Friday, September 19, 2008

Keep the change

A few weeks ago I took my family out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. Applebees. I like eating there because the service is usually fast (not always but usually) and they have lots of different things on the menu. I like to get one of their sampler platters which give you a little bit of several different things. It makes overeating almost guilt free. You can just eat three ribs, three quesadillas, some chili cheese nachos and a big batch of fries by ordering only one thing. Sometimes I even stuff down a small desert if I am feeling particularly guilt free.

But the thing that makes eating there so special is the way the present the check. It comes in one of those leather folders. The server will lay it on the edge of the table and politely tell you that they will take “that” whenever you are ready. One of these days I will immediately say “I’m ready” without putting anything in it to see what happens. Inside the leather folder, the bill is neatly tucked inside its designated slot. There is also a slot for your credit card if that is how you want to pay. On the back of the bill is a little personal thank you note from your server. Ours read: “Thanks and have a nice day” and then there was a big happy smiley face and the name Ginger. Even the dot over the “I” is shaped like a little heart. It made me feel so special.

Well this particular day, our meal came to 41.50. Not too bad for a party of 4. OK I’m a cheap date. After checking the bill for mistakes I slid three twenties into the folder and placed it back on the table. Our server obviously was watching me because she returned to the table as soon as I laid the folder down. As she picked up the folder with the bill and the money, and without even looking inside she asked: “would you like your change?” Now I am a good tipper and sometimes I even tip too much but 19.00 for a 41.50 meal is a 46% tip. I wanted to say “Honey you weren’t that good” but instead I said “Yes please”. I wonder what she would have done if I had put 42.00 in there and answered “no you keep it” when she asked that question. So remember, before you ask for "change" you better know what the change is. Just food for thought.

Have a great day,
Greg

18 comments:

Scarlet said...

I think they ask that question no matter how much $ you put in there. Maybe they think you won't notice and they'll get to walk away with an extra-large tip.

I'll be paying close attention tonight when I go out for dinner with the kiddies. (I'll be thinking of you.)

Kristen said...

Yeah, that happens to us all the time. And, I bet that someone leaving 50 cents on a $41.50 bill happens, too.

One time, though, my husband and I had a really amazing experience at one of our favorite restaurants. The waiter was so attentive and friendly and really went above and beyond to make our dinner special. So, I decided to leave him a 30% tip. The waiter refused it! He came back to our table and told us it was too much. So I told him how great he had been and that we really wanted to do it, and he humbly accepted. Maybe he was afraid that we had had a little too much wine and had made a mistake, but I thought it just proved how much he deserved the extra in the first place. The restaurant ended up making him the manager a few months later. He was just great.

Flip Flop Momma said...

oh man, I do like the applebees to...

i do hate when they ask if u want change...I mean do the seroiusly think their service is worth a 20 dollar tip?

I mean hell, even I can bring u a refill and a platter of food...

Ruth D~ said...

Nice trick if they can get away with it, huh? I've gotten used to the question in restaurants, but I stopped going to a gas station where the guy-- a kid-- that pumped the gas repeatedly asked if I wanted the change. Duh! Of course I want my change!

Lori said...

That is strange how waiters/waitresses will say that all the time these days. They should at least see what's inside the folder before they ask that. Oh well, I guess that takes too much time.

Katherine Aucoin said...

You made me think of those cute little desserts in the shot glasses. ~Sigh~ guilt free dessert. Have a great weekend.

Katherine Aucoin said...

You made me think of those cute little desserts in the shot glasses. ~Sigh~ guilt free dessert. Have a great weekend.

Monogram Queen said...

Good food for thought Greg! We ate at Applebees last week too but down in your neck o' the woods i'm partial to Reds Icehouse or Wild Wings Cafe :)

Brooke said...

I love it when they ask if you want change…it makes me just want to answer “oh, you mean for your tip?...well, here’s your tip – Don’t talk to strangers. You did the right thing by saying yes, please. I would have done the same! :)

Janice Thomson said...

I think it is a tactless and presumptuous question they use in hopes someone will become embarrassed and quickly say "No of course not."

Rachel said...

Oh, I love Applebees and haven't been there in ages. I always try to have enough smaller bills in my purse so that I can leave the money with the tip and then when they ask if I need change I can say, "No, thank you." Then I'm done and out of there without having to wait for my change. Of course if I don't have the small bills then I get the change back and leave my tip.

Now you have me craving Applebees!!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I see you live in a beautiful area!

Celticspirit said...

I love Applebees but I have not been there in ages. I enjoyed reading your post. You have quite a way with words.

just me said...

I love the Southwestern salad at Applebees. It is marvelous. I like to pay with my debit card, then I can write in my tip. I always over-tip, though. Don't really know why, but I do.

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

haha....Yeah, I think they should just always bring change back unless you specifically tell them to keep the change......maybe that's how she gets people though! Good thing she didn't get you.....you're too quick!

Susan Kelly Skitt said...

We like Applebee's too - especially the spinach and artichoke dip, which sounds gross but is yummy!

Anyhow, we just returned from a fun family vacation to Disney :) It was my little one's first time there.

Take care!

USAincognito said...

I usually tip about $10 for every meal whenever I go out to eat. Just because I used to work as a waitress and I know how crappy the pay is....like $3.75/hour and not everybody tips more than $2.00/meal.

Sandy said...

hahahaha, oh yeah that happens to us all the time...

I unlike you, don't like Applebees, their food (at ours) isn't that good, and if you want a cocktail, their alcohol is very cheap and leaves me with a headache, something I never get somewhere else.

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