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Where's my change!?!

southocean Jun 6, 2012 08:36 PM

Went to a place today, got a burger, fries, shot of bourbon -- you know, the usual lunch. The tab was $14.62, and I gave the server $20. She brought me back 5 singles -- apparently thinking I'd never miss the 38 cents in change.

I've had that happen more than once, and I always short the tip, figuring the server is helping themselves to my money, so I don't have to be as generous as I usually am.

But it irks me -- if I saw 38 cents lying in the parking lot, I'd pick it up. That change is approximately 2 per cent of the bill!

Ever happen to you? How'd you deal with it? Oh, and I'll not go back there again. Stealing leaves a bad taste in my mouth -- more so than their burger!

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  1. Ditdah Jun 7, 2012 05:05 AM

    I've had it happen the other way around: I'm owed $4.78 in change, so the server just brings me five singles. I usually apprecate that - less change for both of us to mess with.

    I wouldn't care if my sever shorted me a few pennies, but 38 cents on a $14 total would irk me.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ditdah
      postemotional1 May 24, 2013 03:13 PM

      Rounding up is OK. Taking people's money or "assuming" it is a tip is not. The 2 acts are not morally equivalent.

      1. re: postemotional1
        melpy Jun 23, 2013 08:26 AM

        I disagree. Rounding up is still stealing, but from the restaurant. Bring the exact change and let me deal with the tipping and coin fiddling.

      2. re: Ditdah
        Sal Vanilla May 24, 2013 05:48 PM

        Yep, I've had it happen that way too, but never rounding THEIR way! Nervy! I think I might have thanked the server for doing the tipout for you.

        I pick up pennies. I always need one.

      3. sunshine842 Jun 7, 2012 05:19 AM

        I'm with you -- it's the principal thing, and it irks the snot out of me.

        Last time it happened to me, I shorted the tip AND she had the chutzpah to point that out -- I told her that had she not opted to pocket my change, the tip would have been higher.....when the door closed behind me, she was just standing there in shock. Oh well.

        17 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842
          barb2007 Jun 7, 2012 05:36 AM

          Had breakfast with a friend that totaled $12. Gave server $20. She then asked me if I wanted the change back. After responding yes and waiting 20 minutes I had to track her down and ask for the change. Her reply was "Oh, sorry.....I forgot." Needless to say, I have not returned to that restaurant.

          1. re: barb2007
            UTgal Jun 7, 2012 08:16 AM

            WOW! That's some nerve.

            1. re: barb2007
              Jim Leff Jun 13, 2012 11:12 PM

              "asked me if I wanted the change back "

              I don't even like to be asked that question.

              Yes, I'd like my food brought to me. Yes, I'd like clean silverware. Yes, I'd like you to remove the dirty plates when I'm done. And...yes, I'd like you to bring me change. Like...do your job, y'know? No part of that is optional.

              1. re: Jim Leff
                EWSflash Jun 19, 2012 04:41 PM

                +1- I think some people who wait tables can get into a mode and don't stop to think about how tacky little tricks they've been taught, like "Do you want change back?" are. It's up to the management to occasionally repeat what the behavior should be like, in case there's tackiness afoot among the waitstaff. Because if your waiter attempts to stiff you, for instance, that's going to be what you remember about that restaurant, no matter how good the food was.

                1. re: EWSflash
                  sbs401 Jun 20, 2012 07:00 AM

                  I for one think asking if you want change is a fine question, as i usually don't want any. If the server is using one of those black receipt holders they don't know what is in there when they ask, and when dining with a group or alone and paying with cash we are usually able to leave the amount we want to inclusive of tip.

                  1. re: sbs401
                    Astur Jun 20, 2012 09:23 AM

                    I am sorry but the appropriate response to being handed more than the amount of the bill is, "I'll be back with your change" leaving the guest the chance to say they don't need any/what is in there is yours. It is beyond rude to presume that any portion of cash belongs to you as the server until told so or the guest s had vacated leaving cash on the table.

                    1. re: Astur
                      Burghfeeder Aug 6, 2012 10:43 AM

                      Yep! It's your change, and you should get all of it unless you specifically tell them to keep it. End of story.


                    2. re: sbs401
                      rainsux Aug 23, 2012 10:52 AM

                      > asking if you want change is a fine question ...

                      For me, It depends ...

                      If the establishment has included a mandatory tip ... I consider asking "do
                      you want change?" to be quite rude.

                      1. re: sbs401
                        Sal Vanilla May 24, 2013 05:52 PM

                        Well... in my experience if people do not want change, the customer will say so like "keep it". I would fire someone if I caught them pulling that. I don't care if it is one penny change - you return it promptly to that table.

                        1. re: sbs401
                          melpy Jun 23, 2013 08:28 AM

                          I agree about asking if they can't see the amount etc. if they can see and the customer doesn't prompt "all set" or "no change" then They should bring exact change, period.

                    3. re: barb2007
                      velochic Jun 16, 2012 06:54 AM

                      I had a similar thing happen. Similar amounts, too. Service was poor to begin with, anyway. When the server said, "I'll get your change", I said, "Thank you". Fifteen minutes later I finally flagged her down and asked about my change. She said, "I thought 'thank you' meant 'keep the change'." I just said, "A 70% tip??? You've got to be kidding." I didn't leave a tip *at all*. The one and ONLY time I can remember ever doing that in my life.

                      1. re: velochic
                        jumpingmonk Jun 16, 2012 07:35 AM

                        I can do one better. I was a a resuturant bought a takeout item that was $3 paid with a $20 (it was the smallest bill I had on me. And no, no one asked if I had anything smaller) and the server actually said (I assume the change is part of my tip?) Yes, not only did he think a 567% tip was reasonable, he though it was insufficient!

                        1. re: jumpingmonk
                          westsidegal Jun 10, 2013 10:50 PM

                          i can't top that, jumpingmonk.
                          your story takes the cake.

                      2. re: barb2007
                        iL Divo May 27, 2013 06:22 PM

                        I swear they do that on purpose. how many times have you been to a place talked with your friend and both of you say 'what are we waiting for, aren't we done here?" and then realize during drive home the server hadn't brought you back change-

                      3. re: sunshine842
                        chefathome Jun 7, 2012 04:30 PM

                        This scenario happened to me once as well. Irksome indeed!

                        1. re: chefathome
                          sunshine842 Jun 7, 2012 10:52 PM

                          and it just amazes me....if they'd returned the 38 cents, I'd have left far more than that....talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

                          1. re: sunshine842
                            chefathome Jun 9, 2012 05:44 PM

                            Exactly. This one is difficult to fathom.

