Party of Six Leaves $2.21 Tip on $177 Meal

breakofdawnreceipt.jpg
WTF???

I admit it: I'm not the best tipper. I try to adhere to Mr. Gold's standard of 20%, I really do--but it's usually more around 15%. I karmically make it up by tipping 100, even 200 percent at my favorite places (true story), and I can say that I've only not tipped maybe once or twice in my life, and left less than 10 percent maybe once.

There's no way in hell, however, I'd ever leave a two-buck tip on a meal in which I spent $100, let alone $177--and especially not after an excellent meal. Well, someone did: see above, and check out where it happened after the jump!

It happened today at the ever-wonderful Break of Dawn. Chef-owner Dee Nguyen told us the receipt "was for a table of six who worked the culo outta my server."

This makes the lack of a tip even worse. Hey, pendejos: YOU'RE NOT STEVE BUSCEMI IN RESERVOIR DOGS. EVEN HE LEFT A TIP AT THE END--after being browbeaten into it by Harvey Keitel (or was it Lawrence Tierney? Both, I think). It'd be one thing if...no. There simply is no excuse to spend all that money and leave such a gnat-sized amount. None

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Break of Dawn Restaurant - CLOSED

24351 Avenida De La Carlota, Laguna Hills, CA

Category: Restaurant

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74 comments
angel38860084
angel38860084

Easy solution to all tipping problems- as I work for tips myself- every company who employs people using the tip credit system (and isn't THAT little gem of a system pleasant, it basically gives restaurants and places of entertainment the right to make you work for less than minimum wage) should go to the gratuity system.  Eating in a restaurant should be an 18% gratuity, having food delivered to you should be a 24% gratuity, and places of entertainment should be a 25% gratuity.  People work hard for their money, and they don't always get the 'fair compensation' that they deserve.  There are people out there who tip MARVELOUSLY, but then again, you get people all the time who say, "How much do you make?  Oh, you don't make minimum wage, why not?  You don't make minimum wage because tips are supposed to make up for it?  Well, we don't tip."  People do say that you should get a real job, but because you're technically in the, "customer service" industry, you can't say what comes to mind immediately.  I love working my job, it's a fun place to work, my co-workers are awesome and amazing, and I even understand why my company chooses to use the tip credit system- however, that still doesn't make it fair to tip low or not at all.  =)

pasadena fitness boot camp
pasadena fitness boot camp

When you have had years and years of crappy corn tortillas and like burritos you end up having a preference to flour tortillas. I like my corn tortillas made in tacos dorados.

El Pendejo
El Pendejo

WFT? must have been a Gilipollas or maybe not?

I'm making up a new menu, I am making up a new menu an putting Tips or recommendations that help me and my customers have a better time. Our food will be some what different to what most people expect which is what Tip No 1 and 2 are about.

Do you guys think it is wrong to put this in small print at the bottom of my menu?

Tip 3:  we have no tip policy  but if the service was “very good” you may want leave an above average tip, if it was “good” the customary tip, if OK leave a “below” average tip,  if it was BAD leave no tip, if it was BAD and the food was good leave some tip and “write” for the kitchen, because we share tips, if the service was good and the food is good and took some time, remember EVERYTHING is made to order.  If you think our food tastes different, you have probably never eaten real ****  food before!I'm not in the OK business, I do not pay servers $8.00 an hour to give O.K. service, there is an overwhelming expectation from people that they should double the TAX regardless, do you think I am wrong?I'd love to know what people thinkThe No1 Pendejo

 

Victor Soto Soto
Victor Soto Soto

And exactly why should they be expected to hand the server an under-the-table bribe larger than 2 bucks?  Really people, a restaurant sets an agreed upon price for the food.  How is it then, that they are the only business who "has every right" to get insanely pissed when the bill is paid in full?!!!  It is not my responsibility to support poor starving waiters.  It's their responsibility to find a job that can survive on.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Because that's the way real life works. Just because you think it's ridiculous doesn't mean it isn't so—your sphere of influence doesn't cover country-wide (or even county-wide) tipping practice.

