Five Types of Diners Who Need To Be Blacklisted From Restaurants Forever

Categories: Five Great...
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Flickr user slasher-fun
There is a social contract implied when you dine in a restaurant in this country. The social contract is pretty simple: "Don't be an ass." It shouldn't need to be said, really, but apparently restaurants are special places where manners aren't needed and you can act however you like.

Anyone who's ever worked in a restaurant--hell, anyone who's ever eaten in a restaurant--knows there are people who have apparently just arrived from Planet Putz and don't know the rules.

It's an epidemic, and we're starting to export it--I heard someone in France trying to put together a dish from assorted menu ingredients while the server stood there with a stormy look on his face. This will not do.

So here are five sub-genres of their kind who need to be deleted from the reservation books before they step over the threshold. Blacklist them! 

1. The Bad Tipper

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Flickr user osseous
"Well, my salmon was undercooked, so that's a dollar deducted, and they didn't refill my iced tea after bringing the bill, so that's another dollar deducted, oh yeah, and there wasn't pepper on the table but I forgot to ask about it, so that's a dollar off, and..."

There are a limited number of ways to say this: tipping is not optional, regardless of the consensus on your "I Got Mine, Sorry About Yours" Internet message board. It is technically optional in that you will not be arrested for larceny if you don't leave a tip, but it is not largesse for you to distribute as though you're the Queen of Newport Beach. A tip is a service charge; if you got service, you need to pay it. Also, blaming your server for things you didn't like but didn't ask to have changed, or for things that come out of the kitchen, is just plain douchebaggery.

Don't like it? Write your legislators and tell them to change the laws. Until then, stay the hell out of restaurants. If you aren't going to tip, don't interact with servers. Walk into the kitchen and order your own food.

2. The Attention Whore

"I have a bunch of questions about the provenance of the duck breast. Is it from the east pen or west pen at Maple Leaf Farms? Could the chef come out and tell me? I prefer the west pen because it's closer to the baseball field and it's more American that way."

No. No, the chef does not need to come out and talk to you. The chef is in the kitchen, either cooking or expediting, depending on the restaurant, and is understandably a little bit buried in orders at 7:30 at night. Save your persnickety questions until after, then send them via e-mail. And if you're doing it just to show your companions that you are the kind of person who can ask for the chef, you need to go home and be fed on Kraft Dinner for a month.

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103 comments
lonhall
lonhall

I live by the 20% rule. That is the basic tip. Sometimes the server is especially fantastic and I go higher. I used to work as a line chef back in the 1960s and know what life is like for wait staff (and bus boys, because where I worked, the wait staff shared their tips with the bus boys).

Barbara Al-Bayati
Barbara Al-Bayati

I confess to being a menu editor, and so should almost every person of Middle Eastern descent that I know.

Marlon Spears
Marlon Spears

While I appreciate good service and tip for it as well, the reality is that someone is essentially taking my order from one part of the room to the other. I'd be just as content ordering my food via a tablet and picking it up directly from the chef...

Marlon Spears
Marlon Spears

This is probably the dumbest article I've ever read from OC Weekly. Douchebaggery indeed...

Scott Fisher
Scott Fisher

1. The article spoke about tipping your server for service rendered, not based on the quality of food prepared by someone else. If your server tried to make it right, the server deserves his/her tip. Servers don't cook your meal as info. 2. See #1. If you want to fully customize the menu for you, open your own restaurant. It is ok to ask for no cheese if your lactose as the article stated but, substituting the entire ingredients of the dish is not only an insult to the chef who possibly spent years perfecting the dish for your enjoyment, but it screws all the other guests because you now just created a whole new dish for the kitchen to prep and prepare. And 3. This is the opinion of one person, it may not be your opinion so have some respect for it, certainly as the writer knows the restaurant world which you obviously do not.

Robby Pinault
Robby Pinault

This article sucks. 1. Yes a tip is a service charge, but if there is little to no service; servers do not deserve a standard tip. I typically tip 20-30% for good service, but have givin out some $1 tips for shitty service. 2. Half of the service is getting the meal how you want it, so talking shit about someone who customizes there order is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. What if I am lactose intolerant, should I not ask them to hold the cheese?? Dave Lieberman don't quit your day job.

Tyra Wilson
Tyra Wilson

Wow, if you are so bothered don't be a server. Suck it up and do your job

mickerat613
mickerat613

#6 The Food Photographer - people that take pics of their meal so they can instagram or facebook it. 

