I know this sounds like it’s going to be really boring but it’s something I’ve been discussing in a lot of my classes lately and with friends. Why do we expect such good service from restaurants? What do customers expect and what can the restaurant do for us? How much do we tip now days? Why do some people not tip?
Well let me start with what happened today. It’s good don’t worry. Sashi and I were at Four Burgers, a burger chain near my school and home. They began offering a special for about $10, which is cheap for them, for a small beef burger, fries and a drink. So I ordered this as did a man that walked in shortly after me. They delivered to our table a burger about the size of my palm (which in health class they tell you is 3 oz, so the burger is actually 3.5 oz.) and a side of fries. Perfectly fine for me. But for the man that also ordered this, he needs a little bit more food. So he was surprised when he had a 3.5 oz. burger but his friend had a 5 oz burger. The manager overheard how surprised he was and said, “Do you want me to take this back for a regular sized burger?”
No mention of upping the price. The man politely declined.
“Well how about this, eat this burger and we’ll fire up another one the same size for you.”
The man agreed. Still, no mention of upping the price he already paid. So I don’t know if he paid for the extra food or at least left a big tip. But I found this to be fantastic customer service. Even though it didn’t happen to me it definitely makes me want to come back again.
We say that places like restaurants have to have good customer service or they won’t last. If there were less choices the service wouldn’t matter, like the DMV, because there are few choices. And so for restaurants to stay at the top of their game they have to provide good service in addition to good food.
But courtesy does not fall solely on the restaurant. The customer has to do his or her part too, tipping. While not customary in most of Asia and parts Europe, we tip here in America. So the break down is 15% is acceptable for a night where you’ve had some issues with the service, 18% when it was average, and 20% for a great night. I admit I’ve definitely tipped under and over, usually with my reasons but after being friends with so many waiters/waitresses I’ve come to understand their side of the story. Honestly, there have been some very difficult times when I’ve had such bad service I don’t believe tipping is even necessary, but it is. There have even been horror stories about not tipping that I’ve heard where the server chases the person down for the tip. But tipping is customary. So just know that at places you really enjoy the service, show it. Even if you didn’t enjoy the service, show it a little less, but still leave a tip. The servers usually still do their job of serving you. And if they don’t do their job and don’t serve you at all (like my experience at Vito’s Tavern recently), leave. It’s that simple.