I have been working as a food server off and on since I was fourteen and it never gets any less interesting. This is not about fine dining, its about the flip side of the industry working in the trenches of the massive national restaurant chains. Laugh or cry, people!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What a Deal!

We are running a special that includes a full dinner, beverage & dessert for under $12. This amount of food would usually run closer to $17 per person and it really is a pretty great deal for the guest.

On the assumption that most people tip based on a percentage of their bill, servers do generally try to up-sell drinks and dessert, thereby increasing the amount of the check and hopefully the tip. Did I mention the servers make the desserts here?

Believe me that I know very well how rough the economy is right now. I would definitely take advantage of a special like this. I looked, and I did mention the servers make the desserts here. Servers generally make $4.35 per hour, far less than minimum wage.

With regular pricing, two people with this meal would have a check total of around $35.00. A twenty percent tip would be $7.00. With the special pricing, two people eat this amount of food and end up with a check total under $25.

If customers don’t understand tipping or don’t care about it, sometimes they think it’s cool to leave two bucks on the table (less than 10%).

This is after I’ve jostled other servers out of the way to get to the beverage station and dessert station and almost always have had to run to the back for more clean napkins, chilled plates, and chilled forks, only to bring your desserts and find that you need refills again or that you’ve changed your mind and would now like the to-go box I offered you earlier.

Generally while I’ve been heating up your fudge or your caramel or your slice of pie or hand-dipping and mixing your chocolate malt with extra whipped topping, food has come up for my other tables and new tables are being seated in my section.

Choosing to leave a dollar per person regardless of the labor or service rendered isn’t exactly fair, people. I have bills too and I don’t eat out if I can’t afford to tip.

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