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Restaurant portion sizes ... and what to do about server's snide remark?

Having dinner with a friend.

Friend orders 2 entrees.

Waiter, with requisite smirk and sarcasm, says, "Good thing we aren't an all-you-can-eat place. That's a hearty appetite you got!"

Uh, huh.

Ok, whatever.

We ignore the comment, but the rest of the meal was (how do you say?) a bit uncomfortable.

So my question is, who decides that a restaurant's portion size is the "correct" amount of food for all people?

(As an aside, friend is training for a triathlon and "needs" the extra calories, but that's an entirely different thread ... on a different board.)

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  1. Who decides? The market I'd guess. The same forces that "decide" the prices.

    Any server who remarks on how much/little/fast/slowly I am eating (unless it is out of a sincere concern that perhaps I didn't like something) gets 5% tip. That's beyond intrusive.

    One time when I was hungry and ate pretty fast the waitress bellowed "Ya sher snarfed that down fast!" How did I respond? Stone silence, turned head to look out the window.

    Another related peeve: when server comments on my order "That's a popular item...that's my personal favorite...excellent choice." These come across as either condescending or I simply couldn't care less. Either way, server has nothing to gain by this useless chatter.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Leonardo

        Wow. Some tough customers here! I've never been put off by a server saying "excellent choice" or some such. Usually I take it as friendly chatter. Useless, maybe, but friendly. Nothing to get peeved about.

        Of course, judgmental remarks about what/how/how much you eat are out of line.

        1. re: Leonardo

          I don't mind the comment "excellent choice" but I really hate the "Wow! You must be hungry!" or "whoa! Slow down!" I just stare at them

        2. It's out of the ordinary for somebody to order two entrees. So it doesn't seem crazy or rude for him to have made mention/ made a joke of it.

          On the other hand I think most restaurant portions are way too big. I usually only eat half. I guess I would be irritated if the waitress asked "what are you on a diet?"

          1. The server was utterly rude. Yes, it's unusual to order two entrees. The server's job is to BRING the two entrees, period. He'd be lucky to get ANY tip.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sophie fox

              Totally agree with this. Server has no business commenting on the customer's order, except to advise the dish is no longer available that evening. What cheek!

            2. I hoped you only tipped on what the waiter considered to be more typical, that is, one entree. And I hope you tipped appropriate to the rudeness of the waiter and his nosy comments. My max tip would have been 5% on your one entree and one of his. Rude, rude, rude.

              1. I would love it if i was a waiter and everyone ordered 2-3 entrees, boosting my tips.

                1. this server crossed the line and kept running. At best he's looking at a 5% tip and probably a big fat goose-egg from me. Plus this is a mention to the MOD on the way out. There is no place for this type of comment and it is not humorous in the least bit.

                  The "correct" size is in the eye of the beholder. I can not remember how many time i was initially disappointed when an entree arrived and how utterly happy i was when i finished it thinking the size was perfect. Likewise there are times when i grillup two burgers, place them on rolls and dress. then after finishing one i curse myself for making two. Incredible will per need to place the second one in the fridge.


                  1. I'm not speaking about every waiter or waitress out there, but a lot of them have to come up with impromptu conversation or remarks and not just stand there statuesque. Many times what they say is twaddle, and sometimes they're just better off having kept their mouths shut (as in this instance). There are some waiters and waitresses that are just better conversationalists than others, and we have to be mindful of that. It's simply a skill many people just don't have. The snide remark made here was clearly inappropriate, and I hope the server doesn't use it every time a person orders two entrees. My reply to that remark would have been something like this, ' I have to do this to maintain this wonderfully girlish figure of mine'. Hopefully it would have returned a smile and the remainder of the time there would have been "comfortable". Returned sarcasm that's not directed at anybody (besides yourself) can be good you know.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Cheese Boy

                        as already mentioned, as long as you can pay for it, you can order as many portions as you want.

                        i've ordered a stack of food and sometimes just a couple nibbles depending on what i wanted. i didn't run out on the bill and would easily accommodate the tip more if i'm ordering less and they're not trying to hustle me out at all but still serve me well.

                        if a server really felt the need to say something.... then "would you like them at the same time or on before the other?" is the only appropriate thing i can think of. a server has to guage when you can joke or not joke with someone, and yes that is a bit of a skill in itself.

                      2. I wasn't there to hear the tone, but i think I would have given the server the benefit of the doubt that they were just clueless and trying to be overly friendly/cute/show some flair, whatever.

                        Then again, I'm used to it. My husband is a 240 lb. endurance athelete, and he orders two entrees with some frequency. Our problem is how often servers will simply not grasp this concept. Just Saturday, he ordered "Fried Oysters" and "Steamed Scallops". The dude (and I'm using that term appropriately in this case) goes "you want oysters AND scallops?" Yes, says husband.

                        When our lunch arrived, he had a 1/2 and 1/2 plate. Actually, I suppose it was nice of the kitchen to go to the trouble, but DH was disappointed.

                        Anyway, I'm used to people commenting on his capacity for food, but what I REALLY hate is when you finish your food and the waiter says something like "Well, I can tell you didn't like that a bit!" with a smirk and an aren't-I-clever tone. Husband threatens to say "no, it sucked, but I was hungry." To date he has refrained.

                        1. Let me follow up on a theme that most people have been commenting on -- tipping 5% (or less).

                          I don't really know if, in this instance, a sub-standard tip would or could rectify the situation.

                          We ordered at the beginning of the meal, the snide remark was made, and this basically tainted our entire dining experience.

                          Sure, we could screw the server of the 15-20% gratuity, but while this might have satiated our vengeful spirits, it would have done nothing to make up for the awkward dining experience.

                          I just don't know why there is a presumption that one "entree" is the proper size for a main course (or, for that matter, that an appetizer, entree and dessert is the proper amount of food to be consumed at one sitting).

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            that's why if you do leave the 5% tip you must tell the MOD so they can coach the server not to do this obnoxious staement to others.

                            http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com new post 10/8/07

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              "I just don't know why there is a presumption that one "entree" is the proper size for a main course"

                              So they don't have to change it to "main courses".

                              You have to get a grip if this (a comment that someone has a hearty appetite) is the kind of thing that can ruin your meal.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                >Sure, we could screw the server of the 15-20% gratuity, but while this
                                >might have satiated our vengeful spirits, it would have done nothing to
                                >make up for the awkward dining experience.
                                re: vengeful spirits ...
                                maybe this would be good fodder for a play "The Dining Oresteia".

                                the notion of "making up for" is a little tricky. and i think because people
                                of earth are not vulcans, you cant just do a summing of utility. by that logic
                                finding $50 on the sidewalk on the way home would "make up for"
                                the unfortunate events of dinner [from the tone of your posting, mr. dixit, i image
                                we're in agreement on this]. so the "make up for" needs to happen in a fashion
                                sort of internal to the situation. i.e. an apology, the server apologies after
                                noticing your reaction or on reflect, the server is disciplined etc.

                                so "make up for" can be in the sense of "compensation" or it can have a sense
                                of "justice".

                                ave atque vale.

                                1. re: psb

                                  Oh P,

                                  such a harsh description of a goods days work for a good days pay. if the server deserves 20+% then thats great, but if the server deserves 5-% then that's vengeful. Would have thought better from the philosopher king. Need consistency in life.

                                  1. re: jfood

                                    >if the server deserves 5-% then that's vengeful.
                                    it's not vengeful. it's just.
                                    now i imagine 0 tip is vengeful.
                                    but see other comment about "i limit myself to just saying some TipDing
                                    is ok. would need to be present to decide size of TipDing.

                                    are we actually disagreeing?

                              2. A dopey and Inappropriate commentt, but as Cheeseboy very well stated, don't assume insult where none may have been intended. This may be a foodie version of a well meaning Great Aunt/neighbor's "Gee why isn't a nice young man/woman like you married yet?"They don't mean to come off as unspeakably rude/intrusive/hurtful... But they do. Cheeseboy is right, they think that's well meaning or humorous conversation.
                                Some people just say the first thing that pops into their mouth. The tip should reflect the service ..Period

                                17 Replies
                                1. re: Tay

                                  Inappropriate obnoxious thoughtless comments, even when not intended to be so but are in fact so when delivered by a clueless server are indeed part of the service and tip is certainly a place to reflect it...Period.

                                  Part of being a competent or perhaps great server is knowing how to act.

                                  1. re: Tay

                                    "Hey buddy, you could loose a few pounds by not ordering the baconcheeseburger and try the steamed fish, and your wife could stand to loose a few as well."

                                    Even if true, there is no place in the resto relationship between custo and server.

                                    There are a lot of posts about the professionalism required as a server and these types of comments go 180 degrees against the professional servers out there.

                                    As for the aunt's comment, she has been my aunt for a long time and she has numerous free passes for stupid comments, that's life. But unless Aunt Minnie is the server who makes these stupid remarks, they need to stop, and stop immediately.

                                    http://jfoodonfood.blogspot.com new post 10/8/07

                                    1. re: jfood

                                      I agree, but the time to say something was to the server at the time of the remark, or to the Mgr 20 sec later. I bet the server would have apologized for making what he may well have thought was a joking remark. I wonder if the person ordering was m/f and if there is some sort of not mentioned reason the comment was so seriously taken. Someone would have to say a lot worse to me to 'taint my entire evening'. Of course if they did ... Nevermind ..:-}

                                      1. re: Tay

                                        You're wrong. It's not the diner's job to correct or teach waiters. You don't antagonize the waiter and risk them spitting in your food. You knock a buck or two off the tip so that they notice you weren't pleased with the service. It's not about "rectifying the situation" or anything else. If the waiter is rude, he or she gets less tip, period. If it was just a joke that didn't go over well and they tried to make up for it, let it slide.

                                        1. re: luniz

                                          Actually, I disagree. "koncking off a buck or two" only tells a server that you are cheap. It doesn't improve the situation. You're right: It's not the customer's job to teach or correct the server, but if something bothers you, it should be your 'job' to correct how someone interacts with you. Your way makes no sense. It's a passive agressive way to say what you really want to say, but don't have the courage to say.

                                          1. re: Tay

                                            There are pretty much two groups here, one who believes you tip as much as possible all the time (your group) and one who believes you tip about 15% and go up or down based on service (my group).

                                            I don't believe it's passive aggressive or any such thing. If a server notices a small tip and thinks it's because I'm cheap...well that's their problem, they'll keep getting small tips because their service is bad. I'm not going to try to get in somebody's head and keep them from lying to themselves. If somebody tips less than 15%, that should be a clear enough indicator that the service was less than acceptable. To have to argue with somebody without the sense to keep their mouth shut in the first place, when I'm the one paying is ridiculous. Pay me if you want me to take the time to teach you how to interact with people.

