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A Long Night

January 4, 2009,1:49 PM
These are my experiences taking directly from a fine dining restaurant. This is not Applebee's or Chili's. This is where two people come to have an elegant dinner, prepared by a "chef" not some GED Grad with a microwave. Come into my restaurant and be prepared to drop $200.00 for dinner for two.


So I don't think I have to tell you that we draw a crowd that has a higher income bracket, not to say that we don't get every type of person in for dinner, but the norm are people with money.

OK... People when you are at the bar or restaurant, and closing time is approaching:
Let's skip around a little and I will explain closing time.


 I am not talking bar hours here...Most restaurants do not have typical bar hours,  let's say for example, kitchen closes at 10:00 PM last diners are seated no later than 9:15. This gives you enough time to sit order cocktails and apps, then entree's, eat then order dessert. Relax and have after dinner cocktails. You should be out by 11:00

But here is what really happens after you have eaten:


When the server asks if there is anything else they can get you and your answer is "No" the table should be cleared, and check presented.  If you are the last ones in the restaurant (THIS IS A CLUE) PAY THE BILL!!! Don't sit around lingering for an hour without even looking at the god damn thing...It's there for a reason...PAY IT! We are ALL waiting for you, we can not complete our job with checks still open. You are more than welcome to stay and chill with your $40.00 glass of Blue Label, but let the rest of us finish our work. WE HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF SERVING YOU! If your server, the manager, and a few other people are standing around kind of looking at you, it's because we are waiting for you to PAY THE BILL! GET A CLUE!

Now payment time.

If you are with a large party:
Don't, DON'T, I mean it, don't try to add in your head what you had or she had or they had. It makes you look like a bunch of fools! "Jimmy had two cocktails and Janie only had one" WE DON'T CARE! PAY UP! NOW!  You should have asked your server for separate checks (Please ask at the beginning of dinner, we have no problem with that). But the inevitable happens and you muddle through the bill and give us cash and 3 credit cards to "split" the bill. So we do our job and run all your credit cards. Now we are waiting for you to sign.

TIP TIME!
I will go through this probably a hundred times through out this blog.

Was the food good?
Was the service good?
If there was a problem was it handled quickly and rectified to your satisfaction?
Did your server interact with you and your table to make your experience pleasant?

If you can answer "yes" to these questions...TIP 20% not 15% or 18%...A HARD 20% is in order. Make sure if the three credit cards were "split" evenly that you all leave the same amount for a tip. It just make our life easier. We would much rather have cash, but in this day and age I guess that is too much to ask for. Whipping out your AM EX Black card makes you feel oh so important, but I think whipping out a wad of hundreds is much more impressive.

(By the way...If you have an AM EX Black card...JUST PAY FOR THE ENTIRE DINNER! Jimmy, if you want to impress your lady, put it on your card without hesitation, you will look like a hero and make our lives easier)


If your server made your dining experience great, leave the 20%, and a penny an the check. This let's us know you had a good dinner and we did everthing in our power to make your night memorable.
Then take the time to find a manager and tell them how good we were. You can sure find a manager when something is wrong, give us a break and tell them when something is right! After that, tell your friends to ask for us by name, to be seated at our section, and you too ask for us by name on your return visits. You will get better service and maybe even some free stuff.

If you had a good drink (or three), don't leave the bartender out, give them some praise to the manager and don't be shy about thanking them in person and dropping a five or ten spot on the bar. You just spent $250.00 for dinner, another couple bucks will go along way with your bartender. They will remember you and your drink...Let's face it ego maniac, walking into a fancy restaurant and the bartender calls out "Hey Jimmy, your usual? I'll bring it right over to your table."  You are king of the hill and we all know you like the way that feels.

I will get back to bartending another day...I promise

So leaving a good tip makes us standing around waitng for you to leave a little more enduable, not much, but it does ease the pain.

The point I am making is be aware of your surroundings, if it's a late night for you, it's an even later night for your server. Because now they have to clean up the huge mess you and your party left, re-set the table, possibly flip the dining room for breakfast or lunch, close your checks, run a server report, cash out with the manager, and who knows what else.

Remember:
WE HAVE LIVES TOO!
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