Let us begin.
Chapter 1: Tipping
Alright ramblers, let's get rambling. Wait a minute, who didn't throw in?
(to Mr. Orange)
(to Mr. Pink)
He don't tip.
(to Mr. Orange)
He don't tip?
(to Mr. Pink)
What d'ya mean ya don't tip?
He don't believe in it.
(to Mr. Orange)
(to Mr. Pink)
What d'ya mean ya don't believe in it? Come on you, cough up the buck, ya cheap b-stard, I paid for your g-ddamn breakfast.
Alright, since you paid for the breakfast I'll put in but normally I would never do this.
Nevermind what you "normally" would do, just cough in your g-ddamn buck like everybody else. THANK YOU.
^You see how I edited that? I did that to be polite.
This here's a post on ETIQUETTE.
Let me start by saying any job in the customer service industry is the worst job in the world. The hours are long, the customers are endlessly tedious, and the pay is usually for shite. I speak as a decade-long retail veteran with many friends in the food & bar industry. It SUCKS. You're on your feet running around your entire shift, you're exhausted by the end of it, the hours are long and grueling, you don't get to just peace out when your scheduled shift is over but instead have to stay until the last customer is gone and all your clean-up is done (sometimes as late as 4AM), you can just go ahead and kiss your nights and weekends goodbye since those are your peak worktimes (family dinners ... friends BBQ-ing at the beach ... weekend getaways up north ... nope, not for these guys). And the worst part of ALL of it is that no one respects you professionally even though you probably work infinitely harder than most desk-jockeys who turn their nose down at you for "not doing anything with your degree" (I speak as a person who is now and has previously been a desk-jockey and knows first-hand how much easier it is to sit around, eat and look at Facebook all day).
Oh, and also, YOU the customers (and I am pointing my finger here at the whole class because a few bad apples had to go and ruin it for everyone), YOU don't make the job any easier. I became convinced during my days in retail that people specifically go shopping at the mall or go out to eat when they're at their absolute ANGRIEST just to abuse an annonymous employee. And said employee must take all this with a fake smile and dead eyes as they think "This f*cking b*itch..." (<---SEE! I did it to be polite AGAIN!) but because their financial security is dependent upon groveling for the so-called generosity of such double-chinned beasts they must suffer through it ALL with dignity and poise, their only reprieve coming from chain-smoking cigarettes out back with the other servers as they rehash the evening's horror story highlights and then go to the nearest bar to do a few shots before bed and coming back and do it all over again the next morning for Sunday brunch and OH what a delight THAT crowd is to deal with!
All of this headache and all of this suffering and all of this loss of time and youth and independence and sanity (can you tell I'm super-happy to be out of retail?) is all for one thing: TIPS. These people depend on TIPS. To pay their rent, to pay their school, to pay their bar tabs and who are you to judge -- this is how they make their living, and it all starts with YOU. The beauty of Detroit Restaurant Week is that it IS all discounted prix fixe pricing, significantly cheaper than what you would pay if your ordered it all a la carte. $28 for three courses is a steal at any one of the 18 participating restaurants, but note that it DOES NOT include tax or gratuity. Okay, with tax (and not factoring in any alcohol) you're hovering around $31 ... now the question is, how much do you leave for tip? 20% would be $6, right? So $6 would be okay?
WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG.
Whenever one receives a discounted price on a meal, be that with a gift certificate or special offers from such places as Half Off Depot, you should still tip based on what would have been the full amount pre-discount. Now for something like DRW it can be hard to figure what the pre-discount price might have been, so let's do some quick hypothetical math. Your standard soup, salad or appetizer will cost usually $6-$12 dollars, depending on the item. An entree at most of these establishments will be somewhere in the ballpark of $18-$28, conservatively speaking. Desserts are usually $6-$8. Now let's take an average ($9 + $23 + $7), and you're looking at around $40 per person before tax (let's round up to $45 with tax). 20% on that is about $9 (and my thinking is that 20% should be a base amount; exceptional service should look more like 30%). For a table of 4, the difference between a $6 per person tip and a $9 per person tip is $12. Multiplied by let's say 10 groups of 4 in one night and that's the difference of $120. Multiplied by the Ten Days of Restaurant Week (but let's go ahead an give them 2 days off) and that's a TOTAL difference of about $1,000 in the server's pocket. Do you see how quickly it all adds up? Do you see how important it is that everyone understand the difference here?
Let's also bear in mind the fact that Restaurant Week is like Fifth Avenue the week before Christmas during the Clinton administration. Do you remember the hysteria when Tickle Me Elmo was released? 12/14/1996: never forget.
It's kind of like that.
Since this year will be the first year in a decade that I will not be forced to spread good cheer during the holidays with a fake smile and dead eyes, I am paying it forward by petitioning all of you to please PLEASE tip your servers well during Detroit Restaurant Week. If they did more than slingshot your food at you as they ran to take the orders of the party of 15 that came in without reservations at 9:45PM, they deserve a minimum 20% tip pre-discount (that includes booze, too). You don't want to end up like Mr. Pink, do you?
Detroit Restaurant Week runs September 24 - October 3, 2010.
*Valid only before 11PM Sundays-Wednesdays, 2AM Thursdays-Saturdays. Not valid with any other offers or discounts. Not valid on holidays or on Sunday brunch buffet. With coupon only. Some restrictions may apply. Only available where not prohibited by law.