Here we go BXTCHES, another episode that may be meaningless, maybe not, of course it’s not gonna stop me from imparting my wisdom onto you fine people. But today’s rant is a bit different because I actually know what I’m talking about (for once). I’m sure by now you’re biting at the bits wondering what it is I’m gonna discuss today, well hold on, here we go. Today it’s all about. . .
Get your BXTCH minds out of the gutter, we can discuss that kind of eating out at a later date, I’m actually talking about the kind of eating out you do in a restaurant.
Recently I was enjoying lunch on the patio of a fantastic Mexican restaurant with my brother, my daughter, and my nephew. Now, behind our table was a table of about 8-10 that was a mix of moms and their kiddos (toddlers/babies). At the head of the table was a boy, I would say around 18-24 months old, standing in the chair (not a highchair or booster) with a bowl of rice that he decided was much better dumped out on the table/ground rather than in the bowl as it was intended. The kicker? His mother sat next to him just chit chatting away with her girls, as if her kid wasn’t making a huge fucking mess! He had to have gotten his grubby little hands on more than just one bowl of rice. This shit was all over his section of the table, as well as all underneath his chair, on the ground. I sat staring like a crazy BXTCH, wondering just when his mom was going to pipe up and tell that little shit to stop dumping food all over the place, but sadly, that never happened. Which, coincidently had me thinking of a conversation I had with my sister (who happens to be a bartender) about the service industry and the patrons that enjoy it. The conversation basically boiled down to this. . .
Because of my need to spread goodwill to all, I am here to help and offer my expertise. These “tips” are not really in any particular order (though I will try). I may be wanting to provide goodwill to all, but I’m unorganized as fuck. Here we go. . .**I may say “server” mostly in this post, but I am of course referring to both servers and bartenders**
One would think that this particular gem would go without saying, one would be wrong-TRUST. There are actually individuals who know before they even sit down and open a menu, that something is going to go wrong, usually made up, all to justify stiffing the server. This is because they don’t understand how eating out works or they think tipping is optional (get that idea out of your head, PLEASE!) or they are truly a special kind of asshole who believes that if someone wants to make a “real living” then they should not work in an industry dependent on tips as income. #dontbethatasshole The service industry is really hard work, but it is also a great way to make a fuck ton of money, if you’re good at your job. It’s the asshags that have the above mentality that makes one want to slip some Visine in your drink. Look, I’m not trying to be a real bitch and pick on someone who really can’t afford the idea of a meal plus a tip, but this BXTCH won’t even pull into a stall at Sonic if I know I don’t have cash for a tip. I either go through the drive-thru or skip it all together. Putting my goodwill foot forward, here are my tips (pun intended) to you.
*Find out what the “Kids Eat Free” schedule is for your area (just Google it) and use that schedule to dictate where you eat out at. That way you can use the money that you would’ve spent on feeding your kiddos for the tip.
*Cut out the alcohol, just enjoy a beer when you get home. Unless you’re getting a really good price on the booze and since water is free, I’m quite certain it isn’t cheaper than that, then don’t continue to add unnecessary money to your final bill. Your tip should be based off of what you spend, if you don’t spend it then you don’t need to tip based on it.
*If possible, choose to eat out during lunch and take advantage of lunch specials. They’re cheaper and you will still leave feeling good and full.
This one should be pretty simple, but you would be surprised. If you waited 45 minutes for a table, it’s not your servers fault, so leaving them a shitty tip because you had to wait a bit long for your table, not only adds you to the douche nozzle list, but it also will affect the rest of your servers shift. So, once again, spreading my goodwill and cheer to all, here are my tips in helping you decrease your wait time and in turn, keeping you off of any jerkwad, douche nozzle list. You can thank me later:
*If you have never taken advantage of call ahead seating, you need to jump on that shit, NOW! Not every restaurant offers this perk, but you won’t know until you call. If you are unsure how it works, here you go. . .you call the restaurant, if they offer call ahead seating, just ask if they are currently experiencing a wait, if they are, simply tell them that you want to add your name to the wait list, they will take your name and your expected time of arrival and once you get to the restaurant, you check in with the front door. Easy Peasy!
