HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Share your food adventure
TELL US

Served a larger drink than ordered- server's goodwill or cheap trick?

t
tinnywatty Aug 19, 2012 10:09 PM

About 2 months ago, I went out to eat at a local, non-authentic mexican place with my boyfriend and his mom. We are all ordered drinks- she ordered a medium blended margarita, he ordered a medium pina colada, and I ordered a medium margarita made with only Cointreau, tequila, and lime. When they were delivered, they both got what they ordered, while I got a large margarita. I assume it was indeed the sour mix-free margarita since there was no evidence to the contrary. I was distracted when the drink arrived, and by the time I noticed the mistake, the server had disappeared. The glasses for medium vs large drinks were very different so there was no doubt that I had been served the wrong size.

Our server failed to reappear, so we flagged down another server and told him about the mistake. He took my glass and fetched our server who returned new minutes later with a margarita in the proper glass. He then told us that he had given me the larger size intentionally, but since we had spoken to a different server, he had to get the drink switched out. I felt guilty because it initially seemed that I had accidentally rejected a kind gesture, but the situation was just a bit strange, and made me wonder if he had given me the larger drink in hopes that I would just drink it and he could charge me for it on the bill. It seems to me that if he had wanted to give me the largest thing as a treat, he would have mentioned something about it, so that I wouldn't question his motives or believe he had made a mistake.

Any thoughts on the matter? The drink wasn't great, and the food was worse, so I have no intentions of returning to see if the same thing happens.

  1. babette feasts Aug 19, 2012 10:16 PM

    Don't over think it. You weren't going back anyway.

    Maybe because he had to mix yours special, he ended up with too much and just decided to give it all to you to be nice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: babette feasts
      Quine Aug 20, 2012 05:13 PM

      Agreed.
      Now, if this had been the case, and the server did especially bring it to your attention (It was just over a medium, but we just gave you the rest since it mixed special), I can easily see a CH post asking if this was a legit thing that happens or was the server trying to boost the tips? Poor servers darned if you do, darned if you don't.

    2. h
      Harters Aug 20, 2012 02:32 AM

      "Any thoughts on the matter?"

      Yep. As the OP, I think this may have been due to the server's goodwill or, alternatively, a cheap trick.

      1. sunshine842 Aug 20, 2012 02:39 AM

        unfortunately, he deposited the drink in front of you with no explanation (oh, I made too much, so I'm upgrading you to a large on me) -- so you had no option but to conclude (note I did NOT say assume) that he either made a mistake or was trying to pull a fast one.

        had he told you what he was doing, all would have been fine...but since he didn't, you did what I think most of us would have done.

        1. Quine Aug 20, 2012 07:32 AM

          Yes, and it is life is too short, with way too much goodness and fun to be found, to still be obsessing over a drink that you did not drink, in a place you will never return to visit, over 2 months later.

          1. westsidegal Aug 20, 2012 12:46 PM

            too much thinking about a moot point, imho

            1 Reply
            1. re: westsidegal
              d
              DeppityDawg Aug 20, 2012 12:58 PM

              Still, a "teachable moment"… Look at what the server brings to your table and make sure it corresponds to what you ordered. If in doubt, speak up right away. If you only realize there's a problem later, get your own server to deal with it, if at all possible, instead of dragging some other server into it.

              I agree that this situation was strange, and very poorly handled by tinnywatty's server, but she/he can avoid the same unpleasantness if it happens again (in a different restaurant).

            2. Midlife Aug 20, 2012 04:41 PM

              If the server were intentionally trying to charge more, why would he bring only one of three drinks in the larger size? It would seem that the size would stand out much more easily doing it that way.

              Besides........ without the mix wouldn't he drink have to be either smaller for the same price, or more expensive, because the liquor must cost more than the mix. Do you usually get a mix-free margarita of the same size and prize as one made with mix?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Midlife
                m
                MelMM Aug 21, 2012 04:36 AM

                You make a good point. The drink with just lime, tequila and cointreau would be a high-end drink. I suspect that the restaurant served the OP a drink made with sweet & sour mix, because they couldn't or wouldn't make it as ordered, and gave her a large to make up for that fact.

              2. Midknight Aug 21, 2012 07:11 AM

                The first thing I thought of was that he was flirting with you. :)

                Show Hidden Posts