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stiffed a waitress today

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by globetrotter, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    if i own a $100 a person restaurant, i would find this kind of service totally unacceptable. i'd definitely not charge an unsatisfied client with a legitimate grievance with whom people who work in my establishment have destroyed their otherwise pleasurable dinner out.
     
  2. sygyzy

    sygyzy Senior member

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    $150 on a meal for three at a steakhouse? What steakhouse was this? I need to fly to Chicago to dine there!
     
  3. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    $150 on a meal for three at a steakhouse? What steakhouse was this? I need to fly to Chicago to dine there!


    one of them is a 4 year old boy, who ate french fries and a fruit plate, and one of them is pregnant and had no wine.



    as to the points raised above - I wasn't really sure of my approach in talking to the manager first, and what the results would be. If this had been in a business situation, I would have had a shit fit - my company probrably does 20K in business with this resteraunt and its sisters over the year, and I would have raised that. being in a personal situation, I didn't feel that was acceptable. if we knew the towm better, and this wasn't a special occasion, we would have walked out in the begining, since I didn't want to do either, I thought that giving 2 chances to improve the situation would be the best thing.
     
  4. Mr. Checks

    Mr. Checks Senior member

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    Welcome to the Midwest, where surly service is the standard.

    Even though I'm a defender of the waitstaff, as shown in the other threads, I can count on one hand the times I've had great service in a restaurant in the midwest.

    I consider it a management failure to have sent the B-squad to help you after your initial complaint.
     
  5. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Welcome to the Midwest, where surly service is the standard.

    Even though I'm a defender of the waitstaff, as shown in the other threads, I can count on one hand the times I've had great service in a restaurant in the midwest.

    I consider it a management failure to have sent the B-squad to help you after your initial complaint.


    well thank you. actually, I would say that, while surly waitstaff may be the norm, people are very friendly, so far.

    that also brings me to why I really didn't want to write to the owner - this may have caused me to enjoy my meal less, but it wasn't lethal. I am guessing that this surly young woman needs the job. She didn't strike me as somebody who was working her way through northwestern, lets say. Maybe this messege will help her get better at the job and be a good waitress. but if I write to the owner, it may cause her to lose her job. the fact that my wife didn't get to see the steak tray does't make me want to cause any serious hardships for this girl. I doubt that the manager would be repremanded, where I feel the failure was his, not the girls.
     
  6. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    Funny but somewhat unrelated story.
    When I was in my late teens, my father took me to lunch at a restaurant that he often frequented for his power lunches. The restaurant is Durgin Park and it is one of those old Boston establishments that has sustained the gentrification of our Fanuiel Hall Markplace. The place has over the years undergone somewhat of a face lift but at this time it was a musty old haunt with long tables were everybody ate family style. God only knows who was sitting beside you.
    So we get our seats and this crusty old women (our waitress) comes over and gives us (really, I remember her throwing them at us) our menus and walks away. Now I should also say that the wait staff had a reputation for being alittle rough around the edges, almost kind of mean, like they didn't want to be there.
    Now, after we looked over the selections, and my father was trying to impress me, because this was his place, she was motioned to come back to the table by him to take our orders. "So, whata ya have, son" she says, and I give her my selection. My father then speaks up and says he is going to try something different, again, trying to impress me. Much to disbelief, she abruptly states to him that he getting the same GOD DAMN thing he always gets because she ordered it up when she saw him walk through the door.
    I was speachless at the BALLS this women had, this was turning out to be a real comming of age experience for me.
    Now the icing on the cake. We were half way through our meals and this gentleman who was sitting a few chairs away got up from his seat and was heading for the door. I can only assume that it was his first experience there because before he got to the door our waitress had come over to find a dime tip. Well at a terrific velocity she strikes the man with his gratuity and states to him that she doesn't need his GOD DAMN money. I was again shocked and at this point wondered where I was and why did he bring me here. I can only say that this experience has stayed with me for thirty odd years and I reflect upon it in full technicolor.
    I'm sure it won't surprize you that when I get bad treatment at a restaurant and leave a small tip that I don't look back when exiting in fear of incomming.......

    Hope I didn' bore you with this but in retrospect it was pretty funny.

    Best Regards,

    Gary

    "VOTE" www.cbs4boston.com/alist Please!


