.  The reason restaurants can pay a lower hourly rate is that all servers are supposed to be making up the difference with tips.  If for some reason they don't, the restaurant has to pay them a higher wage so that nobody is working for less than minimum wage.

So the big difference between states is really what that minimum "before tips" wage is allowed to be.  In some states, it's several dollars below minimum wage.  In other states, it's the same as minimum wage.  It's part of the reason why discussions about tipping can be difficult to have when you're talking about multiple regions/states.  Where I live, servers make almost $9/hour before tips, so anyone working a busy night at a popular restaurant could probably do pretty well, even if they have to tip out.  That's much less likely to be true in a state where servers start at $2.65/hour, but if the stories I've heard from people who waited tables in such a state are true, it's still possible.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: jazzbeat on November 22, 2011, 09:12:25 AM
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.

That would be a breach of etiquette in a finer restaurant.  A waiter should never remove plates until everyone is done eating.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: SiotehCat on November 22, 2011, 03:20:09 PM
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.

That would be a breach of etiquette in a finer restaurant.  A waiter should never remove plates until everyone is done eating.

Do you really think I'm going to be doing any fine dining with her? No way!

When she did this the first time, we were at IHOP and I just wanted the booth to suck me in. It was awful. I also know that he received a very small tip from her.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on December 05, 2011, 11:58:51 AM
I can accept plates being removed before everyone's done, even though I don't like it much, but it really really bugs me when the server offers other people dessert while I'm still eating main course. Different scenario if everyone's just casually grabbing a bite on their lunch break, and one person needs to get back to work, another just joined in, etc, ie everyone's on a different schedule. But when you're all out to specifically get dinner together, if the server does this I am tempted to write to management and mention that their staff needs more training.

I am also uncomfortable with this when it's someone ELSE in the group that hasn't finished eating, not just when it's me.

Another thing I find off-putting is when they whip your plate away just as you're chewing your last mouthful and still holding the fork (yep, this happened) and asked if you want anything else. Sheesh, I know you want to turn over that table but it doesn't make for an enjoyable meal.

I agree with you there. Huge no-no. Sadly, sometimes restaurants are pushing to clear plates aggressively.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on December 05, 2011, 12:03:32 PM
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.

Yeah, I see this too. There really isn't a "right" way, as it's completely a preference thing for people. What she did was very, very rude though. Sometimes the server doesn't have time to take the plates back into the dish room. They might have hot food that needs to go out first or run martinis to the table before the ice on top melts. Or they may be cashing a table out who's in a hurry. That's why from a server POV, I like to take plates as people are done with them, to clear room and get them as soon as I can. I've had it where 4-5 tables will all finish at once. That's a lot of rushing to grab plates before the people wonder where I went or what's taking so long to clear them.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on December 05, 2011, 12:04:06 PM
Here is one that drives me insane - families who let their children run wild in restaurants.

The restaurant is *not* a funhouse. Your child(ren) need to remain in their seats and if they get up and start running around, you (the parent) are supposed to get them. It is not the servers job to gather your children and bring them back to their seat, they have better things to do than play babysitter.

Once when I went out to eat, a family did this. Their daughter was climbing over empty tables and around ours. She almost got hot food spilled all over her - and it wouldn't have been the servers fault. Where were the parents ? Sitting at their table, not caring.

Since when is this not appropriate!? Geez!


:p
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on December 05, 2011, 12:05:50 PM
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.

That would be a breach of etiquette in a finer restaurant.  A waiter should never remove plates until everyone is done eating.

Do you really think I'm going to be doing any fine dining with her? No way!

When she did this the first time, we were at IHOP and I just wanted the booth to suck me in. It was awful. I also know that he received a very small tip from her.

