Thought Catalog
February 10, 2015

If You’ve Received Terrible Service At A Restaurant, This Is What You Should Actually Do (Instead Of Not Tipping)

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Flickr / Tim Dorr
Flickr / Tim Dorr

Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: If I receive poor service from a waiter/waitress in a restaurant, what’s the best way to show my displeasure? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread.


A few years ago I worked at a place that I hated, hated, hated, for many reasons. One of those was the front of the house (FoH) personnel which ran wild and did so under the watchless eye of my boss’ then-wife, an extremely dumb but entitled woman in her early 20s who thought she knew the restaurant business and let the waiters and waitresses get by with things that would have warranted an immediate firing on my watch.

One night I was in the kitchen alone when a man walked into it. Usually I’d have thrown a knife or a pan, but I was tired. He stood in the pass and said: “The service was atrocious, the waiter was a disgrace to the craft, the hostess is dumber than a sack of cracked bricks, but the food was great. Mind if I leave my tip with you and the dishwasher?” And so he did, one hundred bucks, two fifties, one for me and one for Herna, our disher.

Since that day I do the same. If the food was good but the service was atrocious, I walk up to the host and say I hated the service, but loved the food and can’t bear to tip for that piss-poor of a performance, but want to show my gratitude for good food. That’s usually enough to get me the owner and it quickly trickles into the kitchen.

What this does is three things: it doesn’t make you look like just a cheap bastard who is making things up to save on tip. Second, it shames the waiter or waitress who basically define themselves as being “better” than the cooks because they make three times as much as them, and three, it delights the kitchen, something I always look for. TC mark

This answer originally appeared at Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and get insider knowledge.