Do you also complain when tax gets added to the price? After all, that's the restaurant charging you 7.75% more than the agreed-upon price.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Do you go to any sit down restaurants on a regular basis? How's the service?

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

Is it possible that it was an elderly person, with limited vision, who thought the subtotal was $157.79?  (Their handwriting could suggest this as a possibility.)

Bill T.
Bill T.

It sums to the $180 Total line, so I doubt that's the case.

Mr. Rosewater
Mr. Rosewater

If I'm reading the comments correctly, some server received a whopping $0.08 more than he would have received in New Mexico had he worked a full hour yet still felt slighted? Ingrate.

Facetiousness aside, it's the math more than anything else that argues in favor of the position taken by Dave et al. Assuming the diners in question did act in a deliberately penurious manner but would have left at least the "standard" 15% had they behaved otherwise, they'd have parted with a rounded-up tip of $27.00--$3.50 per person, up from the $0.37 each originally gave. Though I cannot, obviously, speak for everyone, I like to think I echo the voice of the majority when I say $3.13's a relative bargain to avoid feeling niggardly for any extended period of time. Of course, this sentiment further assumes that the people eating, or at least whoever took charge of the check, felt remiss about being so apparently selfish. Sometimes, company loves not just misery but miserliness, too.

I, like many, have worked in the food industry before. While a server in Brea at the currently defunct Bobby McGee's, I discovered that management estimated each server would garner a 12% tip from all tables and taxed declared (i.e., non-cash) gratuity accordingly. Thus, anything less than 12% offered as recompense for food served ironically stole that very food from a server's mouth by taxing him on income he hadn't actually received. Such a situation may not exist at every establishment, but it does suggest a social mandate of munificence whenever and wherever possible, especially considering the relative luxury of frequenting a great number of Orange County's restaurants, an indulgence provided by those who often cannot afford it themselves and who never will experience such gratification if patrons feel as though they can enjoy waited-upon meals gratis.

Nonetheless, consumers with opinions divergent from mine will insist that a customer's generosity extends no further than gracing a business with his business and that it certainly doesn't include tipping the scales in the common worker's favor. That's fine: I'm aware people seek nutrition at eateries, not egalitarianism--fare's not always fair. We, however, cannot lend helping hands by remaining closefisted, nor should we expect anyone to lift a finger for us if we give it to those paid to take our orders, not our disrespect.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Well, my point was that servers in New Mexico (and a bunch of other states) make $2.13 cash wage per hour instead of the federally mandated $7.25 per hour; here in California, we don't permit that sort of tightwad behavior and so our servers make the state minimum, $8.00 per hour cash. On the other hand, California allows tip pooling and other states do not, so who knows how the math comes out.

One thing's for certain... all servers are in the 99%.

Sam
Sam

From Dave: JB, I might agree with you on the distracted part if it didn't happen all the time. It's just too frequent to be an accident every time.  

Why is this even a story? Call any nice spot in OC and I'm sure there is a similar story in the last day/week. The only thing more classless than this diner and his lack of tip is the restaurant owner that passed the info on and then answered a poster with vulgarity. Pull up your big boys pants- this is part of the business.  

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

It's a story because it happened in Orange County to a great restaurant--if other places want to share such horror stories, we'll report them as well.

mitch young
mitch young

This is the worlds smallest viloin playning just for the waitress

Briansays
Briansays

bet they work in the financial services industryaka bankstersuse to screwing others

thatguy542
thatguy542

This sucks, but it makes me happy/gives me hope to see this many people upset about it. You'd be shocked at the tips left on large checks at Indian restaurants...