Mickey Wheatley
Mickey Wheatley

Sadly, these are the daily horrors of employees in any service industry service position.

hartro1960
hartro1960

I once worked at 2 different restaurants as a teen (I worked as a dishwasher - the only female on the crew) and I know exactly how hard most restaurant employees work. I always always tip. Usually 20%  The only time I tipped less than that (I actually gave 5 cents tip this time) was at a local Denny's where we had to wait over an hour to get any food (breakfast items) and then after we ate the waiter completely disappeared ... we waited another 20 mins to see if he would ever come back and we finally had to go to the cashier's desk in the front and tell them we were leaving and wanted to pay our check. That place was the worst Denny's we ever ate at. = we've been there twice and both times it was just as bad (too bad its in a very busy shopping center and often frequented by local college students - so its never going out of business no matter how awful it is.)

Carrie Zlaket Berg
Carrie Zlaket Berg

I agree with these.. especially changing items on the menu. The chef makes them a certain way for a reason so don't go and change the white sauce to red on your fish and then complain when it doesn't taste good.

Jeanette Champion-Fanning
Jeanette Champion-Fanning

Yes, but McDonald's employees are not taxed based on their sales through their shift. Servers are taxed on what they are paid by their employer AND on every sale they make. I think it's unfair that servers are taxed regardless of being tipped or not. Please don't misunderstand me; I was a bartender for 12 years and my standards are quite high when it comes to the service industry. If a server doesn't deserve a tip, that's on them. I was stiffed more than once, sometimes it was justified and sometimes it wasn't. When it was justified, it was a reminder to pull my head out of my ass and get my act together.

Brandon Mendoza
Brandon Mendoza

@Jeannette, yes I know they get taxed regardless if they were tipped or not, but changing that doesn't help anyone. The article is asking to change laws. My comment is, why should there be changes to their taxes when other professions wouldn't get the same changes? Should baristas get the same change? Or what about McDonald's employees? They don't get tips.

Jeanette Champion-Fanning
Jeanette Champion-Fanning

Servers/bartenders are taxed on every bill regardless if they were tipped or not. That's where Uncle Sam comes into play.

Brandon Mendoza
Brandon Mendoza

Getting government involved won't help, so I don't know why this article mentioned it ya know? Maybe they should incentivize good service in some other way? I've received a fair share of the best service and the worst service in large group settings, but there has to be a better way than requiring a mandatory 20% or whatever they request. I've had a manager almost argue that the gratuity added can't be changed even though they practically forgot about us. On the other end, we happily tipped 50% as a group for a server that was on top of things... charismatic, made us feel like home, refills were constantly there even without asking. Maybe the mandatory 20% should come from the restaurant? Like make servers WANT to handle large groups and if they get complaints for that server, take that away from them for a bit until they get better at serving large groups.

Chris J Caroselli
Chris J Caroselli

Tipping is a bit of a debate too. The check is expensive enough, I think its the management's responsibility to pay their employees a fair wage instead of sticking us with it. And it's unfair to use peer pressure & call people cheap who don't want to support unfair business practice.

Chris J Caroselli
Chris J Caroselli

Surprised it wasn't mentioned: The guy sitting alone, yelling on his cellphone.

Ozzy Ramirez
Ozzy Ramirez

prego girls are rude as hell just cuz they got a baby in them dont mean they can be as rude as they are to a server. fucken hate that shit

Brandon Mendoza
Brandon Mendoza

3 out of 5 are true. The first one? If I get neglected the entire time I'm there, and the food takes forever to come out when other tables around me are getting their food super quick and I order what the guy recommended, why shouldn't the tip be minuscule? Especially if there are no refills for anyone the entire hour we're there and only get checked on to see if we're done eating? That's BS to say that he deserves a tip even though he gave us horrible service. If you can't even get people refills and make sure we get our food in a timely fashion, tell me how that's fair. And splitting the check? Money's money. What if someone in the group only stopped by to grab a drink yet everyone else had a full meal with tons of drinks? How is that fair? This is a poorly written list and just sounds like whining.

Kit Hope
Kit Hope

I gotta say, though, that splitting a bill can be much easier at a place with a computerized cash register.

Cooper Quillian
Cooper Quillian

the peson who is exstramly rude and or demnding about evrything and wont settele for anything but there way

Gina DiNolfi McMillen
Gina DiNolfi McMillen

That pretty much covered it, you can add The Creeper. They could be regulars but they ogle and ride the line of inappropriate.

cody_s
cody_s

That's why when I go out with friends and we all want to pay for what we order, we usually get separate checks. Unless one person offers to take everyone to lunch/dinner.

cris_whetstone_446
cris_whetstone_446

Good list except for the one about reservations. Restaurants feed off their full resie list if they are popular and often look down their noses at people coming in on non-peak times. You can't blame people for playing those resie lists games right back at the restaurants. That one works both ways. 


