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cmw00

Ever left a Restaurant without paying?

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Being a server is one of the most difficult jobs you will get! I can assure you. Believe me I know firsthand. It really really really really sucks being a server. You have to deal with so much.. HOWEVER, What cmw went through was absolutely insane. There is no excuse for that. I would have done the exact same thing. I doesn't take a genius to figure out...

No Customers = Free Time to Mess around in the back. Unless they screwed up making your food, did it again..Which is unlikely or else something would have been said.

Here are two things I have learned that will piss off servers more than anything (besides rude customers). If get really bad service, I just do option 1.

1. Just "Not Leave Anything", rather leave a ONE CENT tip. It's much worse.

2. Do not Sign your credit card receipt if you don't it comes out of the server's pocket to compensate.

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2. Do not Sign your credit card receipt if you don't it comes out of the server's pocket to compensate.

Not necessarily. One time I forgot to sign one when I went to a Chili's in Gastonia, but it still showed up on the credit card bill. Maybe that is the rule and the server forged my signature, but either way it's not foolproof.

I do like the $0.01 tip idea. It's better than leaving no tip, because leaving nothing suggests you might have just forgotten to leave one. A penny tip is just a slap in the face. :lol:

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Have you ever worked in a restaurant??

Yeah, I have...I think I mentioned I am currently working in one.

I have worked every position but bartender (and won't for personal reasons). then you should know all about table turns and good service (unless you are talking about fast food (done that too)).

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I've never left without paying, but I have left no tip. When we first sit down, in our minds the waiter/waitress is getting a 20% tip. If they don't come back to refill drinks it goes down, if we ask for something like ketchup or what not and it takes 10 minutes to bring out, tip goes down, etc. Slow server also gets you a lower tip in our book, especially if the food comes out cold then you know its been sitting there for eons waiting for the server to come get it.

But what cmw went through, yeah i totally would have walked out.

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I know I've thteatened to do it many times but Saturday night up in DC was the first time I ever did it. It was at a place called "Tai Chilli" or somthing like that. It was near the Verizon Center about a block away or less.

Worst dining experience ever. They weren't that busy at all when we got there. 15 minutes after arival some kid walks up and asks "Have you decided!?!". We ordered our drinks and an appetizer and food. He brings our drinks out several minutes later, then the appetizer about 25 minutes after ordering. 31 minutes later some kitchen worker bring sout our food, its almost ice cold. He didn't say crap, just brought out to plates and set them down at the end of the table and took off. I'm pretty mad by this time, but my G/f is keeping me from raising hell. We eat and wait and wait and wait and wait, no refills, not visits from any waiter or anybody at all, no bill. 45 minutes after getting our food. I simply get up and walk out.

We were seated all the way at the back of the place, it was a narrow long layout, and we were litterally in the last both in the place. We even walked right past our waiter and he didn't say anything.

I wanted to say somthing to sombody buy my g/f wouldn't let me. A guy I work with who grew up in DC said it's probably best that I didn't raise hell up in sombodyelses's kitchen :lol:

i still sort of feel guilty about not paying though.

If someone didn't mention this already, cmw, it's extremely chancy -- legally speaking -- to bail out of a restaurant if you've already eaten your meal. By doing so, you're doing what's called defrauding an innkeeper, a form of theft ... and, if you'd had been caught by any employee of that restaurant, you could've faced anything from a misdemeanor charge to a little bit of (gulp) jail time. :shock:

Mr. GSBG and I, like you, have adopted what most experienced diners do when faced with such a predicament: Leave the server two or three pennies. PERIOD. Servers HATE getting that, and they realize that a two- or three-cent tip is their customers' undeniable, universal message that service was below deplorable. By tipping this amount, you -- the customer -- are d*mning the service big time. (Leaving nothing as a tip, on the other hand, looks like you forgot.)