I would have had no problem calling this SS out. :P Then followed with "Since you're a cheap a**, I'm going to tip extra for you."
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on December 05, 2011, 12:14:27 PM
2 more to add:

When paying your tab, don't expect your server to make change/swipe your card at the snap of your fingers. I was very busy yesterday and someone gave me 2-$20's and I had to make change from the bar. I picked up the check, walked immediately over to the bar, asked for change, went back to the computer (right by her booth) to close out the check to put it in the check presenter, and I heard her say in a rude voice "Can I get my change." Not even 20 seconds had passed. I followed with "Yes, I'm waiting for change from the bar." Even for cards, sometimes there's a wait for the computer. Or sometimes we have to get out condiments for a table that just got their food. Or whatever. You'd be surprised at some impatient people get.

If you're in a hurry, a busy restaurant is not the place you want to go for lunch/dinner. If you are going to dine in when you're kinda in a rush, know what you want to order when you sit down. And don't order food that takes a long time to cook (rack of ribs, well done burger or steak, stuff like that) I've had so many people take 20 minutes to order, then right before their food came said "Hey, I'm in a hurry, where's my food?" Or have a movie to get to, but don't tell the server until 1-2 minutes before they have to get out. If you're on a time constraint, let your server know at the beginning.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: FoxPaws on December 05, 2011, 02:00:45 PM
Also for diners-in-a-hurry:

- Don't make a 1001 substitutions or special requests. Every deviation from the menu takes extra time in the kitchen.
- Ask for your preferred condiments when you place your order. Yep, even ketchup for the fries. Anything that saves the server a trip saves you time as well.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Wonderflonium on December 05, 2011, 02:01:39 PM
I never order burgers or steak if I'm in a hurry, because I like them well done.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: SiotehCat on December 05, 2011, 02:07:59 PM
When dining out, one of my friends gets super snippy if her plate isnt cleared immediately after she is done eating. I have seen her pick up the finished plates and take them over to the waiter herself. It gets embarrassing.

That would be a breach of etiquette in a finer restaurant.  A waiter should never remove plates until everyone is done eating.

Do you really think I'm going to be doing any fine dining with her? No way!

When she did this the first time, we were at IHOP and I just wanted the booth to suck me in. It was awful. I also know that he received a very small tip from her.

I would have had no problem calling this SS out. :P Then followed with "Since you're a cheap a**, I'm going to tip extra for you."

That is almost exactly what I did! I didn't use that exact wording and I didn't tell her that I was going to tip extra, but I did tip extra. I am usually a very good tipper because I eat out/order take out from the same restaurants a lot.

I don't think that server could have done anything right in her eyes that night.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Erich L-ster on February 05, 2012, 12:12:04 AM
I don't really know where to put this but:
(and bear in mind I'm not referring to 5star or black tie dining situations)

Is it bad manners to dip bread into (your own bowl) stew or soup? Is it bad to dip bread into sauce on your plate? Is it bad to use bread to help push food onto your fork?
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: violinp on February 05, 2012, 02:19:07 AM
I don't really know where to put this but:
(and bear in mind I'm not referring to 5star or black tie dining situations)

Is it bad manners to dip bread into (your own bowl) stew or soup? Is it bad to dip bread into sauce on your plate? Is it bad to use bread to help push food onto your fork?

Not that I know of. My mom mops up her olive oil with garlic bread whenever we go to out favorite Italian restaurant.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Dindrane on February 05, 2012, 11:55:49 AM
I don't really know where to put this but:
(and bear in mind I'm not referring to 5star or black tie dining situations)

Is it bad manners to dip bread into (your own bowl) stew or soup? Is it bad to dip bread into sauce on your plate? Is it bad to use bread to help push food onto your fork?

