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$$$$-sour service

m
Marilayne May 4, 2001 01:06 PM

I am just curious after reading posts about Chez Panisse and the French Laundry how you all are tipping after reporting of sour, snooty, or just plain unimpressive service at high end restaurants? Is it 20%, 15% or what? Since you've already paid for the food the tip would be for the expertise of the server. Part of this would be attitude toward the patron and how well a server reads them,ie:does he want to be alone or conversed with? I counted 5 mistakes in the French Laundry post from Kristin,at$465 is this 15%. Is a snooty attitude rewarded with 15% or 20% because your at FL or CP?
Just trying to be politcally correct.
Marilayne

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    Ann L. May 4, 2001 06:51 PM

    We have never recieved snooty sevice at Chez Pannise, but if we did, we might not leave the extra , over the amount included in the bill by the restaurant, to bring it up to 20%. Chez Panisse tacks 15% onto the bill, and informs the customer on the menu that the tip is included.

    I think the waiters are on a salary at the French Laundry, so do not recieve all the tip anyway.

    There is a long thread on the general topics board about tipping in expensive restaurants with a ton of different opinions.

    I think informing the management of the less-than -acceptable service might be more effective than "stiffing" the waiter.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Ann L.
      m
      Marilayne May 5, 2001 12:28 AM

      Thanks for the thread. Still curious, especially your comment on 3/27 of that thread you said, "I should mention that we had dinner at Chez Panisse Cafe last night and enjoyed a meal with nice service that required hardly more than taking the order, bringing the wine and food and being pleasant." Not to point at you specifically but isn't this to be expected? Isn't that what the 15% or double the tax(at least tax in Calif.) is for? I expect a pleasant wait staff and food to be brought to my table. Yet, you upped the tip to 20% for what you wrote was service to be expected.
      Fortunately, I have never gotten attitude or bad service at any high-end restaurants and in fact gotten exemplary service so have always tipped very well. I guess I want to here the answer to my original question to those of you,like the poster who had 5 service mishaps at French Laundry, whether the 20% is an automatic courtesy or does the server have to earn it?

      1. re: Marilayne
        a
        ANN L. May 7, 2001 02:58 PM

        Marilayne, in response to your question, I mentioned that instance at Chez Panisse (on the General Topics Board) to illustrate a point. Since a waiter depends upon tips for his income, I don't exactly feel a tip is just for good service. In addition, I think 15% is sometimes shy of what a waiter deserves from us at a restaurant like the cafe at Chez Panisse. We aren't speedy diners and he/she will not be turning over the table quickly. Unless we have ordered more dishes than usual, it seems he/she desrves more of a gratitude, but that is just how I would feel. You might feel differently, and that's ok.

        I also think more than 15% is justified if one has only ordered something relatively inexpensive and the bill is not very high. I'm not saying it is necessary to leave more, but I would just prefer to. If the sevice had been inferior in any way, I might not have been inclined to leave a little extra, but the 15% would have been included in the tab. In that case, I feel that it would have been up to me to inform the management that the service was not up to par.
        The comment you referred to was in the context of a discussion about whether a salary of $100,000.00 was justified for a waiter in a very high end restaurant. If I had recieved poor service at the French Laundry, or any other very expensive restaurant, I probably would leave the 20%, but would have wasted no time in firing off a letter to the restaurant. If the waiters are not on salary, that tip is usually shared with other employees, such as bussers, I believe, and it hardly seems fair to penalize them for what the waiter has done.

        If a hairdresser is tipped 15% in addition to the amount charged for the haircut, that, it seems to me, is more optional. If you are pleased with the haircut, you tip. If you don't feel the hairdresser did a good job, you still have to pay for the cut, but you don't tip.

        Actually, we should probably be dicussing this on the General Topics Board.

        1. re: ANN L.
          r
          Rochelle May 13, 2001 03:26 PM

          i'm late on the discussion but i'm really suprised that we diners don't know where our money is going.

          i have been in the service industry (all aspects) for the last 13 years and no, that waiter doesn't take home the entirety of what you leave him or her.

          depending on the house, percentages are given to the busboy, the bartender, the food expeditor, and often times now the kitchen before the waiter looks at any cash.

          that extra percentage should be given if you feel you've gotten the type of service that made your meal an exceptional experience-no matter what type of house you're in. by the same token, if the meal wasn't up to standard and nothing was done to help satisfy you that should also be reflected.

          another thing to keep in mind is that your waiter is taxed on a gross percentage of his "ring" each shift, and by under tipping you are penalizing him or her IMHO unfairly as surely there could have been some way to rectify the situation before it got this far.

          sorry for the ramble, but having been on the other side of the table...

          1. re: ANN L.
            r
            Rochelle May 14, 2001 01:27 AM

            i'm late on the discussion but i'm really suprised that we diners don't know where our money is going.

            i have been in the service industry (all aspects) for the last 13 years and no, that waiter doesn't take home the entirety of what you leave him or her.

            depending on the house, percentages are given to the busboy, the bartender, the food expeditor, and often times now the kitchen before the waiter looks at any cash.

            that extra percentage should be given if you feel you've gotten the type of service that made your meal an exceptional experience-no matter what type of house you're in. by the same token, if the meal wasn't up to standard and nothing was done to help satisfy you that should also be reflected.

            another thing to keep in mind is that your waiter is taxed on a gross percentage of his "ring" each shift, and by under tipping you are penalizing him or her IMHO unfairly as surely there could have been some way to rectify the situation before it got this far.

            sorry for the ramble, but having been on the other side of the table...

        2. re: Ann L.
          j
          Jim May 5, 2001 11:01 AM

          Hmmmmm, what's the point of a tip if the waitstaff is on salary? What happens to the % tip added to the bill? Seems like an extra tax that goes straight to the restaurant **sheesh* like $400+ for 2 isn't enough..........

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