Attention Restaurateurs

Discussion in 'Dining and Food' started by 30A Skunkape, May 11, 2011.

  1. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

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    This sounds to me like they were charging you for an upgrade to "cheese dip" or "queso dip" as opposed to shredded cheese. In a partial defense of LaCocina, my experience is that most Mexican restaurants implement this substitution upcharge; my wife usually requests cheese dip on top of a burrito instead of the standard shredded cheese and red sauce. That being said, most places charge $1.00 for the sub, but considering most places charge $3-$4 for an order of cheese dip with your chips and salsa and LaCocina charges $6+ for an order w/ your chips & salsa, I guess they adjust the add-on accordingly. Must be some really expensive ingredients in their cheese dip. We've eaten lunch at LaCocina a few times, and for my wife, 5-yr old daughter and I, it's run from $50-$60. It does seem high considering we usually pay $60 - $80 for seafood DINNER at Stinky's Capt. Anderson's, Red Bar, etc. for all of us when at the beach.

    I think $6.00 automatically added on to a $30.00 take-out order is high; packaging up a take-out order, ringing it up and handing it off does not seem like an ongoing customer service operation of maintaining people's drinks, refilling chips & salsa, replacing utensils, etc. as involved in waiting on a table.
     
  2. Teresa

    Teresa SoWal Guide Staff Member

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    yes, I normally tip $5 for typical take out so the $6 doesn't bother me... still, it seems like it would be best if restaurants would leave it up to the customer.
     
  3. PJJ

    PJJ Beach Lover

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    At some point, an employer should decide what his employees should be paid. Aside from the incredibly annoying tip jars, the autotip, the expected 20% tacked on to an already expensive bottle of wine (assuming you pick it yourself), and a hand out in every direction, tipping is incredibly economically inefficient. It makes zero sense that more and more businesses are slumping towards that sort of compensation.
     
  4. Beach Runner

    Beach Runner beats on hood

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    We won't be back to that restaurant. Plus the food was just okay. We're not the only ones who think so -- even during spring break we didn't see people lined up to dine there.

    I can see having a tip tacked on at Taco Bar. The customer pays up front at the counter, and because it's an outdoor restaurant, it's easy for a customer to just walk after eating without leaving a tip or someone strolling by and picking up a tip left on the table.

    I can also see having a tip tacked on for takeout at Pizza Bar, at least during spring break and in the summer. The bartenders are scurrying around preparing drinks for the diners in the restaurant plus at the bars, and somehow have to also manage answering the phone for takeout orders and packing up such orders. I don't really see how they do it on busy nights.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  5. Geo

    Geo Beach Fanatic

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    Wait just a minute. You want a different kind of cheese on your sandwich- what do you think this is? -A restaurant???!!!!!!! lol
     
  6. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    I'm not going to name the eatery in question, but it has been named above. I picked up my order at 9:30 PM and the place was very quiet. I don't accept the fact that 'the computer is programmed to tack on a tip' as an excuse to do so. When I worked in the restaurant bidness, we used a pencil, paper and calculator to figure out what someone owed. It isn't asking too much, IMHO, to apply a good old #2 pencil to paper for carry outs, at least orders that are not gigantic. Mine consisted of three containers in one normal bag. For the record, I do usually tip for carry out service, but not always, and it is usually a few dollars and not a strict 15 or 20%.
     
  7. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    The same thing happened to me, not once, but twice. (Not at named restaurant) The fee added was over 50% at one place; a finer restaurant that I called and asked if if was ok to just take out a piece of pie; a piece of pie that shouldn't have cost more than $6, but my bill was $10. The other restaurant, the server decided that since it was Easter Sunday, that somehow she deserved 40% and decided not to deliver any change. Thinking it was a mistake, I approached said server in front of her employer, but instead proceeded to take the change out of her pocket.
    If you own a restaurant, you may want to take some time and rethink these policies, observe your staff and the bills once in while. It leaves a sour taste in the mouth of the diner and, in the long run, you probably are going to get less traffic.
     
  8. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Contrast this with other restaurants where they don't charge extra for take-out, add items to the order (like the olive oil and bread I would eat if I was dining in), and tell me not to tip them because all they did was bring it from the kitchen to the cash register.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  9. Geo

    Geo Beach Fanatic

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    I am in agreement with the original post. That said- here is what I believe the perspective of the restaurant is-

    Our waitstaff handles our takeout orders. Their hourly wage is less than minimum wage so they depend largely on gratuity to survive. The time it takes to transfer orders to to-go containers, to securely bag them, add utencils, etc. and then to ring these orders is often equivelent to the time it takes to wait on guests in the dining room. But sadly, takeout guests often do not tip what is customary. As such, we have implemented the policy to ensure our folks get taken care of.

    Restaurant peeps: Is this where you are coming from?
     