                      4. Sooeygun Jun 7, 2012 06:01 AM

                        this has been discussed a lot already


                        I can't say I remember it happening, but that's probably because I try and leave the bill amount and the tip together (I often have small bills and coins) or I pay by debit. But it would annoy me if it were more than a few pennies.

                        1. suzigirl Jun 7, 2012 08:54 AM

                          I may get grief for this answer but when a server does that to me they have sealed their fate. I just concider they have helped themselves to their own tip and i leave nothing else. I have worked as a server and carried my own bank, and i would never do that. The one time a server called me on it I told her why I did it. Bet she stopped doing that.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: suzigirl
                            EWSflash Jun 19, 2012 04:46 PM

                            Good for you. I wonder if some waiters don't take advantage of people's aversion to confrontation.

                            1. re: EWSflash
                              suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 05:31 PM

                              I believe they do. Its a gamble that i can only assume often goes in the servers favor. As you see the posters may leave a lesser tip, but truth be told, they are stillrewarding the bad behavior. Leave the greedy buttheads no tip and they may get it. And yes, I cannot dismiss those who hate change that jingles but I work my ass off for my money. And if you want the change to stay with the server, let it be up to you as a patron. Its not the servers hard earned money.

                            2. re: suzigirl
                              FriedClamFanatic May 24, 2013 03:38 PM

                              I agree with the concept...but I would make sure the manager knows why

                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                                suzigirl May 24, 2013 03:42 PM

                                That seems logical.

                              2. re: suzigirl
                                Sal Vanilla May 24, 2013 05:56 PM

                                You'll get no grief from me. Perfectly reasonable and sane response.

                              3. m
                                MonMauler Jun 7, 2012 09:48 AM

                                I'm not sure this has ever occurred to me in a place where I am not known. But once I'm in a place a few times, they generally know not to give me back coins. Can't stand that stuff rattling around in my pocket.

                                1. Midknight Jun 8, 2012 09:37 AM

                                  Never mind a lower tip. That .38 cents would have BEEN her tip.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Midknight
                                    gprime Jun 12, 2012 08:09 PM

                                    I'm on the same page as you. If the server wishes to claim my change as their own, then I assume they're happy to take that as their tip. And really, it is a shame for them, since invariably the 20-30 cents they neglected to return is markedly less than they would have otherwise received.

                                  2. k
                                    KSlink Jun 8, 2012 09:51 AM

                                    Former server here, and I am astounded at the fairly common practice of asking "Do you need change?"

                                    NEVER would I have asked that of a customer, or assumed that any coins belonged to me...


                                    17 Replies
                                    1. re: KSlink
                                      sunshine842 Jun 8, 2012 01:39 PM

                                      Me, too, on being a server....it wouldn't have entered my mind....until they tell me it's a tip, it's *their* money.

                                      I have, on many occasions, given the server the amount of the bill plus a couple of dollars, then gotten waylaid with phone, etc., rather than leaving right away as I'd planned. Once or twice, they've returned with ALL the change - including my extra dollars. They usually return to find a little more than they brought back to the table.

                                      1. re: KSlink
                                        wincountrygirl Jun 10, 2012 05:15 AM

                                        I get asked that a lot and I find it totally offensive.

                                        1. re: wincountrygirl
                                          2roadsdiverge Jun 11, 2012 01:54 PM

                                          Interesting. I get asked it a lot and think nothing of it. It seems like a time saver for the server to just pick up the book and put it in her apron and go on working, rather than taking the book back to her station and returning the change to me.

                                          1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                            2roadsdiverge Jun 12, 2012 11:17 AM

                                            After reading through this thread and a couple of others, I do have to admit that "I'll be right back with your change" is more elegant and appropriate than "Did you need change?"

                                            I agree that asking a question of the guest (especially involving money) imposes a bit and has the potential for making them feel uncomfortable.

                                            1. re: 2roadsdiverge
                                              Jim Leff Jun 13, 2012 11:16 PM

                                              "I'll be right back with your change" is more elegant and appropriate than "Did you need change?"

                                              Agreed. But you know what's best? Bring my my freakin' change and shaddup about it. No leading questions, no nothing. Just bring the darn change. And if I then choose to leave it all on the table - i.e. you made that trip for nothing - that's absolutely just fine with me. It's not my aim to make your work flow more efficient. A restaurant is a service business.

                                              1. re: Jim Leff
                                                Tripeler Jun 17, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                I think this wise poster has said it all on this topic, and sums up my attitude as well.
                                                Great post, Jim Leff.

                                                1. re: Jim Leff
                                                  BubblyOne Jun 17, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                  Posts like this make me so happy that waiting tables was a way to pay for college and not a career for me.

                                                  1. re: BubblyOne
                                                    Jim Leff Jun 18, 2012 08:13 PM

                                                    I'm happy, too.

                                                  2. re: Jim Leff
                                                    EWSflash Jun 19, 2012 04:48 PM

                                                    You've said it all, Jim Leff.

                                                    1. re: Jim Leff
                                                      donovt Jun 19, 2012 07:18 PM

                                                      Not trying to be argumentative, but would you rather they just took your money and walked away without saying anything? Maybe not you, but I'm sure plenty of people would complain that it was rude to not acknowledge that you just handed over money.

                                                      Personally, once I hand the check and my money over, I would rather not see the sever again to drop off my change. I pay with exact change 99.9% of the time and once I pay I'm done.

                                                      1. re: donovt
                                                        Sooeygun Jun 20, 2012 05:31 AM

                                                        I often don't need change. I add in the tip and I'm good to go. In that case when the waiter picks up the folder or tray or whatever, I say, 'that's fine, no change' before they even have a chance to ask. No awkwardness required.

                                                        1. re: Sooeygun
                                                          sunshine842 Jun 20, 2012 05:35 AM

                                                          *yes* Then there's no mindreading or second-guessing to be done.

                                                          (If you don't say anything, though, the server should *always* assume that you need change.)

                                                          1. re: Sooeygun
                                                            LindaWhit Aug 6, 2012 01:49 PM

                                                            Exactly, Sooeygun. As simple "we're all set" and the server knows that anything over the total bill is theirs to keep.

                                                            Like the Big Dog above, I never EVER want to be asked "Do you want change?" That question shouldn't ever be asked, because the answer (unless I've already said "we're all set", of course) is ALWAYS going to be "Yes." And it's going to tick me off. As sunshine said - the assumption should always be the dining guest gets changed.

