Yesterday we had lunch at a 'breakfast all day' diner. It was a delightful retro diner with artwork that made us smile and music that had us bouncing in our seats. The food was delicious!
The only downside was our waitress. She was not very experienced (she'd worked there for a month--we asked) but it was more than just not knowing the menu well. She rested her knee on my booth bench as she took our order, failed to bring drink refills, acted put out when we told her we needed ketchup and then still forgot to bring it to the table. She never once smiled or made us feel as if we were valued customers.
Jennifer and I were really looking forward to eating lunch at this particular restaurant because of the coffee refills. But we didn't really get what that--we only had one refill and we had to wait quite a while for that one.
I'm used to poor service. Waitstaff in Africa do not work for tips. They are given a salary and an automatic 10% for service is added to your bill regardless of how you, as a customer, were cared for. We will still leave extra on the table if we are pleased with the service but I don't know that it is received as a compliment or how they look at it. It makes us feel better, however, to try to give something.
My daughter is a waitress and my brother has worked in the service industry for years so I know how hard waiters and waitresses work and do my best to help them by leaving a good tip but it is aggravating to receive service like we did yesterday. Eating out is such a treat for us after our time in Africa and it is disappointing when someone ruins it with a poor work ethic.
My tip calculator on my phone suggests leaving 18%. My waitress daughter usually leaves 20% and the other daughter leaves 15%. Despite the poor treatment we received we left a good tip. But it left us feeling cheated.
At least we didn't do this
Here are my questions: If you are not happy with the service you receive in a restaurant what do you do? Do you reduce your tip? If you do, do you let the waiter/waitress know why or do you just leave it at that? Would it be perceived as bad behavior by them if you just left a smaller tip without saying anything? Would you speak to the manager?