                                            1. re: luniz

                                              I don't mean any offense (Just like I don;t think the server did) but
                                              there are no '% Vs % "groups" here...
                                              Your postings don't give any indication of you having read the OP.. The thread is flexible. Some of us are divided as to whether or not reducing the tip is helpful in correcting questionable behavior. It has little or nothing to do with training staff. Maybe you should reread the OP.

                                            2. re: Tay

                                              Tay, I have to disagree entirely that it is the diner's job to correct how a server interacts with said diner. (!) If the server is old enough and employable enough to be hired, then the onus is on the server. And if the server is old anough and employable enough, then said server should have aquired sufficient manners to deal with the public. Yes, the onus is on the management as well, but the server is the front line and is the face that is presented to the public.

                                              The whole tip structure is, of course, passive aggressive - back-end addition of money based on percieved service - "scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" sort of stuff. But that's the method we diners have to send a message, along with a word to the MOD. It does not make us cheap because we tip less for poor service, especially for rude service. It makes us unwilling to have less than mannerly and professional service and then have to pay extra for it.

                                              As for not having the courage to "say what you really want to say?" Why do I need to ruin my night at dinner by setting up a drama with my waitperson? The OP's night was uncomfortable because of lousy training or lousy manners. Should the OP's night be even more uncomfortable because of the need to be courageous and speaking up at the time, rather than leaving a lower tip, and thus being "passive aggressive?" I don't think so.

                                              Any server who behaves in this manner deserves whatever small tip they get, and whatever reprimand from management. If they never learn manners, and that their tips depend upon those manners and service, then they should seek another realm of employment.

                                              1. re: cayjohan

                                                I can certainly appreciate your very well thought out and politely expressed disagreement and I appreciate your courtesy.
                                                While I can see it from your perspective, my point is this:
                                                Common sense would dictate that the Server did not intend to insult the customer. What possible motivation would he have to do so? Of course I don't think it's a customer's "job" to train/instruct the wait staff. I'm simply saying that leaving a small tip in order to," teach the Server a lesson", without letting him, or someone above him know why, is not helpful. If the Server has no idea why he received a reduced tip it's just a covert way to "get back" at one of the lowest members of the food chain. And yes, I know he accepted his job knowing it's a very difficult and stressful, low paying position.
                                                Of course none of us knows how the actual event played out, but I have to assume that if it upset the OP to the point that it tainted the entire dining experience, then she should have verbalized something to someone . The 5 seconds of satisfaction she may have gotten from leaving a reduced tip in no way did anything to make her feel better about the way she handles situations like this.Just the fact that she vented it here indicates that she still feels angry and frustrated. If she wanteed to make a real financial statement, she should have left NO tip.At least that might have made him think twice
                                                I say again, if someone inadvertently insults a person, it should be brought to that person's attention. Their response to that information is key. I have no way of knowing but I have a strong feeling that the OP and her friend would have received an apology from a contrite Serve had either said something.. Not that I'm condoning boorish behavior from anyone but some peolpe are socially inept and their idea of friendly banter is inappropriate.
                                                This is a very interesting thread. A lot of different thoughts...

                                                1. re: Tay

                                                  The idea that people leave a small tip in order to get "satisfaction" or "vengeance" or "make up for" some slight is not correct. You seem to be unable to understand the idea that the tip is *directly* correlated to the level of service and the resulting level of quality of the dining experience. It may help to think of it like this: If I'm 100% satisfied with the service I've received, you get a 20% tip, 90% -> 18%, 80% ->15%, 50% -> 10%, 20% (the "at least I got some food in my stomach in the end rating") -> 5%.

                                                  Also, "Common sense would dictate that the Server did not intend to insult the customer." is pretty incredibly naive. I've walked into places and had the hostess look me up and down and then just walk away as if I wasn't dressed expensively enough to talk to. I've had servers stand at the bar 15 feet away and have 20 minute conversations while I still haven't had a drink. I've had lots of great service but every once in a while I get somebody who apparently doesn't feel it necessary to even attempt to make my dining experience satisfactory. This is the entire point of the tip system.

                                                  1. re: luniz

                                                    In order to be fair, I reread all of your earlier posts on this thread. I say, with no mallice, if anyone is "unable to understand", I'd have to say it's not me. If you read CAREFULLY,you'll understand that I do not agree with, nor condone the idea of getting satisfaction or vengance by reducing the amount of the tip. My comments are in response to those of you that think the right way to handle the Server's inappropriate comment is ONLY to stiff him on the tip. I'm trying, and in your case, apparently failing, to make the point that reducing his tip w/o giving him a chance to make amends, is ineffective and small minded. As for your tipping system:
                                                    If you choose to break down the way you tip based on some convoluted percentage system, that's your thing and I respect it
                                                    I cannot imagine why a host/Hostess would "look you up and down and then just walk away" or why you would alllow that sort of unprofessional treatment to go unchallenged. Unless you are walking into Per Se in shorts, I just don't understand why that would happen to you. I agree that being kept waiting for service while your wait person chats away is totally unacceptable, but I also wonder why you would just silently take that sort of nonsense and then wait to show your displeasure at receiving poor service, by just leaving a reduced tip and not correcting it at the time? And please don't tell me it's not your job to train staff. You are not training them, you are reporting poor service..Period.
                                                    As for me saying: "Common sense would dictate that the Server did not intend to insult the customer." being " pretty incredibly naive"
                                                    I cannot imagine what else it could be... There would be no earthly reason for a Server to purposely antagonize a customer (who represents a tip ( AKA: Money) for no reason whatsoever.
                                                    The way I view it, the point of the tip system is to reward and thank the Server for professionl and pleasant service. If the service does not measure up, the customer should say something/tell someone and adjust the tip accordingly. To do less is allowing someone else's bad behavior to affect my dining experience, and I would not give someone that kind of power. .

                                                    1. re: Tay

                                                      jfood does not want nor will he tellthe server when he does something wrong. not my job. he does something wrong, into the inventory for the night, in one ear out the other and jfood back to the purpose of the evening, enjoying dinner with his companions.

                                                      at the end of the meal the bill arrives and jfood tips. if it is at less than standard level jfood politely tells the mod to give him air cover if the server mentions anything. if the server does not and thinks jfood's a jerk then mtual opinions cancel each other out.

                                                      jfood does NOT want to have a correcting conversation with a server that might turn into a confrontation, full stop.

                                                      just different ways of handling a situation. jfood turns and chats with his companions and Tay discusses with the server. Neither right and neither wrong.

                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                        OK.. I can live with the, 'different strokes' scenario. Only one question: If something is happening that's affecting the ongoing meal, EG: not having water refills or not refilling bread/butter, etc, do you just let it go, or do you make that sort of correction?

                                                        1. re: Tay


                                                          it depends.

                                                          1 - Could you please make sure the water glasses are filled?
                                                          2 - Could you please not make stupid comments?

                                                          Fits is a minor correction, latter is a major faux pas.

                                                      2. re: Tay

                                                        Why would I bother to report poor service? What do I get out of that? Do I get my time back? Can you go back in time and prevent the situation from ever having happened? There's simply no value in me wasting my time arguing with somebody who's not likely inclined to be sympathetic in the first place, and it's even less amusing that arguing with you is :).

                                                        I would "silently take that nonsense" because a confrontation does nothing but raise my stress levels, which absolutely must be avoided at all costs.

                                                        I don't know where the idea that the customer is obligated to explain his or her tip came from, but I don't ascribe to that belief and quite frankly find it ludicrous. As I'm the customer, I'm the one who's "right" in this situation and if you (not you personally) don't like it, well that has no effect on me, since it isn't coming out of my paycheck.

                                                        I wonder if you're the type of person who seeks out other people and interacts with them frequently. This may explain why you feel some sort of confrontation could be beneficial. I on the other hand have no need to interact with any but the smallest group of people; if such an interaction doesn't directly benefit me, I'll simply avoid it, I'd much rather focus my energies on thinking about something that benefits me to think about.

                                                        And I apologize if I came across as angry in any of my posts, I promise that was unintentional and likely an effect of too much coffee too quickly :D

                                                        1. re: luniz

                                                          I agree with your one point,

                                                          I never seek out a manager to "tattle" on a bad server, or employee. My energy, and time is too valuable to waste it on something with such little value.

                                                          If a place has poor service, I move on.

                                                          I guess I am lucky to live in Chicago where we have 1000's of restaurants that want a diners business and do a great job, so I dont feel cornered into putting up with issues of poor service, and poor management. Places like these will go out of business. No loss

                                                          1. re: luniz

                                                            I'm glad I amuse you, lol! And here I thought it was more a debating/kicking around the thread, debate rather than 'arguing' :-}
                                                            I'm not a seeker of people, nor am I especially confrontational though I will not be intimidated or bullied. I do a lot of interacting with people both on a professional and personal level but by choice and not in some puppy dog, need other people's approval, sort of way. I'm an "externalizer" and you, apparently, are more of an "internalizer" I guess I am fortunate when it comes to this topic.. I cannot recall the last time I had less than good service in a restaurant and for the most part, I receive excellent service.I eat out very frequently, but I will say I prefer to be a satisfied repeat customer rather than try a new place every time I dine out.. I don't know, perhaps that increases my pleasant dining experiences.
                                                            In reading you post, I think we are on opposite sides of the looking glass on one major point: You would find dealing with a Server who is not up to par, stressful, while I would find NOT dealing with that sort of situation, stressful. And you're correct (I knew it would happen... Eventually, :-} ) Stress is to be avoided.
                                                            We just read from very different handbooks when it comes to how we handle this sort of situation..
                                                            No worries.and no apologies necessary We just agree to disagree.
                                                            Lay off the coffee. That stuff will really stress you!
                                                            Lest anyone break out into a chorus of "Kumbaya"
                                                            This in no way sways me from the position that the reaction /remedy to the OP is not the way to go, but I respect that it is the way you deal.
                                                            the OP was and is, silly.

                                        2. Everyone else has already echoed my opinion about the server.

                                          Considering the current spate of servers instructed to kneel at tableside, tell you their name and life story, etcetera, I think the ideal server ought to be like the weay they describe the ideal British butler: the room ought to seem even more empty when he'd doing his job.

                                          1. I think Id laught it off, but then again I am not overly sensitive, I have a good sense of humor, and I am not overweight so I wouldnt take it personally. The last thing I would do would be to go complain to their manager.

                                            7 Replies
                                            1. re: swsidejim

                                              I would probably laugh it off as well, since I'm pretty sure no server in their right mind would say anything they perceived as rude to the bearer of his tip.
                                              But if the OP felt so bad that the remark "tainted the entire dining experience". Her words, I'd have to assume she was deeply offended. That being the case, I think she should have said something rather than do what some posters suggested, which was to reduce the tip. That just makes no sense .