                                                  3. re: wincountrygirl
                                                    CanadaGirl Jun 11, 2012 04:12 PM

                                                    It depends. If the bill is in a folder and the server can not see what is inside, I have no problem being asked. If the cash is in plain view, it bugs me.

                                                    1. re: CanadaGirl
                                                      Cachetes Jun 13, 2012 05:00 PM

                                                      Ditto. It never occurred to me that I should be offended if the money is hidden away and the waitperson asks. I wonder what other things I am missing out on being offended about?

                                                      1. re: CanadaGirl
                                                        tastesgoodwhatisit Jun 19, 2012 10:49 PM

                                                        That works for me too. If they don't see the money, then it comes across as a simple query - I generally pay with exact change if possible, and it saves them a trip.

                                                        If they've looked at the money first, though, it's different.

                                                    2. re: KSlink
                                                      monavano Jun 17, 2012 05:25 PM

                                                      Thank you. A server should never ask "do you ned change". It makes me feel cheap and hell yeah, you better bring me the money that you owe me. Unless I say "keep the change", you bring me back my money. I mean, where else is this acceptable?

                                                    3. f
                                                      FrankJBN Jun 8, 2012 01:50 PM

                                                      I've never had this happen.

                                                      Doesn't bother me if server asks "Do you need change"

                                                      Was in a Chinese restaurant the other month, bill was say $14 and small change.. I left $17 on check tray (ten, five and 2 ones). Server took it away, and brought me back the 2 ones and change. It seemed to me plain that if I wanted change back, I would have just put $15 on tray. I'm not complaining, it was just out of norm.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: FrankJBN
                                                        CanadaGirl Jun 8, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                        Right, but that us different than leaving one $20 bill, which I what I assume the OP did.

                                                        1. re: FrankJBN
                                                          dmjordan Jun 9, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                          "Doesn't bother me if server asks "Do you need change""

                                                          I was a server and the classier way to express this is just to say "I'll be right back with your change." and then that usually prompts the customer to say "Thank you." or "No change, I'm good."

                                                          1. re: dmjordan
                                                            Leonardo Jun 9, 2012 02:21 PM

                                                            I expect that's what you're doing. No need to announce anything. The best servers are inobtrusive.

                                                          2. re: FrankJBN
                                                            StringerBell Aug 13, 2012 12:31 AM

                                                            I've worked at a restaurant where the servers were told to never assume that the person doesn't change, to always bring them their change back unless told otherwise, even in situations like that where the person most likely does not want change back. The general public is pretty bad at math. I had situations like that where the person would leave $27 on a $21.XX check and I would take that to mean that I should keep the change, otherwise they would have handed me $25. Then a couple minutes later they would ask where their change was and act like you were trying to tip yourself with their change. Believe it or not, it happens.

                                                            On the other hand, in that kind of situation if you try to give them their change back they might look at you like you're dumb or like you think that that's not a good tip. A server is damned if they do, damned if they don't, so to me it was better to err on the side of caution figuring that if that's what they want to leave then they will. That's why it's best just to tell them to keep them change whether it seems obvious or not, in my opinion. Just because you're logical and have good math skills doesn't mean their other customers do as well.

                                                            As far as asking "do you need change?" IMO that's something servers should never say. It bothers me a little when I'm asked that but it's not something I'm going to make a big deal about. Most don't realize why that's a bad practice for several reasons. For example, if they hand you a $50 bill and the bill was only $32 and you ask if you need change back, they might take that to mean that you feel entitled to and expect an $18 tip and you're not going to be happy or appreciative if they only give you $8, which is over 20%.

                                                          3. 512window Jun 8, 2012 02:03 PM

                                                            Sorry this happened. It reminded me of when my family lived in Italy in the 70s and the country was experiencing a change shortage. They physically couldn't give you coins because they wouldn't have them. Some places ran tabs, some gave you little candies, on the autostrada (the main highway that charged tolls) they gave out stamps. I remember my mother hissing at my father to give them the stamps back at the next toll plaza.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: 512window
                                                              chefathome Jun 9, 2012 05:45 PM

                                                              That is a very interesting bit of history. I was unaware of that.

                                                              1. re: 512window
                                                                enbell Jun 9, 2012 06:26 PM

                                                                As was I. For anyone else who is interested:

                                                                1. re: 512window
                                                                  john333 Jun 16, 2012 02:47 AM

                                                                  I remember reading about the giving out of candies in place of small change years ago. If I remember correctly it was because the coins were made out of aluminum and people were removing them from circulation and melting them down and selling the aluminum.

                                                                  1. re: john333
                                                                    512window Jun 17, 2012 08:27 PM

                                                                    I have no idea why it happened - but it's part of my experience and it colors my thinking about getting change back from my larger bills.

                                                                  2. re: 512window
                                                                    al b. darned Aug 6, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                                    I experienced this, too, in Italy in the 1970's.

                                                                    1. re: 512window
                                                                      bagelman01 Aug 6, 2012 07:13 PM

                                                                      If one goes back a century earlier, The USA had a coin shortage during the Civil war and encased postage stamps were used as replacements for coins, also printed fractional currency.

                                                                    2. Midlife Jun 8, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                      Maybe I'm hallucinating about it but I seem to recall reading somewhere about restaurants in which servers make change from their 'pockets/aprons' on cash transactions, and that do not have their servers carry change to save time. The idea is that it takes them too long to count it out. I suppose the idea, as it relates to this situation, is that you're going to leave more than the difference to the dollar anyway. Of course................ you, as the customer, have no way of knowing that unless you're a regular there, so this can cause problems, as it did here.

                                                                      Here's something I found while Googling on the subject: http://lubbockonline.com/editorial-le... The customer's point of view is obvious.

                                                                      I also Googled this subject including the word 'chowhound' but only came up with this topic and the two referred to above, but I can't imagine where else I'd've seen something like that. I swear I'm not making it up. ;o]

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Midlife
                                                                        jbsiegel Jun 8, 2012 05:48 PM

                                                                        ITA!!! A place that we go to buy take-out breakfast tends to "round" to the nearest $.05. It drives us both insane when they round in their favor - even if we're only talking $.02. Again...it's the principle of the thing. My thinking is that if they don't want to stock pennies, that's fine, but don't penalize me!

                                                                        Related topic...if you see a penny on the ground, do you pick it up?

                                                                        1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                          CanadaGirl Jun 8, 2012 05:56 PM

                                                                          Good thing you're not Canadian! We aren't making any more pennies and they will be taken out of circulation this September. Rounding is to be the law of the land :-)

                                                                          1. re: jbsiegel
                                                                            piwakawaka Jun 9, 2012 12:15 PM

                                                                            NZ phased out one cent coins *years* ago.
                                                                            When paying cash, round down for 1 and 2 cents, up for 3 and 4. On average you come out equal.
                                                                            When using a card you pay the exact amount.
                                                                            It does seem rather penny pinching to complain! Most people don't want the small change!