About a year ago, the service at Taco Beach, one of our favorite casual Mexican restaurants on Pine Avenue, suffered badly. Not wanting to wait any further after a dinner, I asked -- in my most businesslike, crisp, no-nonsense demeanor -- to speak face to face with the restaurant manager. Looking beyond terrified (and no doubt suspecting she'd be fired in a heartbeat), the young server politely told me that the restaurant's manager would return the next afternoon. From that point on, TB's service has been impeccable -- fast, thoughtful, and helpful -- even though I never actually spoke with the manager herself. You never know what happens, do you? 8)

Here's what we discussed Wednesday night, after coming back from Lasher's (http://www.lashersrestaurant.com/index.php), a wonderful eatery featuring elegantly prepared traditional American dishes, as well as attentive, sensitive, gentle service that didn't quit for a second -- very much like SecondEmpire, another place we adore. It's a generally agreed-upon tipping scale, based on the quality of service:

* Barely middling service: 10% tip

* Good-to-strong service: 15% tip

* Superior service, almost to the point of spoon-feeding you: 20% tip

Here's hoping your next dining experience will be a happier one, cmw. Cheers to an enjoyable weekend to you! smiley_beer.gif

Jan/GSBG

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If someone didn't mention this already, cmw, it's extremely chancy -- legally speaking -- to bail out of a restaurant if you've already eaten your meal. By doing so, you're doing what's called defrauding an innkeeper, a form of theft ... and, if you'd had been caught by any employee of that restaurant, you could've faced anything from a misdemeanor charge to a little bit of (gulp) jail time. :shock:

You are right and no amount of rationalization about shoddy service or a poor meal gets around that point. If you eat what is served, you have to pay for it. As I stated before, it is very simple.

The conduct, competence or indifference of the employees does not entitle you to decide on your own not to pay if you have decided to eat the meal. You make your statement of dissatisfaction with a marginal tip or no tip. But you have to make an attempt to square it away with the manager or owner or you could find yourself in trouble.

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If someone didn't mention this already, cmw, it's extremely chancy -- legally speaking -- to bail out of a restaurant if you've already eaten your meal. By doing so, you're doing what's called defrauding an innkeeper, a form of theft ... and, if you'd had been caught by any employee of that restaurant, you could've faced anything from a misdemeanor charge to a little bit of (gulp) jail time. :shock:

You are right and no amount of rationalization about shoddy service or a poor meal gets around that point. If you eat what is served, you have to pay for it. As I stated before, it is very simple.

The conduct, competence or indifference of the employees does not entitle you to decide on your own not to pay if you have decided to eat the meal. You make your statement of dissatisfaction with a marginal tip or no tip. But you have to make an attempt to square it away with the manager or owner or you could find yourself in trouble.

or at least take the proper route. Ask to speak to the manager, list alphabetically and chronologically what was wrong with the service/meal, if the manager doesn't offer to pay for it then make a comment that you shouldn't have to pay for such garbage. if he insist you pay then you really should pay it and never return (file a complaint with the better business bureau for that area). With the food being served cold i would also file a complaint with the local health department (probably not an isolated incident and they may want to shut the place down). between court cost and attorney's you might pay a lot more than the price of a dinner for two.

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If someone didn't mention this already, cmw, it's extremely chancy -- legally speaking -- to bail out of a restaurant if you've already eaten your meal. By doing so, you're doing what's called defrauding an innkeeper, a form of theft ... and, if you'd had been caught by any employee of that restaurant, you could've faced anything from a misdemeanor charge to a little bit of (gulp) jail time. :shock:

Mr. GSBG and I, like you, have adopted what most experienced diners do when faced with such a predicament: After you pay the bill for the meal, LEAVE THE SERVER TWO OR THREE PENNIES FOR A TIP. PERIOD. By tipping this amount, you -- the customer -- are d*mning the service big time. (Leaving nothing as a tip, on the other hand, looks like you forgot.)

About a year ago, the service at Taco Beach, one of our favorite casual Mexican restaurants on Pine Avenue, suffered badly. Not wanting to wait any further after a dinner, I asked -- in my most businesslike, crisp, no-nonsense demeanor -- to speak face to face with the restaurant manager. Looking beyond terrified (and no doubt suspecting she'd be fired in a heartbeat), the young server politely told me that the restaurant's manager would return the next afternoon. From that point on, TB's service has been impeccable -- fast, thoughtful, and helpful -- even though I never actually spoke with the manager herself. You never know what happens, do you? 8)

Here's what we discussed Wednesday night, after coming back from Lasher's (http://www.lashersrestaurant.com/index.php), a wonderful eatery featuring elegantly prepared traditional American dishes, as well as attentive, sensitive, gentle service that didn't quit for a second -- very much like SecondEmpire, another place we adore. It's a generally agreed-upon tipping scale, based on the quality of service:

* Barely middling service: 10% tip

* Good-to-strong service: 15% tip

* Superior service, almost to the point of spoon-feeding you: 20% tip

Here's hoping your next dining experience will be a happier one, cmw. Cheers to an enjoyable weekend to you! smiley_beer.gif

I had to edit my previous post by including the phrase PAYING THE BILL be a form of theft.