  10. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    Geo, I hear what you are saying, but you have to agree that it is atypical for a restaurant that is a majority dine-in establishment to add a tip to the meal for two diners, much less a carry out order for two people. I know of nowhere where this is done other than a few places around here. It is tacky. The way I see it is as follows: The operator runs a restaurant that operates in a traditional manner and does not add a gratuity to a party of fewer than six and gets away paying the server the low base wage OR the operator runs a restaurant in the traditional 'take out' manner where any concept of a tip involves a jar at the cash register and the employees are paid at least the minimum wage. That is just how I see it. Maybe I am behind the times...
     
  11. runstarfishrun

    runstarfishrun Beach Comber

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    Geo has it right. If it is a full service restaurant and the waitstaff is packing up your orders, the server/bartender is taking time away from their seated customers to help you. And although packing up an order seems fast, every single second counts when you are waiting tables. There is a lot of multi tasking going on and we want to take care of all our guests dining in and and out to the best of our ability. I think everyone should work service industry once in their life to get perspective from the inside. Then maybe there would be (even) more understanding folks dining out :)
     
  12. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    I think someone preparing a takeout order deserves a tip - it's the 20% auto tip plus fee people are questioning.
     
  13. Geo

    Geo Beach Fanatic

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    I agree with both of you. But to sum up my position,

    I have attempted to provide the perspective of the restauranteur only for the sake of our discussion. I do not believe gratuity should be added to carry out orders (unless it is for large orders similar to gratuity added to large parties dining in).

    It is my hope that folks who don't normally tip on carryout orders learn from the thread that they should pass a few bucks to the person delivering or packaging their takeout order. And it is my hope that owners and management learn that the practice of requiring gratuity can be a real turn off.
     
  14. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    I have worked service industry and never expected a tip for preparing a carry out order. A tip recognizes exceptional service-there is nothing exceptional about bagging a few containers that were prepared in the kitchen, especially during the off hours. The way I see it, tipping on a carry out order is good karma-demanding it from the customer is simply bad policy. Look at it this way-if packing an order for two is worth 15% of the order, should servers expect a 40% tip to actually wait on a two top? It makes no sense.
     
  15. runstarfishrun

    runstarfishrun Beach Comber

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    :dunno:Not really sure about automatic gratuity on togo orders. However just keep in mind the points I mentioned above.


    I've got a twist to this question for everyone. On buy one get one's at a restaurant, do you tip on the check after the discount? or what the check would have been before the discount? And I am talking about dinging in, not take out. Keep in mind the server is still doing the same amount of work....
     
  16. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

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    On "BOGO Night" or when dining with a coupon, I tip on the full, pre-discounted price.

    I got take-out at a neighborhood pizza/pasta place in the suburbs of Birmingham last night; my wife ordered pasta; I noticed on the menu that it comes with a salad. They did not ask me what type of dressing she wanted on the salad, so I inquired if it does in fact come with the salad. They informed me that the take-out pasta, although the same price, does not come with the salad, because the salads which they prepare for to-go orders are nicer than those from the salad bar which are what comes with the dine-in pasta. An optional to-go salad was available for an additional $2.00. Accordingly, perhaps they should have reduced the price of the take-out version due to its lack of salad privileges.
     
  17. Everytime

    Everytime Beach Fanatic

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    Is the food brought out to the customer's (dine-in) table at these venues? Just my opinion, but I still don't see the point in automatically tacking on the tip. If it's a counter-service restaurant, where the customer goes up, places there order, then returns to pick up their food, a tip seems kind of odd. Maybe they should instead adjust their posted menu prices and not solicit or tack on a tip in order to meet the costs, just an idea based on my opinion.
     
  18. Douglas the Intrepid

    Douglas the Intrepid Beach Fanatic

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    I think way too much extraneous thought can be put into this subject. For me it boils down to just two simple things.

    1. Don't decide for the customer where and how much they are tipping thus taking the decision from them.
    2. I tip based soley on service. Good service equals good tip. Bad service equals bad tip.
     
  19. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    That is the motivation for this thread!
     
  20. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    I'll take the owner's side. They have to decide how to run things to keep staff happy (which gets harder and harder). They have to provide good service if they want a good business. If there are too many customers who are not tipping enough then the staff, if they are any good, will go work somewhere else. Keep in mind some of the customers around you never tip, make mistakes and tip a dollar when they meant to tip 10, tip 2%, and some walk out on the whole bill. Granted some great tippers make up for some of this, but an owner has to make SURE it balances out in their favor to stay in business.

    The owner has to look out for staff. It's a constant balancing act of keeping staff happy, which keep customers happy and keep them coming back. A smart owner will keep it going and adjust when necessary. The price is going to go up somewhere if it needs to.

    Look at the total price and if you like the product, get to eating. However if you're the type who complains to your Publix cashier because your milk went up 10 cents then you should buy your own cow or drink water.
     

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