                                                                            1. re: piwakawaka
                                                                              dmjordan Jun 9, 2012 01:13 PM

                                                                              It has nothing at all to do with penny pinching. It's totally the principle of the thing.

                                                                              1. re: dmjordan
                                                                                jbsiegel Jun 9, 2012 05:24 PM

                                                                                +1. Yep...if they want to round, then totally fine, but do it in my favor. I know it's only a max of a couple of pennies, but it just irks me!

                                                                          2. re: Midlife
                                                                            suzigirl Jun 8, 2012 06:14 PM

                                                                            As I mentioned before I have worked in restaurants that require you to carry your own bank and IMHO the keeping of change just sweetens their tips at the end of the night, as most restaurants require you to pay them food cost even if you had a dine and dash. So keeping my change is like saying I don't care enough to count it out or I don't trust that you can tip me properly. But if you keep my change, unless it is small, you get no tip as you have helped yourself to a "tip".

                                                                            1. re: suzigirl
                                                                              meanmartin Aug 6, 2012 07:50 PM

                                                                              So restaurants are wholesalers and servers are retailers. The system is screwed up!

                                                                          3. ritabwh Jun 8, 2012 06:22 PM

                                                                            this was never happened to me, but if it had, and the server challeneged me, i would have immediately asked for the manager.
                                                                            if the server thinks it is ok and s/he is entitled to self-tip, i would wonder at what else this server might feel entitled to in the pantry, the back room, the coat closet and even the till.
                                                                            if management supported this practice, i would write to inform the owner or the corporate headquarters.

                                                                            1. Bill Hunt Jun 8, 2012 09:20 PM

                                                                              I have never had that happen, but probably for other reasons: I always pay by credit card, unless there is some prohibition against that. Also, in most cases, I would tip an extra $1.00, to NOT give me any coins, as they might find their way into my pocket, just as I go to the TSA checkpoint, later that day. I never carry any coins, except in the UK, and then make sure that none are in a pocket.


                                                                              1. j
                                                                                jhopp217 Jun 8, 2012 11:09 PM

                                                                                I don't know if this has ever happened with wait service, but there is a place I go (not a restaurant) that if the bill is within ten cents either way, they round it off.

                                                                                I do find it offensive at times when servers ask if you want change. Especially when the bill is say about $24 and you hand them $40. I just find it a little obnoxious to assume that someone will over tip.

                                                                                I think the craziest bill story I've ever had was in a bar. I went in for lunch and beer. The bill came to $21 and all I had was a $100. There was no sign saying they didn't accept bills that large and I'd been there before. The server explained that they didn't have any bills bigger than a $5 and I explained that was fine. She then came back and said they didn't have enough change. They asked me to wait til others finished their meal to get some change. I laughed and wasn't in a rush, so told them I would. About twenty minutes (and a free beer) later, they gave me my change. If I was in a rush, obviously this would have been a bad story.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                  CanadaGirl Jun 9, 2012 04:59 AM

                                                                                  I think the free beer probably helped with the wait. It would for me :)

                                                                                  1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                    EWSflash Jun 19, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                                                    I hope you learned your lesson and never tried to pay for lunch and a beer with a $100 bill again. Unless you're trolling for free beer. you really screwed them up by doing that, it appears.

                                                                                    1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                      sunshine842 Jun 19, 2012 10:47 PM

                                                                                      there's nothing there to indicate that it was intentional....apparently you've never been in a situation where the only bill you had was a large one.

                                                                                  2. Delucacheesemonger Jun 10, 2012 12:21 AM

                                                                                    This is probably all wrong but here goes. Suppose a restaurant has the great majority of its transactions on debit or credit cards. The management has told the staff to round up or down to the dollar on cash transactions as change just takes , uh, too much work, time, resources, intelligence, whatever and they do that. l have no issue with rounding. When l worked retail and the average food sale was @ $ 40, l always rounded up or down to make the transaction time less.
                                                                                    l am sitting here in Europe looking at a dish with a ton of change in it and am happy never to deal with change, so for me this way is good, it minimizes my dealing with change, and l am happy. l doubt the staff is 'stealing' your change as maybe they, the management, thinks as l do and it is more of a PITA than it is worth.

                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                      sunshine842 Jun 10, 2012 01:32 AM

                                                                                      Then tell me up front that that is what you're doing -- and give me the option.

                                                                                      Or write the menu to have only round numbers -- then it never even becomes an issue -- especially here in Europe, where tax and gratuity are already included.

                                                                                      But I will never, ever assume that when my change disappears with the server that it's altruistic.

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                        Delucacheesemonger Jun 10, 2012 03:37 AM

                                                                                        In Europe it is not an issue as no tax has to be added, and this OP had the situation before the tip added. Not implying l am right, but it is the way l prefer to deal with change.

                                                                                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                          sunshine842 Jun 10, 2012 04:10 AM

                                                                                          but that's just it -- it's your *choice* -- and for every person who doesn't want the change, there's someone else who does.

                                                                                          The reality is that the extra change will eventually become a profit center. as the rounding becomes more and more lax. (or an alarming profit leak, if the owner rounds in the customer's favor more than 50% of the time -- even if it's only 2-3%, it's big enough to affect the operation of the restaurant.)

                                                                                          Nobody's right or wrong -- but if you're going to round, just tell the customer, so the customer can make his/her choice -- because it is ultimately the customer's money until he/she communicates otherwise.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                            PHREDDY Jun 10, 2012 04:43 AM

                                                                                            +1 you are so correct..."it is ultimately the customer's money...." it has happened to me in all types of eating establishments. I do not like it.....I am a plumbing contractor , and if my workers went to your home, gave you a price in writing, (much like a menu) gave you the service and product, asked for payment, and my worker took a little extra, you would haul my ass into court!....what my worked just did is called fraud!
                                                                                            The wait person taking your change is tatamount to what I have just described.

                                                                                            (there is no difference , you ask for a product and service in a restraunt, they provide it and you are obligated to pay the stated amount on the menu plus applicable taxes and gratuity)

                                                                                          2. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                            Bill Hunt Jun 15, 2012 08:10 PM

                                                                                            Personally, I have zero problems with rounding up to the next denomination, whether $, £, ¥, or whatever. That works for me, and I do similar with tipping.

