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Appropriate tip for slow food when it is the server's fault

Appropriate tip for slow food when it is the server's fault

Old May 31, 16, 7:46 pm
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Appropriate tip for slow food when it is the server's fault

At lunch today, 15 minutes after we ordered entrees, our server said they'd be out in a few minutes. After another 15 minutes, she said they'd be a few more minutes because she had forgotten to submit our order to the kitchen

Our server provided all this info on her own initiative; we never asked. She was polite, and she apologized in passing for the delay, but this was a substantial delay, relative to the times I've dined in the past. (The restaurant is attached to a full-service boutique hotel.)

We did not complain in any way about the delay, or about anything, for that matter. I decided that if we received any compensation, such as dessert, I'd tip a normal amount, but that if we received nothing, I would tip nothing.

We didn't ask for or receive any compensation. My dining companion insisted I tip something because the server wasn't rude, and I agreed, so I gave 12.5%.

What would you have done?

Last edited by davie355; May 31, 16 at 7:51 pm
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Old May 31, 16, 8:32 pm
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Last edited by Non-NonRev; May 31, 16 at 9:50 pm
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Old May 31, 16, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
At lunch today, 15 minutes after we ordered entrees, our server said they'd be out in a few minutes. After another 15 minutes, she said they'd be a few more minutes because she had forgotten to submit our order to the kitchen

Our server provided all this info on her own initiative; we never asked. She was polite, and she apologized in passing for the delay, but this was a substantial delay, relative to the times I've dined in the past. (The restaurant is attached to a full-service boutique hotel.)

We did not complain in any way about the delay, or about anything, for that matter. I decided that if we received any compensation, such as dessert, I'd tip a normal amount, but that if we received nothing, I would tip nothing.

We didn't ask for or receive any compensation. My dining companion insisted I tip something because the server wasn't rude, and I agreed, so I gave 12.5%.

What would you have done?
My personal rule is I start at 20% and the server can slide up to 30 for super stellar service to 10% for egregiously bad service.

I would rate this as a relatively minor blip and would probably leave 15 %.
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Old May 31, 16, 8:42 pm
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40 minutes to get the food at lunch due to her fault?

Sorry, I don't think I'd tip at all. I probably wouldn't report her to the manager, though.
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Old May 31, 16, 9:46 pm
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I'd give her my normal tip as she didn't lie about the reason for delay. She took ownership and admitted it was her mistake. Maybe she has something really bad going on in her life so her mind was not on work.
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Old May 31, 16, 9:54 pm
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For lunch, it's an unacceptably long wait, although the OP doesn't seem to have been facing time constraints or presumably we would have heard about him/her being late to an afternoon appointment, etc.

Nevertheless, I'd give the server lots of brownie points for being honest about having caused the delay.

Maybe tip 10-15%, although it would help to know the location.
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Old May 31, 16, 10:39 pm
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A tip is supposed to be for good service. It has now devolved to be for adequate service. How can you folks recommend giving a tip for quite poor service which wasted a fair amount of time?

Look, I tip 30+% for all my breakfast waitresses who get stuff to me pretty quickly or at least in reasonable time, and 20-25% for other meals, but a foul up like this is fairly significant.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 12:12 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
A tip is supposed to be for good service. It has now devolved to be for adequate service. How can you folks recommend giving a tip for quite poor service which wasted a fair amount of time?

Look, I tip 30+% for all my breakfast waitresses who get stuff to me pretty quickly or at least in reasonable time, and 20-25% for other meals, but a foul up like this is fairly significant.
I agree. 10% max. The only problem with doing this is the server is just as likely to think that you are a cheapskate as she is to realize that it was a reflection of her screw up. I think I would have said something as well...something along the lines of "40 minutes is a long wait for lunch and we were so rushed by the time that we got our food that we couldn't really enjoy the meal".
It also depends on whether she gave you a passing "sorry" or was profusely apologetic. It sounds like just a passing apology. You obviously had time to spare...many of us would have had to ask for the meal "to go" if it took that long. I can't take 90 minute lunch breaks.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 4:59 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
40 minutes to get the food at lunch due to her fault?