    During my three years in Boston, my friends and I ate at Durgin Park once. We knew of the reputation of the waitstaff, and we had all mentally prepared for it. We were almost disspointed that the waiter we got was pleasant, bordering on friendly. [​IMG]

    Speaking as someone who gave KP a lot of grief over his "waiter's worst conduct" thread, I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with globe. No excuse for this sort of behavior, particularly after the manager had been informed.
     
  7. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    I never stiff staff at a fine dining establishment because at such places tips are often shared between servers, bussers, expediters and, sometimes, bar staff and dishwashers. I think it is unfair to stiff everyone because one person is slacking.


    I have to disagree here. If everyone on the staff knows who is slacking, and therefore causing smaller tips, there could very well be social pressure to act properly. But you have to make it known who gave you the bad service--and let's face it, that can't be tough since the server is the primary person interacting with the you, the customer.

    bob
     
  8. aybojs

    aybojs Senior member

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    well thank you. actually, I would say that, while surly waitstaff may be the norm, people are very friendly, so far. that also brings me to why I really didn't want to write to the owner - this may have caused me to enjoy my meal less, but it wasn't lethal. I am guessing that this surly young woman needs the job. She didn't strike me as somebody who was working her way through northwestern, lets say. Maybe this messege will help her get better at the job and be a good waitress. but if I write to the owner, it may cause her to lose her job. the fact that my wife didn't get to see the steak tray does't make me want to cause any serious hardships for this girl. I doubt that the manager would be repremanded, where I feel the failure was his, not the girls.
    Well, if she can get a job at a big name place like Pete Miller's, I wouldn't worry about leaving her jobless in Evanston. The hospitality industry is hands down the most cliquish there is, and once someone gets in the local "industry" scene enough to be able to get a job at a high quality establishment, that person basically will never be unemployed in that locale. I had a bar guest once who would float from waitress job to waitress job (all at pretty nice places) every few weeks; you could tell she was likely a lousy worker and didn't care about her job, but the network is just so tight that even she could just walk out on her job at place and have another waitress job somewhere else by the end of the day, this while people who were new or only had entry level waitstaff experience, and thus weren't "in," would have hell to pay getting work at even cheap family restaurants. In other words, don't feel sorry for shitty workers.
     
  9. Margaret

    Margaret Senior member

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    If an employee is incompetent and unprofessional, they shouldn't be part of the 'B-squad', they should be unemployed. Less than competent service merits no tip at all. If she were at least making an effort and screwed up due to inexperience, that would be bad enough, but forgiveable. But a crappy attitude is inexcusable. That $2.00 was generous.
     
  10. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    A bit better than yesterday, all day vomiting for
    Zach: when I was a teenager, my family often spent the holidays on Waikiki. One day we all went to a small bistro just off Kalakauau Blvd for lunch. The service was horrible and the waiter was an absolute asshole. To top it off, my little sister's meal came to the table terribly under-cooked, and as she was prone to histerics, she went postal on the waiter. Her lunch was taken away and replaced (or re-cooked) and we ate and went on our way. That evening, we were watching the late television newscast and learned that a Waikiki-area waiter had apparently gone off the deep end that afternoon and beaten a patron to death. You should've seen my sister's face when the photo of the perpetrator was flashed on the screen! Same dude. I don't think she ever bitched about a meal again. [​IMG]
     
  11. Mute

    Mute Senior member

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    Poor service in an establishment that charges that kind of price is completely unacceptable. It reflects poorly on the management that you had to mention the poor service not just once but twice. Any good manager would have put their best server at your table and at least comped the drinks or dessert at a minimum. I might not have used your approach, but I believe your were certainly justified in your actions.
     
  12. flashback

    flashback Senior member

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    hey, if you're in Chicago area and you're looking for a place with good service, check out the Weiner Circle in Lincoln Park. Best service around!!

    The service gets better the later you go...
     
  13. Earthmover

    Earthmover Senior member

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    hey, if you're in Chicago area and you're looking for a place with good service, check out the Weiner Circle in Lincoln Park. Best service around!!

    The service gets better the later you go...


    What's their specialty? Jerk chicken?
     
  14. mano

    mano Senior member

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    Globetrotter,

    You're being very gracious about the whole incident and are unusually respectful of the waitress who seemed to be out of her element. It should be interesting to see if she's there the next time you go there on business. It should also be interesting to see how the manager and other staff respond to you, if they make the connection (incompetent waitstaff bring affect tips if they're pooled and news of a $2.00 tip will spread quickly among the staff).