                                              1. re: Tay

                                                I can see your point. If something needed to be said it should have been said to the server, not going above their head to their manager, that is just something I wouldnt do.

                                                If the person is an athelete in training & needeed the extra calories for that purpose I am curious why a comment like that would be so offensive to them.

                                                Perhaps I could see a comment like that offending someone who is overweight, and sensitive about it. But then again a person who is overweight probably shouldnt be ordering 2 entrees anyway.

                                                1. re: swsidejim

                                                  I tend to think it was something along those lines, in which case the OP should have stated that and I would then agree that the Server was totally obnoxious and I would ask for another Server. I cannot believe the Server would do that though. I'd have to call you on your comment about the customer not ordering a 2nd entree if she/he was overweight. As long as the customer can pay the bill, he/she should order as they please.

                                                  1. re: Tay

                                                    I can see your point about the second entree, I guess it is none of the servers business, like you said as long as they can pay for it.

                                                    My bad.

                                                    1. re: swsidejim

                                                      Unlike the server whose intent we'll never know, I'm completely sure you meant no offensive lol!

                                                      1. re: Tay

                                                        As he who leaves the tip, I'm not going to bother to investigate as to how much "intent" the server had to offend. I don't care. The result of his comment is all that really matters to me. If I and most of his customers leave low tips, he learns that his average is 12% while all others in the house average 17%, and he still doesn't get it and continues to blame "cheap" customers, then it's not my job to train him, and he's in the wrong business with that attitude.

                                                        Tay: I'm finished with this thread, so go ahead and have the last word.

                                                        1. re: Leonardo

                                                          I wouldn't dream of it

                                            2. We used to go out for Chinese from time to time and order about four entrees and two appetizers between the two of us. We took most of it home with us; but we liked to have a good variety because there were so many things we liked. Once we were eating at a place that we didn't normally go to, and as we ordered about our fourth entree the waitress exclaimed, "That's enough!"

                                              We sort of assumed she just thought we didn't know how much food we were ordering. (We did.)

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: revsharkie

                                                I’m a little surprised – when we were in China, our Chinese friends told us that the tradition when going out for dinner was to have at least one dish per person plus one, plus soup. You had to have at least one meat, one vegetable, and one rice/noodle/bun dish, but as we would normally go out w/ larger groups, it wasn’t uncommon to have a dozen dishes or more. Now that we are back in the states we still tend to order this way, and it is great for sampling, but I think the dish sizes tend to be larger because people are less apt to do this. There is a lot left over and depending on what it is we will take it home, because I love leftovers. So far no one has said a thing.

                                                1. re: meg944

                                                  That might have been why...they were absolutely HUGE plates of food. But we went into it knowing we'd be packing a lot of it home for later.

                                              2. If someone says something that I perceive to be sarcastic or snide, I might be initially surprised if the remark comes out of left field. I either don't acknowledge the remark or have a standard comment like "I don't appreciate that remark" or "what did you mean by that?" I would not give away any 'power' to a server and would indeed reduce their tip if they reduced my dining experience. I could care less if the server thought I was being cheap - that's like throwing good money after bad (the 'bad' being a lousy dining experience.

                                                I believe we are too programmed to leave 18-20% tips no matter what. Just as some diners have an air of entitlement, so do some servers. Uh uh. I work too hard for my money. Also I will not report a server to a manager as I don't want to have someone fired on my account. I just won't deal with a surly waiter/ess again if I go back to that restaurant and ask for someone else.

                                                1. I can't believe that a server would say that; I hope he said it in a joking, ha-ha kind of way but even so, "Good thing we aren't an all-you-can-eat place"? Just wow. The appetite part is not...quite as bad. But still if a server said that to me I'd be taken aback/mildly offended. It is nobody's place to comment on how much you decide to eat, unless it's your dining companion looking out for your health or something, but definitely NOT the server's.

                                                  That said, some of the responses above seem to suggest that servers shouldn't talk to their tables at all other than to take their order, drop off food, etc. While this is the kind of service I typically prefer, if a server is friendly and jokes around with the table a little, who cares? They are people, not robots bringing food. Servers have to put up with a lot of bad jokes themselves and a lot of times it's hard to read tables; are they joking or not? Obviously the comment in the original post was out of line, but I don't think a little server-guest interaction ever hurt anyone.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Olallieberry

                                                    Zero tip.

                                                    Depending on the management and whether you like the restaurant, tell the manager. If you go back, ask for a different server if once again assigned that server.

                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                      Seriously, Dolores? You'd seriously leave someone ZERO tip for a comment that we've all pretty much surmised was made in jest?

                                                      Especially you, whose posts I've seen on numerous occasions saying you're such a good tipper because waiters' hourly pay is so low? That really, really surprises me.

                                                      Do I think it was rude? Eh, maybe. Do I think it wasn't an appropriate comment? Definitely. But to leave a waiter no tip for an apparent failed attempt at humor? Again, that really, really surprises me coming from you.

                                                      Leave the guy 15% and say something to the manager. I assure you, the waiter will get the point after a 15% tip and a conversation with his boss.

                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                        It's happened to a relative, where the server commented on how much he was eating.

                                                        I happen not to think it's humorous. You think it was done in jest? I guess I'd have to gauge the humor quotient of the server. I checked and don't see where the OP said it was done in jest.

                                                        If snidely done, as the OP said or as it happened to a relative, especially when challenged, then yes, zero percent it is.

                                                        If the server, when questioned, apologizes and said it was done in jest, then you have a point. Then I would lower my normal 20%.

                                                        I don't know, invino..., after my experience with the manager at my Nemesis restaurant, I no longer have faith in talking to the manager.

                                                        But I appreciate that you know my name!!!

                                                  2. I agree with those who have said you should let SOMEONE know you were not pleased with the remark, if not by replying back to the server than to the MOD. Leaving a small tip means nothing to the server except that you're cheap/a bad tipper. They don't sit around with the check book in their hand examining the receipt going, "huh, I wonder what I did wrong? Geez, I hope it wasn't something I did. I wonder if it was the kitchen/food?" etc. They just think, "cheap tipper" and move on.

                                                    Things will not improve at a restaurant if you act in a passive-aggressive manner, I have been trying to teach my family and friends this for a long time. If you don't tell management what's wrong, they can't fix it. If you just go away quietly mad and don't come back and the place eventually closes, the managers sit there scratching their heads going, "WTF happened?" I'm not saying you have to return to a place you don't like, but it only takes a second to point out to a manager that a server said something they shouldn't have, and give them an opportunity to make sure that doens't happen to anyone else.

                                                    17 Replies
                                                    1. re: rockandroller1

                                                      If they can't figure out that a bad tip means they gave bad service rather than "cheap tipper", that's their own fault and they'll continually get "cheap tippers" their entire life. Got nothing to do with being passive aggressive. I have better things to do with my life than add stress in the form of arguments with idiot waiters. I don't give a **** if management fixes it or not, I just don't want to deal with rude people and I'm certainly not going to give them money for the pleasure of being condescended to. It takes more than a second to chase down a manager and explain to them the situation, whereas it takes less than a second to decide to tip less. I don't have ANY obligation to tell a manager what HIS problems are period and I don't really get why that's so hard for you all to understand.

                                                      1. re: luniz

                                                        Luniz, have you ever worked in a restaurant? I'm a sommelier with over ten years experience and I can tell you that if a waiter sees a bad tip, all he thinks is "bad tipper/cheap jerk", ESPECIALLY if not made aware that there was a flaw with the service.

                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                          Not even "not made aware." I wish it were just a matter of paying more attention, but it's not. I can tell you I have always done my best as a server to be aware as to whether or not there's a problem. If the guests act like everything is completely fine, I can't detect a problem. If they have a problem with something I've done/said but there's no way for an alert, intelligent person to detect that, and they don't want to tell the manager, either on the way out, or, as I usually do it, via either an email or quick letter to the restaurant following my visit, they won't know what went wrong.

                                                          I mean, if I told someone they had beautiful children or complimented something the lady at the table was wearing and for whatever personal reason, they took offense to my comment, gave no indication that they took offense and simply left 10% as a tip, I would just think they were cheap. You can't just automatically know what offends everyone and you do try to joke with people and get conversation going if the table seems receptive to it. If you don't know what's wrong with something you've said, you can't fix it.

                                                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                            but you suggest leaving the standard 15% tip above. So you leave a full tip and then tell the MOD the issue. MOD tells the server about the remark and server shrugs his houldes and tells MOD that the table left him 15%, how bad could it have been? Now both think that the table was just trying to make trouble on the way out.

                                                            Unless you leave a substantially lower tip than the 15% standard, you have absolutely no basis to say something to the MOD on the way out. You have to be consistent. Reduce the tip AND tell the MOD. If you do only one, then the point is not fully conveyed.


                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                              I will have to review my post again, but what I believe I said was not to just leave a sub-standard tip and then leave without saying anything (either on the spot or after the fact). I never said to go ahead and tip 15% if you're dissatisfied with the service. If I implied that, that was not my intention. For once, a very rare occasion, jfood, you and I are on the same page. Reduce the tip AND tell the MOD.

                                                              Edited to add: I've reviewed and don't see where I suggested that you leave whatever is a "good" or "normal" tip for you if you are dissatisfied.

                                                              I would like to know what everyone's view is of the people who leave a lower tip because they weren't satisfied with their food, but didn't tell the server? I have eaten with a lot of friends who don't leave an adequate tip purposely because they didn't like something about their meal, whether it was just that they didn't like the taste or because it was prepared incorrectly or not to their liking, but they don't want to say anything to the server, and then just leave an insufficient tip. It's like they think servers are mind readers or something.

                                                              1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                You tip on the service, not the food. Unless the food has been messed up by bad service (sitting too long, spilled, sneezed on, etc). And I don't give a flip about what other people tip based on. That has nothing to do with me. If there's a problem with the food I'll tell the server, because *they* come to *me*. I am NOT going to go chase down a manager who likely doesn't even care enough to listen to me in the first place.

                                                                1. re: rockandroller1


                                                                  jfood's response was to green wine, the new format makes it difficult to see who the response is to.

                                                                  Yeah, every now and then two great minds do come together. Celebrate and move on.

                                                                2. re: jfood

                                                                  Where I live and dine, 20% is the standard.

