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Jul 27, 2013 08:05 PM

Bad experience at Panthean [split from Ontario board]

went to pantheon tonight and experienced terrible service at the very end. it upset me so much i have to share my thoughts. i'll give a lil backstory to give some context to the situation.

- 4 people (had reservations for 7pm)
- ordered 2 chicken souvlaki, roast lamb dinner, grilled calamari dinner
- 1 beer and 1 glass of wine was ordered
- inevitably someone will bring up the race card so i'll say upfront that it was a mixed group (all canadian born of various backgrounds)

overall i found the food and service to be good right up until the end. bill came to about $103. we all put in enough cash and it came to about $110. waiter picked up the cash and returned with the $7 change. at that point we've got our wallets out deciding on how much more to put in...we're all starting to throw in toonies/loonies to bring the tip up to around 10-15%.

out of nowhere, one of the lead waiters/manager drops by and says this..."you don't have to tip if you don't want to tip because it's 15%" this point we're all dumbfounded/shocked at what was just said... so we decide to leave our unfinished tip (around $9) at that point and take off.

i found this unbelievably unprofessional and rude. the food was excellent and the service was good. because of this one incident i will never ever set foot in this restaurant again...nor will i ever recommend it to anyone. it's amazing how one little comment can negate the entire experience.

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  1. 10-15%? You tip 10%? At restaurants? Where you sit down and are served for a few hours?

    1. Glad you liked the food.

      Greeks (and Greek waiters at Greek restaurants) tend to be direct, and say what they're thinking. While this might be rude behaviour in Rosedale, I don't think this is especially rude behavior on the Danforth at a Greek restaurant. He was being honest. You didn't like the comment, but it's silly to negate what had been a good dining experience because a waiter had the chutzpah to give you his opinion.

      7 Replies
      1. re: prima

        thanks prima. i didn't know that about the greeks actually.

        you're right. it's not reasonable for that experience to negate the entire effort put forth by the back of house and front of house. an excellent one as i mentioned.

        however, it has left a sour taste in my mouth that i won't soon forget.

        1. re: blitz

          I understand what you're saying. I had a somewhat embarassing situation at the end of a decent dinner elsewhere in TO on Sat night re: a tip that was miscalculated for a group dinner, and received a little attitude from the server even after her corrected tip was slightly over 20% after tax for average service, so I know it can sting when you've had a decent dinner but still leave the restaurant on a less than positive note.

          I don't tend to let one server's comments get in the way if I really like the food at a restaurant. If I thought the server was rude, I'd probably respond to the server, speak to the owner, or email the owner after my experience, but I also tend to be on the direct and blunt side. Sometimes, if you email a restaurant directly and explain the situation from your point of view politely and diplomatically (ideally before posting anything critical about the service online), there's a silver lining of some sort. You never know. ;)
          Sorry you had a disappointment.

          1. re: blitz

            What prima said. It's a fairly casual restaurant where people from all walks of life eat. That may have been the server's awkward way of saying, 'if you don't have it, don't worry'.

            1. re: Googs

              His intent would depend entirely on his tone. Judging from Blitz's and his friends' reaction, the tone wasn't of the sympathetic variety.

              1. re: justxpete

                Blitz commented below that s/he was unable to hear the waiter's tone because of ambient noise. Another reason not to assume the worst possible intent.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Vocals only present 30% of communication. If the entire table reacted alarmingly, the chances are is that the server wasn't being nice to them.

                2. re: justxpete

                  Some servers on the Danforth (for those who aren't familiar with Toronto,this service glitch took place at a Greek restaurant in Toronto's Greektown) are not completely fluent in English. What comes across as rude or blunt could also be the result of a less than perfect command of the English language.

          2. so much awesomeness in your story.
            you're not going back because you tipped $9 on a $100 bill and the waiter could tell that you were being cheap by *trying* to bring your tip up to an offensive 10%? Because, you know, most people tip 15-20%?


            don't think they'll miss you.

            1. Inevitably someone will bring up the race card??? What does this even mean? Your group is just cheap/lousy tippers for what you even admit is good service through the meal. Wow.

              2 Replies
              1. re: CocoaChanel

                use your imagination. often when tipping issues are brought up people are quick (and wrong) to question the ethnicity of the tipper in question. what i was referring to. i made that disclaimer to quiet all the stereotypes/racists.

                1. re: blitz

                  I found it strange too... like oh its ok to tip greek ppl 9% or something..

              2. This entire post is offensive to me in so many ways. Service was great up until then and your going between 10-15? Sounds like he called you out right.

                1 Reply
                1. re: LexiFirefly

                  sounds like you didn't read my post right lexifirefly. i'm calling you out on that. read my response below.