These are the thoughts of a cantankerous ol' gynecologist who remembers when things were a little different. I try to find a little humor in my life and the people I meet along the way. Come meet the characters in my world.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

What We Can Learn From Restaurant Service

And How I Figure My Tips Based on Service

Tall Guy and Mr. Impatient went out to lunch yesterday.  They went by themselves.  Afterwards, Tall Guy and I discussed it.  He had some interesting insights on the service he received today.  He calculates his tip the way I do – based on how good the service is.  Here’s why.

Tips are “gratuities”.  Most servers earn most of their salaries based on their tips.  The understanding is that the tip is at least partially based on service.  I know that restaurant servers are paid very little by the management.   I have also known women who make a living working in restaurants.  Remember, I’m a gynecologist.  They all know that their tips depend on their service.

So, most servers know that they need to be polite.  There are subtle tricks to increase the total on the bill.  (“Do you want fries with that?”  “And to drink?” 
“Do you want desert?”)   I don’t mind.  Sometimes those suggestions are helpful.  They are more familiar with the menu and the kitchen, so they can tell me what substitutions are and are not allowed. 

When the children were smaller, it was great if they would locate us out of the main traffic area.  We also needed booster seats or high chairs.  Solving problems like these makes patrons much more grateful.  I always made our tip bigger.

We often have “special orders”.  Mr. Impatient doesn’t like pickles, parsley, lettuce or any other “stuff” on his plate.  I make sure to be very plain about this when we order.  Paying attention is important.  If the plate comes out wrong, the tip will be much smaller.  I don’t want to deal with drama when I’m paying for my meal. 

There’s an art to knowing how often to check back on the customer.  In food service, seeing if the coffee or drinks need refilling is the usual excuse.  Following through is what I would call this at my office.  Having the check ready is part of this, too.  I hate having to wait to pay my bill. 

Mr. Impatient took me out to lunch today after he had some blood work.  Our waitress was wonderful.  She brought us menus and our drinks right away, suggested a way to switch the omelet without charge so that it was the way I wanted it, checked back just enough times to fill our drinks, and was ready with the check when we were ready to go….  It was quite busy, but she kept track of how we were doing.  She even gave us “go cups” of our drinks.  Her tip was well over 20%.  Of course, Mom figures out the tips.  Mr. Impatient hasn’t quite figured out this process yet. 

This is the article that inspired this post:

Another time I will explain how I can and do apply this to my medical practice. 

1 comment:

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