So this past Sunday, we met some friends of ours for dinner. We went here, because it is kid-friendly without being cartoonish, the kid's meals are well priced and come with dessert! What more can you ask for in a restaurant?
With all the kids, there were seven in our party. Our waitress was great, prompt with the filling of the glasses, more bread when we wanted, and even gave me a slice of birthday cake even though I admitted my birthday was at the beginning of the month. She had spotted the present our friends had nicely given me, and asked what the occasion was.
All in all, good service, right?
Hubba-hubba and our friend J were working out the bill and came to the question of tip. Hubba-hubba is a generous tipper, and it seems that J is not. They had a bit of a gentlemen's disagreement over the tip, and Hubba-hubba decided not to press it any further. Us gals had taken the kids out to run around the front grassy area when they came out, and Hubba-hubba whispered to me that he thought since our waitress did such a good job, he should add to the tip.
Hubba-hubba wound up going back and leaving some more money, I think with the excuse that he had to use the restroom. Usually if we like the service, we tip around twenty percent.
But I have been known a handful of times to stiff the server. That is only if something especially horrific was done. For example, when I was pregnant, I had gestational diabetes. At the Cheesecake Factory for lunch with my sister, I asked the waitress if the particular dish I wanted had any sugar in it, and I explained my medical condition. She, without checking with the kitchen, assured me that it didn't. I ordered it, but upon my first bite, detected sugar. Vainly, we attempted to flag her down, but wound up asking another waitress. She replied in the affirmative that the dish did indeed contain sugar. Our waitress was huffy when she found out I had changed dishes, and no apology. No apology for endangering my health and that of my unborn child meant zero tip. I don't think we felt bad about it for even a nanosecond.
It seems that J is on tip overload, and it's hard to blame him. I mean, it seems that everywhere I turn, there is a plastic jar with a cutesy marker-written sign. The smart ones put happy faces. From Chipotle to Coldstone, every low paying job puts out a plea for more money from its customers.
When is enough money enough?
Is it a sign of bad economic times that the people who are getting paid to stand there and hand me my burrito think they are entitled to extra money? A lot of these places aren't cheap to begin with, so if you add in a tip, are you really spending all that much less than a full-service restaurant?
Or is it just a mindset that lives by the old adage, "there's a sucker born every minute?"