I would guess that, officially, it probably isn't good manners.  So if you get invited to any state dinners, I'd avoid doing it. :)

In a casual setting, I think it depends more upon your dining companions.  If they don't mind it, then I don't think it's bad.  I do a lot of things when I eat in casual situations that are not strictly good manners, but since they do not make me appear disgusting to my companions, nobody cares.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: 25wishes on April 29, 2012, 05:00:35 PM
not sure if this has been mentioned.  I don't go out to eat a lot but I have friends (an older couple) who do. They are always telling me about how their waitresses are doing what I call "dry begging" - telling them sad stories about their life and hard times (usually involving kids). This couple is a soft touch and I think the servers can tell. The gentleman said he was thinking of giving the waitress an extra $50 to help her out. I finally mentioned to him, "If you owned a restaurant and you found out the servers were telling hard-luck stories to the patrons, would you think that was professional behavior?" He admitted it was not.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on April 29, 2012, 05:04:08 PM
not sure if this has been mentioned.  I don't go out to eat a lot but I have friends (an older couple) who do. They are always telling me about how their waitresses are doing what I call "dry begging" - telling them sad stories about their life and hard times (usually involving kids). This couple is a soft touch and I think the servers can tell. The gentleman said he was thinking of giving the waitress an extra $50 to help her out. I finally mentioned to him, "If you owned a restaurant and you found out the servers were telling hard-luck stories to the patrons, would you think that was professional behavior?" He admitted it was not.

Yeah, that's not acceptable. If someone asks about your personal life though, that's different. I've had many customers ask me about my future plans and personal life. When I tell them I'm saving up to go back to school, I'm honestly not telling them to get more tips. I like building relationships with my customers. I've gotten some very useful information from them too.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on May 14, 2012, 11:23:20 PM
I may have said this one already, but it's been happening so much lately at my work that I had to post it, just in case.


When the expo's/servers are bringing food to your table, know what you order and pay attention when they tell you the item in their hand. The other day, I was bringing Mac and Cheese to a table and had a feeling where the entree went (seat numbers, although people move around so they're not full proof). The guy said it wasn't his, I went around the whole table, no one claimed it. I went back to the guy and said "You don't have a Mac and Cheese?" "No." I took it to the kitchen and told them to hold on to it. I came back out and everyone else had their food. I asked him what he had... "The Mac and Cheese" DUDE, I JUST ASKED YOU TWICE!! It might not seem like a big deal, but sometimes going back and forth can cause the food to get cold. Having to remake and comp a $17 meal is not ideal and makes the server look bad. And be careful not to claim food that isn't yours. It happens way more often than you'd think. One guy completely flipped out on a server because HE claimed the wrong soup. He screamed at her "It's all your fault" over an over. He was rude and crazy, but he was 100% at fault for claiming the wrong soup.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Mopsy428 on May 15, 2012, 04:12:22 PM
Also, customer, please move your belongings from your place setting.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on May 18, 2012, 05:41:04 AM
Also, customer, please move your belongings from your place setting.

YES YES YES! It makes me so nervous when people have their iPhones on the table when I'm reaching full cups and hot food over to them. I don't know why people think it's a good idea to leave phones and other expensive items on the table in the first place. I wish people would at least move them to the other side of the table (or booth). People usually set them down on the end near me, so I'm forced to hand things over it or where I'm about to set their plate down. A restaurant is a place to eat, not your office desk.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: snowdragon on May 19, 2012, 10:13:26 PM
I don't care if your name is "Julia Childs" you don't go into the kitchen with out an invite. No it doesn't matter who you are or what your/your kid's issue is, you don't belong there.

Do not let your kid play under other people's table...it's unsafe and annoying

The waitstaff is not your personal staff, don't treat them as such.

For the staff:

I know it's your eleventy-millionth time explaining today's specials, don't get upset with me if  I don't know what egg sauce would go on salmon if it's my first time there.

don't sit down with me - especially if I am on the end of the bench and you have to "shove it" if you do I will dock your tip accordingly.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on May 20, 2012, 12:24:42 PM
Never ever ever ever take up a booth for 4 hours during a busy night and not tip $20+.


Yesterday I had a couple who came in, ordered water, sat for an hour, ordered $4 guac and chips, watched the entire Laker game, and tipped me $1. 4 hours in one (8 top) booth I could have made great money on. I want to nominate the couple for a**holes of the year.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: NyaChan on May 20, 2012, 04:26:26 PM
Also, customer, please move your belongings from your place setting.

