Author Topic: Short changed at a restaurant  (Read 16510 times)

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delabela

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #45 on: September 29, 2013, 07:45:13 PM »
I am a server, & I admit to doing this at times, but only when the change is less than a quarter. I'm so annoyed at change in general, I don't know why we still use pennies, which to me are completely useless. I guess I assumed everyone felt the same way, but now I realize they don't! I will start bringing everyone their change.

Ever not get a tip and not know why?

I am glad you won't be doing that anymore.

Please forgive me if it's not my place to say, but this seems harsh - especially when the poster is acknowledging she made an assumption that she realizes is incorrect and will not be making any more.

Harsh why?  It's something that's been brought up in this thread and I genuinely wonder.

Possibly due to the limits of relaying tone in writing - but I thought your statement came across as sarcastic and a bit like taunting the poster.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2013, 07:50:57 PM »
When I was a waitress, it was a pain to give back exact change for a variety of reasons. So I always rounded. Now, I always rounded up, so if I owed them 37 cents, I'd give back 50 cents, so I wasn't doing what people complain about here. But I certainly understand why some don't give change back and I can't imagine myself ever caring about someone keeping thirty cents that I was going to give anyway.

I wouldn't have a problem with this.  If you are giving me back change, rounded to the nearest quarter, that's fine.  Here in Canada, we've actually done away with the penny so I would only be expecting 35 cents, anyway.  It is the principle of the matter, for me. 

I once loaned someone a package of Kraft Dinner.  She told me she would replace it.  Then when it came time to do that, she told me to buy it and she'd reimburse me.  When I replaced it at full cost, when I'd normally only buy it on sale, and told her how much she owed me?  She refused to pay me.  Yes, it was less than $1 but it was the principle of the matter.  And I see this very similarly.  And no, I never loaned her anything ever again.
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Ontario

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #47 on: September 29, 2013, 08:18:12 PM »
I've been a waitress and a cashier and even if it's a pain (which I never thought it was.  There are many reasons I hate those jobs, but counting coins was not one of them), I give back the full amount.  It's not my money even if it's only a penny.  I doubt the owner of the store/restaurant will forgive .37 cents from each customer just because the customers think it's a pain to fumble and count out coins when it's time to pay (yes, I know most customers pay with bills, but for those who hate coins or don't want all those coins back for a bill of $10.13, they will need to fumble for the exact change.)

gollymolly2

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #48 on: September 29, 2013, 08:25:14 PM »
I've been a waitress and a cashier and even if it's a pain (which I never thought it was.  There are many reasons I hate those jobs, but counting coins was not one of them), I give back the full amount.  It's not my money even if it's only a penny.  I doubt the owner of the store/restaurant will forgive .37 cents from each customer just because the customers think it's a pain to fumble and count out coins when it's time to pay (yes, I know most customers pay with bills, but for those who hate coins or don't want all those coins back for a bill of $10.13, they will need to fumble for the exact change.)

In my experience, some places have cash registers, in which case it's very easy to make change. And others require servers to be their own cashiers - so the servers have to bring in their own bill and coin change each day and carry it around. For those places, there are lots of reasons it can be difficult to make exact change (you don't want to carry around a ton of coins, a few customers end up needing a lot of change, resulting in you running out of coins, etc). Not saying it's a huge ordeal, but lots of tiles it was easier to just round (up) than to find another server or the bartender and have them break a dime for you.

Not saying that it's good practice to give back less change than is owed. I just don't see any need to assign nefarious intentions. Just doesn't seem like a big deal. It's a matter of cents.

TurtleDove

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #49 on: September 29, 2013, 08:25:44 PM »
I think there is a difference between a cashier and a waitress. A cashier has a cash register and there is no expectation of a tip. Like I said, I don't pay in cash but a typical lunch for two might be $34.17 and I would just add $7 as roughly 20% and call it a day for a total of $41.17. If for some reason I were paying cash I bet I would put two twenties and a five and leave it all for a total of $45. In my circle of colleagues and friends, my approach is typical. As a former server I feel tipping is a part of eating out.

Sharnita

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #50 on: September 29, 2013, 08:42:54 PM »
I don't see failure to return the appropriate change because it was too much effort or because you don't know how as being all that superior to avarice.