                                                                                            With the exception of £2 coins, to be used as ball-markers on the golf course, I do not want a bunch of coins, and usually hand them off somewhere, before I leave a country.

                                                                                            In the US, I hate coins, and fill up a bank with them, rather than run the risk of having them in my pocket, when I go through TSA security.

                                                                                            Less than a $? Fine, round up, or round down. I do not care.


                                                                                        2. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                          Karl S Jun 11, 2012 05:24 AM

                                                                                          In a hospitality business, rounding against the customer without the customer's prior consent is corrosive of the mission. Over the long term, it's not worth the ostensible saving of effort. Businesses that do it betray their stupidity, even if customers think it is cupidity.

                                                                                          1. re: Karl S
                                                                                            PHREDDY Jun 11, 2012 09:01 AM

                                                                                            +1 !!!

                                                                                            1. re: Karl S
                                                                                              Delucacheesemonger Jun 11, 2012 09:19 AM

                                                                                              With that perspective, a wise one, i guess l would be okay , were l a restaurant, to always round down on cash sales, lose a few bucks a day, but no change needed.

                                                                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                                Karl S Jun 11, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                                                                Well, the you can increase prices marginally to cover the cost, of course. But that way, you get up front buy in from the customer. Informed consent is much better than presumption, even if the practical monetary result is the same, because trust is an easy thing to fritter away, and much more valuable than spare change in a business that relies to any extent upon trust.

                                                                                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                                  Bill Hunt Jun 15, 2012 08:11 PM

                                                                                                  Round up with me, and you will never get a complaint. Others? Well it looks like you will.


                                                                                                2. re: Karl S
                                                                                                  EWSflash Jun 19, 2012 04:59 PM


                                                                                                3. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                                  FriedClamFanatic May 24, 2013 03:45 PM

                                                                                                  You wanna do that........ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS round in the customer's favor!

                                                                                                  What ever happened to common sense and customer service?

                                                                                                  You can't make your business work because of the extra time you need to make things correct, why be in business?

                                                                                                4. trolley Jun 12, 2012 11:25 AM

                                                                                                  YES, and i was irked. it was only ¢.20 but it's still belonged to me. I went to the farmers market once. the total came out to $4.30 and i handed her a $20. she asked if i had anything smaller so i dug out $4.50. 4 dollar bills and 2 quarters. once i handed that to her i waited for my changed and all she said was "you're good to go" in this very stern intimidating way. i walked away feeling like i shouldn't have walked but felt petty for asking for ¢.20 back. i felt so confused by her action and words. i know it's not a lot but the change did belong to me. i still haven't gone back to that vendor since.

                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: trolley
                                                                                                    Karl S Jun 12, 2012 12:16 PM

                                                                                                    I would say that it is very common for farmer's markets to round. Not only for speed, but because of the lack of small change for lack of sufficient volume. I've found they round in my favor as much as they round in their favor, so there is some trust established, and the markets are not in the hospitality industry.

                                                                                                    1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                      trolley Jun 12, 2012 05:36 PM

                                                                                                      farmer's at markets are still in the business of sales. i'm still paying for a product at the end. there is still a markup built into the profit margin. sure they do round up or down but i still say keeping the customers change is bad business whether you're a farmer/amazon.com/restaurant. so it's ok to keep the customers change if you're a farmer? i just don't agree with that.

                                                                                                      1. re: Karl S
                                                                                                        ricepad Jun 12, 2012 07:56 PM

                                                                                                        I visit three farmers' markets regularly, and all three round in the customer's favor if they round at all. Just today, I bagged up some squash, and when the vendor weighed it, the price on the scale came up to $2.48. He said, "Grab another one (squash) and we'll call it $2.50." I'm guessing that extra squash probably would have brought it to $3.

                                                                                                        1. re: ricepad
                                                                                                          512window Jun 13, 2012 02:32 PM

                                                                                                          When I find that happen, I say to the vendor "don't worry about the pennies." Generosity and rounding should go both ways.

                                                                                                          1. re: 512window
                                                                                                            sunshine842 Jun 13, 2012 10:36 PM

                                                                                                            I tried to do that -- but here, they're legally required to give the change, much to everybody's chagrin!

                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                              Delucacheesemonger Jun 13, 2012 11:05 PM

                                                                                                              They sure round down at my local markets in Paris, especially Place Aligre

                                                                                                              1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                                                                                                                sunshine842 Jun 14, 2012 07:27 AM

                                                                                                                Really? I've even told them not to worry about it out here -- and they've told me it's obligatoire...

                                                                                                                One would think they'd be more lax about in the country than in the city....

                                                                                                          2. re: ricepad
                                                                                                            monavano Jun 17, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                                                                            I go to farmers markets a lot and they usually round in my favor. Sometimes I'll tell them to keep the dime or two that is owed me in change.

                                                                                                        2. re: trolley
                                                                                                          EWSflash Jun 19, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                                          Oooh- i would have raised my voice ever so slightly and said "What about my change?" That one was doing it intentionally, and not living in the same world that Bill Hunt does, obviously.

                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash
                                                                                                            Fowler Jun 19, 2012 05:25 PM

                                                                                                            "That one was doing it intentionally, and not living in the same world that Bill Hunt does, obviously."

                                                                                                            :-) LOL!

                                                                                                        3. g
                                                                                                          gtto22 Jun 13, 2012 04:46 PM

                                                                                                          Just went to a pizza place and the bill was $20.50. Gave the waiter $40 and he brings back $19. I ask for my $.50 and he says they don't usually do change! This has happened to me before but only in Miami. It is not the $.50 it is the principle. Really gets me crazy! $.50 x 200 customers per day X 350 days is $35,000 per year! I have been working in the hospitality industry for many years and tip well but this is just too much....Am I crazy?

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: gtto22
                                                                                                            Cachetes Jun 13, 2012 05:01 PM

                                                                                                            I hoped you asked for your dollar back then.

                                                                                                            1. re: gtto22
                                                                                                              PHREDDY Jun 15, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                                                                              I would ask to speak to the owner. I would politely say to him ....are you busy,?can I have about 5 minutes of your time?...if he said he is busy, which one can understand....I would give him my business card and ask to be called at his convience.....I would then have a meaningful discussion. If he was not receptive , I would send him an old fashioned letter, the one that comes delivered by the postman, certified , return receipt. I would send a copy of that letter to the local or state authority and describe the cheating that is going on. I would also notify the local and state taxing authorities and tell them they are skimming money by rounding up and not collecting additonal sales tax on the $35,000 per year....I am sure the restauranteur would recognize his wrong doings in front of the taxing authority and try to make restitution with the tax authority or be closed down...I think this is a very reasonable if not effective approach.