Sorry, I don't think I'd tip at all. I probably wouldn't report her to the manager, though.
Likely no tip and I would definitely report the incident to management so everyone understood exactly WHY I didn't tip. The situation's not going to improve if management doesn't know they have a potential problem.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 7:14 am
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I'd leave perhaps 10%....Perhaps....But I agree with giving feedback to either her or the manager or better yet both, so they don't just assume it's someone being cheap. Once in Hawaii we dined at a nice place and got very poor service, so I was inclined to reduce the tip accordingly. Only after we left did I realize we had used a discount coupon from the hotel, and therefore they probably just assumed we tipped on the final amount rather than the pre-discount amount. Fail on my part for not clarifying that the tip was a lower % of the gross bill, and the reason why.

I think that failing to submit the order to the kitchen is a pretty egregious error, considering that since many places have all servers refilling drinks and all servers running food to tables, submitting your order timely and correctly was pretty much her main (only?) job as your server. And especially at lunch when most people are on a tight schedule.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 9:08 am
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I guess it depends. I'd normally tip 20% for good service. I'd have to subtract something for the foul-up but not too much as she owned up to it. If I'd expressed a need for quick service and this happened, I'd probably tip less than 10%. In this case something between 10 and 15% seems appropriate.

I mean, what am I tipping for? Answer any questions. Prompt service. Get the order correct. Check back to make sure everything is acceptable. Keep the cups filled. Ask me if I want another beer/wine before the current one is completely gone. Don't call me hon or sweetie. Don't bring the check without asking if we want dessert or coffee. Don't clear plates or ask about dessert until everyone is finished with their entrees. Don't bring the entrees until the appetizer is finished or you've asked if we're finished. So, this is one glitch out of a list of a few. Maybe more important than most of the others. Yeah, 12-15% might be right if everything else was done correctly..

Last edited by BamaVol; Jun 1, 16 at 9:16 am
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Old Jun 1, 16, 9:35 am
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My tip is for service, which incorporates both waitstaff and others responsible for getting food to my table. Consequently, a long delay in getting said food calls for a minimal tip. Probably 10% regardless of whether the waitstaff or the kitchen is responsible. They're all sharing the tips anyhow, except in very rare circumstances.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by MaxBuck View Post
My tip is for service, which incorporates both waitstaff and others responsible for getting food to my table. Consequently, a long delay in getting said food calls for a minimal tip. Probably 10% regardless of whether the waitstaff or the kitchen is responsible. They're all sharing the tips anyhow, except in very rare circumstances.
Tips might be shared among servers, food runners, bussers and bar staff, but I don't think the line cooks get a cut. And that's who's usually to blame when an order is late to the table. That's why they get yelled at a lot by the servers, who take the brunt of the ire from angry diners.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by MaxBuck View Post
My tip is for service, which incorporates both waitstaff and others responsible for getting food to my table. Consequently, a long delay in getting said food calls for a minimal tip. Probably 10% regardless of whether the waitstaff or the kitchen is responsible. They're all sharing the tips anyhow, except in very rare circumstances.
They normally do not share tips with back of the house staff unless they rotate front and back which is rare. This is a big issue with many places in that line chefs routinely earn less then servers then move on. Which bad service with great food people will live with but bad food with good service people will not come back.
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Old Jun 1, 16, 10:07 am
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If we're talking about in the USA, land off the sub- minimum wage for tip-earners, I only ask one question of those who would withhold their tip in this particular circumstance.
If you messed up at work - didn't lose the sale, just delayed the remittance - and you owned up to your boss and he said okay, you get your base salary, but you didn't earn the commission. And I'm writing you up. Thanks for your honesty.
How you liking that? Do you like it more if that commission was what you're counting on to make the mortgage payment?
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