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Would you say something to the management about this?

Would this annoy you enough to make a suggestion to the management?

Tonight I went for the second time to this rib/steak place with a western motif. For the second time, they didn't put my bill in a leather bill folder, they just brought me the bill on a plate along with a lollipop (actually the second time they didn't even use a plate). I had nowhere to put my money except out in the open on top of the table. I find this highly annoying.

[I won't bother to complain about the the fact that the ketchup bottle was nearly empty and every other squeeze produced only a blast of air and a wheezing noise].

I felt annoyed about having to leave the coins and bills right out in the open on the table. I feel funny doing that. I guess it's kind of a privacy thing. Everyone can see the money right there. Also I didn't want to leave the restaurant until the server came back to take the money. It would have been too easy for someone to swipe it off the table when it was out in the open like that.

I don't think they use bill folders at all in this restaurant. Maybe this is in keeping with the western motif (presumably because at the saloon in the wild west they didn't use bill folders...the cowboy would just plunk his Morgan silver dollars down on the bar and saunter out).

Anyway, I was thinking of calling the management and suggesting that to improve customer satisfaction they might want to start using bill folders.

Or maybe not...maybe I'm just in a bad mood tonight.

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  1. actually I dislike those bill folders - they are frequently dirty and greasy.

    An empty ketchup bottle is annoying and the server ought to make sure his/her table is ready for diners - silverware/rollups, s + p and ketchup or condiments if the restaurant uses them.

    Not sure either of these is enough to complain about though.

    1. This wouldn't bother me. A lot of places use the plastic trays instead of the folders, so I'm used to leaving it out. If someone wants to steal, they can just grab the folder as easily as cash off a table. Maybe easier. I will in either case make sure to at least make eye contact with the server to indicate the money is there and ready.

      1. As I understand it, if the check is presented on a tray or in a "folder," then one is expected to pay at the table. If the check is simply left at the table, then one is expected to pay "up front."

        Do you ever post anywhere other than NAF? I'd be interested to actually read about the food you eat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: c oliver

          That's how I've understood it, too. Naked bill? Pay at the register. Bill in a folder? The waiter will hadle it for you.

          If they dont' use trays or folders, then they have no proplem with tip money being left on the table, I feel certain about that.

        2. i think that if something's bothering you about a restaurant, you should definitely tell management - for the most part, they are always looking for ways to improve their service, find new ways to up the customer exprience, and better their hospitality - after all, that is why they originally got into this business.

          1. I've been to many places that don't use the folders and don't see it as a big deal. I think it's much easier to swipe money when it's nicely encased in a folder as opposed to out in the open on the table. With the latter, you have to pick up the bills that are usually under something so they don't blow off the table. With the folder, you can just stealthily slide it under a jacket when you walk by.

            1. jfood has no problem with either means. He does resent when the folder comes and it is sorta sticky. If the issue is the other clientele taking the money, on the way out give it to the server or the host.

              The part that jfood is struggling with is the coins that you leave, why? jfood cannot remember the last time he paid with cash and did not just leave paper.

              19 Replies
              1. re: jfood

                >>"jfood cannot remember the last time he paid with cash and did not just leave paper."<<

                I'm just the opposite. It's rare that a meal plus tax comes out to even dollars, so when the server brings change it usually includes some loose coins that become part of the tip.

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  Rewind...jfood thinks that the point was the OP leaves change FOR the server, not FROM the change. And jfood would bet a fair amount of money that AB does not sit there when the bill arrives and is paying with coins that he reaches into his pocket to grab a few quarters and dimes. :-))

                  1. re: jfood

                    The OP also mentioned not wanting "to leave the restaurant until the server came back to take the money." That, coupled with the mention of coins, led me to assume that he's talking about the tip, not the payment for the meal. But we all know what happens when we assume...

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      poe-tae-toe, poe-tah-toe, vich-ee-swahs

                2. re: jfood

                  Why would you struggle with this? I don't pay with change at restaurants, but if you do, is it really that big a deal? Just because you pay with paper doesn't mean a person who gives the 75 cent portion of a bill in quarters is some kind of weirdo. And maybe the OP is just referring to the leftover change the server brings. Either way, big deal.

                  1. re: iluvtennis

                    if you do not think it strange that one goes to a steakhouse and then puts change on the plate to pay, more power to you. Jfood finds it a bit strange. different POVs

                    1. re: jfood

                      My dearest, most precious, undergrad degree in accounting husband does it and I think it's weird. Let's say the check is $21.37. If he can come up with that 37 cents he will leave it. It doesn't effect the amount of the tip he leaves; it's just one of his quirks and had nothing to do with my divorcing him once :) I don't think it's at all unkind on my part to roll my eyes.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        I wonder, though, maybe that's easier for the server because he/she can put the 37 cents in the drawer for the bill, and have a dollar rather than to walk around with 63 cents in change. I don't usually leave change but if it's easier for the servers, I could.