YES YES YES! It makes me so nervous when people have their iPhones on the table when I'm reaching full cups and hot food over to them. I don't know why people think it's a good idea to leave phones and other expensive items on the table in the first place. I wish people would at least move them to the other side of the table (or booth). People usually set them down on the end near me, so I'm forced to hand things over it or where I'm about to set their plate down. A restaurant is a place to eat, not your office desk.

Whoops  :-[  Sorry, I never thought about it that way.  Duly noted!
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: snowdragon on May 20, 2012, 05:21:35 PM
Do not reach over to another's plate and steal their food,,,,I don't care that you want a taste. It's gross.  Nor does everyone at the table have to share with your kid because you want to save on buying them a dinner. Do you hear hear me, dear cousin?

If some one is on a special diet it's even ruder to "share" their dish...it means they will likely not get enough to eat since they can share everyone else's food.

Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on May 21, 2012, 01:44:10 AM
Also, customer, please move your belongings from your place setting.

YES YES YES! It makes me so nervous when people have their iPhones on the table when I'm reaching full cups and hot food over to them. I don't know why people think it's a good idea to leave phones and other expensive items on the table in the first place. I wish people would at least move them to the other side of the table (or booth). People usually set them down on the end near me, so I'm forced to hand things over it or where I'm about to set their plate down. A restaurant is a place to eat, not your office desk.

Whoops  :-[  Sorry, I never thought about it that way.  Duly noted!

Thank You  ;D
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Bottlecaps on May 23, 2012, 11:00:21 PM
not sure if this has been mentioned.  I don't go out to eat a lot but I have friends (an older couple) who do. They are always telling me about how their waitresses are doing what I call "dry begging" - telling them sad stories about their life and hard times (usually involving kids). This couple is a soft touch and I think the servers can tell. The gentleman said he was thinking of giving the waitress an extra $50 to help her out. I finally mentioned to him, "If you owned a restaurant and you found out the servers were telling hard-luck stories to the patrons, would you think that was professional behavior?" He admitted it was not.

There used to be a waitress at the restaurant in which I work who would do this all the time. She would always tell customers about her kids and how expensive they were and how many bills she had (which, it might be rude of me to pass judgement, but it was her own fault her bills were so high because she constantly tried to live way outside of her means). Ninety-nine percent of the time, the customer hadn't even so much as asked if she had any children, let alone that she had two children, their birthdays were coming up, and she had so many bills and not nearly enough money, yada yada yada. It was downright embarrassing to be near her when she was doing this, and I can't imagine how it made the customers feel. The thing is, she was known for not taking very good care of her tables then wondering why she didn't receive very good tips. Hmmmm, maybe because she didn't take good care of them and then "dry begged" for a good tip that she didn't earn. Thank goodness she doesn't work there anymore. I very rarely discuss my personal life with my tables, and I *only* discuss my personal life if I am asked about it. Even then, I keep the answer short with a smile, and then move on with the conversation. They didn't ask for details, and I'm not the type to volunteer them.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: purplemuse on June 24, 2012, 05:19:55 PM
For the kitchen staff: please time the courses appropriately. I don't want to receive my main course 5 minutes after the appetizer came out.

For waitstaff: please don't serve the food, then come back 10 seconds later (while I'm probably still "condimenting" my meal and haven't had a chance to taste anything yet)and ask if everything is okay, then disappear for the rest of the meal. Give me a little time to check things out, taste, etc.

Also, just to avoid the appearance of impropriety, I think that waitstaff should be careful not to spend more time than absolutely necessary with a customer's credit card in their possession.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: snowdragon on June 24, 2012, 05:36:38 PM
Waitstaff: Do not seat people so closely that one table has to disrupt another table to get up from their seats. If there is  not enough room for a reasonably sized adult to sit there with out blocking another table in - don't sit another table there. Diners should not have to leave/interrupt  their dinners in order to solve your seating issues.

