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Handling a rude or uncaring server? - Page 2

post #31 of 73
OMG- he really does KNOW the owner.... not just name dropping to try to get a discount.... LOL LOL

Personally, I am usually quite diplomatic with a bad server- and depending on the situation, I may even politely (but stern enough to get my point across) ask the server during the meal if we are having a problem with ______ (state the issue)? That usually fixes the problem- and the service is usually 100% better and I then be sure to thank the server and tip well. If not, then, like everyone else, I tip accordingly,
Bon Vive' !
Bon Vive' !
post #32 of 73

A case in point. This weekend, my wife whisked me away to Catalina Island. (Well, she tried to. The airline cancelled our flight out of Oakland after a few hours' delay and we had to drive all night, not getting to Newport Beach until after 3 a.m.!)

After FINALLY getting a chance to have a meal (considering the hassle mentioned above) some 24 hours after my last one, I was dismayed that we were seated at a station next to a party of 20, that was growing. Our waiter did the obligatory "I'll be right with you," but that wore off after 20 minutes without water, menus, etc.

I went to the manager and asked if it was fair for the waiter to have to deal with such a large group and us, too.

The waiter came around soon thereafter and I asked if he could handle us as well as the large (increasingly drunk, loud and obnoxious) party. He assured us that he could and then proceeded to give us GREAT service. Of course, we tipped accordingly.
post #33 of 73

I think its a case of a word to the wise at times ... :)


P.S. Glad you finally got to your surprise location - what a hassle! But cheers for persevering
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #34 of 73
Recently I took my mom and my two sisters out for my mom's birthday. It was lunchtime on a weekend and the restaurant was not busy. The guy was a completly arrogant d*ck. He made fun of me because I was ordering hot tea in the summer, he asked to take our order after he already had, he asked if we wanted dessert after he had already asked and we said we didn't. It took about 30 minutes between the time we were done eating to the time when we finally got up and told the hostess we needed our check (empty glasses the whole time). She had to find the guy and when he finally gave me the check, he had the gaul to say "you were supposed to pay me at the table". No crap! So I didn't leave him a tip, I've never had a waiter p*ss me off so much! Plus, we had a young child with us...when you have a 1 yr old, and you start putting your purses on the table, I think it means you want to leave!
Sorry! Had to rant!
post #35 of 73
I once had a waitress follow me to my car and demand a bigger tip. The service I got from her was pretty bad and I left her a small tip so she'd know I didn't "forget" to leave a tip.

Another time, under similar circumstances, the waiter actually followed my friend and me into the mens room to demand a larger tip. My recollection is that my friend tossed a $5.00 bill into the urinal.

post #36 of 73

Poor server? Just have them removed.

I rarely have poor servers...unless I'm in Paris. :lol: The few times that it has occured I simply get up from my seat and approach the seating host/ess or maitre d' and inform them that I wish to have a different server. If I am pressed for a reason, I give it in simple and plain. No yelling, no fuss, no big deal. Then I return to my seat. Should the same server appear again I simply inform them that they are no longer needed at this table and to please not return. It's amazing on how the poor service becomes fantastic service when you do that! I keep a little notebook where I write the names of the great servers and the poor ones as well as the resturant. Upon any return to the resturant I simply remind them that I do not want to be seated in that servers area.
If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME stuff, why didn't he just buy dinner?
If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME stuff, why didn't he just buy dinner?
post #37 of 73
On a couple of occasions I have given the servers tip to the bus person and telling the manager what and why I did it.
I tell the busperson that he/she is the only one I see who knows what there doing........Cookie
post #38 of 73
The first thing I do when I get horrible service is try to make the best of it so it doesn't spoil my meal. I try to keep in mind that I don't know what else is going on and will still tip the minimum...a little more if the server starts to come around in response to me being nice and patient with them. I can only think of a handful of times that I have had such bad service that I left 10% or less...or told the manager. Above all though, I just want to enjoy my meal and find focusing on the bad service just puts me in a bad mood.
post #39 of 73
At the Restaurant where i work we really try to make the guest's experiance perfect... their time spent in our restaurant should be the best part of their day, and we do everything in our power to make that happen... If there is a problem with the server, one of the managers on duty will take over the table and they will receive a discount or a like a 10 dollar gift card before they leave. we also have a IOU set-up, we have a To- go section of the restaurant and if something is wrong with an order, the guest can call us and we put their name and what the item was on a list, and the next time they come back, they get that item free. We messed up their order so we owe them it the correct way.
post #40 of 73
Have to agree with this - this is a great attitude to have.
Share your recipes online
Share your recipes online
post #41 of 73
I usually have good experiences but like everyone, have a few bad ones.