                                                                3. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                  I've been trying to explain exactly what you've written...To no avail. Some people just don't get it or don't understand how to handle it. They seem to think reducing the tip somehow magically enlightens the Server as to his/her inappropriate comment. To me it's clear that the Server isn't aware that what he/she said was rude or inappropriate or it wouldn't have been said.! Leaving a reduced tip w/o saying anything is not a productive way of expressing displeasure and as you stated, just tells the Server you are a bad tipper. I think some posters might feel differently if they had a child receive a 5% tip with no explaintion as to why. As I said in a previous posting, unless the actual meal service is obviously sub par, reducing or eliminating a tip with out an explanation is a very P/A way of trying to make a point.

                                                                  1. re: Tay

                                                                    mr. tay:
                                                                    >They seem to think reducing the tip somehow magically enlightens the
                                                                    >Server as to his/her inappropriate comment.
                                                                    i believe many people understand that a server, especially one being dinged
                                                                    for making clueless comments, is likely not to be a master of Tip Hermeneutics.
                                                                    I assume their view is "this dood has already partially ruined my meal, why
                                                                    should i dig myself further into a hole by an unpleasant confrontation".

                                                                    I suppose there are a few people who would get milage out of "venting"
                                                                    to the Manager, or making a snarky remark to the server [the second entree
                                                                    is for my Inner Tapeworm], or explaining their actions, but I think quite a
                                                                    few people just dont have confrontational personalities and doing so
                                                                    would further deteriorate the dining experience. [And often the dining
                                                                    situation is just not apropriate to "causing a scene" ... when I had a glass of
                                                                    champagne dumped on me, I would have handled the situation differently
                                                                    if I was not somebody else's guest].

                                                                    The view of "but that helps things get better" also doesnt relly follow because
                                                                    if you are not a regular at the resto, you dont really care about the future
                                                                    trajectory of the resto/server. And in fact even if you are a regular, I can
                                                                    see reasons you might not want to have a server know you complained
                                                                    about him/her to their boss. I also dont really think you owe it to "the dining
                                                                    community at large" to help ID/improve a bad server.

                                                                    Next [and this is not just responding to the post above]: I believe the
                                                                    "server was clueless about the obnoxiousness of the comment" defense
                                                                    is lacking. There is a difference between no intention in the case of an
                                                                    accident ... like say accidentally dropping something and a "you should
                                                                    have known better" type situation. I can see not overly dinging a server
                                                                    for doing something that annoys you but there really is no ill will ... like
                                                                    say the server touches your arm in a non creepy but just solicitous way.
                                                                    maybe something like this is more normal is some parts of the country
                                                                    but i know a lot of people would get pissed off about that. but that i can
                                                                    chalk up to "different strokes". i can give you the benefit of the doubt there.
                                                                    but if you make a comment about "oh i see you ordered the cheepest wine"
                                                                    "or are you sure that's enough food for a big boy like you" or "your never
                                                                    going to drop those last 92lbs if you keep ordering like that" ... well, i dont
                                                                    think it really matters whether the server has a nasty personality or is just
                                                                    an idiot ... because we have a "thin" relationship, i can based my actions
                                                                    just on observed behavior, without making a diagnosis of the internal
                                                                    mental motivations. [in contrast to say a "thick" relationship with say a
                                                                    subordinate at work two pisses off his coworkers ... maybe i do need to
                                                                    figure out if he is clueless or an asshole and deal with the situations
                                                                    slightly differently].

                                                                    >reducing or eliminating a tip with out an explanation is a very P/A way
                                                                    >of trying to make a point.
                                                                    but a lot of people arent interested in "making a point".
                                                                    if i think some fraction of the menu at a resto is overpriced, is it passive
                                                                    aggressive for me to not go back to the resto and/or to tell my associates
                                                                    i believe it is overpriced? am i obligated to tell the manager "i thought
                                                                    your food was 10% over priced"? we can leave out discussion of
                                                                    whether the manager would want to hear this on average. the point
                                                                    is that i dont have any such obligation. it's by no means incumbent on me
                                                                    to persue this matter. [although i certainly could be wrong in this belief
                                                                    and it could be irresponsible for me to spread this claim, but that is a
                                                                    different matter].

                                                                4. re: luniz

                                                                  Totally agree with Luniz. And I worked my way through college waiting tables. Any server who has the snap reaction of "cheap tipper" has no insight into self, no open willingness to learn, or has the slightest consciousness as to how his actions shape his world. He'll keep getting "cheap tippers" while his co-workers seen to be cleaning up on tips, blaming it all on "bad luck".
                                                                  To sum it up: Bad Attitude.

                                                                  1. re: Leonardo

                                                                    Well, perhaps this waiter has made a comment like this before and ruined another table's experience. They left him a bad tip without saying anything, and in the busy rush he simply shrugged it off and cursed under his breath. A few nights later, the OP comes in, gets the same waiter who makes the remark, and has their dinner ruined. If the first diners who were offended had taken a minute or so to explain to management the problem, the OP would likely have never had a bad meal. Is this directly affecting the first insulted diner? No. But one would hope that what goes around comes around, and they might be saved from rude comments in the future.

                                                                    1. re: Leonardo

                                                                      To me, this kind of thing is usually a reflection on the whole restaurant, not just that one server. My father eats abnormally fast-- the food seems to disappear-- so I've heard a lot of server comments of roughly this type. My feeling is that they usually don't mean any harm; on the other hand it is unprofessional and unless they are very new it suggests that management is not cluing them in properly. I usually get the sense that even if I complained to management about these overly personal comments, they wouldn't know what I was talking about. They are putting up with the server doing it; they must be under the impression that it's appropriate. I blame the restaurant and tip based on how hard the server seems to be trying in other respects, but I don't go back unless I really love the food.

                                                                      (I have had servers who are being snotty and know perfectly well they are being snotty. One of them works at a place where I'm a regular and I have come to find it entertaining. If I didn't, it would affect my view of the restaurant negatively.)

                                                                      1. re: bibi rose

                                                                        Exactly on your last point, bibi rose. The servers at Luger's in NY are renowned for their obnoxiousness, as are the servers at Pepe's in CT. I don't happen to find it charming, but there you go.

                                                                        I agree, you can tell when a server offers up the remark innocently or when they're just being snide.

                                                                5. Different people are bothered by different things. That comment would have washed right over me. I'd have just said, yeah I'm hungry. It is unusual for someone to order two entrees, unless you are on a cruise ship.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: PeterL

                                                                    I think I would have joked back to the waiter something along the lines of "And aren't you glad? It makes the bill (hint: your tip) that much higher! I just can't decide on one thing so thought I'd enjoy a little of both!" And see where it went from there. I have been known to order 3 dishes for 2 people just so we could split that third item and try it. I've never felt awkward about it.

                                                                  2. I've been pondering this a bit as I occasionally order two meals (usually at breakfast) and I'm a pretty thin (ok, very thin) guy so I get some curious looks and the occasional comment. One particularly funny one was a woman at a counter diner who presumed I was ordering for two and set the place next to me complete with coffee and then kept apologizing once I told her both the omelette and French toast were for me.

                                                                    It seems to me that the only thing really wrong was the first thing the waiter said. The "good thing we aren't an all you can eat place." That's the thing that gives me trouble. If the second part "That's a hearty appetite" part had been said with anything resembling humor the response would likely have been "i'm training for a triathlon" and you'd have had one of those connection moments that can lead to someone becoming a regular at a spot and having a really good experience. It's amazing what rather small differences in what someone says or how they say it can turn an evening 180 degrees.

                                                                    I don't think it has much to do with the restaurant's portion sizes. Regardless of portion size, most people at a sit down restaurant will only order one entree. I think it's probably far more common that someone order two appetizers or that two people will order three appetizers to share. So, regardless of portion size I think a sever is going to be surprised when a second entree is ordered by one person. Of course, the really good servers are going to roll with it without blinking or say something that doesn't alienate the customer.

                                                                    1. If I'm a waiter, I'm just happy that people are ordering double entrees and driving up my 15% tip. I don't care if they're eating them all there, taking half home, or playing bulmic supermodel in the bathroom. I would certainly read the order back to make sure they intended to order that much food (without any snarky asides), but I'm not doing anything to endanger the tip or my continued employment.
                                                                      And regarding the tip, if the service was adequate aside from the comment, I'd leave a standard tip, and either talk to the Manager on the way out or (as I sometimes do), drop a note or an e-mail attention the management. I've received nice handwritten notes in response to concerns, and even invited back to dine "on the house". No response -- I assume they just don't care about my continued business.

                                                                      1. The amount of the tip is entirely up to the customer. I would have left 0 tip, and would certainly complain to the management. The comment is completely inappropriate, boorish, unprofessional, and just plain wrong. I'm trying unsuccessfully to understand the concept that "oh,well, implying that the customer is a glutton can be meant as a joke." Does it make the situation better if the server clearly meant it as a joke - at the customer's expense? Not funny.

                                                                        48 Replies
                                                                        1. re: sophie fox

                                                                          WIth all due respect to your opinion, I think you may be trying to kill a fly with a sawed off shotgun.Common sense would indicate that the Server tried, (and, we all agree, failed) to make what he perceived to be a joking comment.Saying nothing to him, leaving no tip and then complaining to the Mgr would seem to me to be a gross overreaction and "just plain wrong"

                                                                          1. re: Tay

                                                                            I don't agree. So servers can say anything they want as long as the service is good? If it's a regular restaurant and not Peter Luger's where the servers are known for their boorishness, why should I accept a stupid comment even if the service is outstanding?

                                                                            My definition of outstanding service includes class, and this clown didn't have any class.

                                                                            I agree with sophie, completely.

                                                                            1. re: dolores

                                                                              Are you saying it's ok to be treated with less courtesy if it's a restaurant known for less than cordial service, EG: PL's? That would make no sense whatsoever.

                                                                              1. re: Tay

                                                                                Makes total sense to me. There's a place in SF Chinatown that is well-known for its rude service. Custos would actually seek out one waiter, now dead, who was especially insulting. If we know it and expect it and go anyway, that is a contract that it's acceptable.

                                                                                1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                  Leonardo, I don't like the service at Peter Lugers or Pepes, but it's either put up with it or get out. The servers are known for their rudeness and people who love the food -- Pepes has the best pizza in two states, NY and CT -- put up with the rude old ladies. The steak at Peter Lugers (at least in Long Island) isn't worth the rudeness.

                                                                                  But you have a point. I'm not saying it's okay, but if I know it going in, I can't complain. If I expect The Golden Rule from all other restaurants, then I will leave no tip and not tell the manager.

                                                                                2. re: Tay

                                                                                  Never mind. I wouldn't think Tay would actually think I am saying that.

                                                                              2. re: Tay

                                                                                Sorry Tay, being a server in a service industry does not give license for stupid, off-color, insensitive, Borscht belt humor. It's not Leno or Letterman. If the server is too immature to handle basic etiquette then s/he is in the wrong profession.

