In a comprehensive “This Is How You Must Comport Yourself At A Restaurant” article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio natives like Ted Allen and Zachary Bruell advise readers on how to get the most out of a restaurant experience, and long story short: it’s all on you, diner.
Okay, it might be a bit of a stretch to say that you, diner, are responsible for your own happiness (though that’s probably a good piece of general life advice). But even if your waiter is incompetent, even if he spills things on your baby and brings you steak instead of tempeh or tries to serenade you with “Defying Gravity” (he’s gonna be on Broadway one day, just you wait) — Michael Symon’s advice is to always, always, always tip.
“I’d still tip but let the manager know the service I got was subpar,” the Iron Chef says. “When things are wrong, good restaurants are always going to want to make things better. If you never say anything, they’ll never know.”
And when you tip, tip decently. The article suggests the industry average is a 15 percent tip, with good service being rewarded with 20 percent or higher. Don’t be one of those guys who leaves a penny and a sanctimonious note — otherwise, you might just end up on the Internet.
Also, be constructive with your criticism! There’s no point Hulk smashing through a complaint. “This is a customer-based business,” Symon reminds all the Bruce Banner diners out there. “It’s our job to fix it, to make sure it never happens again, and the next time they come in they’ll have an experience they’ll remember.”
Thanks for the tips, chef! We’ll try to restrain our plate-smashing rage next time our souffle takes more than the menu’s pre-warned 45 minutes.
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