Main image
September 29th,
written by Arthur

I’m still steaming about a recent experience with a mostly M.I.A. waiter at a mid to upper priced place (think $15 to $18 an entrée).  It has me rethinking my philosophy on tipping.  Here’s the story.

My dinner companion and I hit the restaurant just as the height of the dinner rush was passing.  After being seated it was 10-15 minutes before the waiter stopped by.  No question about if we wanted drinks–just an “are you ready to order?”  The waiter took our order in a sullen hipster silence and left.

Maybe the waiter’s brevity was due in part to our luck at being seated at worst table in the place.  A table  right near the kitchen and right on/in the servers’ path to the main dining area–there is a constant stream of traffic past the table that the table’s waiter inevitably has to block.  But the thing is I’ve eaten at this restaurant before, at the same table, and the waiter some how managed the miracle speech.  But not this time.

A food runner brought our food and took away our dishes.  The plaid clad server returned once our leftovers were neatly packed and the restaurant about 70% cleared out.  He didn’t even speak at this point, I just asked for the check which he silently retrieved.  The second sentence he managed all night was to ask if I wanted change (I was paying cash).   Not thinking about the service too much I calculated $9 as a 20 percent tip which I couldn’t give without change.  What happened next is what REALLY pisses me off: the asshole  came back with a 10 and 1.  I don’t want to get all Reservoir Dogs (see below if you’re confused), but what in god’s name made this man think that he deserved more than a 20 percent tip?  In retrospect I wish I had just left him the $1 (well maybe not, the food runner hopefully gets a cut).  I’m not asking for a show or to be dazzled but there is no reason for me to pay you if you don’t do ANYTHING.  When I’m paying $15 plus for a plate why should I give a waiter anything for a disinterested attitude.

The last time I had a bad waiter experience was months ago at Sette.  And that was a totally different experience.  At Sette my waiter was probably  having a horrible day–in my recent experience maybe that was true, but all that came across was laziness and indifference  that I hear is becoming more common.  I’m not sure how I’m going to handle such an experience if and when that happens again–but I am extremely tempted ask myself WWMPD (what would Mr. Pink do?).


  1. Bruce Wayne

    I hate tipping. It’s not my fault or responsibility that they’re not paid well enough.

  2. […] dined at Fonda a few times and sampled their happy hour a few times more and, while I did have one major service failure here, the food has always impressed.  Good enough that I don’t feel cheated for paying $16 for […]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.