                                                                                Let's change the scene and one of your employees states something similar to this to you. And in some context, the custo-server relationship is this quasi-employer/ee relationship (thank you psb for social contract). If said employee says stuff like this to his boss, he should have a new job lined up.

                                                                                Jfood will NOT stand for this kind of cute-speak at his or his dinner companions expense.

                                                                                And no one is killing a fly with a sawed off shotgun, mere maintaining the first rule of physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.


                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                  >Let's change the scene and one of your employees states
                                                                                  >something similar to this to you.
                                                                                  or to "turn the tables" ... would it be appropriate to jokingly ask the server
                                                                                  "so are you really trying to become an actor or is this your real career?"
                                                                                  or "did you get this job because of your looks" or to a chubbier waitperson
                                                                                  "you're a great advertisement for the food here" or "do you really think
                                                                                  you should be working around all this good food?"

                                                                                  no, obviously not. which isnt to say you have never engage in humorous
                                                                                  repartee with a server [durning a long and amazing meal at CAMPTON
                                                                                  PLACE in SF, we started chatting with one of the servers with a British
                                                                                  accent, eventually asking "where are you from" and when she said
                                                                                  Birmingham, we asked "Birmingham, Michigan?" But of course that's
                                                                                  sort of self-deprecating, not mean spirited].

                                                                                  Now I realize the waitstaff cant "reltaliate" as you can with a bad tip,
                                                                                  but that's a separate issue from the innappropriateness.

                                                                                  1. re: psb

                                                                                    After 30 years in corporate life jfood will tell you that bosses say way worse than that.

                                                                                    As a young associate, jfood had a boss who threw things at him. Luckily jfood grew up in NJ so he had lightning reflexes. Say something to the boss, NFW. In a resto if a custo throws things at a server, MOD throws the custo to the curb.

                                                                                    Jfood's stepdad was a complete moron, bear with me and you'll agree. He decided to take eigjht of us to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate a birthday. As the bill arrived he whispered something in the server ear. The server stood and said, "May I bring the entire staff over and you can ask them?" Jfood, 18 at the time is wondering what's going on. A few minutes later, every server, busboy and BOH are standing at our table and jfood is now supercurious. So server asks step-dad to repeat. And he looks at them and says " Are you all related since you all look alike." There was not enough room under the table for the rest of us when we dove. Needless to say we never ate there again.

                                                                                    So in your social contract context it is totally inappropriate for the custo to say inappropriate comments to the server but other than yelling at your steering wheel on the drive home, the employee and the server are in the same "suck it up" row boat.

                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                      um, if your boss throws objects at you the appropriate response would be to see your boss's superior or find another job.

                                                                                      in most of the restaurants I've worked in if a guest throws something at a server the MOD would tell the server to get over it.

                                                                                      The server's comments to the OP were clearly inappropriate. Whether to reflect that in the tip or speak to the manager seems to depend on your view of dining/tipping. However, it might behoove everyone to remember that occasionally in life we say inappropriate things, then we learn not to, or not. Maybe the server is a bit socially awkward and will learn to be less so after he gains experience--not everyone always knows how to act. (And I might note that knowing how to interact with guests is a skill that is honed and one of those many things that servers get better at along the way--one of the skills that separates new from experienced servers.) Or, maybe the server is a boor--some people never learn how to act appropriately. Yes, servers should know better, but so should bosses, coworkers and salesmen.

                                                                                      But maybe everyone should think about calming down a little bit. It was an inappropriate comment. if that's the worst thing that happened in your week, or even in your day, you're doing ok. Tip less or speak to a manager, then let it go.

                                                                                      1. re: nc213


                                                                                        I guess I have a hard time thinking this comment ruined someone's dinner. The waiter was obviously trying to make a (lame) joke. Isn't it a similar comment to "You didn't like that at all!" in reference to someone who's cleaned his plate?

                                                                                        Yes, it's tacky and borderline innapropriate, but that comment was definitely made in jest.

                                                                                        I think some people are just looking to get upset and have something to complain about. It's going out to dinner, people. Relax and enjoy!

                                                                                        1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                          >"You didn't like that at all!" in reference to someone
                                                                                          >who's cleaned his plate?
                                                                                          i think it is often easy to tell a mean spirited comment from a
                                                                                          solicitous one.

                                                                                          [for resons i wont get into, i dont feel this is at odds with my
                                                                                          earlier comment that it is not mandatory you determine what
                                                                                          the servers intention was, but it is "good enough" to use the
                                                                                          "should have known better" test.]

                                                                                          "lame joke" != mean spirited comment.

                                                                                          note the OP mentions "sarcasm and a smirk".

                                                                                          and i am not suggesting a tip death penalty [zero tip]
                                                                                          is appropriate in this case.

                                                                                          1. re: psb

                                                                                            Not sure what you just said, but a smirk doesn't denote friendliness and since I am paying for a meal and expect certain things in return, it's not incumbent on me to test what a server meant.

                                                                                            I absolutely think a zero tip was warranted. I just, thanks to My Nemesis, refrain from bothering with the managers in restaurants.

                                                                                            1. re: dolores

                                                                                              Dolores, perhaps it's time to get past your negative experience. A restaurant is really your nemesis? Wow, I bet everyone wishes their only adversaries in life were a restaurant, which they could simply choose not to return to. :)

                                                                                              If there's a problem, see a manager. That's why they're there; it's their job to fix your dining problems, and hopefully, prevent them from happening to any customer in the future.

                                                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                You mean Nemesis is not an actual restaurant????
                                                                                                Holy Guacamole! Lol!
                                                                                                I just assumed it was

                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                  I did see the manager, he was as obnoxious as the server.

                                                                                                  Thanks, but no, I'm quite happy to talk about My Nemesis until they close.

                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                    I typically don't agree with Dolores an anything. However I have to come to her defense on this one. My family went to Gina marie's in Eastchester (her nemesis), ordered 3 of a seafood app that was $17 pp and it came out with a bunch of fake crabmeat. This was the proverbial last straw of the evening and we asked to speak with the manager. The manager actually told us we should have asked if it was real crab meat before ordering. When DH and Dad tried to explain they have eaten on at least 5 continents for 1000's of meals and never encountered this he suggested we call the owner. He was not helpful whatsoever. This is the one time I am in complete agreement with D and just have to back her up.

                                                                                                    1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                                      Sweet, I'm just saying that all restaurant managers aren't "bad" simply because one place employs them.

                                                                                                      A restaurant manager's primary job is to train a functional, personable staff. If they haven't properly done so, they want to hear about it, trust me.

                                                                                                      1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                        Understood, but in this case the manager was the problem, our server was quite nice actually. So the manager is not always all that helpful. This is definitely one of those restuarants that makes one wonder how they stay in business.

                                                                                                        Oh, that's right, they charge $50 for fake crabmeat that would cost me $3 at the grocery store. I had to wonder how many people don't even realize it's fake for them to get away with that!

                                                                                                        1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                                          Yeah, what a blatant ripoff.

                                                                                                          Based on the experiences of yourself and Dolores, the owner/managers of this place really don't give a sh@t about making their customers happy and are creating the notion that kind of behavior is the norm.

                                                                                                          I'd eat my hat if my managers behaved that way.

                                                                                                  2. re: dolores

                                                                                                    >I absolutely think a zero tip was warranted.
                                                                                                    it might have been. but to make a stronger statement than
                                                                                                    "i think you're justified in a tip pentalty" to actually discussing
                                                                                                    the magnitude of the penalty, well i think you "had to be there".

                                                                                                    an interesting "philosophical" question is "if something bad was
                                                                                                    done but had no bad consequences, is a pentalty justified".
                                                                                                    to take sort of a seinfeld type example: if a friend is an hour late
                                                                                                    to meeting you for lunch with now good reason, just inconsdierateness,
                                                                                                    but you were late with a good reason [say something went wrong
                                                                                                    with the train/subway] so you didnt actually have to wait, are you
                                                                                                    justified being annoyed?

                                                                                                    or take this hypo: you overhear your waiter mocking the super fat
                                                                                                    diner at the other end of the dining room for ordering 3 slices of
                                                                                                    cheejcake for dessert. you dont know or have any relationship with
                                                                                                    the fat diner. are you justified in a Tip Ding (tm).

                                                                                                    1. re: psb


                                                                                                      To the latter point about overhearing. If jfood was in the same "bucket" as the person being mocked, he would take it personally, in this case if jfood were "super fat." Likewise if jfood overheard the server making an over the top ethnic, racial or religious derogatory remark, jfood will ding to zero and tell the MOD. Jfood will not give people like that one dime of his hard earned money.

                                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                                        i'd probably do the same with an "over the top" remark even if i didnt
                                                                                                        have "standing" by being in the same "bucket". although we can
                                                                                                        make the hypo increasingly absurd by weaking the overheard comment ...
                                                                                                        e.g. say it were "merely" a political opinion you strongly disagreed with.
                                                                                                        i suppose you could in some cases chalk up to ignorance rather than
                                                                                                        bigotry being the occam explanation. but it's an interesting dance between
                                                                                                        the objective and subjective.

                                                                                              2. re: nc213

                                                                                                --Whether to reflect that in the tip or speak to the manager seems to depend on your view of dining/tipping.--

                                                                                                It also depends on the restaurant. As I've shared as nauseum, my displeasure with My Nemesis was met with derision by both server and manager/owner. Hence my choice of leaving no tip, and bypassing the manager. I am gunshy about talking to managers.

                                                                                                And again, IF I were aware that the server was innocent and young and new to serving, very friendly, known to me and/or otherwise the remark was acceptable, I would have let it go. Case in point, the grumpy men at Peter Lugers and the grumpy women at Pepes.

                                                                                                However, as I have shared in the story about a relative, IF the server was completely clueless and utterly snide in their remark, I'm back to no tip, zero. If I wanted to go back to that restaurant, I would ask for a new server the next time.

                                                                                                My relative not only told the server, he called over the manager and made a scene. I have no idea if he went back to the restaurant, but that would not be my first choice of action.

                                                                                                Bottom line, this is a no brainer. A server should think twice before he/she speaks, just as a patron should. Is The Golden Rule still TAUGHT in schools?

                                                                                              3. re: jfood

                                                                                                well, i'm just drawing a distinction between "thin relationships"
                                                                                                "thick" ones. thin: you and the server, you and your postman
                                                                                                [pace james cain], you and the dood sitting next to you on your
                                                                                                flight to DFW, you and the person in line in front you at Safeway.
                                                                                                thick: you and your relatives, you and your boss, your and
                                                                                                your thesis advisor, you and your neighbor of 30yrs, your and your
                                                                                                close friends, your children ...

                                                                                                i think these different relationships have different characters,
                                                                                                obligations etc. but that's beyond the scope of chowhound.