*If you absolute detest encountering a wait in a restaurant, then either show up for an early dinner prior to the rush (say between 5pm-6:30pm) OR consider having a late dinner by showing up after the rush (9pm or after). If neither of those options appeal to you, then suck it up, buttercup, you’re gonna have to wait.
*Know what is happening in the world before you go out. I’m not talking about what kind of idiocy that has recently spewed from The Donald’s mouth or who is winning the current political debate. I’m referring to things that can push you to an unusually long wait time. For example, if there is a fight on T.V., then I would stay away from any restaurants that are showing said fight (sports bars/restaurants mainly). If there is a big sporting event on, then be sure to visit a restaurant that’s a little low on T.V.’s. You would be surprised at how many people go out to get a bite and then get sucked into whichever sporting event is on the screen
*My last tip. . .Don’t forget about the bar. In most cases, bar seating in restaurants is usually open seating (not all, so check first), this simply means it’s first come/first seat, no waiting. I understand this may not appeal to folks with kiddos, calm down, I’m not asking to to stick a booster seat on the actual bar and go to town, but there are booths/tables that are in the bar area and since most places these days hate smokers, you don’t even have to worry about developing emphysema. AND in most places it’s not until after 10 p.m. that age restrictions are put in to affect for the bar area. Just a tip.
It will help if you can remember that most likely, the host(ess) that greeted you at the front door and added your name to a wait list, could be as young as 16 years old and unfortunately has no real science in quoting you an accurate time, so they’re kind of giving you a broad window. Wait times are really intended to be an estimate. Don’t freak out if it’s 5 or so minutes past your quoted time and you’re still standing there salivating at the mouth. Now, if you’re creeping into 15-20 minutes past your quoted time, just politely mention it to your friendly front door staff. Sometimes things occur and you may encounter a particular bitchy host(ess), in this occasion, you need to either ask for a manager and get the situation taken care of OR let it go. What you will not do, is let the bitchy attitude of your host(ess) move with you to your table and let it affect not only you and those with you, but your server as well. Order a shot, it’ll make everything better.
I think we should start at the beginning. As someone who frequents restaurants, I can say with absolute certainty that. . .it sucks balls to place your order (appetizer/salad/entree), just to have it all arrive within minutes of one another. Technically, there are systems in place to try and prevent this from happening in most restaurants, but it will and does happen, probably more frequently than the server enjoys. If this pisses you right off, listen up, this BXTCH is going to tell you how to prevent it. Order your appetizer, then wait for it to arrive before ordering your entree. That way you have plenty of time to nosh on your potato skins while discussing what that asshole co-worker of yours posted on Facebook AND if your entree happens to take a bit longer than normal, you’re stomach isn’t going to be reminding you, because you just enjoyed some delicious fried carbs. I know, it’s amazing how brilliant I am. One would think I have a degree from MIT or some shit hanging on my wall. Nope, just a degree of common sense.
Now, let’s talk about the next problem. It really does suck to be so hungry after a long day at work that your ready to actually eat your arm off, you’ve waited 45 minutes for a table and order your food, just for it to come out either wrong or not at all what you were expecting. But the one thing I can guarantee, is it wasn’t your server in the kitchen flipping your burger or grilling your steak. As long as your server gets to your table within a reasonable amount of time to check on you and your food, then let them handle the situation and trust them to do their job. There are going to be many times that another employee is the one bringing your food out to your table, since that employee isn’t the one who took your order, here are my recommendations:
*If you ordered ANY item that needed to be cooked to order (steak/burger), then do not allow that employee (this includes your server or otherwise) to walk away from your table until you have cut into your food to ensure that it is cooked correctly. This eliminates you having to sit and wait for your server to get back to your table and eliminates the rage that will be seeping from your pores.
