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Tipping Bad Service?

September 15th, 2010 at 08:55 pm

Last night we went out for a little family birthday celebration. We ordered a shared appetizer and two drinks, plus food for DD.

The server brought the wrong wine (even the wrong color!) for my husband, and the appetizer never showed up. I told the server when he delivered the entrees about the appetizer's absence, and his remark was "I'll take it off your bill." No apology, no explanation, no offer to take the food back and get the appetizer. Later he came by and told us it was his fault, and he could get them to "bring it out quickly," but it was halfway through our entree!

He also forgot the bread, and was obviously a little undone by his mistakes. In a case like that, how much do you tip? Nothing? Ten percent? More?

Sometimes it's just not worth it to go out....

8 Responses to “Tipping Bad Service?”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Ugh...I'm too polite to not tip at all...but I have been so frustrated with a server that I tipped her an insulting amount ($1 or so on a $30+ tab) just to show I hadn't forgotten to tip; I was just choosing not to reward her incompetence and unpleasant behavior.

    If the guy showed some remorse and seemed to be having an off night, I'd tip a little less than 15%. I know what you mean, though; I don't go out often anymore so I'm extra disappointed when it didn't work out. Went to the Birchwood Cafe (you're in or near Mpls, right?) for the first time recently, and they were out of most vegan options so I ended up with plain oatmeal, some fruit syrup and maple syrup to pour on it, and dry toast. And sat outside where they'd planted a load of flowery shrubs that were like ambrosia for bees. Ugh! Luckily you just throw money in the tip jar there, so it was easy for me to skip tipping.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Wonder if he was new at the job....I've never been able to leave a small tip, though there've been times when I should have.

  3. HouseHopeful Says:

    I usually tip something, unless its blatant rudeness or mistakes being made on purpose. If the server just appears new or having an off night, AND they have offered to fix their mistake and have apologized, then I would tip the lower end of my normal range. If they were outright rude or unapologetic, I have at times, tipped very little.

  4. Ima saver Says:

    Since I know how much they make ($2 an hour) I still do tip, but not as much as usual. I usally tip 20%, in this case it would be more like 10% I use to work as a waitress and sometimes things get crazy!

  5. M E 2 Says:

    I am generally torn as what you should tip in the case of bad service. Only because do you honestly think the server is going to think he/she provided bad service or are they more than likely to think you're (the general you, not you specifically) just a lousy tipper?

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I might leave a very small tip, along with a note stating that the tip would've been considerably larger if ....

  7. CB in the City Says:

    I have a soft heart for servers, because that's what my son does for a living.

    I will undertip if I feel the server is rude or uncaring. For honest mistakes, and for those I think are in learning mode, I'm pretty forgiving.

  8. My English Castle Says:

    Yeah, we stayed somewhere around 15%, and I probably would've gone a bit lower, but two of my ex-students are also servers there--and I don't want them to think I'm cheap! Such social pressure!

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