Author Topic: Short changed at a restaurant  (Read 13613 times)

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bellacullen

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #60 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 #61 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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Millionaire Maria

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #62 on: September 30, 2013, 12:29:23 AM »
So even when I've explained what I meant, you still felt the need to join in and bash me?  Nice.

No, I felt the need to share opinion because it can be helpful for people to know how their posts come across. Didn't you also try to explain to me how my posts were coming across a few days ago, even after another poster had responded and I had explained what I meant?
People everywhere enjoy believing in things they know are not true. It spares them the ordeal of thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for what they know. –Brooks Atkinson

mbbored

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #63 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 #64 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 #65 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 #66 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.  :)

MariaE

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #67 on: September 30, 2013, 01:23:14 AM »
Shoo, FWIW I read your comment as a genuine and non-snarky question.
 
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Miss Understood

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #68 on: September 30, 2013, 01:29:19 AM »
I think what some current servers are saying is that they round up or down depending on the amount.  I didn't do that in my (dinosaur) day but it's not inherently unreasonable for them to give back $22 when the real change is $21.50, nor is it somehow reprehensible when the same server gives back $22 when the real change is $22.37 (although in that particular case, had I been the server I would have just given back $23 - 63 cents are not worth worrying about).

For such a germ-obsessed forum, I am surprised that so many are adamant that their food servers handle money as much as possible - there are few things as dirty as money (I mean that in a literal sense) and they can't be washing their hands every minute.

Sharnita

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #69 on: September 30, 2013, 06:09:49 AM »
I am from the US and I definitely don't agree it is OK. I have never been to a restaurant that had no coins to make change. That sounds like irresponsible business at the most basic level.

Yes it is difficult to carry coins back. There are tedious, difficult parts of any job. That df oesn't really seem like a good reason to give someone all their money back.

perpetua

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #70 on: September 30, 2013, 06:28:01 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.

It doesn't even out for the person you're shorting. It's their money, and you're taking it.

I'm also stunned that people are saying that servers may not know how to make change. It's basic maths. Are kids not taught this in school any more?

menley

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #71 on: September 30, 2013, 08:35:43 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.

It doesn't even out for the person you're shorting. It's their money, and you're taking it.

I'm also stunned that people are saying that servers may not know how to make change. It's basic maths. Are kids not taught this in school any more?

I agree with this completely - it may even out for the restaurant over the course of time but for the individual person who paid, they are getting shortchanged. Literally.

I'm from the US (lived there 29 years) and have always received my exact change. If I didn't, I would tell the server and I would expect her to promptly give it to me. But if she said "Oh yeah, we just keep it because it evens out in the end", I would not only not tip her, but I would speak to the management of the restaurant and likely not eat at the restaurant again.

Yes, bellacullen, in your example it may only be $0.43, but it's my money, not yours, and it's not up to you to decide what to do with it.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #72 on: September 30, 2013, 08:36:15 AM »
Rounding to the nearest dollar?  That's just too much, IMO.  I'd accept rounding to the nearest quarter.

And what this whole discussion has really taught me is that if I don't have the exact change for the bill and what I want to leave as a tip, I'm using my credit card.  Which costs the restaurant money.  But if they make the decision to not give me all my change back?  That's the price they have to pay.
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Mel the Redcap

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #73 on: September 30, 2013, 08:51:36 AM »
For such a germ-obsessed forum, I am surprised that so many are adamant that their food servers handle money as much as possible - there are few things as dirty as money (I mean that in a literal sense) and they can't be washing their hands every minute.

In most restaurants, the person handling your food is not the person handling your money - if a waitress is actually, physically touching the food (not just the plate) there's something badly wrong with their training! Even at Subway or MacDonalds, the person operating the till doesn't touch the food until it's been wrapped up by the person who actually made it. In situations where the same person is making the food and taking my money, they'd better be wearing disposable gloves to touch the food and taking them off to work the till, or I won't be eating there again. Yes it's a pain, but it's necessary.
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Another Sarah

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Re: Short changed at a restaurant
« Reply #74 on: September 30, 2013, 09:11:40 AM »
I think this is definitely an America thing, in the UK if you didn't give someone their change back, you'd probably be fired.
Having said that, I've worked as a waitress and in retail and it's entirely possible to do this by accident, even if the restaurant isn't that busy, you could have a manager in your ear, another table asking for help, an order waiting to be taken out, and you can just slip up while trying to do too many things at once (no, I wasn't a very good waitress)

I think your first approach in the first restaurant was right, and it's unlucky that you had a bad experience with it (I'd probably have given my friend an earbashing after we left the restaurant if they told me it was "only 64 cents"- it was YOUR 64 cents) but I'd ask for your money back every time, and if they got shirty with me, they wouldn't get any tip, cents or not.

Also - and this is genuine curiosity not snark here - to all those people saying that they round up or down, does nobody cash up and check the amounts? I would be really surprised if being constantly up/down didn't really annoy the boss at closing time?