Monday, June 02, 2008

Still puzzling

I haven't quit turning over the answers to my restaurant question.

Read my final thoughts at Frugal Hacks, and let me know where you family finds the best value when dining out.

7 comments:

kennethsrib said...

Meredith I read your posts and I have to tell you that I don't believe you did anything wrong. You caught a look from a server, who knows what kind of day that server was having, and to be honest, why should you bear the guilt of that look? If it were an issue about the salad bar, it was up to the server to mention something about it, not for you to volunteer information. You did nothing wrong. In the future if it feels weird to be sharing, or you feel like you are being judged, then leave a larger tip. Let's face it, twenty percent of 4.50 is 90 cents. thats all the server would have made extra on the kids meal.

Anonymous said...

Are most of you tipping 20 per cent? I guess I am chintzy as I usually only tip 15% unless I am in an upscale place.

As for sharing, I would not give that another thought. You bought a meal and gave part of it to your children. Since when is that unacceptable?

KayleighJeanne said...

I don't think you did anything wrong, and I notice that you did mention your server got the plate quickly despite the look. Given the circumstances there is a good chance that they weren't trying to be snarky with you, just unsure of what your intentions were.

Now this isn't directed at you, but at some of the comments I have read from all of your posts. I think that at some point everyone should have to wait tables, so that they at least understand exactly how it works. The incredibly low wages, having to tip out busboys and bartenders, the rotten attitudes from a lot of people, it can be an awful job. I also loved doing it.

There are always lots of people out there just waiting for their server to screw something up so that they have an excuse to not tip. The tip is NOT the part of the bill that you should be frugal on. If your server completely ignores you or is rude, talk to the manager. Don't leave a penny for a tip, that is just being obnoxious.

Again, you did fine.

Meredith said...

I don't think I did anything wrong, either--and neither do I think that Ruby Tuesday was rude.

But in reading the comments left by servers below, I am concerned by the way people view families who share meals.

If a practice like that is going to make servers so unhappy, perhaps we are better off choosing restaurants without servers, or other strategies I discuss at FH today.

hsgbdmama said...

I'll speak as a former waitress and a mom. :)

You did nothing wrong -- up until about a year or so ago, I ordered only one kids meal and had my two share. We've never had an issue.

To anonymous, yes we tip 20%, unless the service was horrid. I know servers get paid below minimum wage and often run their butts off, so I know they are depending on the tips.

You are fine. :-)

Anonymous said...

My son works as a host/prep cook/busser & sometimes waiter at one of our local Applebees. I asked his opinion of your meal ordering & all the comments you received. He was disturbed that anyone would be upset. He said people order meals and desserts and split them quite often. The employees don't get upset by this and many times ask if people need extra plates to share food, especially desserts.

At Applebees the wait staff shares their tips with the hosts/bussers knowing that they are there to support the waitstaff. The majority of employees are hard workers, help each other with their orders and are great with the customers. I haven't had a bad experience yet while at the restaurant. Also, I always over tip on the rare occasions I splurge in eating out, which is usually after 9:00 pm for half price appetizers.

Please don't think I'm being rude. It's late, I'm tired & I can't seem to think of a tactful way of asking this.....I'm curious, why anonymous would tip more at an upscale restaurant as compared to a non upscale restaurant? In my mind, it really shouldn't make a difference. The wait staff & support staff at either restaurant isn't being paid much to begin with. Both sets are working hard for what tip they do get. I usually tip 20% or more no matter what type of restaurant I am eating in. As long as the food and service I receive are great, I am happy. Am I wrong in thinking there shouldn't be a distinction?

Anonymous said...

Meredith - I commented the other day on this and I still say, You did fine!
I think restaurants might frown if we ordered only one dish and we all started eating from it (we have 4 in our fam)and ordered nothing else... My hubby and I have noticed that restaurants are not as packed as they used to be -
We stack coupon on top of coupon now when we go out - I've seen some waitresses deflate once they see this, but little do they know at the time, our fam tips big for exceptional service- I believe customers should have clear autonomy when it comes to ordering off the menu - In fact, restaurants should be happy that some american families are still patroning their establishment, while greeting us with a smile...
An example of restaurants going under - all the CHILI's (9) restaurants closed without notice last week in my large city -
That was a huge shock to everyone... I'm more dedicated to the smaller mom and pop joints these days - They seem to have better service and treat fam's like they are fam! Meredith, continue to do what's best for your fam - and try not be puzzled over this thingy -
You are a terrific mom who makes the best choices for you and yours!
I know that in the end, when it comes to my fam, I'm okay when it comes to waiters, restaurants opinions of me and my fam - I figure, we are actually blessing them with our patronage, (not in an arrogant kind of way tho')- Flip it! "What people think about you is none of your business." That's what my mama told me always! Pass it on! No more tossin' and turnin'...
working mama in NW
(Latrice)