En route to getting our seller's permit from the local office of the Board of Equalization, I discussed this matter with Mr. GSBG, who agreed that leaving a restaurant without paying for a meal is defrauding an inkeeper, a theft that, according to the amount defrauded, can range anywhere from a misdemeanor to a felony. (I'll have to confirm this from someone in the know, since I'm not a lawyer.)

C97: Thanks sincerely for underscoring my point about the importance of speaking with the restaurant's manager.

Re. my own experience at Taco Beach, I learned that my asking to speak with the manager worked a minor miracle as far as the service was confirmed. During that ill-fated meal, the servers -- who seemed more than a wee bit intoxicated on the job :shock: -- were shrieking at the top of their lungs inside the dining area, a tiny area. "What's your stripper name?" they screamed at each other, bursting out in ear-splitting wails of laughs. The few customers in the restaurant, as well as me and Mr. G, could barely their disgust as they had their meals. Apparently they'd spread some pretty potent word-of-mouth advertising: TB's once-booming business had fallen off to a tiny trickle. Since my asking to speak with the manager, however, service improved dramatically ... and, consequently, has business since.

Finally, folks, consult http://www.zagat.com if there's any question about a restaurant you're thinking of trying. As a member of Zagat.com for the last five years, I've done plenty of write-ups about eateries Mr. G and I have visited, so I tend to take my dining experiences pretty thoughtfully. :!:

Cheers,

Jan/GSBG

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I don't really think what I did was right either :lol: Beleive me I wanted to "speak" to sombody.

Thats the worst thing I've ever done it was actually kinda fun :lol:

I have a feeling if I had complained I'd still have been stuck with the bill. Maybe not, but the boy and or others might have gotten in trouble also, and I'd hate to think that also. Even at work now I can't stand to tattle tale on sombody when they are doing things wrong or poorly, I usually just fix it myself and go on cause I'd rather do that than get sombody in trouble.

Next time I'll wait for my refill before I start eating. The dude said I'll be right back with some refills, and he never came back.

I remember when I worked at eating establishments and people complained nothing ever really came of it, I never remember anybody not paying either. I only recall th rowing in some free deserts or taking off the appetizer, crap like that.

The thought of getting in trouble never really crossed my mind, and I didn't really care whether that boy was punished or learned from his mistakes or the place improved since I'll never eat there again anyways.

Felt good being alittle outlawish though. :twisted:

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LOL

I am surprised you have never experienced that. A few weeks ago we had a guest who decided they "didn't like their entree"...AFTER they finished the most of it...my manager not only didn't make them pay for it, but also let her get something else. :roll:

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I don't really think what I did was right either :lol: Beleive me I wanted to "speak" to sombody.

Thats the worst thing I've ever done it was actually kinda fun :lol:

I have a feeling if I had complained I'd still have been stuck with the bill. Maybe not, but the boy and or others might have gotten in trouble also, and I'd hate to think that also. Even at work now I can't stand to tattle tale on sombody when they are doing things wrong or poorly, I usually just fix it myself and go on cause I'd rather do that than get sombody in trouble.

Next time I'll wait for my refill before I start eating. The dude said I'll be right back with some refills, and he never came back.

I remember when I worked at eating establishments and people complained nothing ever really came of it, I never remember anybody not paying either. I only recall th rowing in some free deserts or taking off the appetizer, crap like that.

The thought of getting in trouble never really crossed my mind, and I didn't really care whether that boy was punished or learned from his mistakes or the place improved since I'll never eat there again anyways.

Felt good being alittle outlawish though. :twisted:

cmw: Please don't EVER nail your butt. :shock:

Yeah, there've been times that Mr. G and I have felt like doing that to a place that offered crummy service. But you know what? Not only will you be doing that restaurant a humongous favor by talking directly to the manager in person, you'll be keeping your record (and you know what I mean, sir) clean. Decades later, you'll appreciate how much having a clean record, as it relates to the law, means.

