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Do you tip 15% even if you have lousy service at a restaurnat?

Do you tip 15% even if you have lousy service at a restaurnat?

Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:03 AM
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Do you tip 15% even if you have lousy service at a restaurnat?


Hello fellow fodorites,
Just curious, if we were being rude when we left a 10% tip for lousy service.

This is the story: We went out for drinks and appetizers at an upscale restaurnant where we live. There were 5 of us total in our party. We sat in the bar area of the restaurant. Short story we had lousy service, forgotten drinks, ashtray left on the table with cigarett butts[we do not smoke] no refill requests for drinks, got the picture.
We left 10%, the bar manager came over to our table and scolded us on out small tip. We informed him we were leaving the small tip because of lack of sercice. He was very put off by our comments and we left never to return. So my question is were we being tacky? One of the ladies in our party was embarrassed to have the bar manager scold us.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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I think it was the bar manager who was WAY out of line. You had bad service and left a generous tip considering (someone else's used ashtray is totally unacceptable). It was unprofessional of him to say anything at all. Hearing your story he should have apologized not been put off.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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Tipping is completely arbitrary anyway; you do not have to leave any tip. Of course, we do tip for service here in the US, 15% being the norm.
If your service was as bad as you described and/or perceived, the server was lucky to get anything at all.
Of course, your 10% tip probably doesn't make that much of a statement to a server because there are a lot of people who tip 10% or less standard, therefore diluting the message. Having worked in hospitality for many years, I think the only way to get the message across is to leave no tip. Otherwise, to the server, and apparently that manager, you are just another cheap patron, which you were not.
The attitude you got afterwards was ridiculous. The only recourse you really have is to no longer go there and get the word out to all of your friends.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Or if you care enough about it to bother, write the restaurant about both the service and the manager's attitude. You'd be surprised how many letters restaurants receive.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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I would have told the manager "You're right. I was wrong to leave a 10% tip. If you'll return it to me, we'll call it even."

Seriously, there is absolutely no excuse for a manager to reprimand a customer regarding a tip. Even if the service had been wonderful and you left 5%, the manager should never have said anything.

For really lousy service, 10% is actually very good. I will leave $1 (just so they know I didn't "forget" to leave a tip) for bills over $20. Under $20, I leave 25 or 50 cents. Of course, I've only done so once or twice.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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I thought I would mail this thread to the establisment and post an review on tripadvisor.
I think prewitt has a point, we should have left a penny. The manager had an oppurtunity to chastice us on our CHEAP tip. If a penny would have been left there would have been no room for discussion on our feeling. As it was we were put in a position of defending ourselves and the manager using shame as a tactic.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 10:04 AM
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The manager was way out of line to scold you. How much you leave is your business.

However, I would probably have said something to the server - about the ashtray, not coming back for refills etc - before deciding to leave a smaller tip.

One thing that people tend to forget (and I'm not saying this is the case here) is that sometimes servers don;t show up - or the restaurant owner tries to cut costs by not having enough staff. In that case the bad service is not the fault of the server, who's doing the best s/he can - but of management.

I would try to figure that out before reducing the server's tip.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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The restaurant is Josef of Barbados, on springcreek in Rockford.
We have been there quite a few times and in defense of the establishment has outstnading service.
We did help our server in reminding her of the lack of drinks, dirty ashtray[that was never taken care of] and not being asked refills.
I guess it was so shocking to have been scolded by the bar manager, I had to post this incident.
It is unfortunate that because of the bar manager not the server we will never be back.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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My last post should read in the PAST we have had outstanding service at Josef's, this incident is what was so unsettling.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 11:07 AM
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On those occasions when I get truly bad service I ask to see the manager. I politely but firmly inform him/her that the service I received was sub-standard (giving a few details without getting emotional or obnoxious) and that I will not be leaving any tip. I let the manager know for two reasons - first so he/she can take appropriate action (whatever that might be) and second so they know the "zero" tip wasn't an oversight on my part.

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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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Yes, in fact we have left no tip before. And yes we ask to see the manager and explain. Usually they are apologetic. I've never been to Barbados, so no experience there.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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We have done similiar once we felt 10% was still too much but as someone said didn't want them to think we forgot. In someplaces they pool tips and everyone splits the pot later which isn't fair to the ones who really earned theirs. If at all possible contact the owner and if not satisfied the local paper. Word of mouth can ruin a restaurant if left unchecked.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Thank you for all the thoughtful responses. I will contact the owner Josef, I think he should know about his bar manager's behaviour. It is always best to be proactive.
I don't see myself ever patronizing Josef's again.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Just a thought pjsparlor. An owner of a business cannot be in all places at the same time. I personally wouldn't make a decision about whether to return to this restaurant, assuming you have really liked it in the past, until you see what the owner's response will be. You might be pleasantly surprised. And if the owner is truly concerned about keeping his customers happy he should be greateful that you discuss this situation with him to that he can take the necessary corrective steps. Best wishes..and I hope the next evening out is more enjoyable for all of you.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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What's a resaurnat? A place that serves up nats? That's nat good.

You should've asked for the general manager or owner. That bar manager was out of line. The waiter was lucky you tipped at all.
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Old Feb 11th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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I would have left nothing and asked to discuss the waiter's and the bar manager's attitudes with the owner.
M
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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In Belgium as in the rest of Europe tips are included in the price of the meals.The American method is,in my opinion based on the fact that you only tip in accordance of the service you got.This should be an incentive for good service.During our travels in the US we never encountered bad service.On the contrary we sometimes find it a bit over the top the grovelling to increase the tip.Paul
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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"I looked for you all through the meal; now you look for the tip."
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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 07:21 AM
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Hello, This is the letter that I will be sending to Josef. Thank you for all the insight. PJ



Josef of Barbado's Restaurant
6880 Springcreek Rd
Rockford, Il. 61107
815 282 3400

Dear Mr. Josef,

I am writing this letter to inform you of an incident that took place at your restaurant Josef of Barbadoís Sat. night, Feb. 10.

We were a party of five, we came to your establishment to have some cocktails and a light meal. We arrived at 10:25 PM, and we were told promptly that the kitchen was closing, and only cold items on the bar menu would be served.

We did promptly order sushi, cheese plate, goat cheese salad. We also ordered drinks and water. One of our drinks never arrived, we did remind the Lori our waitress of the oversight. There were only crackers served with our light meals. I would think a restaurant of your caliber would have some bread for late night eaters. Never the less, Lori was not an attentive waitress, we didnít have the water refreshed, we were not asked if we would like another cocktail, dirty ashtray was never removed (we do not smoke)
It was poor service.

We left a 10% tip to reflect our disappointment in the service. You tip on the food /cocktail bill not taxed full amount, which your bar manager needs to be aware of.

Your bar manager came over to our table and confronted us on our 10% tip. We were pretty shocked at his brazenness and lack of professionalism.

We promptly left, we did state that we should have left a penny and there would have been no doubt we were unhappy with our server.

As a business owner myself I felt this should be brought to your attention. Shame is never a good business tactic. We were put in an incredibly uncomfortable situation.

I did post my experience on fodors.com that I have enclosed for to read. The waitress inattentiveness happens, even at wonderful restaurants. That is what arbitrary tips are for.

Your bar manager was way out of line.



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Old Feb 12th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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I agree that you received bad service and you were not out of line to decrease your tip. The bar manager was way out of line. The thought of leaving a penny for a tip though just makes me cringe. It seems so rude. Better to just let the person know that you won't be leaving a tip IMO.
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