I usually just leave less of a tip if its poor and there are no circumstances like it being really crowded and 10 wait staff called out and he/she is REALLY trying (you can just tell), but I'm a big tipper to begin with. if service is good, I'll have no problem tipping 30%, if its bad, 10%.

I frequent a local place quite often, used to at least twice a week last year. Some people I gave 30% to, one guy I gave 50$ to on a 60$ check.... some I gave 10-15%, wait staff talk......after a couple of weeks, I always got good service......(albeit probably something "extra" in my food).

I never really special order food, and never send it back either and I'm far from "pain in the ***" clientèle.

1 time many years ago at Outback steakhouse, (i know i know)....I waited, after asking twice, ~45 minutes for the check before I got up and walked out.
post #42 of 73
Maybe I'm just lucky in that I tend to get excellent service. I generally attribute my luck to my attitude toward the wait staff - I did that job for almost five years before I moved to the kitchen, I can usually relate to them pretty well.

To me, the most valuable aspect of a waiter is knowledge. If they can recite from memory and without hesitation what herbs my roast duck is going to be roasted in, if they know exactly what goes into the soup, if they can answer any question I have about what I'm ordering, just about anything else is redeemable.

I can tolerate an obviously faked smile, or if they're slow to offer refills on my drinks. But if they can't tell me what I'm going to be eating, all they are is plate carriers.
post #43 of 73
They had a scene in one of the Soprano's episodes where the waiter chased outside after Paulie and Christopher. The waiter ended up getting shot to death by Paulie, but it was Christopher who shorted him big time!

post #44 of 73
I wish more people would have your attitude! It seems much healthier. I honestly don't think I have ever had service so poor that it ruined my night. Sometimes it's annoying, inattentive, but rarely is it a particularly big deal. I always remember a night when I was a waitress that just makes me remember that everyone deserves a little slack. I had just found out that my best friend was in the hospital, I had a truly god-awful migraine, and the manager chose to fire half the staff (both kitchen and wait) five minutes before the shift started and literally no one could fill in. The only other waiter who hadn't been fired showed up so still drunk from the night before and was basically worthless (he went into the basement and passed out until 7:30ish when I kicked him and told him that he HAD to get out there). Usually the restaurant was a little slow on that night of the week, but somehow it managed to be completely full from 5pm-10pm when we closed (it's not a huge restaurant, but there are still about 60 tables). I am usually a fantastic waitress, but I know I was probably really awful that night. Now, I tried to let people know upfront that we were very short staffed and apologize in advance; I tried to smile and be friendly, be attentive, and get to everyone as quickly as humanly possible. However, there is simply no way that I could be up-to-par so to speak. Most people were very gracious and understanding, but there was definately a couple who complained to my manager.

Sorry for the rant, but I always keep that night in mind whenever I encounter bad service and I at least tip 10% (granted I usually tip like 30%, so I know that I am not a great example of normal).
"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
"Never use water unless you have to! I'm going to use vermouth!" ~Julia Child

"No chaos, no creation. Evidence: the kitchen at mealtime. "
post #45 of 73
Wow firerose, that's one to remember :(

But I say, if a server is overextended, and my service suffers for it, I will leave less of a tip. After all, they're getting tips from more tables than they "should" be, imo.
post #46 of 73
To avoid such embarrassing situations I usually go through Boorah restaurant reviews and ratings, where we can know about the behavior of the staff and restaurants atmosphere reviewed by visitors of a particular restaurant.
Sumptuous food is a romantic getaway!!!
Sumptuous food is a romantic getaway!!!
post #47 of 73
I had a similar thing happen to me when a very rude waitress that could never be found stopped chased us down in the middle of the restaurant and said "Excuuuuuuuuse me, tip is 17%" and looked at me like I was crazy. I can't bring myself to leave nothing, so I left a couple of dollars on a $50 check. I told her that I tipped according to the service we were provided. I walked over to the manager and apologized for the lack of generous tip but that our dining experience was not as good as we wish it had been due to x y and z reasons.