Diners: Do NOT ever place your hands or allow another in your party to touch another Diner - no matter what your reasoning. Yes, this includes the above situation or kids playing, or any other situation you can think of.  Your hands, ect belong in your seat/booth/ect not touching or interuding on others ( in any way shape or form.)
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on June 25, 2012, 11:46:44 AM
For the kitchen staff: please time the courses appropriately. I don't want to receive my main course 5 minutes after the appetizer came out.

For waitstaff: please don't serve the food, then come back 10 seconds later (while I'm probably still "condimenting" my meal and haven't had a chance to taste anything yet)and ask if everything is okay, then disappear for the rest of the meal. Give me a little time to check things out, taste, etc.

Also, just to avoid the appearance of impropriety, I think that waitstaff should be careful not to spend more time than absolutely necessary with a customer's credit card in their possession.

The kitchen staff shouldn't have anything to do with coursing unless it takes them too long to get an appetizer out. That's usually the servers who do that, although it can happen when you time it right and the kitchen is behind.

Servers have to follow certain restaurant standards. You say don't like it when they come back 10 seconds later, but I've had people upset when I didn't come by that fast because "their fries are getting cold and they need ranch." They definitely shouldn't disappear after that. I will usually say "Did everything turn out right? Is there anything I can get for you at this moment?" If they say yes, I get it and say (or skip previous step if they say no) "Enjoy. I'll be by in a few minutes to make sure everything is good."

 :o What if the computers have a huge line? Or the server is taking another order and the table won't let them get away to run it? Or they're having issues with the strip on the card sliding? You have to be realistic.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: purplemuse on June 25, 2012, 12:42:11 PM
For the kitchen staff: please time the courses appropriately. I don't want to receive my main course 5 minutes after the appetizer came out.

For waitstaff: please don't serve the food, then come back 10 seconds later (while I'm probably still "condimenting" my meal and haven't had a chance to taste anything yet)and ask if everything is okay, then disappear for the rest of the meal. Give me a little time to check things out, taste, etc.

Also, just to avoid the appearance of impropriety, I think that waitstaff should be careful not to spend more time than absolutely necessary with a customer's credit card in their possession.

The kitchen staff shouldn't have anything to do with coursing unless it takes them too long to get an appetizer out. That's usually the servers who do that, although it can happen when you time it right and the kitchen is behind.

Servers have to follow certain restaurant standards. You say don't like it when they come back 10 seconds later, but I've had people upset when I didn't come by that fast because "their fries are getting cold and they need ranch." They definitely shouldn't disappear after that. I will usually say "Did everything turn out right? Is there anything I can get for you at this moment?" If they say yes, I get it and say (or skip previous step if they say no) "Enjoy. I'll be by in a few minutes to make sure everything is good."

 :o What if the computers have a huge line? Or the server is taking another order and the table won't let them get away to run it? Or they're having issues with the strip on the card sliding? You have to be realistic.

Whenever we've had problems with the courses coming out too quickly, it's been when the restaurant is pretty quiet, so I assumed the kitchen was making the entrees too quickly after the appetizer because they didn't have other meals to work on. If that's incorrect, then the comment goes to whoever is responsible.

It's not the 10 seconds thing that bothers me, it's the 10 seconds + disappearing. 10 seconds isn't long enough for me to find that my chicken is undercooked in the middle or that my pizza has italian sausage instead of the beef topping I ordered. My point is, if you're only going to come by one time, give the patrons a few minutes to figure out if something is wrong. So basically, what you said :)
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on June 25, 2012, 01:10:23 PM
For the kitchen staff: please time the courses appropriately. I don't want to receive my main course 5 minutes after the appetizer came out.