                  2. re: jfood

                    Message for jfood from OP: jfood doesn't realize that john333 was eating at a restaurant in Canada where many years ago the government discontinued $1 bills and $2 bills and replaced them with coins. The coins john333 is referring to in his original post are the $1 coins and $2 coins, not dimes and quarters.

                    1. re: john333

                      thanks j and mea culpa. jfood was being very USA-centric. Insert head handing low. Likewise in the UK you have that "change" in your pocket.

                      1. re: jfood

                        Indeed, we do - no notes below £5 - so I'd often pay a bill with coins, rather than add to the change in my pocket.

                        1. re: Harters

                          Harters and john333, there is nothing wrong with putting down change to pay a bill.

                          I'm sure servers don't mind that the exact bill is accounted for, so they know the balance is their tip.

                          1. re: anonymouse1935

                            "there is nothing wrong with putting down change to pay a bill."

                            Absolutely. It would never have occured to me otherwise. Money is money, after all.

                          2. re: Harters

                            Hi Harters, when did the UK stop producing 1 pound notes?

                            Canada stopped producing $1 paper notes in 1987 and the $2 note in 1996...when I see the odd ones for sale at a flea market I feel a twinge of nostalgia. Many Canadians above a certain age have some $1 and $2 bills in their dresser drawers, kept as souvenirs....

                            [This might be off-topic, but I understand in the USA the $2 bill is still produced but not used...what's up with that?].

                            1. re: john333

                              it must be about 20 years ago for England not Scotland so not UK per se. Ok my memory is not bad just googled it and they stopped production in 1984 and were no longer legal tender by 1988. Scotland still produces them and they are legal tender in England.

                              1. re: smartie

                                "they are legal tender in England."

                                Actually, no, they're not.

                                Although they are often accepted in England, particularly places close to the Scottish border.

                                1. re: Harters

                                  never had a problem with Scottish notes in London although I haven't lived in England for 5 + years.

                                  1. re: smartie

                                    London's a tourist spot - folk will be used to them there. Try flashing one in North Cheshire and you'll get funny looks

                      2. re: jfood

                        It's not about the coins.

                      3. To be frank, I find life far too short to be arsed about how my bill is brought to me.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Harters

                          i agree. the thought would have never entered my mind. doesn't sound like a fine dining establishment so to be angry at something like that seems rather frivolous.

                          1. re: Yaxpac

                            Well, I agree with Yaxpac & Harters and might even have put it more harshly/sarcastically, but I do have to say that this thread illustrates how decent/kind/polite/compassionate most people are who post here.

                            1. re: Masonville

                              Fully agreed, a folder for the bill is not going to protect your money, unless it's disguised as something else (a vase, s&p shaker?)

                              Scenario one: Bill arrives in folder. Potential thief walks by the table and walks on it without stealing.

                              Scenario two: Bill arrives in tray. Potential thief walks by and thinks "The money is visible, therefore I must steal it."

                              If someone is planning on stealing it, wouldn't they have made that decision before they entered the resto?

                        2. I find it odd that you complain about your money being there where people can see it. You are in a restaurant. Everyone knows what the items cost. Everyone is paying. I think this is incredibly persnickity and complaining to the manager will likely get you mocked, though hopefully not to your face.

                          1. seriously no. i mean really, no.

                            many many many places do not use folders. just just places with an old timey motif

                            i'm pretty sure the other diners do not care about your money or how much you spent. I'm completely certain the folders do nothing to prevent theft.

                            I'm almost jealous of a life so lacking in problems that this is what would chap my ass

                            1. This is place with ketchup bottles on the table and you're upset your bill didn't come in a billfold? What next, complaining that you didn't get a your choice of Montblanc's to sign the cheque?

                              1. OY!

                                1. "I felt annoyed about having to leave the coins and bills right out in the open on the table. I feel funny doing that. I guess it's kind of a privacy thing. Everyone can see the money right there. "

                                  Seriously? Anyone who cared could just look at what you ate and drank to see what your bill would come to. And I highly doubt anyone cares what your bill totalled and how much money you left. If it bothers you that much, then don't eat there anymore.

                                  1. I agree with the others, these are awfully nitpicky complaints and personal preference, if anything. re: the nearly empty bottles, you should be GLAD they aer doing that - places that always, always, always have a 100% filled bottle are likely marrying them up in the back so you have no idea how old the product is you're consuming.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: rockandroller1

                                      rockandroller1, so you're saying if the ketchup bottle is full we should be suspicious of the age of its contents? Now c'mon, I'm not that paranoid.

                                      1. re: john333

                                        There are plenty of places that just top off the containers regularly so that they are full at all times. A place that has empty containers probably replaces them once they are empty instead of topping off.