But yeah people who look for excuses not to tip and/or try to construct their own meals out of what the chef is offering should just stay home and cook for themselves. If they are honest about it they are merely out to show off their sense of entitlement and get some attention for themselves. Why would you go to a restaurant where you had to change the dishes to make them into something you like? Maybe because you can tell your friends about what popular place you ate at and not because you are there for the food?

rrock0267
rrock0267

Tipping IS optional. you can not just redefine what a tip is just because you want to take my money. They should ban SERVERS who think they are entitled to a certain percentage of my food bill. If I order a $20 steak instead of a $10 burger, why do I have to tip you more money?? You make the same amount of trips to the kitchen, etc. to do your job. I always tip $1/person at the table. That is normally a $5 tip regardless of how much money I spent off of the menu. That is more than fair for all I ask for... You take my order and then go get my food and bring it back to me. Quit making yourself more important than you are. You are a WAITER. Get over it. And if I don't tip.... well, that's my right. It's not my job to pay you. Tipping is NOT A SERVICE CHARGE. Again, you can't just remake up the meaning of the word tip just because you want to.

zkarlo
zkarlo

1. So is tipping not optional if I get bad service and I complain about it? 

2. Is this not what I am paying a tip on, for you to serve my needs?  It sounds like a lazy server who doesn't want to write it down and ask.  However, I would never ask a chef to come out of the kitchen, that does not make any sense.

3. I do agree with this, there is no point in making a reservation if your not planning on obligating to it.  However, if you fall ill or have an accident, I don't believe you should be charged for not making it in.  If a restaurant is busy enough to have full reservations, they most likely have people walking in for tables, and they should be able to fill that reservation slot within a short amount of time.

4. You can go overboard with changes to the menu, but if I want to substitute something on the menu for something else, just charge me for it if it costs more versus the listed item.  If that is too much work for you, than you don't need a good tip.  

5. If I am paying the mandatory 18% tip for a large group, why can't I have you split up the tab for me?   I have never personally asked a server to do it for me before, but if I go out with a group and someone wants an appetizer and dessert, why should I split it with them? 

ocsurfgirl
ocsurfgirl

We go occasionally go out as a group from work. Everyone rounds up so there is always a generous tip. We don't make the wait staff do it. But, I'm not going to pay the same amount as someone who had steak and lobster when I had chicken just because they can't do simple math in their head before the bill comes or discretely use their phone to calculate their total.

juststeve
juststeve

I've always been a big tipper. I was a bellman years ago - I know the service industry. One of my favorite sayings is this; if you really want to know someone, see how they treat a waiter/waitress. I haven't had many bad dining experiences, but I assure you, bad service will lead to a bad tip, Granted, there are many circumstances to be evaluated, but bad service that mars an otherwise enjoyable meal must be addressed. 

forgaliseo
forgaliseo

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marcy
marcy

The most amusing tipping practices are at casinos.  Tipping dealers whose job it is to separate you from your money for the house.  

It's a sad practice that turns people into beggars when they should be compensated by their employers. 

marcy
marcy

You suggest that people who don't want to tip should change the laws?  Which laws would those be?

There is no requirement to tip and if it really were a "service fee" then it properly should be reduced appropriately when service is lacking.

Should we also tip the person who sells us a TV at Sears for the service provided?  Maybe the bank teller should put out a tip jar as well?   

Now I do understand that the waitstaff is underpaid and relies on begging to make a living but at least have the honesty to call it exactly that. 

bennettrecords1
bennettrecords1

"If you really want to know someone, see how they treat a waiter/waitress." - Do everyone a favor and stop eating/drinking out. You sound like a slug.

sweetperversion
sweetperversion

@marcy Servers are taxed by the government on each and every sale they make. When a server does not receive a tip (or receives a low tip), they are still required by law to pay tax on that bill.

rrock0267
rrock0267

exactly!!! Tipping is optional. I rarely tip.

mmarktw9
mmarktw9

@marcy Wow! You're a complete asshole and should never eat out again. Maybe you work for the gov. or in some isolated cubicle somewhere. Stay there.