TurtleDove

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #51 on: September 29, 2013, 08:50:41 PM »
I don't see failure to return the appropriate change because it was too much effort or because you don't know how as being all that superior to avarice.

I think there is (at least) a third reason of "because it is a pointless exercise." When I was cocktailing I can think of very few times a person actually wanted their change as in coins back. I think I always asked but the answer was 99.99% percent, "don't be silly." I see not everyone agrees, but I don't think it's fair to paint the change-keeping servers as maliciously taking advantage of their customers or as too stupid to count change.

Shoo

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #52 on: September 29, 2013, 09:25:09 PM »
I am a server, & I admit to doing this at times, but only when the change is less than a quarter. I'm so annoyed at change in general, I don't know why we still use pennies, which to me are completely useless. I guess I assumed everyone felt the same way, but now I realize they don't! I will start bringing everyone their change.

Ever not get a tip and not know why?

I am glad you won't be doing that anymore.

Please forgive me if it's not my place to say, but this seems harsh - especially when the poster is acknowledging she made an assumption that she realizes is incorrect and will not be making any more.

Harsh why?  It's something that's been brought up in this thread and I genuinely wonder.

Possibly due to the limits of relaying tone in writing - but I thought your statement came across as sarcastic and a bit like taunting the poster.

I read it the same way.

So even when I've explained what I meant, you still felt the need to join in and bash me?  Nice.

June24

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #53 on: September 29, 2013, 10:33:56 PM »
I don't see failure to return the appropriate change because it was too much effort or because you don't know how as being all that superior to avarice.

I think there is (at least) a third reason of "because it is a pointless exercise." When I was cocktailing I can think of very few times a person actually wanted their change as in coins back. I think I always asked but the answer was 99.99% percent, "don't be silly." I see not everyone agrees, but I don't think it's fair to paint the change-keeping servers as maliciously taking advantage of their customers or as too stupid to count change.

Yeah, I agree. I think the opinions of people on ehell sometimes differ very substantially from the opinions of a lot of people I know in real life. I like getting another perspective, but sometimes I'm pretty surprised. I don't think I know anyone or have ever been to dinner with anyone who would care about not getting back coins. Most people I know factor it into their tip or don't take much notice of it at all.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 12:19:54 AM by June24 »

bellacullen

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2013, 11:59:53 PM »
I work at a restaurant and I can guarantee you it's not malicious in intent. We round. We don't carry change, just bills. So if you change back is 3.42 we will give you back 3. But if it is 3.50 we will give back 4.

No one is trying to steal from anyone. It is just easier all the way around and it evens out for us at the end. If a customer wanted exact change back I would have to probably go out to my car and dig through my change cup because we just don't have it. On that same note. If a customer really wanted their 42 cents back I might internally roll my eyes but I wouldn't argue with them either.

To the poster that said they would demand an explanation... That's really not necessary. If I were asked for the change back I would immediately explain why it wasn't given and ask if you were able to wait while I track down 42 cents.

Like I said no one is trying to steal from any one in these cases, and I think it's a bit odd that anyone would think that a server would steal 40 some odd cents. Because really, as much as we rely on our tips, 40 cents is not going to be the difference between a great shift or a bad one.

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #55 on: September 30, 2013, 12:26:20 AM »
Are all the posters who are saying "I work at a restaurant, we always round the change" or "Nobody ever wants the coins" or "I never care about the coins" in the US? I'm in Australia, and I've never seen anyone assume that not getting every cent of your change could possibly be OK. ??? If the server was keeping it, that would be petty theft, and if the restaurant was keeping it, that would be fraud - and either way there would be trouble! The thing about rounding your change to the nearest dollar wouldn't fly, either. We round to the nearest 5c and we have RULES about how you're meant to do it! ;)

I wonder if it's at least partly because we're not a tipping culture here? In places that do tip as a matter of course, perhaps a lot of people feel that you're going to be giving your server some of your change anyway, so it's no big deal to start with the coins?
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mbbored

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #56 on: September 30, 2013, 12:30:29 AM »
I am a server, & I admit to doing this at times, but only when the change is less than a quarter. I'm so annoyed at change in general, I don't know why we still use pennies, which to me are completely useless. I guess I assumed everyone felt the same way, but now I realize they don't! I will start bringing everyone their change.

