Sunday, July 11, 2010
I get a boot out of watching sitcoms such as "Seinfeld" and "Rules of Engagement," because they always show people who eat all three of their meals every day in restaurants, soup takeout joints, and diners.
Apparently there is a law in New York City forbidding the preparation and/or consumption of food in one's own home.
Well sir, we don't go out to eat all that often, but we like to do so every now and then. It's fun. And I love talking to people about their jobs, and if you've ever talked to a server at a restaurant who has more than two weeks on the job, they will tell you some stories! Uhh huhhhhh!
People want this, people want that. Don't cook it too much. You didn't cook it enough. I know it says no substitutions, but could I have a hot-fudge sundae instead of cole slaw? I need more water/beer/napkins/hot sauce/Splenda®. Where's my roll? These are the questions these fine people have to deal with all day long, and to me, they can't be making enough money to deal with what they have to deal with. It's not a fair deal!
Given the insanity rate in this nation, you start by figuring that a certain amount of the people who come into a place for supper are certifiable. Add to that the number of people who only treat themselves to an out-of-house dining experience once every time Halley's Comet streaks overhead, and then figure in that percentage among us who just think they are entitled to every doggone thing, and right now!, because they're cute, and that adds up to a lot of hard-to-satisfy people.
So next time you're out at the Try'N'Chew, please remember that your server is working hard to please you, and that you may be one of several dozen people he or she is attempting to please simultaneously. Tip like you've been out before.
By which I mean, the setup is that the price of your BigMac is one thing, and the price of your chateaubriand at Le Grande Macoise is yet another...and you don't tip at McD's because all they do is toss your chow into a bag. At finer places, you are served, and you tip, in exchange for that service. 15 - 20% is nice, but toss in a few extra bucks if the service was really nice. Most of the servers you will meet are not the children of millionaires, doing this work to get some funny anecdotes for their autobiography or psychoanalyst. They tend to be students or young people trying to make their way, so help them out, please!
If the service was great but the food was bad, you can tell the server you'd like to tell the manager that the food was not up to par. But don't cheat the server on the tip, just because your corned beef and cabbage weren't corny enough. If the food was great but the service poor, then cut back on the tip, sure.
(To ensure that the food and service are always top-notch, eat all your meals at Bonefish Grill.)
We go to a family-style place up in the country - you've heard me talk about Friendly Farm before, right? You place your entree order, and then the appetizers and vegetables come in big heaping tureens for everyone to share, with your entree coming to you on a plate big enough to hold Mel Gibson's ego. And up there, you see a lot of people tipping a dollar or two because "It's not like a real restaurant; she didn't take your order and bring it to you on a plate!" No, she just hauled out a dozen plates and a dozen bowls and a dozen beverages, that's all. Let's not be cheap!
Tipping. It's the thing to do. Go big or go home.