This thread is interesting since I had the most miserable service at a favorite restaurant Saturday evening. Let me post this as a "retiree" who hasn't yet had time to play golf (or any other sport for that matter) all day long as I'm more busy now then ever before. I took my 86 year old mother, who by the way works full time, and my 50 year old working sister to an early dinner (reservations for 6:15 and we were prompt). We were seated promptly, and drink orders were taken in a timely manner and served in a timely manner and the dinner orders placed at the time the drinks were served. There were no special requests or special orders, just three dinners off the menu. Dinners included soup and salad. Only one in our party had both, the other two had salad only. The soup came in timely manner and 40 minutes later, the salads. During the 40 minutes it took to deliver the salads, several other groups of 2 and 4 were seated and had other servers. Our server never came back to check if we wanted another drink, to see if there was anything else we needed, or even to come with the pepper mill to ask if we wanted some fresh ground pepper on our salads.
Other tables were served their appetizers, soup and/or salads and even entrees. In fact, 2 tables (who arrived after we had) completed their dining experience and left before we were served our entrees. We did not even see our server again for 40 minutes after serving the salads. There were no large groups dining in the restaurant, however there was a table of 8 with another server.
When the dinners finally arrived (two steaks and one salmon), they were not hot. The server continuously reached across me to serve my mother even though there was enough room to walk around the table. My steak was served with a blue cheese sauce that had congealed. Again, the server disappeared, never returning to check on the meal or our satisfaction. When she came to clear, she did ask if we wanted another drink and we declined. I shared with her that Mom was disappointed with her salmon because it was not served hot (and she, in fact, ate less than half a portion). She appologized and I said it was the first time we had been so disappointed. Her response -- GET THIS, and I quote, "I saaaaid I was sorry". She took the cost of that meal off the ticket. I did not expect that, nor was it the point, the point was that her service (and attitude) was bad.
While I'm generally a minimum 20% tipper, needless to say, this server got considerably less. So disappointing! Don't get on your high horse, I realize that this was the first time we ever encountered this problem at this restaurant; however, it was not a problem in the kitchen... and hopefully, our server finds another occupation quickly.