Jon
Jon

Newsflash for Arellano (and others shilling for places where they get paid to eat):-- Tips are NOT obligatory, period.-- Tips are earned (or not).-- Tips are a scam by owners to underpay workers and rip-off customers.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

1. No, but you're a classless douchebag if you don't tip.2. You're playing God over someone's income who probably needs the money more than you do, since you're the one eating out in waiter-service restaurants.3. If you want to blame someone, go write to your Congresscritters and demand they change the law. I'm assuming you live in Orange County, though, home of the delusional armchair libertarian, so good luck with that.4. Of course he gets paid to eat places. That's why they call him a FOOD CRITIC. The Weekly pays for his content. And mine. Except this stupid comment.

If you don't want to tip, stay home and cook your own food.

Jon
Jon

Weakly sauce from weakly tag-team, as usual. Get it through your thick skull:

1. Tipping is completely voluntary.Not volunteering is perfectly moral, sometimes more moral than volunteering.Have you volunteered to kill some brown people in the Middle East lately?

2. The (non) tipper is not responsible for the fate of the low-paid worker.If the worker is left at the mercy of someone, that is the ploy of the greedy owner to dishonestly extract extra payment from customers -- by abusing their pity and sympathy.And a sucker is born every hour.

3. There is no law for tipping (or not), you dumbo.

4. Of course Arellano gets paid for eating. The problem is that he is trying to lie about it.

Jon
Jon

To Dave: Tell us more about strawmen, please.Both you and GA have made a big pile of stinky hay from dead & dry strawmen.

1. Far from being a cheap bastard, I tip as much and probably more than both of you.More than once I left tips even after total disasters in both food and service dept.

2. Far from being an OCReg/Wingnut drone, I am more progressive than both of you.Both of you would be probably happy to shine shoes at OCReg given a chance (Arellano explicitly refused to rule this out.)

3. Your sleazy attacks on the messenger when you can't attack the message are lamest of all.-- First, your claim of sock-puppetry based on IP is flat wrong. IP address does not identify one person, far from it. It does not even identify a computer.It only identifies the network through which the post arrived. Check with someone knowledgable before opening your mouth and proving how dumb you are.

-- Worse yet, even if I indeed posted under several names that would be totally irrelevant for this debate.

4. Nowhere did I suggest payola or anything else nefarious.I just mentioned that GA gets paid for eating. Which is undeniably true -- even if it happens indirectly.But, for some dumb reason he pretends otherwise.

So, think before you ass-ume, or is that too much to expect from lowly grub reporters.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I'm just going to go out on a limb and assume that the GA ans DL are 1099 employees as opposed to W2 employees.  I don't have the time to explain the difference to you Jon but for tax reporting purposes they are vastly different. It would actually be beneficial for them to pay for their meals and retain the receipts for tax reporting purposes to reduce their 1099 taxable liability.   

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

I do like your weak attempt at a straw-man argument here, because of course tipping at restaurants and bars and joining the military have anything to do with each other.

There's nothing at all for me to get through my thick skull. Of course there's no law requiring people to tip. It isn't voluntary, though: it's common practice and expected social behavior, and people (not just the server you're stiffing) judge you for it. If you can live with people knowing you're a discourteous, cheap boor, that's your own deal.Here in California we're a bit more civilized than, say, Delaware or New Mexico and we don't permit restaurant and bar owners to pay a lower cash wage—everyone here gets the same $8 an hour minimum wage. Do you know what the wage for a server is in New Mexico, JonBill? $2.13 an hour. You can pull all the Registerian high-horse dudgeon you like about people choosing the job, but what that $2.13 an hour (or the other less-than-federal-minimum amounts allowed in 37 states and DC) represents is the law expecting tipping.

Poor JonBill. You're a pariah amongst those who can't avoid eating restaurant meals with you, and you don't even know it because they're probably too embarrassed to tell you that they find a reason to go back in (item left on table, need to use the bathroom, etc.) so they can give the server the tip you so parsimoniously withhold.

Accusing someone of payola is pretty serious, JonBill. If you really feel that way you'd best write a formal complaint to the editor-in-chief. You'd probably better have some hard evidence, though, because false accusations of that sort written in letters tend to be viewed as libel. Otherwise, you're just another guy sitting at his computer late at night, trying to correct the Internet and alter it to how you've decided it should be.