(Re. that last sentence: PM me, if you wish, to see what I mean.)

Talk with the manager, tip two or three coppers, BUT PAY YOUR BILL AND NEVER, EVER PULL THAT MOVE AGAIN. You seem like a really cool individual, and it would be beyond sad to hear if you ever got in trouble with the law for doing that again.

Again, if you have any questions about where you want to dine, contact http://www.zagat.com. (Those customer ratings and comments tell everything you want to know about a dining establishment.)

Take care,

Jan/GSBG

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I don't really think what I did was right either :lol: Beleive me I wanted to "speak" to sombody.

Thats the worst thing I've ever done it was actually kinda fun :lol:

I have a feeling if I had complained I'd still have been stuck with the bill. Maybe not, but the boy and or others might have gotten in trouble also, and I'd hate to think that also. Even at work now I can't stand to tattle tale on sombody when they are doing things wrong or poorly, I usually just fix it myself and go on cause I'd rather do that than get sombody in trouble.

Next time I'll wait for my refill before I start eating. The dude said I'll be right back with some refills, and he never came back.

I remember when I worked at eating establishments and people complained nothing ever really came of it, I never remember anybody not paying either. I only recall th rowing in some free deserts or taking off the appetizer, crap like that.

The thought of getting in trouble never really crossed my mind, and I didn't really care whether that boy was punished or learned from his mistakes or the place improved since I'll never eat there again anyways.

Felt good being alittle outlawish though. :twisted:

you have to remember that by bringing it to the manager's attention then the manager can correct the problem. most restaurants pay their manager's bonus based on performance of the restaurants. of the many yardsticks they use to measure performance, one is revenue and another is customer satisfaction. those bonuses can be huge depending on the restaurant (I worked at a Bennigan's in the '80's and the unit monthly bonus was $11-15k a month - this was split between the GM and three assistants whose percentage was based on customer satisfaction for the month).

by not bringing it to the manager's attention, instead of pointing out flaws in they way that shift was run so that it could be corrected you made yourself look like a petty thief! so instead of correcting the problem you just made yourself look bad. the waiter and cook got a free ride so to speak.

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Felt good being alittle outlawish though. :twisted:

Your reply indicates you are looking to assuage a guilty conscience but it's tough to tell. The whole routine of "I wanted to complain but it doesn't seem to work...." is a poor way to rationalize it away.

GSBG is right in that you crossed a line that is black and white and your attempts to shade it as gray, for whatever reason, wouldn't have mattered if you had been caught.

I asked a question earlier about getting terrible service at at full serve gas station from a guy with a poor attitude who makes you wait and then makes mistake after mistake. Do you drive off without paying for gas? Almost everybody knows you can't because you are stealing the gas even though you paid more for it even though it was with the sub-par service.

The same applies to restaurants. You punish the server by leaving no tip but you are essentially taking off with a full stomach - like a full tank of gas - without paying and that is stealing from the owner. All the other noise about extenuating circumstances doesn't blur the picture. The next time you decide you will have "fun" the management might not be so inclined to let you walk away.

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Felt good being alittle outlawish though. :twisted:

Your reply indicates you are looking to assuage a guilty conscience but it's tough to tell. The whole routine of "I wanted to complain but it doesn't seem to work...." is a poor way to rationalize it away.

GSBG is right in that you crossed a line that is black and white and your attempts to shade it as gray, for whatever reason, wouldn't have mattered if you had been caught ... All the other noise about extenuating circumstances doesn't blur the picture. The next time you decide you will have "fun" the management might not be so inclined to let you walk away.

At the risk of smiley_beathorse.jpg ...

Somehow, rationalizations and extenuating circumstances -- how storm worded it so eloquently -- seem to fade away very quickly if you're dealing with penalties such as these:

http://colorado-misdemeanor-defense.com/?page_id=81

Granted, these laws apply to the state of Colorado, but I'd be deeply surprised if those in North Carolina differed greatly. And, somehow, the concept of being fined $500, jailed for up to 90 days, or both sound like pretty darned severe penalties, IMHO, for acting out over less-than-Spago-quality fare and service.