rrock0267
rrock0267

@bennettrecords1 I would assume that your quote was made by a waiter/waitress. Pretty self serving. WHY, in God's name, would I stop eating out??? Why do waiters think they deserve more of my money than my, say, mechanic, mailman or garbage collector? They all work for me as needed. They all provide services. I don't tip them every time they do something for me. Yes, I leave the mailman a little gift at Christmastime. But he walks in the rain/sleet/snow for me. I haven't been in a restaurant yet that is too hazardous from the kitchen to my table.  Get real and don't take yourself (or waiters) so seriously. For goodness sake, it's not brain surgery or anything. YOU are the slug, just like all food snobs.

chubsterrubster
chubsterrubster

@sweetperversion @marcy  This is what I heard. A server could take care of a large party for hours on a minimum wage base pay, and lose money if they don't tip above 8%. Especially if eating at a big chain like Cheesecake Factory or Claim Jumper whose computers automatically calculate estimated tips and ding paychecks. At least the servers at those restaurants are so attentive, it's almost annoying. Something does need to be done about the minimum wage in this country. I met a man yesterday from New Zealand, who said his college age daughter made $18USD/hour working at McDonalds. Food servers should not be made to feel like strippers, grinding on everyone for an extra dollar. With a decent minimum wage and elimination of tipping, you just fire the crappy servers. Dining made easier on everyone.

1wayfaringpilgrim
1wayfaringpilgrim

@mmarktw9 - Try answering the questions rather than name calling. 

marcy
marcy

@mmarktw9 @marcy 

Nice way to completely avoid any of the questions I raised, just start ranting about how someone you've never met is a complete asshole.  I'm self-employed, that means I charge for the services I provide instead of putting out a begging jar.

If you would like to address the issue maybe you can tell us if you tip the person who sells you a TV at Sears or the person who sells you shoes at Walmart or the bank teller who provides you with "services".  If not, why not?


sweetperversion
sweetperversion

@chubsterrubster 

I worked as a bartender for 12 years and our POS system kept track of our sales and we were also required to report them through the time clock.

rrock0267
rrock0267

I would suggest YOU stay out of restaurants. Tipping waiters is completely optional. I rarely tip. but if I do, it's $1/person at the table. that is more than fair and generous. I never base it on a percentage. that's a stupid, greedy system.

meldavis_99
meldavis_99

 @marcy, here you go: 

Servers are paid by restaurants to do one thing and one thing only: take your money and give it to the restaurant.  Anything outside of that (taking your order, refilling drinks, bringing your food, clearing your table, making your change, etc.,) is the service you are paying for.  Outside of that, most servers tip out to others, so they automatically have to pay a percentage of everything they ring up to someone else.  15% is the accepted charge, and more if they do a good/great job.  Unless you're going in, ordering food and then paying without eating, you owe a tip.  

No, you don't pay a salesman when you purchase something because their job is simply to sell you the item and get your money.  They actually get incentives and commissions by their sales.  However, if you choose to have the luxury of delivery, you should tip the delivery guy appropriately.  

What this is called is proper etiquette.  

As far as your opinion of waitstaff as being beggars, I would suggest you stay out of not only restaurants, but the general public, as it sounds like my dog is better socialized than you. 



gglave
gglave

@marcy @mmarktw9  THERE ARE DRIVE UP WINDOWS & FROZEN FOOD ISLES FOR NON TIPPERS, MOST SERVERS MAKE MINIMUM WAGE AND EVEN ON THEIR WORST NIGHTS OF FOOD SERVICE I PROMISE YOU SOMEONE RECIEVED HER BEST THEN TIPPED A COUPLE BUCKS! MARCY HONEY HAVE YOU EVER BEEN A SERVER?  I KNOW YOUVE NEVER BEEN A BANK TELLER OR YOU WOULD REALIZE THE ECONOMIC IMBALANCES, GIVEN THE TIME ONE SPENDS AT A COUNTER BEING OBNOXIOUS VERSUS SOME POOR KIDS STATION ( IVE BEEN THERE IT SUCKS) AND YET FOR ALL THE MIDDLE AGED WOMEN WHO HAVE SWOOPED UP THE FIVE THAT HUBBY INTENDED TO TIP & REPLACED IT WITH TWO BUCKS. OR PARTY WHO ENJOYED THE TWO DRINKS LEFT ON THEIR HOST TAB AND THEN SPENT MY TIP MONEY WHILE I WATCHED,SMILED & SERVED. I HAVE GREAT MEMORIES OF GRACIOUS PATRONS WHO REALIZED HOW ENTITLED  GUESTS THINK MORE ABOUT THE FEW BUCKS THEN THE WAITRESS . FYI  YOU ARE RIGHT TIPPING IS NOT MANDATORY BUT BEING GENEROUS & KIND SHOULD BE. FOOD FOR THOUGHT SWEETIE ( ON THE HOUSE)


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