*Don’t be afraid to ask the food runner for things you need. Refills/condiments/extra napkins/silverware. Even if it’s not your server, ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED! But remember, there are dipsticks working everywhere. If you asked someone for something and then your server comes by your table to check on you, mention what you asked the other employee for, I guarantee your server is going to be sure you get what you need.
*If you don’t enjoy something you have ordered, regardless of the reason, send it back and get something else. What you should not EVER do is eat the majority of your entree, just to decide you didn’t like it and then send it back. It’s an asshole move. It’s okay to order something and not particularly enjoy it when it hits your table, it’s okay to let your server know that you want to order something else instead, it’s NOT OKAY to have one bite left on your plate, just to tell your server that it wasn’t very good and you’re not going to pay for it. #dontbethatasshole
The important thing to remember here is this. . .there is a high possibility that once your server rings up your order, they may not see your food again until it is actually on your table. Should your order come out correctly 100% of the time? Yes. But have a little understanding and give your server an opportunity to take care of any problems before you decide to drop $1 on the table.
Everybody has a bad day, I get it. There are days where patience is gone and the only thing in it’s place is begin a straight up jack hole. But being a dick to other people isn’t going to solve your problems, stay home if necessary, because treating someone like shit because your day is in the toilet is inconsiderate, treating your server like shit because your day sucks is stupid. Surely you’ve seen the movie “Waiting” and the scene with the very bitchy guest, you know the one who breaks the cardinal rule. . .Now, I’m not saying that the scene from that movie is what actually happens in a restaurant, but do you really want to play “whose the bigger fucktard” with the person who’s making your salad? I didn’t think so.
If you have decided to be the ultimate ass before you ever even sit down, your server isn’t going to go out of his/her way to give you superior service. Why? They already know you’re probably not even going to leave a tip, so why waste their time? They will make sure you get the bare minimum (food and maybe one drink with an optional refill), but you will not be lucky enough to receive their wit and stunning personalty. That will be saved for the tables whose manners didn’t escape them that night.
What’s our lesson for today? Being rude and inconsiderate will get you the same in return. Being kind and understanding will get you the service you not only desire, but deserve.
So, the following doesn’t really fall into any particular category, but it’s necessary for you to know. Hang on, because I may be all over the place here.
*If you are someone who gets irritated easily when your food comes out wrong OR your server is a bit wet behind the ears OR just an easily pissed off person. . .Do not ever go to a restaurant that has JUST OPENED, even if it’s a chain restaurant and they have 1000’s of other stores. A brand spanking new place is still working out kinks. That’s kinks at the front door and dealing with not only how to quote wait times, but also how to actually use station rotation. Believe it or not, new restaurants do hire servers who have never waited a table in their life, so imagine the kinks there that need to be worked out. But most problems in a new restaurant come from the kitchen. So, trust a BXTCH when she tells you to just stay away if you won’t be able to stop yourself from logging onto your Facebook account and giving a verbal warning to all who’ll listen about why they shouldn’t try out the new place in town.
*When you leave a tip (or lack thereof), you need to understand, that the tip (or not) you left on the table, doesn’t all go to your server. Now, restaurants are all different, but in most, servers have to tip out at the end of their shift. This can be anywhere between 1-3% of their sales. In almost EVERY restaurant, servers are going to have to tip out to the bar (usually even if they had nothing come from the bar during their shift), and then depending on the establishment, a server could also have to tip out a busser and in some cases, even the host(ess). I honestly can’t think of anywhere that the tip out would be higher than 3%, but I guess it could happen. But, let’s assume that the restaurant that you are enjoying, the tip out rate is 2%.
*If your ticket is $100, regardless of what you tip, the server would automatically have to tip out $2.