Ever not get a tip and not know why?

I am glad you won't be doing that anymore.

Please forgive me if it's not my place to say, but this seems harsh - especially when the poster is acknowledging she made an assumption that she realizes is incorrect and will not be making any more.

Harsh why?  It's something that's been brought up in this thread and I genuinely wonder.

Possibly due to the limits of relaying tone in writing - but I thought your statement came across as sarcastic and a bit like taunting the poster.

I read it the same way.

So even when I've explained what I meant, you still felt the need to join in and bash me?  Nice.

It doesn't come across as bashing; it comes across as conversation and debate, which happens often on this board.

Amara

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« Reply #57 on: September 30, 2013, 12:32:55 AM »
I work at a restaurant and I can guarantee you it's not malicious in intent. We round. We don't carry change, just bills. So if you change back is 3.42 we will give you back 3. But if it is 3.50 we will give back 4.

...

Like I said no one is trying to steal from any one in these cases, and I think it's a bit odd that anyone would think that a server would steal 40 some odd cents. Because really, as much as we rely on our tips, 40 cents is not going to be the difference between a great shift or a bad one.

I'm telling on my age here but in the early 1970s, just after I turned 21, I worked for a couple of years as a cocktail waitress. We always gave the proper change back, and though the bartenders had cash registers we were expected to bring in the money we would need for the evening to make change. (If needed, the bartenders would make change for us, but that was a back-up method and not the primary one.) I never thought, and I know none of my colleagues, ever thought about keeping any change despite customers who would often say, "Keep the change" meaning keep the bills and coins left over.

I also worked retail for a while earlier and learned the old-fashioned way to count change back so every coin became valuable to me and, I assumed, to others. How much was shown to me recently when I finally put all those pennies that had built up to an annoying amount into one of those coin machines at the market and without any fee received back an Amazon gift certificate for $17.84! Pennies really do add up.

Psychopoesie

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #58 on: September 30, 2013, 01:02:57 AM »
I work at a restaurant and I can guarantee you it's not malicious in intent. We round. We don't carry change, just bills. So if you change back is 3.42 we will give you back 3. But if it is 3.50 we will give back 4.

No one is trying to steal from anyone. It is just easier all the way around and it evens out for us at the end. If a customer wanted exact change back I would have to probably go out to my car and dig through my change cup because we just don't have it. On that same note. If a customer really wanted their 42 cents back I might internally roll my eyes but I wouldn't argue with them either.

To the poster that said they would demand an explanation... That's really not necessary. If I were asked for the change back I would immediately explain why it wasn't given and ask if you were able to wait while I track down 42 cents.

Like I said no one is trying to steal from any one in these cases, and I think it's a bit odd that anyone would think that a server would steal 40 some odd cents. Because really, as much as we rely on our tips, 40 cents is not going to be the difference between a great shift or a bad one.

Another Aussie who's a bit shocked at the idea of a waiter (or anyone really) keeping the change without being asked. I also wouldn't view keeping 42 cents change as rounding. Rounding to the nearest whole dollar seems a bit over the top.

I can sort of see that it might be if someone gave 40 cents change instead of 42. I'd also expect a genuine rounding arrangement to work both ways - so if 44 cents was owed, the waiter would give back 45. This sort of arrangement works in Australia (everything's rounded to nearest 5) but only because it's the law and everyone knows (or should) the rules.

Our lowest denomination is now 5 cents but I grew up using 1 and 2 cent pieces and honestly can't see why it's so difficult to give people back the change they're owed.

Maybe it's because we're not really a tipping culture.  But even when we all chip in for a meal and round up what we're owed, the restaurant will bring the change back to the table unless you remember to tell them to keep it.

jaxsue

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #59 on: September 30, 2013, 01:08:05 AM »
Amara, like you I like collecting change and turning it in for gift cards. I do it once every couple of years, and it is usually about $50 worth. Several years ago my DS cashed in about 10 yrs' worth of change. It was over $400!
I didn't grow up with much, so even .40 in change means something to me.  :)