                                        1. re: queencru

                                          +1, I hate fermented ketchup!

                                          And the money thing would not bother me at all.
                                          But if the OP has found a place that the 2 times they dined there, the ONLY things that annoyed were the ketchup and the presentation of check, I would say, the OP is lucky.

                                          And to address the motif theory, I would say that I highly doubt that sticking to historically correct is the reason for it, else they would not have ketchup, bottles, etc.

                                          Tho' points for the morgan silver dollar reference.

                                        2. re: john333

                                          Ketchup marrying is rife and probably far more common than using fresh bottles. Years ago when I waited tables, we'd get a case of Heinz ketchup in bottles and slowly marry in the generic from a plastic bag contraption. This was in more than one restaurant.

                                          Would you prefer they throw away a bottle that was half full?

                                          1. re: mojoeater

                                            Mojo, yeah is it more common that not. But this practice does lead to fermentation which in turn leads to off tastes and sometimes splatter explosions. That i have seen more that once.

                                            1. re: Quine

                                              Oh the splatter explosion! There was this one place (where I did not work) that was dingy and very dear to us in college. It was an upstairs bar/diner/music venue with no air conditioning. I'll never forget when we were there just digging the tunes and the ketchup bottle on the table simply exploded! It was after midnight and nobody had touched the bottle in hours.

                                              1. re: mojoeater

                                                It's been a while since I've worked in a restaurant, but at the last ones I worked at, things had changed a bit. They switched to plastic bottles so they could throw away and replace empty bottles with brand new ones. If your table has plastic ketchup bottles, they were likely unmarried.

                                      2. We always pay by credit card and the little bill folders seem rather silly to me. You have to wait for the waiter to bring the bill in the folder and then hand over the card and wait for them to take it away again and bring it back with your card stuck in the little pocket at the top.

                                        1. Lots of things must be going right in your life for you to be seriously concerned about this.

                                          More power to you.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            Im glad Im not the only one who thinks OP's concern is trivial. Do I understand that OP pays with paper AND coins when a bill folder IS provided? How many times has a server picked this up and had those coins (that they did NOT see) fall on the floor? Do you calculate your precious 15% (and never more) tip down to the penny too?

                                            And. really --you dont "want to leave the restaurant until the server came back to take the money. It would have been too easy for someone to swipe it off the table when it was out in the open like that." How wild and wooly IS this place anyway? I think you should just continue with the western motif, and do as the cowboys did -- ..".the cowboy would just plunk his Morgan silver dollars down on the bar and saunter out".

                                          2. When I was waitressing I recall a few times where I know for a fact the money had been stolen right off the table, and I got in trouble for it! I saw the person plunk it down, and I was at another table taking a drink order... not 2 minutes later it was gone. So I can see your unrest. Do what I do in this situation, I put the money, and the check under the napkin holder, with the check on top and $$ hidden underneath.

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                              I can't remember the last time I saw a napkin holder on a table. Even fast food.

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                in the places I go to where I pay cash, there is. High end places I usually have to plunk down a CC.

                                                1. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                  It's now July 10 and I've been keeping an eye out for this napkin holder on the table phenomenon. Haven't seen it once. Not in McDs, not in a Dennys-equivalent, not in an independent diner, nowhere. Perhaps it's a regional thing as we Left Coasters have this almost born with tree-hugging propensity :) Too many napkins made available = too many trees being cut down!

                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                    Funny, we're only a few miles apart, and after reading your post I've been doing the same thing. Sandwich shop, taqueria, pho joint, etc. - they're everywhere! Definitely not in fancy places or national chain restaurants, but at mom-and-pop type hole-in-the-walls they're the rule rather than the exception.

                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                      Alright! We're in Reno for the next 36 hours or so. The research will continue :)I'm sitting here trying to visualize all the places we've eaten in Reno. Not remembering napkin holder on the table. Maybe up front from take away but not at the table. Keep up the good work; maybe we'll meet in Colfax.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Denny's.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          I'm not going to eat there as I have better options but I'll include it in a drive-by/walk-in and report back.

                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                      In Miami, our favorite Argentine/Italian coffee shop has a napkin dispenser advertising free Wi-Fi.

                                                      1. re: Sinicle

                                                        See attached photo of where we had breakfast Saturday. Not a napkin holder per se :) Also checked out a donut shop and the tables and the counter didn't have napkin holders. Didn't make it to Dennys.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          For some reason, those vertical paper towel holders always remind me of Hooters.

                                                2. re: gryphonskeeper

                                                  Oh I don't know. I've been waiting tables for 15 years, 8 of them in a major tourist area, and I cannot recall a single time that anybody has swiped money off my table. I do appreciate, however, people who wait for me to pick up the money for that very reason. Honestly, it makes my job more difficult, but comes from such a thoughtful place, that I have to appreciate it.