Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > DiningBuzz
Reload this Page >

The "Tipping if the service is bad? How Much? How Little?" thread

The "Tipping if the service is bad? How Much? How Little?" thread

Old Oct 13, 07, 3:37 pm
  #1  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Either at the shooting range or anywhere good beer can be found...
Programs: HH Diamond, Priority Club Platinum
Posts: 44,618
The "Tipping if the service is bad? How Much? How Little?" thread

When we were visiting my mother last weekend, we ended up at a local chain restaurant for dinner on Sunday. While they were busy, they weren't swamped, and we had bad service. The server dropped off our food and check at the same time, and after brining drink refills then, she didn't stop back during our visit. There were two other employees, including a manager, who were at tables next to us after our drinks were empty, and neither offered drinks, or said, "I'll tell your server." Since we were with my mother, I didn't want to make waves, so I didn't say anything during our meal. Really, it wasn't anything that demanded that management know, but just enough that I'd ask not to be seated in that server's section again.

At this chain, you pay for your meal at a register near the door, and a manager was running that. He asked, "How was your meal and service?" I explained the situation, gave him the credit card, he took 20% off of the check, I paid, and put in about a 10% tip. He asked if I wanted to leave a tip, and when I said I felt bad not leaving anything, he repeatedly told me that if I didn't receive good service, I shouldn't leave a tip. I didn't leave a tip then, but I'm still having the, "Should I have left something?"

Would you leave a tip if you received bad service?
kipper is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 3:40 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: MIA/ATL
Posts: 1,482
Um, no.. why would I?

TIP = To Insure Promptness

I tip for good service. Bad service receives no tip. Its not an entitlement.
bhd87 is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 3:59 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Lahaina, Hawai'i
Programs: HA Pua. Platinum WP, PR, QF, UA, AA, DL, NW Prince Preferred
Posts: 4,786
Actually, it doesn't sound like all that bad service to me, really. It's a chain restaurant: not fine dining. The server took your order (you didn't mention that); brought your correct order - didn't mess it up - cooked properly, I gather, and dropped your check at the same time - not so unusual at chain restaurants; and refilled your drinks: a nice touch. Since it's not a white tablecloth establishment, what exactly was so "bad" about it? Sounds pretty typical for a chain restaurant. What am I missing? Clue me in, please!
kaukau is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 4:48 pm
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Either at the shooting range or anywhere good beer can be found...
Programs: HH Diamond, Priority Club Platinum
Posts: 44,618
We sat without drinks while eating for at least 10 minutes. We drank the refills she brought right after dropping off our food, as we'd already been without drink refills for a few minutes before she brought our food.
kipper is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 5:06 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Lahaina, Hawai'i
Programs: HA Pua. Platinum WP, PR, QF, UA, AA, DL, NW Prince Preferred
Posts: 4,786
Originally Posted by kipper View Post
We sat without drinks while eating for at least 10 minutes. We drank the refills she brought right after dropping off our food, as we'd already been without drink refills for a few minutes before she brought our food.
Judge kaukau rules : 20% discount from management was in good faith and appropriate - very nice; in the Court's opinion, service was spotty - but not bad: ergo, no tip was too harsh a penalty, for the damages incurred by plaintiff, since services were rendered and received, though in a below average manner; hence a below average - 10% - tip would have been appropriate. Case closed. (Gavel down! )

Bon appetit!
kaukau is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 5:09 pm
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Either at the shooting range or anywhere good beer can be found...
Programs: HH Diamond, Priority Club Platinum
Posts: 44,618
Originally Posted by kaukau View Post
Judge kaukau rules : 20% discount from management was in good faith and appropriate - very nice; in the Court's opinion, service was spotty - but not bad: no tip was too harsh a penalty, for the damages incurred by plaintiff, as services were rendered and received, though in a below average manner; hence a below average - 10% - tip would have been appropriate. Case closed. (Gavel down! )

Bon appetit!
I was initially going to give about a 10% pre-discount tip, but the manager basically informed me that I shouldn't give anything. He also told me to call the GM of the location on Monday. I'm thinking they'd had other issues with the server or some such, and this was just more ammo.
kipper is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 6:47 pm
  #7  
In memoriam
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: IAD, BOS, PVD
Programs: UA, US, AS, Marriott, Radisson, Hilton
Posts: 7,203

TIP = To Insure Promptness

I tip for good service. Bad service receives no tip. Its not an entitlement.
That folk etymology is as silly as "pluck yew," but I agree with
the rest of this post.
violist is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 7:45 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Soon to be LEGT
Posts: 10,928
Originally Posted by bhd87 View Post
TIP = To Insure Promptness
No.
It's just Tripoli in Libya
graraps is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 7:54 pm
  #9  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: Delta - Gold; Starwood - Platinum; HHonors - Diamond & Avis Preferred
Posts: 10,869
No...no...no...no...