                                                                                                1. re: psb

                                                                                                  psb, and they all should involve manners, decency, and The Golden Rule.

                                                                                                  When did it become permissible to draw a distinction?

                                                                                                  1. re: dolores

                                                                                                    >When did it become permissible to draw a distinction?
                                                                                                    if my waiter is an asshole, i dont go back to the resto.

                                                                                                    if my friend's boyfriend is an asshole, i can not invite
                                                                                                    them to my home. if invited to his bday party, i can
                                                                                                    make an excuse or go and be civil. i can hope he
                                                                                                    exits the scene soon. may or may not be appropriate
                                                                                                    to say something to my friend.

                                                                                                    if my (minor) child is an asshole, it is my problem.
                                                                                                    i cant just avoid him.

                                                                                                    your thesis advisor is your mentor. they may tell
                                                                                                    you how to do your job better. you dont tell the
                                                                                                    safeway cashier how to do their job better even
                                                                                                    if they screw up a bill or are slow.

                                                                                                    you are not the server's mentor. you owe them politeness
                                                                                                    but that extends to saying "thank you". it doesnt extend to
                                                                                                    "how is your job going" "how are the folks" etc.

                                                                                                    a man's wife may be expected to understand this year's
                                                                                                    anniversary present may not be as nice due to their getting
                                                                                                    a smaller bonus. however, shorting your waiter's tip because
                                                                                                    of your day trading losses earlier that day is not reasonable.

                                                                                                    so yes, it is completely permissable to draw distinctions.
                                                                                                    not arbitrary distinctions, but the "ties that bind" are very
                                                                                                    different in different cases. life is complicated. one liners
                                                                                                    like "the gold rule" are starting points, not the final word.

                                                                                                    1. re: psb

                                                                                                      Semantics. I don't 'owe' the server polite conversation and they are not entitled to be rude to me. I enjoy chatting with friendly servers. I am not expecting nor will I accept rudeness from a server.

                                                                                                      I happen to think The Golden Rule applies in a restaurant as well as in life. If you are happy with rudeness, be my guest in frequenting a place that dishes it out along with your entrees.

                                                                                                      So no, it is not permissible to draw distinctions between when The Golden Rule is allowed and when it is not.

                                                                                                  2. re: psb

                                                                                                    A very good way of putting it.

                                                                                              4. re: jfood

                                                                                                I have to say I'm a little surprised at your reaction.(Granola bar time, lol!)
                                                                                                You seem to be a person of wide ranging experience. I cannot believe for a NYC second (and that's pretty fast) that at some point in your professional life, you have not been faced with someone who unintentionally said/did something that struck you as either (Mix and Match) stupid/insensitive/ rude/ ignorant. I'm not saying take it with a smile and then tip well, I'm just saying the 'punishment' should fit the crime. If someone says something that offends someone else, the 'offendee' should straighten it out. The 'equal and opposite reaction' of no tip, reporting it to the Mgr without giving the Server a chance to make amends, is waaaay over the top. There is so much information about the encounter that we don't know, EG: The Server's tone, his demeanor. A clumsy attempt at humor should not call for this type of extreme reaction.

                                                                                                1. re: Tay

                                                                                                  OP described demeanor/behavior: "smirk & sarcasm".

                                                                                                  1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                    And there's no room in a restaurant for 'smirks' or 'sarcasm', on either the part of the server or the patron.

                                                                                                    The Golden Rule.

                                                                                                    1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                      Does this mean you forgive me? :-}
                                                                                                      Very true, but the OP also said the buffet comment 'Tainted the entire dining experience' so I don't know if there isn't a little drama going on. There was apparently no other inappropriate comment/action.
                                                                                                      Aren't you at least a litttle curious as to why it produced such a strong emotional reaction? . Now if the OP had said something to the Server and didn't receive a sincere apology, I'd be the first one asking for another Server and asking to speak with the Mgr.

                                                                                                      1. re: Tay

                                                                                                        But how do you tell when the apology is sincere?

                                                                                                        And if the manager is as rude as the server? What then? What is your recourse then, to whom do you escalate?

                                                                                                        Simpler my way, zero tip.

                                                                                                        1. re: dolores

                                                                                                          For that matter how does anyone know when any apology from anyone is 'sincere'? If someone can identify 'snide and sarcasitic'
                                                                                                          they should be able to determine sincerity.
                                                                                                          I cannot fathom a Mgr being rude to a customer who is calmly and politely explaning a problem with a Server's comments (Where do you people eat, Rikers??), but if that were to occur, I would find out how to contact the Owner. If it was a chain restaurant, I would email the Corporate Offices. Those complaints always get a response.
                                                                                                          The zero tip scenario is not an empowering way to deal.

                                                                                                          1. re: Tay

                                                                                                            And in the end, it is the prerogative of the patron to decide how to handle a situation.

                                                                                                            If faced with a rude server as described by the OP, I would leave zero tip.

                                                                                                            Since I have encountered an utterly obnoxious manager in my dining travels, I would never escalate to a manager again.

                                                                                                            Since it is not incumbent upon me to do the work to escalate to a corporate office to account for a rude server and an obnoxious manager, I choose to leave zero tip.


                                                                                                            1. re: Tay

                                                                                                              She's already made clear her viewpoint, which is that if anyone does anything that she doesn't like, or that isn't part of the "golden rule" (which, by the way, is not taught anywhere anymore to the best of my knowledge. I was taught it from my mother, not from school) or however else she deems things inappropriate, her responses include silence, no tip, not letting anyone else know and then being happy when the place shuts down some time in the future. All because someone said something trying to be funny and she didn't like it. I don't think Miss Manners herself would suggest this is a kind way to act towards others("do unto others," isn't that part of the rule?), but what do I know.

                                                                                                              I don't always think it's the right time or place to speak to a manager. They could be busy, you could be in a hurry to leave, etc. But I always follow up with a letter or email if I was not satified with something about the service. If the manager doesn't respond or responds unkindly, then I don't go back. I just don't see how everyone is supposed to be a mind-reader and just "get" when 500 tables thinks something is funny and 1 table does not, you're supposed to "get" it. And had they "gotten" it and apologized, it clearly wouldn't have made any difference as it seems a server should be perfect and never say or do anything that upsets someone. It's just complete overkill. If I nitpicked every single thing that a restaurant or server did that I didn't like, be it standing within earshot and complaining about another table, not remembering that I ordered something without onions or commenting on how I cleaned my plate before my dining companion did, I'd never eat out.

                                                                                                              1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                No, that is how you interpreted my remarks and you are incorrect.

                                                                                                                I feel very sorry for all the good, polite, kind, decent servers out there.
                                                                                                                Their outstanding service should be compensated accordingly, but apparently a 'funny' rude server stands to make a tip no matter how boorish they act.

                                                                                                                How sad.

                                                                                                                1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                  I guess we all have our point of view on this subject and
                                                                                                                  no amount of reason or common sense is going to change anyone's mind if they are not open and flexible on this subject. I cannot imagine allowing someone who obviously doesn't realize he's offfended me, to continue to serve me, all the while smugly and gleefully knowing I'm going to 'get back at him' by withholding his tip AKA: Salary. It's really puzzling to me. As I read this thread, I'm gaining a greater appreciation for those who work in this very difficult and stressful occupation.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                    Agreed, Tay. I think everyone is just falling on different sides here and no amount of discussion is going to change anyone's mind either way. Let's just let the poor dead horse lie.

                                                                                                                    1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                                      I'm sure you are right
                                                                                                                      I think I just have an automatic knee jerk reaction to things that don't make sense. If I read it: I react to it.

                                                                                                        2. re: Tay

                                                                                                          "requisite smirk and sarcasm, says, "Good thing we aren't an all-you-can-eat place. That's a hearty appetite you got!""


                                                                                                          If this is acceptable to you, that's fine, but no amount of granola bars makes this comment anywhere within the same zip code of the line the server crossed.

                                                                                                          So the custo's responsibility is to stand up, put a big brotherly arm on the shoulder of the a-hole and whisper some sweet guidance on how to speak with custos? I don;t think so. If jfood were to stand it would be to take a leisurely stroll to the MOD, tell him what happened, and tell the MOD to reassign the table. That's the only do-over that would work in this situation.

                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                            Maybe it's just how we envision the whole thing being played out.
                                                                                                            Try this : Imagine it's Gomer Pyle, or Richie Cunningham taking the order, being all Midwestern friendly and all and saying, "Gee! Good thing we aren't an all you can eat place! ".It becomes a whole different scenario.
                                                                                                            I read the OP again.. Her "Uh huh" "OK Whatever" comments have a bit af a, "Talk to the hand" attitude as well..And if they were able to ignore the comment and nothing else happened why did it make the rest of the meal "a bit uncomfortable?"
                                                                                                            I'd really love to hear from the Server on this.

                                                                                                            1. re: Tay

                                                                                                              Regardless of tone, I think the meal was uncomfortable because the server has revealed his judgment of the diner. He has called attention to the diner's order, made a judgment on their appetite, and put them on the spot. This is patently inappropriate, in my opinion. Even if he was the most good-natured server that anyone could want, no one likes to be judged by what (or how much) they eat (a topic which has incited heated discussion here in the past), and certainly no one wants their server in a restaurant to single them out as "different".

                                                                                                            2. re: jfood

                                                                                                              And no one (At least not I) said anything about nurturing the Server.
                                                                                                              Just not crucifying him w/o at least letting him know his comment was not appropriate/appreciated.
                                                                                                              I'm just saying, don't take offense if none is meant, but don't swallow it either.

                                                                                                              1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                agreed, but jfood is not there to mentor the server but mention to the MOD of the issue and he can deal with the inside baseball. if this is a first time offense good to nip it in the bud, but if this is the last straw jfood does not want to be the bearer of bad news.

                                                                                                                jfood goes back to the meal and company and handles at the end of the meal. but always must tell MOD so he is not vlind sided by the server or in worse case have the server chase jfood into theparking lot (there was a thread on that recently).

                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  You can't have your cake and eat it too. (Gee. I thought I'd never get a chance to use that one, lol!) meaning you can't say you'll complain to the Mgr, but you don't want to be the "last straw"... AKA:
                                                                                                                  The complaint that gets the Server canned. You either complain or you don't. Regardless, you'd have no way of knowing the employee's complaint status

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                    sorry for the bad phraseology.

                                                                                                                    jfood does not tell the waiter at all, whether it's the first time or the last straw. in either event jfood tells the MOD and have no ide which end of the spectrum the server sits. so if its the first time the MOD hears it he can nip it in the bud and if it's the cmale's backbreaker then he can deal with it. jfood has no idea which is the situation.

                                                                                                                    please pass the cake so jfood can enjoy with a scoop of ice cream.