Now, let’s discuss the actual workings of a server’s income. I’m going to try to keep it as simple as possible.
*Servers/Bartenders really only make $2.13/hr. Without getting too technical, by law, a tipped employee MUST make at least minimum wage when averaging their hourly rate with their claimed tips. So, when it’s said that the tips left is income, I promise you it is. You will not find a server/bartender running to pick up their paycheck on payday.
*Tipped employees MUST claim the tips that they receive. Since this is income, this is what is reported to the government for tax purposes. It’s also documented somewhere what that particular employees sales are. Keeping it simple, if a server/bartender waits on a table and that table stiffs them (leaves no $$), that employee will still have to pay taxes on that, because it is assumed that a tip was left. Will it all even out in the long run? Possibly, but I have known servers that have been audited by the IRS and it came down to what the IRS said you should’ve made that year vs. what you claimed. Guess who wins that game? So, when a table leaves no tip, not only are they having to tip out on that table, but they also have to pay taxes on that table. Now they have paid money out of their pocket to wait on you. Fair? Not really.
*If you are unsure on how to tip, then the 1st thing you should do is download a tip calculator to your phone. But, if service was great, a 20% tip is customary. If you don’t have a tip calculator, then hopefully you can do some simple math. . .
*Your tab is $100. . .10% of that is $10. . .Double that to make 20% and you should be leaving $20.
*Pay attention to your credit card receipt and make sure you calculated correctly. It just takes a bit of bad math for your server to get screwed.
I’m about to drop a bomb on you, one that’s going to change the game. . .your table is not the only table your server is waiting on. I know, I can’t believe it either. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that your server has a 4 table station, and all the tables sit 4 people (4-tops). Now, that’s 16 people, if their station is completely full. If the host(ess) sat these tables properly, then there really shouldn’t be any severe issues. But, if even 2 of the tables were sat at the same time, it could throw your server way off of their game. You should be able to look around and see whether or not your service is bad because your server is crazy busy (in the weeds) or if they just suck. Either way, if it’s bad enough that it warrants you to not leave a tip, then it warrants you to ask for a manager. Here’s why. . .if your server got sat two tables at one time (double sat) or even three (triple sat), God help them, and that’s the reason for the bad service, the manager needs to be able to fix it. That could be figuring out what happened at the front door to cause it to happen OR maybe cutting down how many tables that server has in their section, so that server is able to offer better service. Some servers are rockstars and can handle it, but trust me when I say to you, managers want/need to know what’s happening. This goes both ways though, if you can complain, you can compliment. If your service was stellar, tell a manager and make sure your tip reflects it. **on a side note. . .make sure your teen understands how to tip before sending them out by their self.
Get your shit together when it comes to your kids. Remember the little fucker from above? That is not acceptable ANYWHERE. But, if you don’t want it done at your kitchen table, then it shouldn’t be done at a public one. Allowing your kids to make a ginormous mess, just because it “occupies” them, is pretty shitty parenting. If your kid(s) is that big of an asshole, don’t bring them out to a public restaurant. I’m not one who subscribes to shoving an electronic device in the face of a kid all of the time, but sometimes the situation begs for it. And if your kid is busy coloring all over the table OR throwing as much food as they can on the floor OR just being a downright jerk, then maybe you should throw an iPad at them and pray for the best. Your server is there to bring you food/drinks and maybe a laugh, not to get on their knees and try to get up the ground up cracker crumbs your kid consistently threw to the floor for a solid hour.
Last, but just as equally important, please understand this. I’m not telling you guys to leave a tip NO MATTER WHAT. If your server is someone who would be better served working in the basement of some warehouse, where contact with the population is extremely limited, then please by all means, tip accordingly. I am someone who believes that you should tip based upon the service you receive, from your server, not your host(ess) OR the cook OR the busser. . .well you should get the point.
Well, HAPPY EATING OUT (to whatever that means to you) and until next time BXTCHES. . .