                                                                                                              1. re: PHREDDY
                                                                                                                CanadaGirl Jun 18, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                Remind me not to anger you ;)

                                                                                                                1. re: CanadaGirl
                                                                                                                  PHREDDY Jun 19, 2012 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                  I am sure you would not stoop so low as to conduct yourself in an unscrupilous manner....and thus the above should be reserved for slime.....I had an ex-wife who cheated the state on sales tax.....did they come down on her....fortunately we were divorced....she used the money I gave her to start the restaurant....lucky for her our daughter who is a lawyer, represented her for free...the restaurant was doing great and she sold it for a small profit...I was happy....but people who play with fire eventually get burnt!

                                                                                                                2. re: PHREDDY
                                                                                                                  pikawicca Jun 19, 2012 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                  You must be Irish! We never forget a slight.

                                                                                                              2. f
                                                                                                                foiegras Jun 15, 2012 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                The only way this would more than very slightly irritate me is if I had already received such horrific service I was planning on no tip at all. It does leave a warm fuzzy when they round in your favor though--to me that conveys a lot of trust. I do typically pay with plastic ... and I do not pick up pennies.

                                                                                                                1. j
                                                                                                                  jhopp217 Jun 17, 2012 04:01 AM

                                                                                                                  We've all experienced this, but I have been following this thread and some of these stories seem completely made up. Almost like, OH I can top your story. 99.9% of the time, I think the server is the one getting screwed. I don't see too many threads of by waiters complaining about the jerk who complained after sitting at his table for 30 minutes yapping, before paying the bill. I laugh at all these people who are saying they got screwed out of 45 cents and then didn't tip. Relax

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                    Leonardo Jun 17, 2012 06:40 AM

                                                                                                                    There are sites specifically for servers and yes, they do rant on about that and other things of that ilk.

                                                                                                                    1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                                                                      Midknight Jun 17, 2012 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                      Agreed. At what point is theft alright? It seems .45 is acceptable. How about $45?
                                                                                                                      As someone said above, theft is theft. Whether it's by a waiter or not, why does the amount of the theft make a different?

                                                                                                                    2. rainsux Jun 17, 2012 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                      The freq of this stunt seems to be increasing. I remember trying to pay for a $ 13 breakfast with a $20 ... And the server hiding with my chg. After finally asking for the mgr, he said they didn't have $7 in chg. tried to pay with CC ... And told that CC reader was down.

                                                                                                                      Finally got $5 in after a very long wait ... Left the waitress 50 cents. She followed me out to the street, complaining. Telling her to recover the $2 from mgt was a wasted effort.

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: rainsux
                                                                                                                        sunshine842 Jun 17, 2012 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                        THAT is bullshit. (their behaviour, not your story)

                                                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                          EWSflash Jun 19, 2012 05:10 PM

                                                                                                                          You got THAT right. I'd have been tempted to call the police.

                                                                                                                        2. re: rainsux
                                                                                                                          CanadaGirl Jun 18, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                          I would have told them to either find me the change or comp my meal. Having a reasonable float is part of doing business, and the amount you are talking about seems very reasonable to me.

                                                                                                                          1. re: CanadaGirl
                                                                                                                            FriedClamFanatic May 24, 2013 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                            Yep.........bring back my 20......I'll give you 10

                                                                                                                        3. dave_c Jun 19, 2012 04:21 PM

                                                                                                                          Hasn't happened to me. <knock on wood>

                                                                                                                          I'd short the tip according to the amount owed. Also, probably drop to a 12 to 15% tip and vow never to return.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: dave_c
                                                                                                                            suzigirl Jun 19, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                            Leaving no tip to the server sceams volumes. A lesser tip to a lunkhead who pilfers change just says to them you are a bad tipper. Trust me. They feel entitled.

                                                                                                                          2. p
                                                                                                                            plaidbowtie Jun 20, 2012 04:28 AM

                                                                                                                            If the amount in change gets rounded down, I subtract that amount from the tip that I leave. Honestly, I have more important things to worry about in my life.

                                                                                                                            1. s
                                                                                                                              ShinkickMurphy Aug 6, 2012 07:53 AM

                                                                                                                              First off, let me state my affiliation as a former server. Now that I got that out of the way, I'll say that I've had this happen both ways to me. Whenever I was shorted, I took the high road while politely calling it to the server's attention, attempting to come across as someone who was giving them the benefit of the doubt that maybe they forgot. One waitress I had this happen with at a restaurant I dine at regularly actually said "Most customers don't want the coins back." I still took the high road in not complaining about her to the management, didn't even call in a complaint to a customer service line or somesuch(she did begrudgingly get me the proper change back, btw). But I did tip a little less than what I was originally going to tip. Oddly enough, I have not seen her there since, so I'm sure she pulled the same stunt with someone else and didn't survive that time around.

                                                                                                                              I've also had the server that used the "I didn't have change" excuse. I understand if you didn't have change. That's why if you don't have it, you round in favor of the customer. Needless to say, once again, I tipped a little less than what I would have. She did get me the change that was due back to me.

                                                                                                                              Now on the flip side, the servers who rounded in my favor got tipped more. And I have noticed a difference in service between servers who round in their favor and those that either bring back exact change, or round in the customers' favor. The servers that rounded in their own favor usually gave off lousy to fair service, while those that brought back exact change or rounded in the customers' favor gave off good to excellent(or even awesome) service. Go figure.

                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: ShinkickMurphy
                                                                                                                                Jim Leff Aug 6, 2012 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                                "I have noticed a difference in service between servers who round in their favor and those that either bring back exact change, or round in the customers' favor. The servers that rounded in their own favor usually gave off lousy to fair service, while those that brought back exact change or rounded in the customers' favor gave off good to excellent(or even awesome) service."

                                                                                                                                That's the first really fresh and insightful thought I've seen on this evergreen topic in a long time. You're dead right.

                                                                                                                                Well....but OTOH there are plenty of ways to give bad service without inflicting this particular bit of aggravation, so I'd reverse it and simplify it: Good servers don't do this move. Because it's bad service. And good servers are good service because they 1. know what good service constitutes, and 2. they go out of their way to provide it. Tautological, but true. They don't. As I think back, it's never been the case.

