Lookin' Good at 58

Monday, November 30, 2009

Naughty Naughty Mr. Waiter You Made a Boo-Boo

Okay tonight I was struggling a bit. Maybe it is because I have to get up so darn early after a late Saturday night to drive my wife to work before 6 Am so I can have the car to get my son to his soccer game at 8Am. But anyway the last two Sundays for some reason have been tough to work.

Tonight I ordered 2 coffees and a creme brulee for this table. Inadvertently I punched it on another table by mistake. I get the creme brulee transfered to the right table but forgot to do the two coffees. The couple pay their bill without me charging them for the two coffees. Damn , so I forgot it was on this other bill and I give it to the other couple who had not drank any coffee.

Their bill comes to $96 and change. I see they have a $100 gift certificate and $12 more added on I guess for a tip in addition to the 4 remaining on the gift card. They call me over and point out they were charged for two coffees which they never had. My bad so I go and get the coffee deleted and print out the new bill. Other than that the meal was great and they were happy.

With the two coffees deleted their bill with tax is about 4-5 dollars less expensive. So the guy takes the $12 extra on top of the gift card and replaces the $10 bill with a fiver making the cash tip $5 less out of his pocket.

He hands it back to me and says there you go knowing that I know he just lowered the tip he was going to pay out of his pocket from $12 to $7. He says it works out the same which it did.

Now I am thinking that sure the tip amount was going to be the same anyway but was it so important to take away the five dollars. What was he calculating in his head?

You know it is like the guy whose bill comes to $88 and he leaves a $10 tip. Why not just round it off to $100? Or what I have seen a lot lately are people taking out their IPODs and calculating what the tip should be and them arriving at some strange number like $18.22 and when it adds up it isn't even a round number. It will be something like $178.31 for a total with the tip.

Is it me or are a lot of people really starting to watch their pennies? I mean in the above example the whole meal was covered by the gift card of $100. It wasn't so much the amount of the tip cause it remained the same anyway as to what he was going to give but like the meal cost him $7 instead of $12 after it was all said and done. Was he happy that he could keep an extra five and maybe start a retirement savings plan with it?

Is the middle class getting so untrustworthy of anything out there and so insecure about their future that it has to come down to calculating everything to the penny? Maybe , what have you noticed?


purplegirl said...

I've been getting weird amounts too. Used to be if somebody's check was $72 and they were cheap, they'd usually at least round it to $80. Now it's $79. I've gotten lots of weird cent amounts as well.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Purplegirl...people are getting a bit weird out there these days. At least it seems it isn't just in one spot. I thought I was imagining things for a bit.

bulletholes said...

I usually would tip about 20-25%. I don't do that anymore unless I'm in a really good mood. I find myself leaving 10 -15% lately. Went out Saturday night and put down $7 on a $30 tab. Reconsidered for a moment and took $2 back.
Yeah, moneys tight.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Bulletholes...I think people are just watching their dollar everywhere these days not just in the restaurant industry , that is for sure.

Mike said...

Hmm...I don't see a problem with this scenario. The guy was prepared to tip approximately 15%. When the check total was lowered, he adjusted the tip amount, and the new tip amount was still 15%.

Assume away the question of whether 15% is an adequate tip (I maintain that it is)...I think this patron behaved appropriately.

I can't speak to the new precision in calculating tips. I tend to round...I have a hard enough time doing math after a couple glasses of wine.

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Mike...agree and I think I mentioned that the tip was the same anyway. It was the point of people watching their pennies these days. When the gift card is covering the entire meal anyway I guess the $5 difference made a difference to him. Nowadays it is not surprising. In good times it would be a rare occurence.At least in my view. Hey Mike thanks for joining in!

Waitersfriend said...

Here in Australia a 10% tip is considered good. However we are still working up to ingraining tipping into our culture. Probably about three quarters of all tables I might serve in a night would tip, but I work in fine dining which has more of a tipping culture. Waiters at simpler restaurants or cafes would really struggle to make any kind of money from tips so I guess this justifies the better salary we are paid in Australia compared to US or Canada - otherwise there would be a lot of homeless hospitality workers down here!

I guess what I am saying is that the whole economic downturn is not as obvious for us Aussies in the business as it is for you guys in regards to tips.

That being said, it is still annoying when tables tell you how good a night they had and leave nothing or round up their $79.40 bill to $80.00. And when big tables cant even leave 5 dollars per person for the waiter who worked his ass off for them to have a great night!!

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Waitersfriend...I hear too you guys down under are coming out of this recession nicely. That bodes well for the waiter where you are.