always f*#%ing tip
a long one, and im not that sorry
I work at a well known chain restaurant we’ll call Pepper’s as the opening/morning bartender. Not many people sit at the bar in the morning, and I make my money through tips, so the servers let me pick up a few tables from time to time (only two two-top tables are in my section, easy enough).
The bane of my existence is To-Go/Pick-Up, which, as bartender, I am in charge of. So my daily to do list is prep supplies for evening bartender (sweet n sour, strawberry blend, fresh sour, etc.), restock anything and everything running low (beer bottles, chop garnishes), serve anyone who sits at the bar, serve my tables, make drinks for the servers, and to-go/pick-up (and a lot of the time, I have to clean up after the closing bartender does a shit job of cleaning, but that’s something else entirely).
But this is mostly about people who either call or place an order online for pick-up. The amount of times I’ve run myself ragged trying to serve my customers and make drinks is numerous AND do pick-up at the same time. Why not just not take tables? Then I’m likely walking away from my 7 hour shift with 20 bucks in my pocket (as opposed to maybe an extra $10 I might make off of the people willing to sit in my section, i.e. right by the kitchen door). Mind you, bartenders still only get paid hourly what servers are paid, which is not even 2.50/hr.
my job isn’t the only job that sucks, and sometimes a server might be willing to help me out if I say please, i get it, but people who order pick-up are fucking A grade sometimes.
Let me tell one or two.
We have basic caller ID. Doesn’t always work, but who cares, really. Except. Ex, fucking, cept. There’s a 800 service number that calls maybe every other week or so. We know who they are when we pick up the phone. Me and pretty much any other bartender. My one manager, who I actually like and respect, even knows when they call. When it was my first time dealing with them, he forewarned me “Show this lady absolutely everything. She’ll say you dont have to, but I don’t care. Every single box of food, open it and show her, because every single time, they call back and say something is wrong.” Even if they’re ordering $200 of food? “Yes. I dont care. Do it. They’re a pain in my ass.” Okay. Got it.
First time I answer, she starts ordering lunch combos. She only says the entrée, not the appetizer, so I stop her to ask what each one is getting for an appetizer. It’s called a lunch COMBO, meaning more than one, lady, and since they order from us all the time they should know that. She starts talking to people away from the phone. I begin to tell her that she can call back when she cuts me off to say “Hold on just a sec, I’ll ask them.”
Talks to her coworkers again.
“What are your appetizers for the lunch combos again?”
I tell her.
“You know what? Hold on, I’ll call you back.”
Then hangs up.
I tell my manager she’ll call back. He proceed to tell me that every single time this lady calls, she does the “Could you hold on just a sec?” thing, as if we have nothing better to do than to wait for her and her coworkers.
Half hour goes by. Lunch rush beginning to come in. Phone call.
I answer. During the ten minutes it takes to get this order in, the food for my customers is ready, so I’m rushing to get this over with.
Bill is almost $200 (im psychic). She asks how long it might take. I begin to say maybe a half hour, and my manager (who has been eavesdropping in order to start making this order) gives a panicked shake of his head. I tell them that it’s rather busy (it is) and there food may be ready in 40 to 50 minutes.
Maybe 15 minutes go by, I’m rather busy taking care of my other customers, other pick-ups and all, when that damn 800 number comes up again. I ask manager to answer, he complies. He puts her on hold. I ask what the problem is. He says she’s asking for the total. With a slight smirk on his face, he says he told her, “Actually, could you hold on just a sec?” and then put her on hold without waiting for an answer. Another fives minutes goes by, and then he tells her the total.
I’m still doing my job to the best of my capabilities, which involves numerous other customers when she comes in. I have almost twenty boxes of various sizes stacked, all just for her. It takes a few minutes to show and bag her every single box. When I begin, she says I don’t have to. I say it’s company policy. I show her even the simple house salads and soups, and their dressings. At this point, I’m taking care of two or three pick-up orders at once, which isn’t uncommon. I don’t fuck it up. Hooray!
She pays. All almost $200 of it.
Doesn’t leave me a single fucking penny of a tip.
Now, I’ve been complimented WELL more than several times in every job I’ve ever had about my customer service, and this lady was polite enough that I know it wasn’t bad interpersonal skills on either part.
I grit my teeth and bare it. Not the first time. Certainly won’t be the last.
Thing is, if I do all this work, why do i only walk away with MAYBE 30 bucks? Because out of all that i do, maybe 60-70% of it is pick-up orders. And what do almost all of my pick-up orders do? No matter the bill?
They don’t tip. If I’m lucky, maybe two or three of them throw me a dollar. When a miracle strikes the earth in the form of a kind person, one person sometimes $5 or $10 - like, once every two weeks. They are likely someone who has experience in the restaurant industry.
This isn’t the first person to buy so much and leave no tip. she won’t be the last person.
However, when this calls back some time later, when things have slowed down, turns out one lady got mayo when she asked for no mayo. Not allergic, just doesn’t like it. Wants it remade. ✋
Okay. We’ll remake it. Ten minutes later, a different lady shows up, but explains who she is. I give her the food, and then I ask someone who came in before this lady what her name is, yadda yadda.
In the 10 seconds I’m talking to this other customer, the No Mayo lady walks out without paying.
I’m shocked to the point where even the customer I’m talking to realizes what this bitch just did. This same customer then witnesses a man stand and yell ACROSS THE BAR where me and this customer are standing, to his server, “[name]! Fix our check!” Then proceeds to wave his check in the air, annoyed.
The customer asks me if this is common. I ask if she’s ever worked in the restaurant business.😂😂😂
I tell the manager what happened with No Mayo Lady after all customers are gone. He’s about as mad as I am. He also explains to me how, as the man who made this lady’s sandwich the first time (managers hop into the kitchen if things are super busy), the initial sandwich DID NOT have mayo, as instructed.
So this bitch just didn’t pay. I gave this bitch her check with her food. She assumed my prioritizing the customer who was present before her was a signal for her to go.
Manager tells me to find him should No Mayo Lady or her coworker ever show up again. They haven’t, but I’m waiting.
TL;DR Always pay for your food, and try to leave a fucking tip for the people who handle your food. Some people hold grudges. Also, don’t yell across the room at your server, even the other customers find it rude.