                                                                                                                    sorry for the confusion

                                                                                                    2. Really, unless the place was a snooty upscale spot (which it likely wasn't if your triathlete friend chose it as a good place to bulk up), I would let this sort of comment roll right off my back.

                                                                                                      Getting heated about such a small comment seems like a one-way ticket to ruining the fun of your own night out. Let it slide.

                                                                                                      BTW, 20% is the NORM in the bay now? Jeez, my info is old- I've been a 15% median / 20% overachiever tipper forever. Whoops...

                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: feedingfashionistas

                                                                                                        It depends on where you live I think, feedingf.

                                                                                                        1. re: feedingfashionistas

                                                                                                          feeding negative behavior breeds more negative behavior.

                                                                                                          1. re: feedingfashionistas

                                                                                                            >>Really, unless the place was a snooty upscale spot (which it likely wasn't if your triathlete friend chose it as a good place to bulk up), I would let this sort of comment roll right off my back.>>

                                                                                                            What level of restaurant it is makes a huge difference to this kind of question IMO. At restaurants where you expect seamless service (and pay accordingly) , the kind of treatment described would be pretty bad. If you go to Howard Johnson's, it's silly to get upset by stuff like that.

                                                                                                            I really resist the idea that it's the customers' job to educate anyone. Or that it works much of the time. If service sucks, that's a decision they've made either actively or by default; it's a waste of time to try to talk them out of it.

                                                                                                            1. re: feedingfashionistas

                                                                                                              wow, jfood better tells his friends who are in training that some of the restos they go to are not suitable for their schedule. likewise, can;t wait to strap on the old feedbag and jump in the old clunker and go to the non-snooty, non-upscale place where the servers can make any comment they want because the average entree is $10.

                                                                                                              Are you kidding?

                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                >>wow, jfood better tells his friends who are in training that some of the restos they go to are not suitable for their schedule. likewise, can;t wait to strap on the old feedbag and jump in the old clunker and go to the non-snooty, non-upscale place where the servers can make any comment they want because the average entree is $10.

                                                                                                                Are you kidding?>>

                                                                                                                Well, no, I am not kidding. At least, not about the different expectations for different levels of restaurants. (I'm not reponsible for the point about what retaurants you go to when you are in training.)

                                                                                                                I don't think working in a cheap restaurant gives you a licence to say any old thing you want. Oh, wait, bibi rose doesn't think that. She thinks the expectations for professionalism are different in fine dining than at a hash house or something.

                                                                                                                1. re: bibi rose

                                                                                                                  agree 100%

                                                                                                                  There is a minimum standard that should be expected at any resto., i.e. common courtesy and basic manners. that was jfood's point.

                                                                                                                  and jfood is somewhat tired of the "snooty upscale", and "if you can afford the resto..." lines that seem to permeate these boards.

                                                                                                            2. I would regularly order two entrees at Galatoire's in New Orleans when I was a size 4, usually the salmon and lamb chops and, I guess because it's New Orleans I just got a big smile .....

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: bronwen

                                                                                                                I do it all the time. I just make sure that the Server knows I intend to order both and that I am not asking for a half and half platter. I've never had a problem either.

                                                                                                                1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                  and at brigtsens as well, one extra app for the table.

                                                                                                              2. If it's a familiar haunt and the waiter knows you by sight, or it's a comedy club, chalk it up to friendly banter; otherwise, the correct response to the waiter would have been, "Excuse me, Would you call the manager? I would like to have a word with him or her about your attitude."

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: mclaugh

                                                                                                                  and after the server blanches, you say "just kidding", right?

                                                                                                                2. I would've gotten up and left.

                                                                                                                  1. In my reading, it appears everyone is responding to the appropriateness of the server's off-the-hand comment rather than the content. The companion ordered two entrees. Clearly unusual. Now I'll concede that the server should have let it pass, but the comment about 'lucky it isn't an all-you-can-eat buffet' is sort of witty, even if inappropriate. Sure the waiter's mouth is best kept closed, but reality is that it is quite unusual for one of two diners to order two entrees in a non-sharing situation.

                                                                                                                    God help my smooth as silk rear end if we are to be punished and flogged for every mistake of self-editing. Did the guest volunteer that he was training? (If so, the server may have suggested a more hearty choice or even volunteered to tell the kitchen the patron needed extra substinance.) And before everyone flames me saying it isn't the guest's responsibility, you better not be the same ones who posted that we are responsible for asking the restaurant for the prices of non-specified specials.

                                                                                                                    Bottom lines:

                                                                                                                    1) If you deem it a flaw in the service, penalize the tip as such -- 20%>18%, etc. Unless you viewed the comment as intentionally hostile or demeaning. An inadvertant bad joke is equivalent to spilling a little water or ice tea on the table when refilling the glass.

                                                                                                                    2) I greatly prefer my feedback to be face-to-face. If the patron viewed the server as a ticking time-bomb assault risk, I'd avoid any negative feedback. But if the server was trying and made an inappropriate comment, I'd take one of the many opportunities later in the meal to inform of the partner's training regimen, and warn that the previous "buffet" comment might be interpreted as offensive.

                                                                                                                    3) If the OP really thought the comment was in no part a failed humorous bit of repartee and was intentionally hostile, rude, and offensive (which I don't read in the OP) then all bets are off and it is ok to ask for another server immediately, give no tip, and complain to the manager.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                      Your posting is wonderfully concise. You conveyed my thoughts perfectly.
                                                                                                                      Thank you! :-}

                                                                                                                      1. re: nosh

                                                                                                                        Sorry, Nosh, but I'm going to say it anyway.

                                                                                                                        Bottom line: it is none of the server's damn business why ANY patron orders more than one of ANYTHING. And, it is NEVER appropriate for a server to make a derogatory comment about a customer.

                                                                                                                      2. I think the server's comment was totally inoffensive, just an attempt at good-natured teasing, and I can't imagine being so sensitive that such a comment would "taint" my dining experience. ( In fact, if I ever ordered two entrees, I would feel compelled to say that I was in training for a triathlon to avoid having the server think I was just a glutton!) Best advice I can give the poster is to take life much, much easier and dial down the offense-meter a whole bunch.

                                                                                                                        24 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                          --to avoid having the server think I was just a glutton--

                                                                                                                          Really, MommaJ? A patron has to explain their dining preferences to a server?

                                                                                                                          I doubt that a good server would agree with you.

                                                                                                                          Nope, simple solution to this one, no tip.

                                                                                                                          1. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                            Thank you, MommaJ, thank you! Finally, a voice of reason! Obviously the comment wasn't meant to be snide or offensive. I've been astonished at some of the responses here. Lighten up, everybody!

                                                                                                                            1. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                              Agreed mommaJ-
                                                                                                                              While it was a rude comment to make, I keep thinking the server probably was kicking themselves for making such a stupid comment once they left the table.Or they really didn't mean to be rude, just making conversation.

                                                                                                                              1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                                                                "Didn't mean to" should not be the standard, "did it" should be.

                                                                                                                                Other reasons that a tip might be reduced:

                                                                                                                                - spilling tomato soup on a custo
                                                                                                                                - removing a plate when the custo has not finished
                                                                                                                                - charging the table for 6 entrees when only 2 were ordered
                                                                                                                                - licking the used salad fork and placing on the table when the custo asked for a new fork for the entree (thank you MadTV)

                                                                                                                                None of these are items that the server "meant to" do (OK maybe the fork), but each happened and the tip is reflective of the service.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                  "Didn't mean to" should not be the standard, "did it" should be

                                                                                                                                  -Jfood, I completely agree and also agree that a reduced tip is in order for such poor behavior on the servers part. I guess to put in the context of the way it played out in my mind I'll use an "I didn't mean to" scenario that I encounter all too often at work...

                                                                                                                                  My kids come back from lunch (I teach 1st grade). Ashley is crying. I say, "Ashley, why are you crying?"
                                                                                                                                  "Because Brianna said she's not my friend" says Ashley
                                                                                                                                  Mrs SweetPea says, "Brianna, why would you say such a thing?"
                                                                                                                                  "I didn't mean to" says Brianna.
                                                                                                                                  To which I say, "Well, you did and now you've hurt Ashley's feelings", "How would you feel if she told you she's not your friend?"
                                                                                                                                  At which point Brianna starts crying upon realizing how mean she truly was.
                                                                                                                                  a few minutes later Brianna and Ashley are shaking hands and are friends again.

                                                                                                                                  Now, as a first grade teacher, In addition to the 3 R's, I feel it IS my resonsibilty to stand up, put a big sisterly arm on the shoulder of the child and whisper some sweet guidance on how to speak with others. My point in this regard (I do actually have one) is that 9 times out of 10, I find the offending person feels very badly when they fully realize how hurtful what they said/did was. Of course there is always that 1 sociopath that could care less.

                                                                                                                                  Granted, this person is not in the 1st grade, and clearly should have known better. No, he may not have been kicking himself and not even realized what he said was hurtful, but IF confronted with the fact that what he said was hurtful, I would like to think that he would have done things differently if he had them to do over again. I just don't think the server is an inherently evil person who was trying to ruin these peoples evening.
                                                                                                                                  As Dolores said, hopefully he will not make that mistake again.

                                                                                                                                  In this scenario, the only real way of confronting that person is by lowering their tip to show dissatisfaction.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: SweetPea914


                                                                                                                                    nice story but you, as the great teacher you are, have been entrusted with the upbringing of your students. as jfood has told many teachers (and it appears you already buy into this theory) they are there to teach more than the 3R, they are also there to teach them responsibility and respect (always wanted to trade the R in arithmetic to these two). In the resto, the custo does not have that social contract (thank you again PSB) and is the receiver of food and service, not the giver of advise.

                                                                                                                                    Jfood thinks you agreed on the reduced tip and he thinks that the major difference currently on the table is the perk chart from the brain of the custo to the ears of the server. Jfood believes that placing this information in the "suggestion box" called the MOD and let him handle as inside baseball and others prefer the direct confrontation. Since jfood is not interested in taking ANY time away from his purpose at the resto, eating and enjoying his company, he prefers to mention it to the MOD on the way out. If this "stupidness" continues throughout the meal, jfood would politely leave the table (restroom trick works well here) and walk over to the MOD and explain at that time, but a serious situation only would cause this do-loop.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, must have missed your post...
                                                                                                                                      In short,
                                                                                                                                      -I agree on the reduced tip and not taking time away from my evening, friends family etc.

                                                                                                                                      -I agree if these comments/rudeness persisted, I would say something to MOD.

                                                                                                                                      -The only place it appears we disagree is that I don't think the one comment warrants a discussion with the MOD.