Here's hoping people are nicer to you than you are to them.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

More douchebaggery from JonBill--this, the moron who previously insisted I want a job at the Reg despite a written record of 11 years to the contrary. Responding at midnight? What, Tube8 couldn't get you to sleep tonight?

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Hey, it's your right to be a douche!

Jon
Jon

And it's your right to be a sucker,plus a double-douche considering that you eat for free and just shill for restaurants here.

Bill T.
Bill T.

It's the food industry's equivalent of incentive pay. I prefer it to the "professional service" I often get here in Germany.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Oh, I love the smell of attempted libel in the evening.

Also, did I or did I not correctly predict that as soon as the Register started demanding a little accountability for the brainless spack that passed for a comments section over there (in the form of required, real-name Facebook accounts) that the commenters, desperate for a place to sit in front of their screens and pretend they're all big and important and influential, would turn up at the Weekly?

We can see your IP address, Jon/Billg/etc. If you're going to make whiny noises in all our comments section, at least pick one name to do it under.

Also, Gustavo, please save Jon/Billg/Fulano the effort and post your long-form birth certificate while you're at it. (rolls eyes)

Jon
Jon

Thanks for admitting that you're dishonest. 

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Also "Jon" aka "Bill"? Pick one pseudonym and stick with it. No sock puppetry here or we boot your deluded ass over to Fast Food Maven.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

For a pissant like you? Not in a million years—but, hey, keep believing your delusions! We'll just do what we've done for—what is it now, 16 years?

Jon
Jon

Your standard cheap bluffs and diversions won't work here.

Post your expense reimbursement reports if you're honest.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Yeah, you're not getting it—and if you really think we get free food and base our reviews on that, then you either don't read the Weekly regularly, or you're straight-up pendejo. Which is it?

Jon
Jon

Post your expense reimbursement reports if you're honest.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

We shill for good food and pay for all our meals—company policy since 1995!

Drew
Drew

I'll bet they left cash, and the server didn't want to declare it. Under reporting your tips is common practice everywhere.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Did you scan the previous comments?

The same thought occurred to me, I tip heavily, having personal knowledge of how hard they work, theref ore leave cdash rather than a paper trail. On reading the other comments it became apparent that that wasn't the case.

JB
JB

One thing I'm surprised nobody's mentioned thus far is that from the photo, it's obvious that the diner did not write in the tip amount of $2.21 -- only totaling the charge to $180.  For one thing, the ink color is different, and the $2.21 is written in "Asian person" handwriting font, while the $180.00 is clearly "Affluent South County W.A.S.P." font.  The $2.21 was probably written in by one of the BOD peeps, for accounting purposes. 

Reasonably, this could be a sign that the diner was distracted (as many of us are when we are about to depart a restaurant...trying to stay engaged in the conversation of our fellow diner(s), secure our belongings/doggie bags, ascertain if we need to use the restroom, etc., all while simultaneously signing the receipt).  The diner could have had "180" on their mind because they were trying to more easily calculate an appropriate tip in their head, and then absentmindedly wrote "180" on the receipt amidst all the things competing for their attention. 

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

JB, I might agree with you on the distracted part if it didn't happen all the time. It's just too frequent to be an accident every time.

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

That's ridiculous. "Asian person" writing? Fuck, mine is just like that, and I'm full wab...

Tapeworm
Tapeworm

Were the customers old school Vietnamese? Because $1 would be standard...

David
David

Nobody should tip poorly based on service if they haven't first let the server, manager, and/or owner know they are unsatisfied.  

Only excuse I can fathom in this situation is that the one person that paid the bill by credit card collected cash from the other 5 people at the table and intended to leave a cash tip and simply forgot.  The $2.21 was just to round off to a nice even number. 

Either that or it was just a table full of idiots.

909Jeff
909Jeff

I poked a little fun of this place for its Portuguese sausage and eggs and Chef Dee left a thoughtful and informative comment back to me so I would have to think that he has integrity enough not to make this up... 

