Author Topic: Restaurant etiquette  (Read 47366 times)

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Lisbeth

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Restaurant etiquette
« on: March 01, 2009, 11:23:22 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

« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 12:36:52 PM by KeenReader »
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Lisbeth

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 03:35:15 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.
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Hanna

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 03:55:13 PM »
I believe 15% is still acceptable, though some routinely tip 20%+. 

kareng57

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 04:01:27 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?
 

shadowfox79

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 04:07:16 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.

Hanna

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 04:07:28 PM »
Can I add:  Do not bring your monkey out to dinner unless it is a service monkey.
;)

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009, 04:13:23 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.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 04:15:16 PM by RainhaDoTexugo »

Lisbeth

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2009, 04:18:34 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.

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RoseRose

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2009, 12:04:39 AM »
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).



Alida

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2009, 12:19:20 AM »
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.

caslyn

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2009, 11:54:07 AM »
No snakes!

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

WhiteTigerCub

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2009, 12:42:06 PM »
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.

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2009, 01:06:40 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".



MrsJWine

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2009, 01:14:05 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.


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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2009, 03:27:53 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.