If a restaurant doesn’t care, neither can its customers. – Independent Marine Journal
I don’t know why the daytime TV show was on, but it was. I blame my roommate, but again, I blame a lot of what I do on her. It’s just easier that way.
Logging out, the show host said, “Make sure you get out and eat. Restaurants need your business.
“,” Restaurants need your business. “
“Make sure you tip too.”
“And tip well.”
I was starting to think that maybe more television during the day might not be so bad.
“And tip big no matter what,” she continued. “Even if you get bad service.”
I don’t agree with that at all. You should never tip for bad service. I know this might not be a popular position to take, but if you’re really getting bad service – and I mean bad service, intentional bad service – you shouldn’t tip at all.
Yes, I know “we all work hard” and “we all have bad days,” but I’m not talking about forgetting a cup of coffee, ordering the wrong item, or spilling a glass of wine. I’m talking about volunteer service, rolling my eyes, heavy sighs and stomping that I’ve noticed too often lately.
I was at a restaurant the other day where the waiter forgot to order drinks from a table, messed up their appetizer order, and then ordered their entrees before it was all resolved.
The customer was annoyed at first, and rightly so.
“I haven’t even bought the right salad or the right drink yet, and now you bring the entrees?” “
The waiter, who had spent much of his time on the phone, then said perhaps the dumbest thing I have ever heard: “You know, sir, you could be more understanding.”
I thought the client was going to have an aneurysm. And let’s just say he didn’t get more understanding as a result. He also did not “calm down” when this was also suggested. I guess he didn’t tip either. And I doubt he’ll come back.
A lot of things are blamed on COVID these days. Some are legitimate, like the product. Supply chains are hurting and often times things just don’t show up. Or when they do, it’s the wrong things. The menus are matched and sometimes the restaurants run out of things. Much of this is beyond their control.
But bad service, and especially this “I don’t care” type of service, is inexcusable. And it’s everywhere.
I went to get a prescription filled the other day and the pharmacist made a mistake and gave me a day’s reserve instead of a week’s. The drug cost $ 3, but I was charged a service charge of $ 15. When I returned to pick up the rest, the pharmacy tried to charge me an additional $ 15 service charge.
“But I’m only back here because of your mistake,” I said.
I was then offered half the cost of the drug, $ 4, but still charged the $ 15 service fee.
“So, am I paying you twice for your mistake?” ” I asked.
Later, I got a call from the manager who told me that I had hurt the feelings of the employee.
No excuse for making a mistake, no excuse for giving me two trips, no offer to waive the second service charge. Then came the kicker: “Next time …”
Flash info, there is not it will be a next time.
Not everyone deserves a trophy. We’ve raised a generation (or two) that thinks that just showing up is a major accomplishment. You are lucky that I am there, they say directly or by their actions, and I, for my part, am not will reward him.
What I’m going to do is go somewhere else, where they always know that doing a good job is the desired goal. There are plenty of these places around. They may not feature prominently on glossy pages, but they still do a great job every day.
You read a lot these days about places that have a hard time hiring, and it’s true – fewer people are applying. But places that have earned a reputation for treating their staff with dignity and respect have fewer problems. And these places also seem to have long lines and full reservation books.
Leaving me with these thoughts:
• Bad service, better defined, is when you’ve made a mistake and don’t care.
• Good service is not about juggling shot glasses, telling jokes or lighting things. Good service is actually attentive. And you can’t teach people that.
• If your competitor is busy but you are not, he may be doing something right or you may be doing something wrong. The same goes for hiring.
• If you don’t care, neither will your customers.
Jeff Burkhart is the author of “Twenty Years Behind Bars: The Spirited Adventures of a Real Bartender, Vol. I and II,” the host of the Barfly podcast on iTunes and an award-winning bartender at a local restaurant. Follow him on jeffburkhart .net and contact him at [email protected]