C97, storm, and I have said this before, and I'll say it a final time: Talk with the manager, and pay your bill. I'll add this tidbit: Don't return unless you get word-of-mouth comments from that restaurant's customers that things there have taken a distinct turn for the better.

Peace out,

Jan/GSBG

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Soooooooo, I have a story to share with everyone...might give you some perspective from the other side. I worked a serving shift tonight and had a "great" < that's sarcasm combination of tables that ruined my night.

So I get a party of 8 who had me running and running because they were changing their minds and this and that. I get sat a table of two and I get their drinks and they are just getting dessert, fine. So we were really swamped in the kitchen and, of course, it took 15-20 minutes for the dessert to come out. So they say "We wanted it hot", I take it back to the kitchen and have them make another...take it out "This one is burnt". I take it back and have them make YET ANOTHER it was not burnt, but was hot. I drop it off and go back into the kitchen to get something for the party of 8 (After all I hadn't done anything for them for 40 seconds :roll: I come back out and their dessert is ALLL over the floor. One of the other servers saw what happened and apparently, the woman took a bite..decided she didn't like it and tossed it off the table...AND left. Thank god my manager understood it wasn't my fault. Oh and then to top it off I got left about 2% from the table of 8 :x

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Two words Kate: "Still waiting"

(I think thats what the movies called)

LMAO no...its called "waiting" actually when I started serving my friend who also works with me was like "you have to watch this movie" haha

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Soooooooo, I have a story to share with everyone...might give you some perspective from the other side. I worked a serving shift tonight and had a "great" < that's sarcasm combination of tables that ruined my night.

So I get a party of 8 who had me running and running because they were changing their minds and this and that. I get sat a table of two and I get their drinks and they are just getting dessert, fine. So we were really swamped in the kitchen and, of course, it took 15-20 minutes for the dessert to come out. So they say "We wanted it hot", I take it back to the kitchen and have them make another...take it out "This one is burnt". I take it back and have them make YET ANOTHER it was not burnt, but was hot. I drop it off and go back into the kitchen to get something for the party of 8 (After all I hadn't done anything for them for 40 seconds :roll: I come back out and their dessert is ALLL over the floor. One of the other servers saw what happened and apparently, the woman took a bite..decided she didn't like it and tossed it off the table...AND left. Thank god my manager understood it wasn't my fault. Oh and then to top it off I got left about 2% from the table of 8 :x

that is a time when the manager should press charges, that is wrong no matter what way you look at it.

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That just SO stinks. And for the be-yotch who dumped her dessert on the floor, oh I wish I could have been there to pick it up and smash it into her clothing. Ooops! I thought you would catch this.... then I could toss my water on her and 'splain THAT was to help wash off the mess I'd made. By then, of course, someone would be pulling us apart and all the men would be like, 'we have to come back here again - they have cat fights!'

Grrrr - I'm so sorry that happened for you. I hate when someone working their butt off gets stiffed like that. There is no excuse! I once forgot to leave a tip after I'd gotten change at the cash register. I drove back an hour later when it hit me what I'd done to make up for it. I felt like an idiot. I would never stiff someone who had done their job.

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That just SO stinks. And for the be-yotch who dumped her dessert on the floor, oh I wish I could have been there to pick it up and smash it into her clothing. Ooops! I thought you would catch this.... then I could toss my water on her and 'splain THAT was to help wash off the mess I'd made. By then, of course, someone would be pulling us apart and all the men would be like, 'we have to come back here again - they have cat fights!'

Grrrr - I'm so sorry that happened for you. I hate when someone working their butt off gets stiffed like that. There is no excuse! I once forgot to leave a tip after I'd gotten change at the cash register. I drove back an hour later when it hit me what I'd done to make up for it. I felt like an idiot. I would never stiff someone who had done their job.

I can assure you that your server remembers you for doing that. And I mean that in a good way. I think sometimes people don't realize that servers get most of their money from tips and we have to pay bills too...so when we get people who do act like they realize we are human beings, we remember those tables.

Anywho, the table last night made for a good story to tell the crew this morning who weren't there last night. I may not have smashed the dessert on her, but my manager was close to it lol...he was actually really amusing through the whole situation. Luckily he saw how irrational she was acting so I didn't get blamed for it.

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