Author Topic: Restaurant etiquette  (Read 44806 times)

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snowball's chance

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #15 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.

hobish

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2009, 03:34:10 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

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Alida

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2009, 03:50:15 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.

Dindrane

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2009, 04:01:40 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.


snowball's chance

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2009, 05:27:17 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.

kareng57

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2009, 10:06:59 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.

Lisbeth

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2009, 10:16:22 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.
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Black Delphinium

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2009, 10:19:07 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.
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FoxPaws

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2009, 10:36:33 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.
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kareng57

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2009, 11:20:22 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.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 11:24:08 PM by kareng57 »

MDefarge

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2009, 11:50:42 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.

Dindrane

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2009, 08:40:36 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.


Kaylee

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2009, 09:14:42 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.

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2009, 01:40:37 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.

MDefarge

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Re: Restaurant etiquette
« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2009, 02:08:59 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.