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Everytime

Beach Fanatic
Jul 9, 2005
439
113
Shelby County, Alabama
I was charged the $6 and some change take out charge at LaCocina on a $30 ticket. I'm assuming it must be a percentage of your total since it was an odd amt. I was also surprised that they have a $3 "order change fee". I asked for melted cheese instead of grated cheese and when my ticket came it was an extra $3! I love LaCocina, but just have to watch my penies there. Between the $6 take out charge & the $3 change fee, I could have dined in and had a margarita!

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 agree the change fee is absurd - I did not know about this. But, nothing could keep me away from La Cocina! One of my very favorite places EVER. Their salsa and chips, and cheese dip, plus a cadillac margarita = heaven on earth. Not to mention the memories we have with good friends enjoying incredible food in a funn atmosphere, with extraordinary service!

as far as take out charge, I personally think it is fair because so many people do not even think of tipping for take out, which I don't understand. its a small tip for someone who is working to prepare and package the order, and get it right and ready for me. Yes, I would rather add it myself - but so many do not even think to do so. we recently had a thread on tipping for take out. Most agree that it is important to do so.

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.
 

Teresa

SoWal Guide
Staff member
Nov 15, 2004
28,329
3,818
South Walton, FL
sowal.com
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.

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.
 

PJJ

Beach Lover
Oct 27, 2007
112
19
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.
 
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.
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.
 
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Geo

Beach Fanatic
Dec 24, 2006
2,750
2,782
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Thanks for the heads up....that 3 Dollar Change Fee alone for them microwaving your cheese for all of 10 seconds will make me never go there...that's borderline offensive

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

30A Skunkape

Mr. Small Box
Jan 18, 2006
10,137
2,153
50
Backatown Seagrove
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%.
 

Mango

SoWal Insider
Apr 7, 2006
9,712
1,360
New York/ Santa Rosa Beach
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.
 

scooterbug44

SoWal Expert
May 8, 2007
16,736
3,327
Sowal
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.
 
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Geo

Beach Fanatic
Dec 24, 2006
2,750
2,782
Santa Rosa Beach, FL
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?
 

30A Skunkape

Mr. Small Box
Jan 18, 2006
10,137
2,153
50
Backatown Seagrove
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?

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...
 
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