                                                                                                                                Same even for asking whether I want change. No server better than "sorta ok" has ever asked that. Funny I failed to correlate this until I read your posting.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Jim Leff
                                                                                                                                  ShinkickMurphy Aug 6, 2012 06:22 PM

                                                                                                                                  And I like the way you put it as well. :-) The last restaurant I worked at, the customer paid at the register, so it was never really an issue. But when I did work in a restaurant where I had to carry my own bank, I always made sure that the customer got all of their change, even if they put in a few extra singles because I worked on the assumption that maybe it was an accident. And if I didn't have enough coins to make correct change, I rounded it in the customer's favor. Like they say: the thief will be stolen from. Last thing I want to be is a thief.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ShinkickMurphy
                                                                                                                                    Jim Leff Aug 6, 2012 07:36 PM

                                                                                                                                    Yup, I've gotten back change when I've clearly included tip, too. And know what? I generally throw in a little extra. Partly cuz of the display of non-schmuckery, and partly because I see the stack of coins and singles and think "what the hell". Not every customer does, of course, but tempting customers to overtip from extra diligent change making is just plain smarter than tempting them to undertip by change stealing.

                                                                                                                                    Better service AND smarter.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jim Leff
                                                                                                                                      Fowler Aug 6, 2012 08:37 PM

                                                                                                                                      You sound like a very nice fellow, Jim. Do you also "throw in a little extra" for your plumber, physician, car mechanic, etc.?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Fowler
                                                                                                                                        Jim Leff Aug 6, 2012 09:19 PM

                                                                                                                                        I generally invite them to enjoy a nice Belgian ale after the job if they're nice. If not, screw 'em. I try to only deal with nice people.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jim Leff
                                                                                                                                          Fowler Aug 6, 2012 11:28 PM

                                                                                                                                          Good thinking. Unless of course they do not like Belgian ale or may be a recovering alcoholic doing their best to avoid any type of alcohol you may serve them.

                                                                                                                                          But like you said, "screw 'em".

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fowler
                                                                                                                                            Jim Leff Aug 7, 2012 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                            Yes, you read me exactly right.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jim Leff
                                                                                                                                              howler Aug 10, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                                              hahaha. that is devastatingly funny a response - am ithe only one who got this?!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: howler
                                                                                                                                                dmjordan Aug 10, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                Please explain. I don't get it!

                                                                                                                              2. pdxgastro Aug 6, 2012 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                When my sis lived in Greensboro, NC, a particular gas station she frequented would always enter the dollar amount as 1 penny less ($19.99 instead of $20.00). Think of the scenario in "Office Space".

                                                                                                                                1. viperlush Aug 23, 2012 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                                  Cashier laughed at me today when I asked for my penny. I bought a can of iced tea for $.99 cents, but she told me that it was $1. So I asked for my receipt. $.99 was the total on it.

                                                                                                                                  Would have let it go but I had just stopped at TJ's where I didn't get a discount for bringing my own bags or the raffle ticket and Whole Foods where they didn't give me the discount either.

                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                    sunshine842 Aug 23, 2012 07:53 AM

                                                                                                                                    hehe -- yep, sometimes it's the principal of the thing.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                      viperlush Aug 23, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                      Exactly. It adds up when you are on a budget and only spend cash on groceries.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                      Midknight Aug 23, 2012 07:56 AM

                                                                                                                                      If she was going to laugh at you for her stealing your penny, you should have handed her the iced tea and asked for the whole dollar back and then laughed at her.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Midknight
                                                                                                                                        viperlush Aug 23, 2012 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                        That's an idea, but I really wanted the drink for the walk home.

                                                                                                                                    3. viperlush Aug 27, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                                      Read this article about Chipotle and it made me think of this thread:


                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: viperlush
                                                                                                                                        sunshine842 Aug 27, 2012 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                        Interesting. I wonder:

                                                                                                                                        a) how much money this entails on an annual basis (both how much they were pocketing before they changed policies, and how much they're now losing since changing)

                                                                                                                                        b) how you deal with the accounting and tax liability of the overages..and explain the bizarre line-item losses to accountants and stockholders.

                                                                                                                                        Probably cheaper to just deal with the pennies.

                                                                                                                                      2. iL Divo Apr 21, 2013 12:20 PM


                                                                                                                                        same thing just happened to me here in Boston.
                                                                                                                                        I LOVED the restaurant and the Manager 100%.
                                                                                                                                        I was going to tip 25% just because she put up with an over picky pasta eater and was lovely to me. I'll go back a hundred times, no lie.
                                                                                                                                        but when the gentleman came to take care of my check, I put the 2 $20's down, so $40. no change in there and it was the more than 1/2 a buck. that ticked me off as I think of that as very presumptuous. I had looked in my wallet so I could use my own change and make things easier for them getting me just bills but NO change. So they got the standard 20%.
                                                                                                                                        I don't know, our DD would say oh big deal mom, suck it up :(

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                          PotatoHouse Apr 25, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                          they wouldn't get any tips from me.

                                                                                                                                        2. p
                                                                                                                                          postemotional1 May 24, 2013 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                                          Yes, the server is a thief. Inform the management and don't go back. I have been tending bar for the better part of 30 years.

                                                                                                                                          1. Disneyfreak May 24, 2013 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                                            I had dinner out last night -- it was getting late and I saw a place I used to dine at years ago before it changed hands -- an Asian buffet. So I stopped there for dinner. My bill was $15.50. I handed the waitress $20 and waited, and waited, and waited. No change was brought to me. So was she thinking that I was tipping 29%?

                                                                                                                                            Finally I had to ask for my change. She brings me $.25. I was confused -- they she showed me what she thought was my bill -- it was for $19.75 but that wasn't my bill. I told her the price of my bill and she had to locate it and then bring me my change. Add that to a meal that wasn't anywhere close to the quality the former owners had and needless to say, I won't be back.

                                                                                                                                            1. p
                                                                                                                                              pedalfaster May 24, 2013 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                              How far do you really want to go with this though?

                                                                                                                                              What if businesses (including restaurants) started charging the REAL cost of things?

                                                                                                                                              Is $15 dollar burger at the fast food joint OK with you? The OP's burger and bourbon at a sit-down joint would now be closer to the $30/40 range.

                                                                                                                                              Servers would potentially be paid a living wage of 15-30 per hour. Perhaps many diners would stop griping about welfare and any service worker could now afford to get off of that program.

                                                                                                                                              Welcome to the REAL cost of living,

                                                                                                                                              Like or hate?

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: pedalfaster
                                                                                                                                                sunshine842 May 25, 2013 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                it doesn't matter what the real cost is - the management/owners have decided that according to their calculations, they can make a profit at the posted price.

                                                                                                                                                If I go in and pay the posted price and the server keeps my change without my knowledge or consent, that's theft. Period.