But are we certain they didn't leave a little cash and just rounded the bill up? 

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Dee would've said so—has nothing to gain by lying, and ain't one.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Good enough for me... And I love how the picture shows the signature, undecipherable but unique enough that someone might recognize it!

Carrion Fairy
Carrion Fairy

I'd put that fucker up on the window or something. Public shaming!

Doug-g
Doug-g

No excuse? How about poor service, badly cooked food, incorrect dishes brought out, or any other failures that would ruin your expensive night out. Why do we assume the tipper was at fault vs the server/chef/restaurant? Now, having said the above, I do agree if service and food is adequate, 10-15%, if service is very good, 20%, exceptional 25% or more.

angel38860084
angel38860084

This is something that I'd like to address.  If you receive bad service, it's absolutely expected that you'll leave a poor tip or not tip at all.  However, the server has NO control over badly cooked food or long wait times.  I'm not sure about Break of Dawn, as I'm way on the other side of the country and have never been there, but here in VA, a lot of the servers have between 5 and 10 tables that they're responsible for all at the same time.  So, if you were the third person to sit down in their section, you'll get decent service times, but if you're number 10, you should be prepared to wait a little bit- especially if tables 2-7 have you running constantly (My silverware is spotted, could I get some more wine, this bread is dry, we're out of butter, could you bring out the wine list, I just can't wait to tell you all about the reason we're here tonight and eventually I'll segue into Lil' Jimmy's Cousin's Fifth Birthday Party's Coordinator's pet cat's new mouse toy!)  Also, if the person preparing the meal makes a mistake, and realizes it, saving you a sending back, they'll correct it before it gets sent out to you- increasing your wait time, yes, but trying their best in a busy hectic kitchen to make your meal a pleasant one.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Then you talk to the manager (or, in this case, the owner). Leaving a tip like that without talking to the management makes it the diner's fault regardless of what happened.

DanGarion
DanGarion

From experience, talking to the manager doesn't always solve the problem. There are some times that a small tip is unavoidable, in my opinion. When the service is bad from start to finish. When the service is barely decent and then it takes you 30 minutes to finally get the bill and get the waitstaff to take your money.

Personally I've never had bad service at Break of Dawn, and I love the place, but some people do not like to make confrontation and would rather speak with their tip than their voice. I don't fault them for it if the service was really poor. In fact regardless of Break of Dawn's known level of service doesn't mean it was great for this patron. I doubt any of us were the people that did this so we can't know how the service was for them. Even if the waiter appeared to be busting their ass doesn't mean the patron felt that way. But at the same time the person could have just been an asshole and decided to leave a crappy tip.

Basically all I'm trying to say is that we don't know the whole story and just because one thinks you should complain about bad service doesn't mean that is the right process. A tip is just that, a gratuity based upon the service rendered and some people use their tip to lodge a complaint. Or they are just a asshole.

909Jeff
909Jeff

AFTER you get  your food.... You dont want Moco's in your eggs!

Niyazpirani
Niyazpirani

Cause it's Break of Dawn. Maybe I've had over-poached eggs once or twice, but their food is some of the best in OC. That's why!

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Not sure if you're a first-timer here (if you are, welcome!), but Break of Dawn is an impeccable place. No way there was a bad meal, bad service, etc.

Seeyouauntie
Seeyouauntie

Break of Dawn is NOT an impeccable place and Dee is an arrogant fuckwit. His food is alright but it's not like his dishes could stand up to top chefs or anything. Every time I ate there the service was slow. If the food and service were bad, they are lucky they got anything after the cost of the meal. Tips are earned, not a given.

Dee Breakofdawn
Dee Breakofdawn

Why the fuck you eat there more than once if "the food is alright". You must be stupid with lot of money to waste. I woulnt let attitude like yours in our joint anyway.

1000steps
1000steps

Love the food but I've had bad service there before.  That said, That tip is a giant screw job

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