For waitstaff: please don't serve the food, then come back 10 seconds later (while I'm probably still "condimenting" my meal and haven't had a chance to taste anything yet)and ask if everything is okay, then disappear for the rest of the meal. Give me a little time to check things out, taste, etc.

Also, just to avoid the appearance of impropriety, I think that waitstaff should be careful not to spend more time than absolutely necessary with a customer's credit card in their possession.

The kitchen staff shouldn't have anything to do with coursing unless it takes them too long to get an appetizer out. That's usually the servers who do that, although it can happen when you time it right and the kitchen is behind.

Servers have to follow certain restaurant standards. You say don't like it when they come back 10 seconds later, but I've had people upset when I didn't come by that fast because "their fries are getting cold and they need ranch." They definitely shouldn't disappear after that. I will usually say "Did everything turn out right? Is there anything I can get for you at this moment?" If they say yes, I get it and say (or skip previous step if they say no) "Enjoy. I'll be by in a few minutes to make sure everything is good."

 :o What if the computers have a huge line? Or the server is taking another order and the table won't let them get away to run it? Or they're having issues with the strip on the card sliding? You have to be realistic.

Whenever we've had problems with the courses coming out too quickly, it's been when the restaurant is pretty quiet, so I assumed the kitchen was making the entrees too quickly after the appetizer because they didn't have other meals to work on. If that's incorrect, then the comment goes to whoever is responsible.

It's not the 10 seconds thing that bothers me, it's the 10 seconds + disappearing. 10 seconds isn't long enough for me to find that my chicken is undercooked in the middle or that my pizza has italian sausage instead of the beef topping I ordered. My point is, if you're only going to come by one time, give the patrons a few minutes to figure out if something is wrong. So basically, what you said :)

That can definitely happen too. That's why if we're slow and it's a quick cooking food, I'll wait until the customers are halfway done with their appetizers/mostly done with their salads before ringing in their entrees. What's even more annoying (to servers) is when it's slow and because it's slow, the cooks are too busy talking to do their jobs. Being the server, you're the one who takes the anger and frustration when food comes out wrong/too fast/too slow/cold. It's also hard to gauge how fast/slow people are going to eat. Some people eat their starter salads in under a minute, some take 15. It's a guessing game, really (educated guesses). We have an idea on how long each entree takes to cook, but we don't know how fast it's going to come out. And we don't know how long it will take the customer to eat the starters.

Just a little insight :)
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Style_and_Grace on June 25, 2012, 02:04:46 PM
For the kitchen staff: please time the courses appropriately. I don't want to receive my main course 5 minutes after the appetizer came out.

For waitstaff: please don't serve the food, then come back 10 seconds later (while I'm probably still "condimenting" my meal and haven't had a chance to taste anything yet)and ask if everything is okay, then disappear for the rest of the meal. Give me a little time to check things out, taste, etc.

Also, just to avoid the appearance of impropriety, I think that waitstaff should be careful not to spend more time than absolutely necessary with a customer's credit card in their possession.

Timing of the meals is usually on the server.  They should be aware of what is going on in the kitchen and time their placing of orders correctly. 
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: mstigerlily on June 30, 2012, 09:50:03 PM
Okay, wondering if you can help me. At of my favorite casual dining restaurants (Max and Erma's, if it makes any difference) you can order their food to go. That's all good, but when I go in to pay for my food, the check comes with a line for tips, and last time I was there, they had a tip jar sitting out on the to-go counter.

My dilemma is- should/need I tip the to-go person? My original instinct is no, because they aren't really waiting on me, but...
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: snowdragon on July 01, 2012, 09:06:08 AM
I do not tip for take out.  I tip for delivery or for waitresses.  People  who work take out - make a normal wage and do not use their cars to bring me my food...deliveries do, waitresses do not make a normal wage. I feel tip for take out is no different than going to a  Mc Donald's or Subway, I don't tip for those either.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: hobish on July 02, 2012, 04:16:52 PM
Okay, wondering if you can help me. At of my favorite casual dining restaurants (Max and Erma's, if it makes any difference) you can order their food to go. That's all good, but when I go in to pay for my food, the check comes with a line for tips, and last time I was there, they had a tip jar sitting out on the to-go counter.