                                                                                                                                                If they can't make a profit at the price that THEY have made public, it's not my problem -- and it's not my obligation to just randomly cough up an extra amount of cash because they're not in touch with their business to understand whether or not they're making a profit.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: pedalfaster
                                                                                                                                                  Nudibranch May 26, 2013 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                  This seems to be the standard pat response.

                                                                                                                                                  Yes in countries where tipping is not the norm, or where tipping is more a "round-up" nicety than a "OMG if you don't tip your waiter will starve, you monster", burgers manage not to cost the equivalent of $15. I'm not talking about third world countries or podunk towns with low cost of living, I'm talking London or Tokyo here - tell me, how do they manage to pay their waiters adequately without the restaurant industries collapsing?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Nudibranch
                                                                                                                                                    Tripeler May 28, 2013 07:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Somehow, restaurants in Japan manage to pay the servers enough for them to keep their jobs and make a living. Essentially, there is no tipping in Tokyo or anywhere else in Japan.

                                                                                                                                                2. f
                                                                                                                                                  FriedClamFanatic May 24, 2013 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                  In some places, that is called either theft or fraud

                                                                                                                                                  1. h
                                                                                                                                                    hetook May 24, 2013 03:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I'm usually so preoccupied with what is around me during meals, I hardly notice or almost never notice if my extact change comes back to me. Many times after Ieaving a restuarant,I've discover the server has actually given back change in the + side. I guess it's a bit of reverse Murphy's law in effect. I Love how the Universe works.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Atomic76 May 25, 2013 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I wouldn't get too bent out of shape personally, since I would assume the server is not carrying coin change.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Atomic76
                                                                                                                                                        Sal Vanilla May 27, 2013 01:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                        But the server who comes unprepared to accomplish her job can trot over to the bar and make change.

                                                                                                                                                        All waitstaff come to work with the ability to make change on a customers payment of a bill or they make arrangements with fellow staff or the bar to do ti.

                                                                                                                                                        You might get ticky if the waiter did not have change for a twenty and decided you did not need it : ))

                                                                                                                                                        You are kind and easy going. A nice set of traits.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Atomic76
                                                                                                                                                          sunshine842 May 27, 2013 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Too bad. There's a cash register at the front of the house.

                                                                                                                                                          By the time a server has been waiting tables for about two days, he/she has more than enough coin and small bills to be able to change nearly any denomination of bill.

                                                                                                                                                          This just isn't that hard.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Firegoat May 27, 2013 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I hate people who keep giving me bills with decimal numbers. If I was a police officer I'd round them all up.

                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                            sunshine842 May 27, 2013 06:32 PM


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                                                                                              Firegoat May 28, 2013 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                              just being a little punny.....

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Firegoat
                                                                                                                                                              Midknight May 28, 2013 06:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Round them all up! HA!!

                                                                                                                                                            3. Jaz Cooks May 28, 2013 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Here's a trick I found out about, and now iI watch like a hawk. One night about 6 of us were eating at a pretty nice place. We were having a good time - and the guys were drinking and getting very charming. Anyway, the check comes and the first thing I always do it check to see that everything is OK, and it seems to be.

                                                                                                                                                              BUT I notice that the server had hit the gratuity key. (you know - the $18% for parties of 8+). She then circled the total, including that amount and helpfully wrote out what 15 and 20% of that amount would be.

                                                                                                                                                              That is, on TOP of the gratuity she already incorrectly processed. She thought that because the guy paying was drunk, she could get away with it. But the person paying was a sober ME.

                                                                                                                                                              Anyway - just keep your eyes open. Apparently this is a thing. When caught, they can just say "oh no! I just accidentally hit that - I am sooooo sorry!"

                                                                                                                                                              1. c
                                                                                                                                                                cashburn Jun 10, 2013 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Happened to me last night. I then told the company what happened and they told me it was company policy for them and several other restaurants (which around here its not!) and that "change can be a mess" but they hoped I would come back. I told them what they were saying was bull and that since this is their policy I would NOT be returning to their restaurant. There have been a few other times in my life where this has happened and I just dont tip at that point because they stole part of it already.

                                                                                                                                                                1. b
                                                                                                                                                                  BuildingMyBento Jun 10, 2013 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Happens to me all the time...in East Asia. Yep, I just don't care anymore, even if adding it all up might've meant I could buy "one" extra order of sate.

                                                                                                                                                                  In the US, it happens more when I'm doing take-out. If they give me a few extra napkins or portion of chilies, keep it. Otherwise, I probably want it.

                                                                                                                                                                  China goes even further and thinks that even the small bills I give them are fakes. Thanks for holding up my 5元 (worth ~US$.80 these days) note, that's very promising. People there would be so lucky if every note was counterfeit, maybe. I always get amused by the mint condition 5角 notes, issued in 1980. Oops, sidetracked again.


                                                                                                                                                                  1. westsidegal Jun 10, 2013 10:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    i had that happen at a restaurant that was esteemed by most of the hounds on the LA board, Orris.

                                                                                                                                                                    i MADE the waiter give me the correct change AND left a 15% tip instead of my normal 20% on the total tab AND never went back.

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                                                                      INDIANRIVERFL Jun 11, 2013 07:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      What goes around comes around. 20 years ago, a local seafood/raw bar place had 18% added into the prices. If the server had been faster, I would not have read the tiny print at the bottom of the menu. So much for a place we had enjoyed regularly.

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh yes. For credit card purchases, the tip line was blank.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. iL Divo Jun 15, 2013 09:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      girlfriends and i went out to dinner last night in munich
                                                                                                                                                                      no idea if you are supposed to tip there or not so i did, not sure if they did or not but server went to give me my change and i said no its yours he said oh thank you

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                                                        INDIANRIVERFL Jun 16, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Round up to the nearest Euro. Servers in Germany have a living wage.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                                                          lisa13 Jun 23, 2013 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          rounding to the nearest euro is really stingy from what I have seen. I have never seen a server complain or give any attitude whatsoever about tip amounts, but it's customary to shoot for 10% or so...I usually round up, then add a euro or two depending on what the bill comes to.

                                                                                                                                                                          The drill in restaurants here is that the server brings the check, and you tell them at that very moment the total you wish to pay (including any tip). They give you change on the spot. If you don't give a figure they usually assume you are not tipping. I have only ever had change "stolen" by servers in tourist traps in Berlin.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lisa13
                                                                                                                                                                            sunshine842 Jun 23, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            No, it's not. It's the way the locals tip.

                                                                                                                                                                            In French, the coins on the table are called "pourboire" -- for drinks, or loosely, beer money.

                                                                                                                                                                            It's in no way considered to be a significant portion of their income.

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