                                                                                                                                      -Agree absolutely that it is my job to also teach responsibility and respect, obviously, as is the case of our discussed server, many people aren't getting it at home!

                                                                                                                                      Please don't bring up baseball right now, as a Yankee fan married to Red Sox Fanatic I am not looking forward to tonight's game...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                                                                        sorry but mets and dolphins fan here so jfood's next event is april.

                                                                                                                                        would only mention to the MOD if the comment warranted a tip reduction.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                          Interesting to hear a Jersey boy is a Mets fan, most of the Mets fans I know hail from Brooklyn. I truly (dh too) was rooting for you guys though, you had a good season going there for a while.

                                                                                                                                          This is where our lack of agreement apparently lies...
                                                                                                                                          I was thinking that speaking to MOD and leaving a lower tip were mutually exclusive. Where as to you there is a direct correlation. i.e. leave lower tip, explain to MOD. Maybe I just hate confrontation, maybe I just can't be bothered, more so however, I feel it is(not to reinforce the 1st grade mentality) tatttling on what might have been meant as a joke/being overly friendly and now I've gotten little Bobby in trouble for his random stupid comment. I do have to question the age of the server, since we do all learn as we grow don't we?
                                                                                                                                          Anyhow, I appreciate your points on the topic.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                    jfood, I've got to disagree with you here. A server's spilling tomato soup on me wouldn't necessarily mean a reduced tip. It's how the server responds after it happens that would make the difference. Accidents happen, and if the server really was making a good effort despite the mishap, I see no reason to punish her/him. I mean, if I were that server, I'd probably feel pretty awful already!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Kagey

                                                                                                                                        Agreed. A waiter throwing out a snarky remark to a patron is more liable for bad manners and a zero tip than an accidental spill.


                                                                                                                                        1. re: dolores


                                                                                                                                          so a verbal faux pas does not equal a physical faux pas?


                                                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                            A deliberate verbal slam vs an accident?



                                                                                                                                            1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                              got it. the differing paths you and jfood have are that you believe the OP server was deliberately trashing the person and jfood chalked it up to stupid.

                                                                                                                                              if it was deliberate "your SO is a pig" then jfood's hitting the road, but the statement struck him as a missing piece of DNA which controls the time lapse between brain and tongue. In the latter, both the comment and the red blotches on the clothes lead to reduced tip.

                                                                                                                                              So jfood sees your sheesh and raising you an oops.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                                Sheesh and oops - a Shoops perhaps?

                                                                                                                                                Two things stand out in the OP's post. They characterized the server as smirking and sarcastic. Since the OP and dining companion were on the spot to hear and see the context of the server then who are we to doubt the retelling?

                                                                                                                                                Finally, if one is having a good day, week, month or year then something like this could and probably would roll off ones back like the proverbial water off the mallards back. If, otoh one is not having such good luck that particular day a remark like that could be the cherry on top of ones sadness sundae. It all depends.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                                                                      Do you really think the server was kicking himself? I don't but I doubt that he'll make a similarly rude comment in the near future.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                        Unless he runs into someone like me he will make similar comments b/c until someone brings it to his attention, he won't be aware that he is saying anythiing wrong. That's the problem with going the, "Simple : No tip" route" It does nothing except to let the customer justify leaving a smaller tip.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tay

                                                                                                                                          Good points, Tay, but let's examine how it could unfold.

                                                                                                                                          --I say something to the server and he is mortified and apologizes profusely. Then I give him the tip as per my usual and move on.
                                                                                                                                          --I say something to the server and he sneers and/or shrugs, and so invalidates his tip. I then feel obliged to say something to the manager and he is apologetic. I still leave nothing for the server but I will go back to the restaurant and will ask for a different server.
                                                                                                                                          --Conversely, in the last situation the manager will sneer and/or shrug and now I leave no tip and won't go back to the restaurant.

                                                                                                                                          I have forgotten whether anything was said to the server by the OP. However, based on my horrid experience at My Nemesis, I won't bother with managers any longer. Yes, it's my personal bias but that's life. I repeat, if a server can't restrain from an obviously insulting remark in their line of work -- I know I can't get away with such a statement, can you? -- then he shouldn't be in a profession involving the general public.

                                                                                                                                          I still stand by my 'no tip' resolution.

                                                                                                                                          I am curious as to whether ipsedixit, the OP, went back to the restaurant and how he/she was treated.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                            The OP said nothing to anyone...Except us, of course :-}
                                                                                                                                            I think where we differ is that many posters believe the Server was deliberately insulting to the OP and her friend. (Who, interestingly enough isn't quoted as having said anything) I not only don't think the Server meant to be obnoxious, I tend to think he actually meant his remark to be "humorous". I've said it before: Many people have inappropriate senses of humor. Most of us have a relative who makes us cringe with their attempts at humor. II can think of no other reason that makes any sense.. And I don't think the insulting aspect of his comment was at all obvious to him. As for me getting away with such a statement in my line of work. I will tell you that once in a work environment, I referrred to an elderly individual by her first name. I meant absolutely no disrespect, but she informed me that she was much my senior in terms of age, was very formally raised and felt that she and I were not on a first name basis. I was mortified. I immediately and sincerely apologized. She accepted my apology and that was that. I've never forgotten it. It had never happened before, nor since, but it left an impression and you better believe that when engaged in conversation with seniors, I now always make sure to refer to them by last name until/unless they ask me to use their first name. Had I not been corrected/informed I would never had known and the woman would have just thought I was rude or disrespectful. I'm just saying, correct the Server and see what his reaction is and THEN make a decision based on what he says/does.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                                              I quite agree on the rudeness of youts referring to their elders, without having been given permission, by their first name. I've heard kids calling their parents by their first names, and don't find it charming. The best instance I have is being stopped in a traffic trap in Boston. The cop addressed me by my first name, and since I was in no position to go to jail, I had to let it go.

                                                                                                                                              I completely agree with you on it not being my province to educate a waiter. That either comes from his/her mother and father, or from the manager of the restaurant. And so I still stand by my zero percent tip.

                                                                                                                                              However, Leonardo, do you really consider an accident as a reason to lower a tip? Unless it was this same boorish waiter whom I called on his rudeness who later 'oops' dropped something on me, I can't think of a reason why I would ding a waiter for an accident.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: dolores

                                                                                                                                          I started skimming part way down this string, right about where it became clear that the root of the disagreement is just the fact that some peoples' offense o'meters (thanks for that one!) are simply calibrated much more sensitively than others.

                                                                                                                                          I say let the punishment fit the crime. Cut out the server's tongue.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: MommaJ

                                                                                                                                        It is incredibly rude and offensive for a waiter to "tease" a total stranger who is a paying customer in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                        A little decorum makes life it so much more enjoyable.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Fleur

                                                                                                                                          Or,. you could decide to chalk it up as just maladroit. Or gauche. All depends on context and one's personal calibration.

                                                                                                                                      3. I think the server was perhaps unknowingly rude. I would have been insulted by the comment myself. If service at a restaurant is bad enough I vote with my wallet and I don't go back to that restaurant.

                                                                                                                                        1. The waiter was totally out of line.

                                                                                                                                          Any and all comments from staff on what, how much, or how little one eats is always rude, and classless.

                                                                                                                                          Relates in a way to another post about "relating to waiter as a human being". They are the waiter, you are the paying client. If you encourage that kind of interaction and intimacy, you will not be treated with respect.

                                                                                                                                          Of course I am speaking of dining experiences in restaurants where you are not a regular. If you have been going to the same place for years, and have the same waitress or waiter, as we do, it is normal to develop a personal relationship, and ask, and be asked, about family, vacations, etc.

                                                                                                                                          FWIW, restaurants decide on what portion size to offer. If clients keep coming back again and agin, they know they are doing things right. If they get complaints, they will modify.As in most everything, the Free Market sets prices, portions, and the kinds of food offered.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fleur

                                                                                                                                            I'm a little stunned at thee first part of your posting. It makes it seem as though you consider wait staff to be a lesser life form. Being friendly and courteous should not in any way be considered 'intimacy.' nor does it encourage staff to treat the patron disrespectfully. I am always friendly and pleasent with wait staff, unless/until they give me a reason to be otherwise.

                                                                                                                                          2. It's inappropriate and inconsiderate for the waiter to tell you you're eating too much. No matter what weird combination of things you order, as long as you pay for it, I don't see how it is any of their business.

                                                                                                                                            One portion is not appropriate for all people. Does everyone have to lick their plate clean?

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: willownt

                                                                                                                                              i have been a server for a long time. Now I find myself working with much youger people. There is a lot wrong a few things come to mind the do not know any better. Training programs cannot teach common sence, the lost art. They don't care. Things I have overheard. When are you expecting, not how old is he, he is a she. I am glad you brought your daughter in tonight, Mr....Not good

                                                                                                                                            2. FIrst, If you have a complaint (An I agree your complaint is valid) you should take your complaint to management. Tipping out the server 5% is completely unacceptable way to handle the situation. You absolutely must let management aware of the inappropriate comments and tip the minimum 15%. The livelyhood of all the staff that work with the server and rely on tips to make a living depends on your tip. They are tipped out from what the server makes and have no control over the servers inappropriate comments. This attitude is really poor and resolves nothing but making yourself upset with no resolution and taking money from people other than the server who deserve the tip. Thanks for your time.

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: jonahk

                                                                                                                                                The tip out amount depends on a server's SALES, not tips. The server has to tip out the same amount on a $60 bill, whether the customer left a 5%, 10%, 20% or 50% tip. So a low tip effects no one but the server.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                  As it should when the server is abominable, however. Alerting the manager is very good advice, but when the manager is also abominable, what recourse does the patron have?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                    Most restaurants work this way. However, some servers do tip out based on their tips.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Olallieberry

                                                                                                                                                      As Olallieberry says, the basis for tip outs vary from restaurant to restaurant. I've worked in more places that base tip outs on percentage of tips rather than percentage of sales.

                                                                                                                                                      so a low tip may only affect the server or it may affect others.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Olallieberry

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the info. All restaurants I have encountered base tip outs on sales. I didn't know that some base it on tips. Interesting.

                                                                                                                                                  2. While serving a table of people they had requested the bill and I asked them if they wanted to take home their food. One customer looked at me and said "You take it home, God knows you could use the extra weight." I almost started crying. I felt like how come the customer is allowed to comment on my personal appearance. I wanted to call the guy fat but my job is on the line. What the server said was mean and you could get fired for saying that why that server took the risk I don't know.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: psb

                                                                                                                                                      LOL great idea psb! After I went home I wished I had looked pointedly at the customers midsection and politely said with a smile: "My doctor is extremely happy with my weight...." (What does your doctor think of your weight-said in my head) Might have been a good comeback for the OP's friend in training as well?