    If you have the opportunity, while in Chicago go to the Frontera Grill or the more upscale Topolobampo. Both are owned by Rick Bayless, whom I had the pleasure of working for as a prep cook during my grad school days in the mid 1980's. I've never been to either, but feedback from friends has been very positive.
     
  15. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    thanks - those are actually the places that get most recomended to me, I will have to try them sometime.






    Globetrotter,

    You're being very gracious about the whole incident and are unusually respectful of the waitress who seemed to be out of her element. It should be interesting to see if she's there the next time you go there on business. It should also be interesting to see how the manager and other staff respond to you, if they make the connection (incompetent waitstaff bring affect tips if they're pooled and news of a $2.00 tip will spread quickly among the staff).

    If you have the opportunity, while in Chicago go to the Frontera Grill or the more upscale Topolobampo. Both are owned by Rick Bayless, whom I had the pleasure of working for as a prep cook during my grad school days in the mid 1980's. I've never been to either, but feedback from friends has been very positive.
     
  16. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    thanks - those are actually the places that get most recomended to me, I will have to try them sometime.


    I have not been in awhile, but those are two of my favorite restaurants in the USA.
     
  17. aybojs

    aybojs Senior member

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    thanks - those are actually the places that get most recomended to me, I will have to try them sometime.

    Not to be that guy, but I have to say they're the most spectacularly overrated restaurants in Chicago. I dined at both places at different occasions, and while the service was excellent, the food was terribly bland and boring, and the portion size was pathetic. My one time at Frontera, I ended up dropping $25 on what turned out to be a plate of 4-5 shrimp in some watery tomato based sauce on a top of a pile of shredded cabbage that was more garnish than edible vegetables. My friends ordered some taco al carbons that were decent, but tiny, and about the same quality as any of the fajita tacos I could get here in Houston at a dozen or so cheap Tex-Mex places within several blocks of my place. I forget what I had at Topalobampo, but again, I paid out the ass for a tiny and uninspired platter that would have been outdone at a third of the price by nearly any place I could go to locally at home. Absolute rip-off both times; people clearly go here because of the Bayless hype and to be seen (granted the bar at Frontera is at least nicely set up).

    I've lived in Texas 10+ years, California 5, and have been to Mexico , and I can say that comparing the food they serve to any legitimate Mexican (or quasi-Mexican) style is a joke.
     
  18. whoopee

    whoopee Senior member

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    So what do service staff actually do when "tampering" with food?
     
  19. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    So what do service staff actually do when "tampering" with food?

    from http://www.stainedapron.com/rev.htm

    "What really annoys me is when, on a busy shift, you find that the plate of cheesecake has a large growth of fungus on the surface as it has been left in the fridge a few days too many! So you go back to the table that ordered the cheesecake and with as much politeness as you can possibly muster, tell that table that you are really sorry that we have run out of cheesecake, but there is a variety of other desserts on the menu.

    "WHAT!!! NO CHEESECAKE??? ARE YOU STUPID OR WHAT? WHAT KIND OF F****** RESTAURANT IS THIS?!" etc. etc. For God's sake grow up; it's not the end of the world. But, you know what? The customer thinks that I am a nice, friendly, apologetic waitress when I say, "Maybe we DO have some cheesecake left"”let me go check again." And yes, the customer will get his cheesecake served with an extra dollop of cream which acts as a disguise for the holes made when scraping off the fungus!

    "”Natasha, London, U. K."
     
  20. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    So what do service staff actually do when "tampering" with food?
    Some 'friends' (more-so jackass acquaintances) way back in high school worked in the kitchen at a local upscale bar and grill type restaurant. Every Friday for the fish fry, they would urinate in the deep fryer for no reason. It had nothing to do with specific customers, as anyone who ordered the fish would receive the special ingredient. Pointless and dumb, in my opinion. Others who I have heard stories from, told me of co-workers who would rub their genitals on the plates of food of rude customers, or customers who sent their food back to the kitchen. This was, of course done in the company of the kitchen staff, who would get a kick out of it. Mind you, these were not two or three star restaurants, but places like Olive Garden or Red Lobster.
     

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