I recently ate at a restaurant and had little service and when we did have service it was bad.

When the check came, in the "tip" section I explained why I didn't leave a tip, as I always do, then had the manager come over and explained the situation to him.

as bhd87, states, its not an entitlement!
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 8:10 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Programs: AA EXP, HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 3,017
"Bad" service is still service. In most restaurants, you're not just tipping the server: you're tipping the maitre d', the servers, the bartenders, etc.

If the entire group was dismal, I could see leaving no tip. However I've never run across a situation where everyone was horrible.

@ the OP:
If you're dining at a place where you bring your bill to a cash register to tab out, I think you have the explanation for the service right there. Sometimes the service isn't the issue, it's the expectation.
oneant is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 9:00 pm
  #11  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Easton, CT, USA
Programs: ua prem exec, Former hilton diamond
Posts: 31,801
I wouldn't, and at times I haven't.

While you are tipping everybody from the busboy to the waitress and chef, etc, that's still no reason to leave money for bad service.

There's no need to reward them for service you didn't feel met your minimum expectations.

It was nice the manager took 20% off, but to me that still doesn't mean you should leave the people who gave you lousy service a bonus.
cordelli is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 9:22 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: OAK
Programs: AS MVPG, IHG Spire/Amb, SPG Gld, HH Gld
Posts: 3,749
Personally, I feel that leaving a small tip sends a stronger message than no tip at all. Some folk don't tip; by leaving a small tip (eg $1 on a $30 check) IMO you send an unmistakable message.
dgwright99 is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 9:22 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Programs: AA EXP, HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 3,017
Originally Posted by cordelli View Post
...but to me that still doesn't mean you should leave the people who gave you lousy service a bonus.
Notice the word I emphasized. How was the service of the greeter, the bussers, etc. in any way the problem in the OP's situation? What people gave the lousy service? Only the waiter/waitress you say? Hmm. Is it necessary to completely exclude the tip?

Now, I can understand the idea that capitalism in action would be to omit the tip completely. Then, the others who split the tips with would notice a pattern in the truly substandard waitstaff and eventually replace them with someone else.

But I'm not going to punish everyone for the action of one person.

Bring the problem to the attention of the mgmt, and drastically reduce your tip. If the mgmt is obtuse or acts defensive instead of understanding, leave no tip then.
oneant is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 9:48 pm
  #14  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Easton, CT, USA
Programs: ua prem exec, Former hilton diamond
Posts: 31,801
I read the post as nobody offered them any assistance, including the manager. And if you did give a smaller tip, the odds of it going to anybody else is about zero, the waitress would just keep it.

One of the posts reminded me of the funniest Adam 12 (for those who remember the show).

They were in a diner and got lousy service. When the bill came, Reed paid it and left a penny tip. The waitress asked "Hey, you call that a tip" And Reed looked at her and said "No, I call it a Hint"

Restaurant service is a group effort. I don't see anywhere in the post where anybody in that group, including others who could have offered service, did anything to do so.

Last edited by cordelli; Oct 13, 07 at 9:54 pm
cordelli is offline  
Old Oct 13, 07, 10:00 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: HH Diamond, Marriott Platinum, IHG Gold, Hyatt something
Posts: 29,088
I drink a lot of water, and expect not to have to sit with an empty glass for 20 minutes. It's been years since I left nothing, but there have been a few $1 tip for a $15 meal. I tend to go to places where they take care of you, even if it's not real expensive (P.F. Changs).

For normal service I tip 15%, very good 20%, mediocre 10%. Sometimes if I'm in a foreign country, I'll give 20-30% if the bill is quite low ($2-$5), if the service is good. I've gotten great service at small cafe's in Bali, where you have a 5 course meal for $3.25!
Jaimito Cartero is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: