The Insane Waiter

Running wild on customers, chefs, owners and managers since 1997. I bring to you, The Insane Waiter. What do bring to your table? A crisp bottle of San Pellegrino ? Perhaps a lovely seared Sashimi Tuna? Start off with a wonderful bottle from Tuscany perhaps? Why I'll be more than happy to bring you your White Zinfandel and Chicken Caesar. No you can't order the mac and cheese off the kids menu and sorry no, we don't serve cheese sticks....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Top 10

Top Ten Signs You’re Not Getting a Good Tip

10. The customer says, “Your tip depends on it” after making a special request.

9. Its Sunday lunch.

8. You refill the tea 8 times before the salads are ready.

7. The customer says, “We want to split …..”

6. Everyone at the table orders water.

5. After asking if they care for an appetizer, the customer implies that the free bread is the appetizer.

4. The customer pays for the meal with gift cards, comp cards, or complains enough to the manager and the meal is free.

3. The customer finds a hair in their meal, which fell from their head.

2. The customer has a screaming child. And the #1 sign that you’re not getting a good tip…..

The customer says “We’ve never been to a fancy restaurant before” and you work in a 2 or 3 star establishment.

Got this off http://www.tipping.org/discus4/messages/9/2056.html?1132094409

34 Comments:

At 8:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

4,6,7,8 are the typical scenarios at our 4 star restaurant for bad tippers. How can you go somewhere with all that wonderful food surrounding you and have water or freakin iced tea to drink?!? But then there's the table who orders from top to bottom and leaves you a 30% tip - makes up for the others. We actually have people who order Hummers for desert and then ask for 6 straws to "share".
Love reading your very descriptive vents every day!

 
At 8:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I waited tables in college. I know what you're talking about with the water, but I order water. I can't have caffeine and I don't like Sprite. I can't drink alcohol. If there's a bottled water option on the menu, you can bet that I'll order it just to avoid the shitty look from the server. I wish that restaurants would charge the same amount for ice water as for sodas just so I wouldn't have to suffer the withering glare from the server - who will not give me decent service because they assume that I'm a crummy tipper because I order ice water. I'd gladly pay $2 for ice water to get decent service. Although, I eat out less and less because of this so in the long run, I'm saving money. Whatever.

 
At 9:22 AM , Blogger poop said...

I've never had a problem with people ordering water. It's a real drink after-all. Of course when it's six office girls... We don't serve bread and I've ran across some parents that could be quite generous(well, one or two).
I think my number one bad tip omen would have to be people who actually tell you at the top of the meal, "I'm a good tipper." Sure sign he(it's always a guy) will be very proud of the 3-7% he unasses when he pays.
Keep up the good work.

 
At 11:02 AM , Anonymous Nicole said...

I find that the #1 way I know I'm not getting a tip (or less than 10% which feels like the same thing) is if the table makes a point to tell me what a great waitress I am. The "verbal tip". Everytime.

 
At 11:04 AM , Anonymous Nicole said...

I find that the #1 way I know I'm not getting a tip (or less than 10% which feels like the same thing) is if the table makes a point to tell me what a great waitress I am. The "verbal tip". Everytime.

 
At 11:11 AM , Blogger Brad #1 said...

Of course, the "Oh, you're the greatest server we've EVER had!" means that you're probably not getting but a dollar or two. At first, I thought "chi-ching", but after a few of these, nothing. A little advice to all servers, I've found it to be to my advantage, when having a big church-type crowd on Sundays, to carry a few "church pens" around, the ones that have a church's name on them, so that when you're writing down an order or giving the credit card slips, the customer sees that you're a christian whether you go to church or not, and they usually give a little more, as if you were passing the plate around for yourself.

 
At 11:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't necessarily agree with that list, but then again, I don't work in the restaurant industry.

I just know that no matter what I always tip at least 18%. Even for bad service.

I do get shitty service a lot though, it seems it's because I have a kid and I only ever order water. I really love those nasty looks once I order water. It just seems they see their tip flying away so they treat me like shit the rest of the night. In my addled brain I always hope that the big tip I leave them shames them into treating people who just order water better. I don't need to explain why I only order water, don't people have the right to drink what they want even if it is just water?

 
At 11:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tipping for bad service is kind of an interesting thing. I once tipped 35% for really bad service, shockingly appallingly bad service and came back again a few days later. That waiter tripped over himself to be nice to me. Of course that's when I realized I had just paid a waiter to be nice to me. Which pretty much sucks.

Shouldn't waiters/waitresses be nice to the customer, shouldn't you guys do a good job, be nice, because it is your job? Or do you just not care because you assume you won't get a decent tip? What happens after you snubbed a table was shitty to them and they leave a good tip, do you feel bad?

It just seems a little unfair that some waiters/waitresses just dismiss the customer as a bad tipper and make their evening absolutely horrible because of a stupid assumption.

 
At 12:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Insane Waiter - you are using several posts from BitterWaitress as your own. Yes, you're giving credit, but why even have a blog if you can't posted your own original ideas. I see this on BW and your long posts. Pick a site. Do your own original work. You don't need to copy others.

 
At 12:36 PM , Anonymous Michael C. said...

You know, I'm really tired of the ordering water thing. Most everyone in the groups I eat out with, whether lunch or dinner, prefer to drink water for all kinds of reasons. And we all tip extremely well (20% post tax) with good service.

Since you are expecting us to tip poorly for ordering water, from now on, I think I'll make sure we do and I'll refer the waiter or waitress to this website and let them know it's the reason why.

 
At 1:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know, i've done the food service thing before, so i understand the importance of tipping but i'm tired of being stereotyped by servers. just because i'm 18 and not ordering the more expensive items on the menu doesn't mean your tip will be shit. my minimum tip for average service is 20%. if i think you did a shit job, 15% at least. sorry, not accusing anyone, just frustrated.

 
At 2:31 PM , Blogger Secret said...

Hmm, I've never posted anything as my own that isn't. If some of my ideas are the same as those you've read elsewhere that's probably because we're like minded.

The only two things I've had on here were this post and the "Beverage Profile" ones. They were great ideas and I was just posting them with all due credit to those who came up with them.

Also I was shilling Bitterwaitress and Tipping.org

two great sites I read regularly and post often on as well.

 
At 2:35 PM , Anonymous Conrad said...

I typically order water. I simply prefer it. Typically I drink about three eight-ounce glasses.

My wife, god forbid, sometimes orders white zinfandel. Yes, she knows.

I don't always want an appetizer.

I sometimes use coupons.

I tip 20%, rounded up, and add at least a dollar on top of that. After tax. Before coupons.

What can I do to let the waiter know he's not going to get screwed?

 
At 3:25 PM , Blogger oceanbug said...

You can't pigeon hole people llke that...
When I use a gift card I tip about 50% ro 60% of what the meal would have cost, sice it was free to me why not?

 
At 4:18 PM , Blogger Big Tasty said...

As a bartender, the number one sign that I'm going to get screwed is the "pour a little more and I'll hook you up"...

Usually it means I'll get about fifty cents for the drink.

I never "hook up" drinks as a result.

You'll get more ice and a little in your straw.

 
At 4:18 PM , Anonymous Caitlin said...

oceanbug: I wish there were more people like you. Unfortunately, in those situations described, people see comp cards or gift cards as excuses not to tip (for instance: someone uses a $20 gift card on a $50 meal, they only tip on the remaining $30 that they pay).

I totally agree on the free bread thing. If people ask me for rolls right after I've taken their drink order, I know that not only will I be running for more bread all night, but that I'll also get a crappy tip.

The water thing can sometimes, but not always, be true. I once had someone tell me that she always orders water because it doesn't interfere with the taste of the food.

Now, those who make their own lemonade, on the other hand...

And yes, all these "lists" are very stereotypical. No one is taking them as complete fact. It's just a joke.

 
At 7:45 PM , Anonymous just me said...

We never, never, never, NEVER tip less than 20%, and usually 25% (we're ex-barterders). Now sometimes, we're seated and the service starts off poorly -- slow with the first apppearance, then, creeping along with the drinks (yes, many times water!), salads, etc. A couple of times, I've felt that our server has given up on the idea of getting any decent tip from us because they started so badly. Therefore, it seems they concentrate on their new seatings. Basically, we're SACRIFICED, thrown to the dogs -- they seem to figure they'll NEVER get much from us, so they just stop trying and stop caring that we're not getting good service. So at the end of the meal, when we're leaving our 20-25%, we're getting f**ked, but we leave it ANYWAY because we know they work for tips. Do your effin' jobs people -- stop making assumptions about your customers!

 
At 9:04 PM , Anonymous erin said...

I've waitressed before at a fairly "nice" establishment, but it wasn't my cup of tea, though I did my time...

I ran into this situation the other night.

I'm young- a 22 yr. old female. My husband is 29. We don't look like "high spenders." But I'll tip the hell out of someone if the service is great... At least 35-40 percent. We usually drop at least $80.00 on dinner when we go out, before tip.

With that being said, the other night the waiter started out well, but really dropped the ball about 15 minutes into the evening. My husband asked for steak sauce and I needed a clamp to crack my crab legs. 15 minutes later the waiter came back saying that he had to take some trash out...

One. That made us wonder if he washed his hands. Two. He reaked of smoke.

Diners are not stupid- if you're out smoking and not taking care of your tables we'll smell it on you when you come in...

We left him a 5% tip, even after all the mistakes.

If I had fucked up at my job because I was out smoking I would have been fired, not docked part of my pay.

 
At 12:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see so many defenders of drinking water. I'm tired of being treated like a pariah because it's all I want. Man has never invented a better drink, so don't sneer at me for declining your sugared drinks.

Having said that, water should never have to be ordered in a restaurant. If I was the type to dock you, I'd start with your failure to leave a glass of water at the table before I ask for it. And you know what?, even if I order a tea or a beer, I want my water too.

 
At 9:32 AM , Blogger Angelize said...

We don't go out much. When we do, I am in charge of the tipping, as b'f is a tightass. I always tip exceedingly well, since I have a kid, and b'f has to scan the menu for the cheapest most filling thing he can find. (he wants to get more bang for his buck) I try to give the waitstaff an "I'm sorry for his behavior" look, and then tip very well if they can deal with it for a while longer without looking too impatient. If they get a nasty attitude, the tip drops. I know some have been surprised by how good of a tip they get, because I am sure they were expecting tightass to pay it.
I don't think blanket judgements should be made. Do the best, and try to treat the customers with respect, and you can reap the rewards in one way or another.

 
At 9:42 AM , Blogger Sketchy said...

I always bring a glass of water for each guest to the table - with a lemon wedge, too! The management believes it will cut down on other beverage sales however. I disagree. Doing so is a courtesy and it sets the service tone and gets things down to business straight off.

http://sketchy01.blogspot.com

 
At 10:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i disagree with #6. I'm always a fantastic tipper and i always water. I'm not trying to be cheap. I just like drinking water. The fact that it is free is just an added bonus.

 
At 12:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very interesting. Next time I am out and I inadvertently or deliberately do any of the things on the list, I will know that I should leave a crappy tip because the service I will be getting ASSUMES that the tip will be crappy.

There is no point leaving a good tip for bad service.

 
At 2:49 PM , Anonymous Ant said...

The list is hilarious, but it touches a nerve because a server making assumptions on you based on a drink order is asinine. If anything, as some of the other comments show, thinking a water-orderer is a poor tipper is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The water thing's always gotten on my nerves. Here's why...

- I don't drink soda
- Bottled water is nonsense, especially given the overall excellent water quality in my home of Oregon
- I don't drink hard alcohol
- The markup on booze at restaurants is obscene. Drinks aren't special (with the exception of sharp bartending skills on mixed drinks). Food, and fine preparation of it, is. To my mind, that's part of what I'm paying for. I'm not paying a premium for the same or similar bottle of wine or beer that I can get at m' local store.
- Spending less money on drinks, means I have more money available, which means more opportunities for me to give your restaurant my business (and tips)

That said, I'm an avid water orderer... and a good tipper. Servers who don't judge based on drink orders, get my business, and a good tip.

 
At 5:10 PM , Blogger K Tana said...

Big Tasty, your comment was absolutely spot on. The straw trick has great potential. I will be trying it out on the next "big tipper" requesting a stronger drink.
As for those of you offended by the list--relax--it's a joke. Dave Letterman I believe has a top ten list. Do you post to him only when it offends you and laugh when it doesn't apply to you?

 
At 9:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh you stupid ignorant people ...it's not just the water!!!!!!!!!! It's not everyone! It's a few bad apples that ruin it for everyone. If you feel guilty then you're probably not one, it's those who don't think about the work their server does for them that deserve to be punished. GEEZ! I hate that people just don't get it and now those that are normal and considerate are scared to order water because of the 'evil glares'. I have never given the evil eye to someone ordering water...you can order a bottle of wine and if your an asshole i'll treat you the same as the next asshole. If your nice and polite and order water you're getting the best service I can give...better than the asshole ordering wine. Ya just don't get it ...DO YA!

 
At 4:01 AM , Blogger Big Tasty said...

Big Tasty's final word as a lifer in the restaurant business...I'm not going anywhere, my talents firmly lie in what I do behind a bar or beside a table. My final words are judge inside your mind, but not in action.

I used to judge and be pissy with people for my preconceived notions, then I quit. I remember one simple thing, ducks are waterproof. Everything from here on out is like water off a ducks ass.

I make 18 to 30 percent of my sales after tipping out to whomever helps usually. I judge no one, give even the shittiest people a good deal, then I go home and forget about it all.

It's because I'm not going back to college, no one's going to give me any money for my drawings, and I'm absolutely screwed in any other profession.

I like it here and I'm not going anywhere.

Order water, or order a double Pina Colada, or order White Zinfandel with coke mixed in...

Do what you want and I got it.

BT

http://therealbigtasty.com

 
At 9:13 AM , Blogger k said...

wow you commenters take things so personally!
It's hilarious!
Water is good, washing hands is good, servers can be bad, tip what you want.

 
At 1:06 PM , Blogger waltoncad said...

Big Tasty, I am in the boat with you! Where else can I make 40-50k a year to talk about sports and politics getting people loaded or serve some food people usually love?! I don't have any art skills, but whatever!
When I lived in DC, I would practically get "celebrity" service just by the way that we ordered. Here in the South? They are too used to crappy tips, and there are many! Just last night I had a water drinking table of four, on one side a couple with a $56 check, on the other a couple with a $50. Well $56, who was celebrating a 40th birthday left me $6 and a piece of cake with a note saying that they had great service and a night to remember. The others left no note or cake, but gave up the ten-spot. Tips are practically random down here.

I usually score, though because my attitude is no matter how redneck or ghetto-fabulous the table is, I see only green. Sit down money, what can I get you to drink, money? Leave me $2 on a hundred? Someone else is giving $40 at the next table. I also go home and never think about it again, except to laugh! Down here with the random tips, that is one of the only ways that you can score nearly every time. Oh, except in the South being a veteran and having an active-duty spouse has helped me out a lot too.

Sorry to rant a bit over here...

 
At 6:26 PM , Anonymous nia said...

Nice top 10, but i m wondering ( and i don t mind if you don t answe) but is really ordering a glass of water is a form of ' cheapnest?'
I must say that that s almost the only drink I order, because if I drink something else, I won t be able to eat a lot, so I'll waste a lot of my food and when ordering a great meal, you want to eat the most part of it, right?

so that s it, voila monsieur

 
At 8:45 PM , Blogger Sondra said...

Sheesh, Insane, what did you do? I go away for a few days and come back to THIS? LOL

 
At 1:55 PM , Blogger Anjie said...

8. You refill the tea 8 times before the salads are ready...

I have to tell ya, if my waiter actually filled my glass with this much regularity his tip would be awesome. I'm a liquid drinker...8 times before salad is a little much even for me, but 2x or 3 isn't out of the question. My number one rule when it comes to tipping is that my tea never gets below half full, unless I said I need no more. If my glass stays at least half throughout the meal, at least 20% possibly more if you're nice.

 
At 6:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a former server i drink water because i know how often tea and coke spikets are cleaned, you should see the nasty shit that builds up in them. also never use ramkins and bread boards because they are never cleaned properly.
So all you sheeple eat that extra ranch devour that bread and slurp down 10 fuckin refills and DIE DIE DIE !!! ( just kidding don't die just get a little tummy ache )

baaaaaaaaaa


Rooster

 
At 8:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a waiter and the first thing I do is greet the table introduce myself and ask them if they would like some water to start. If they want bottled water they can tell me then if they want tap water fine. Before I leave to get the water I show them the cocktail menu and the wine list. I do this because I don't want to stand at the table and waste my time while they decide what they want to drink. It also persuades the customer to think about what they want to drink. Controlling your tables is essential. Hopefully by the time I return they know what they want to drink. If its just water fine. I don't mind water only tables because they are usually in and out in no time. Turn and burn. I treat all tables the same regardless of what they order and I treat the stereotypical "bad tippers" even better. Working for tips is a percentage game and you can't let the bad tables bother you or you lose your composure and carry your bad feelings to the next table.

 

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