When I was a waitress there were a few things that I did that earned me higher tips.
1.If I was too busy to get to a table I would drop by and tell them that I would be with them as soon as I can. People will understand if you're swamped as long as you acknowledge them.
2. Don't patronize people "sure sweetie, anything you want, I can do that for you, right away."
3. Keep your eyes on all your tables all the time. Instead of pestering my guests by continuously asking them how everything is, walk by, look, and if they need something they will stop you. You don't need to be in their face, you just need to be available.
4. Smile, and look at people when they are talking to you.

What I hated most was that I did not get to keep the tips I earned. We had to pool the money meaning the person next to me who was making less tips and working a lot less than me walked away with the same amount as I did at the end of the night.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #48 of 73


Forgot to say, in Europe service is a completely different issue. For all those Americans out there visiting european countries beware that 15-18% gratuity is added to your check automatically. Some choose to leave an extra euro or so if the service was exceptional but it's not expected. Can't say it does wonders for the level of service though.

They will try to scam you if you ask "how does gratuity work here?" and tell you to leave a tip in many cases.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #49 of 73
A very good tutorial on customer service:

YouTube - Seinfeld-Soup **** (best bits)
post #50 of 73

Handling a rude server

Report it to the restaurant. You desserve to be served correctly, and also it is a disservice not to inform the managers, their future clients could suffer and go away.
post #51 of 73
I generally like to go with the "kill them with kindness approach" just so they don't go with the "kill me with salmonella" approach. Sometimes after the meal is over, a stern talking to is called for :)

Ranking and reviewing the world's best sandwiches one bite at a time.

Ranking and reviewing the world's best sandwiches one bite at a time.
post #52 of 73
I tend to tip generously, but disagree with my husband about tipping on the tax. (He doesn't) What's the feeling on this?
post #53 of 73
Of all the issues surrounding the tipping question that's the one I can least relate to.

Let's take these givens: tax rate is 6%. You normally tip 20%. Food & drink part of the bill is $100.

Nice and simple so we can all do the math.

Tip on f&b only: $20.
Tip on total: 21.20

I have two questions about this.

1. Does anyone really quibble over that difference?

2. How many people actually figure the precise percentage? I believe most people would look at a bill for $106, do some quick mental arithmatic, and drop a double sawbuck on the table. It works the other way, too. Let's say the f&b portion was 94 bucks. The total on that would be $99.40. And again, most people would merely drop a twenty.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #54 of 73
...Does anyone really quibble over that difference?

Q: to which "anyone" is the quibble addressed? on the tipee or the tiper side?

......The total on that would be $99.40. And again, most people would merely drop a twenty.

which is the origin of Trinkgeld (Ger.)

where custom establishes all taxes and gratuities are included, "rounding up" generated a bit extra.
there were days when "the bill" was simply a blitz of numbers on a small scratch pad your waiter tallied up tableside.... the odd pennies often being politely rounded up by the patron - the essence of: "keep the change"

see also: tick marks on your beer coaster . . . .
post #55 of 73
My wife spent twelve years in the biz (head of admin for a suburban Chicago chain of family restaurants- not in production) and just heard all the time from the owners and managers that any complaint about a restaurant was relayed to ALL the patron's friends and acquaintances - as well as a vow never to return.

OK food and service usually didn't get mentioned.

Tough business. :rolleyes:


I had an absolutely lousy breakfast at a Denny's while travelling through Garberville, CA in 1967. (See how it's burned into my memory! Actually, it was in August of 1967.) Didn't go into a Denny's for thirty years, and then only because my son insisted on hitting one by his office in Houston on the way to work,. Wasn't bad, so we went back to that one a couple times.

travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #56 of 73
Wow, Garberville.
In '67.
I'm sure all of the cooks were stoned.
Waitstaff too for that matter.

Denny's has gone way downhill, not that they were anywhere near the top to begin with, but they are certainly dives now.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
post #57 of 73
I have a little different perspective as I and my wife were servers for one of those major chain bistros for a couple of years. Yes, we had to wear 'flare' so if you don't know which one you need to watch Office Space. As such we do tip 20% and work our way down for bad service, but it depends on WHY the service is bad.

You can tell 'clueless' from 'apathetic' from 'arsehole' pretty quick.

Clueless doesn't bother me much because odds are they are still learning or just stupid in general. The second most common bad service we have run into has been of the clueless variety. Its really pretty funny because while we may not have been servers for going on 15 years now, we still know why they are floundering and what their mistakes are as they make them. We had one very memorable poor server at our local favorite establishment because of the clueless server. The guy was maybe 24, about 6'3, and blond so he was easy to follow around as he worked. Our table had a view of the kitchen through the big glass partitions on a packed Saturday night. He of course completely screwed up our table and apparently every other table he had. We would watch has the managers would talk to him, the cooks, other servers and he had that look of beyond in the weeds the entire time. We actually gave him a 15% tip because we felt sorry for him as he was doing his best, even if his best was awful. We never saw him there again.

Apathetic is the norm for 'bad service'. You can tell them pretty quick on how they act when they take your drink order. These are the type where if male you will see them spend more time hitting on the female wait staff than paying attention to their tables. Usually the service is just adequate, not poor but just enough to not have major complaints, odds are we tip this kind a bit too high.

Arseholes are pretty rare and those are the only ones where we do the .01 tip or complain. I can't recall the last time, and I doubt these people last in the business long enough to really run into a lot of them.

As a waiter I screwed up a few times, one I even feel really bad about still today (forgot a birthday), but things do happen. Over all being a waiter is not a difficult job but it does require good multitasking skills to really pull it off. Most quality people will not be life long professional waiters, so yes this is a part time job while we are in school for other things. Some of the posts in this thread seem to imply that it makes the sever somehow less important because of this, but really who wants to be a sever their entire life? I've always said everyone should work at least 6 months on tips alone, it will greatly improve peoples attitude to others.
post #58 of 73
i have to say, i have never had any bad service anywhere (my oh says i scare them!). but i am always pleasant to waiting staff and thank everyone so it's not that i am aggressive or scary.

but we were at a dinner dance a number of years back and the food was stone cold when it arrived. everyone, and i mean everyone - i earwigged other tables - was moaning.

anyway, the general manger came around the tables enquiring if everyone was enjoying their food and i sat (almost) open mouthed as everyone said 'oh, yes, lovely' and so on. when he got to me i said 'well if you like stone cold food with the veg arriving in stages, then yes, it was grand.'

the result? i had a totally fresh (hot) plate served to me within minutes with all my food fresh and hot.

pays to speak up sometimes. :D
post #59 of 73
I do my best to make it a policy not to eat out if I know I can't tip. In fact, I usually tip 20%. There have been times, though, where I just haven't had the money to leave a very good tip. Recently, I split a pie with my friend at Pizza Hut. I handed the waitress a 20 and told her to keep the change. It was only about a 10% tip, but she never refilled our drinks, and how hard is it to bring a box from the counter to a table?
Anyways, I told her to keep the change and she just stands there staring at me for a minute. I asked her if there was a problem, and she said "You do know you're supposed to tip, right?" I REALLY don't like condescending people. I politely said, "There is a $1.74 tip there for you." She then chose to complain about how crappy the tip was, so I said "You do know that I'm not obligated to leave you a tip at all, right?"
She promptly wished me a good day and left me the heck alone.

I don't like to be rude to servers because I've been in their position, but it's kind of a requirement that you not s**k.
post #60 of 73
Maybe her math was bad or she didn't understand something. Maybe she argues with at least half the customers. Minimal service gets a minimal tip, in my book.

This is about how I tip:
25% if the service was really great
15% if it was satisfactory, pretty good
10% if below par but not too bad
a few pennies if the server had no respect and was a total rude jerk--after all, aren't they in the business of making customers happy?

I don't make allowances for servers who are overstretched, since they will be collecting tips from more customers. One thing I do, though, is make the tip in round dollar amounts (provided service is at least almost adequate), so that the server isn't getting what they might see as the "leftovers".
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