Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Snippet - Does Poor Service Deserve a Good Tip

Scarlet and i have eaten there before.  The food is tasty, the seating is comfortable, the room is bright and cheery, the parking is plentiful and free (of course, it's Tucson, so the parking is almost always free.)

We met at 1 and waited for our table by the window to be free  We sat.  We chatted.  We looked around.  We chatted and looked some more.  At a certain point, we began to wonder if we had become invisible.

The tables around us had water and drinks.  We, arriving earlier, had nothing.

The water arrived, eventually.  Scarlet's bottled water took two more trips past our table before the waiter could be flagged down and queried.

He didn't seem to understand our order, although we weren't substituting anything for what the chef had prepared.  Scarlet didn't want croutons.  It was a long and anxious experience.... made more onerous by the fact that I was starving.

We ate. We grew old waiting for our check, and even older waiting for it to be collected and returned. The bill was split down the middle. We hovered our pens over the tip line - To Insure Prompt Service..... hmmm.... that ship had left the harbor early on in our experience.  Would I feel better with an extra dollar in my pocket rather than adding it to his tip?  Should I reinforce bad behavior?  Will he even notice?

Yes, first world problems, but I have to think that I am not alone in my quandary.  Am I?


  1. Poor service does not deserve a reward. On the other hand, it is a hard way to make a living. I understand the quandary.

  2. It is a dilemma. For me, when it's bad and clearly not the fault of the kitchen or too few servers, 10% or less makes the point and still lets me feel comfortable. Terrible service though and on the verge of rude (which yours sounded like) is harder. I routinely tip 20% and sometimes even a bit more which gives me latitude for the varying degrees of service I get. If I opted to not tip at all, I'd write a note on the bill or ask for something to write a review on to explain why. That gives the waiter and management a chance to evaluate what's going on and not think the customer was just cheap.

  3. It is a dilemma because this is people's livelihood and because they don't make money unless they get tips, it's frustrating to reward bad service. I like Rain's idea of leaving less than the required amount and a note as to why. That way, they can fix the issue and learn from it, but they are not being totally screwed out of an hourly wage (which I believe in VA is something like $2 and then tips). That really should be fixed.

    Megan xxx


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