My dilemma is- should/need I tip the to-go person? My original instinct is no, because they aren't really waiting on me, but...

It is up to you. I used to work for Denny's and while we had take out we weren't really set up for take out, if you know what i mean? Take out orders were such a huge pain in the rear. The server still had to make sure everything was plated properly, plus make sure things didn't all run together in transit ( it's a lot easier to keep your eggs and pancakes from becoming mash from window to table than from to-go container to wherever the customer was taking it), and find plasticware (which didn't get used much so god knows where they might be), bag all the mess up and still get paid $3 an hour and getting taxed on your food order to do it. I have not worked there in more than 15 years and i still remember the face of the guy who used to order take out at 3 am when i was the only one there and get snippy if it wasn't perfect and never ever ever left a tip. He better not ever find me in a dark alley.

I am sure there are places that have their stuff together a heckuva lot better than that place ever did.

-hobish, champion grudge holder  :P


Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on July 02, 2012, 08:47:37 PM
While 15-20% isn't expected, a few dollars would be nice. At every restaurant I've worked at, a to go order is almost as much work as waiting on someone. It requires taking an order, ringing it into the computer, packing it up, putting in condiments, getting all of the sauces in ramekins, sometimes labeling, and bagging. It's not nearly as easy as say doing a to go order at Burger King (and trust me, I've worked fast food). Restaurants often aren't set up for simple To Go orders like a fast food place. Where I work, hostesses (who do To Go orders) make $1 more an hour than servers and don't get tips usually. They make less than 1/3 what the servers make.

I remember being a hostess, making $7 an hour, and putting together this huge to go order ($200 worth). I labeled every box, went above and beyond, and didn't even get $1.  I didn't expect $30, but they really couldn't even leave me $5. I felt jipped.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on July 02, 2012, 08:59:11 PM
bag all the mess up and still get paid $3 an hour and getting taxed on your food order to do it.

A lot of people don't realize that sometimes the person who does your to go order has to pay taxes on an expected tip, even if they don't earn it. I would rather wait on a table than deal with a to go order (assuming I got the same tip from both). As I said in my post above, the restaurants I've worked at haven't been set up well for To Go orders either. Say a customer dining in orders a salad with hot chicken on it... that would be packaged in 3 containers instead of 1 plate. Ramekin for the dressing, box for the hot chicken, box for the lettuce.

I hold a grudge too from big To Go order experience  :P
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: kareng57 on July 02, 2012, 09:04:42 PM
Okay, wondering if you can help me. At of my favorite casual dining restaurants (Max and Erma's, if it makes any difference) you can order their food to go. That's all good, but when I go in to pay for my food, the check comes with a line for tips, and last time I was there, they had a tip jar sitting out on the to-go counter.

My dilemma is- should/need I tip the to-go person? My original instinct is no, because they aren't really waiting on me, but...


I think it's up to you - but if it's a restaurant that is generally geared to dining-in, I do tip a small amount for a pickup order.  Not as much as I would for dining-in- maybe 8 or 10 %, rounding it up to the most convenient $$ amount.  Someone is taking extra time to assemble the pickup order, as opposed to a fast-food place where perhaps the majority of orders would be take-out.  That said - if I gave something like $12 for a $ 9.50 order and got asked "do you want change" my answer was "now, I do".

I do disagree with a PP's assertion that a pickup order can be almost as much work as dining in.  I'm not saying that it's no work at all, but there's not the work involved in constantly revisiting a table to make sure that they're satisfied, don't need refills on drinks, etc.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on July 02, 2012, 09:48:36 PM
Okay, wondering if you can help me. At of my favorite casual dining restaurants (Max and Erma's, if it makes any difference) you can order their food to go. That's all good, but when I go in to pay for my food, the check comes with a line for tips, and last time I was there, they had a tip jar sitting out on the to-go counter.

My dilemma is- should/need I tip the to-go person? My original instinct is no, because they aren't really waiting on me, but...


I think it's up to you - but if it's a restaurant that is generally geared to dining-in, I do tip a small amount for a pickup order.  Not as much as I would for dining-in- maybe 8 or 10 %, rounding it up to the most convenient $$ amount.  Someone is taking extra time to assemble the pickup order, as opposed to a fast-food place where perhaps the majority of orders would be take-out.  That said - if I gave something like $12 for a $ 9.50 order and got asked "do you want change" my answer was "now, I do".

I do disagree with a PP's assertion that a pickup order can be almost as much work as dining in.  I'm not saying that it's no work at all, but there's not the work involved in constantly revisiting a table to make sure that they're satisfied, don't need refills on drinks, etc.

Why?

With a lot of modifiers and sides of things, yes, it can be more work.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Sharnita on July 03, 2012, 06:50:25 AM
The worker should always give the customer the change back and then let them decide what to do with it.  The furtest I would go would be to say "I'll be right back with your change" and if they tell you to keep it then you are fine.  But asking if they want thier money is presumptuous.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Cami on July 03, 2012, 09:14:39 AM
I remember being a hostess, making $7 an hour, and putting together this huge to go order ($200 worth). I labeled every box, went above and beyond, and didn't even get $1.  I didn't expect $30, but they really couldn't even leave me $5. I felt jipped.

How would a customer know you'd gone to all that trouble? Whenever I've done a pick up, I am handed a bag or two and I take it.  I pay and go.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: Miss Understood on July 03, 2012, 09:58:42 AM
The worker should always give the customer the change back and then let them decide what to do with it.  The furtest I would go would be to say "I'll be right back with your change" and if they tell you to keep it then you are fine.  But asking if they want thier money is presumptuous.

The worker should err on the side of caution, but I'm not sure why the customer would hand over $12 for a $9.50 order unless the extra $2.50 was intended to be a tip.  Otherwise wouldn't you hand over $10?  Why the extra 2 singles if you just want them to be handed back?
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on July 03, 2012, 01:26:36 PM
The worker should always give the customer the change back and then let them decide what to do with it.  The furtest I would go would be to say "I'll be right back with your change" and if they tell you to keep it then you are fine.  But asking if they want thier money is presumptuous.

That's what I do unless the bill is say $17 and they give me a $20 and $1.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on July 03, 2012, 01:30:09 PM
I remember being a hostess, making $7 an hour, and putting together this huge to go order ($200 worth). I labeled every box, went above and beyond, and didn't even get $1.  I didn't expect $30, but they really couldn't even leave me $5. I felt jipped.

How would a customer know you'd gone to all that trouble? Whenever I've done a pick up, I am handed a bag or two and I take it.  I pay and go.

It wasn't a bag or two, it was a $200 order. I explained to them the order: "I labeled everything, all of the burgers are going to be in these two bags, blah blah blah, I put all of the condiments in a separate bag, etc etc etc." When your order covers the entire bar, it's obvious it took a lot of work.
Title: Re: Restaurant etiquette
Post by: dks64 on July 03, 2012, 01:36:28 PM
The worker should always give the customer the change back and then let them decide what to do with it.  The furtest I would go would be to say "I'll be right back with your change" and if they tell you to keep it then you are fine.  But asking if they want thier money is presumptuous.

The worker should err on the side of caution, but I'm not sure why the customer would hand over $12 for a $9.50 order unless the extra $2.50 was intended to be a tip.  Otherwise wouldn't you hand over $10?  Why the extra 2 singles if you just want them to be handed back?

Sometimes they hear the total wrong (as to go order totals are often said verbally) and expect coin change. I've seen that happen before. I think it's more the customers responsibility to tell the person "the rest is for you," to clear any confusion.