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pizzeria corvina in round rock

Gave Pizzaria Corvina another shot the other night. The food and service were both good and the prices are more reasonable. No more $25 entrees! It's good to see them adapting to the neighborhood.

Nov 17, 2009
trask in Austin

Substitute for Trader Joe's in Austin?

Trader Joe's lives up to the hype, if you love food, you feel like a kid in a candy store and everything is pretty cheap too. In-N-Out isn't the best burger in the world but they only cook burgers and fries, nothing else and they do it well, everything is always fresh, the restaurants are always clean,it's really cheap, the staff is always friendly... It's that In-N-Out is so much better than any other fast food restaurant, its no contest against Mcdonalds or the like.

Jul 17, 2009
trask in Austin

Substitute for Trader Joe's in Austin?

I think the best place to find ingredients similar to Trader Joe's is at HEB. Different HEBs have different stuff and if you take the time to really look around you can find quality ingredients at trader joe like prices, but doesn't have the trader joe's "feel". Sun Harvest and Sprouts has the same feel as trader joe's. Unfortunately, I haven't found $3 six packs and $2 wine anywhere in Austin

Jul 17, 2009
trask in Austin

Should we rethink tipping?

I always tip at least 20% at the bar on drinks only, but that is me. I think you can get away with 15% if you want as long as you don't talk to the bartender all night long or aren't a regular.

Gratuity on 6+ is a good thing because some won't leave 15 to 20% of a large tab they think it is too much money to give a server. Adding gratuity to every table wouldn't be too good. For good servers it would be probably be a pay cut. Servers that are already angry, rude, slow or just bad would only get worse.

What would be ideal (for a server and would never happen) is if a server could decide which tables s/he to add gratuity to, like foreigners and the such.

Jun 16, 2009
trask in Not About Food

Should we rethink tipping?

From my understanding of the law basically anyone who can hire and fire cannot get a portion of your tips for any reason at any time. But, I have not yet found a court case that has made a decision on this matter specifically.

I forgot to mention above that if everyone in your restaurant is paid by the restaurant, regardless of tips, the federal min wage the federal laws on tip pooling no longer apply and defaults to the state laws on pooling/tipout.

My advice to you is to make sure every one of your co workers know what the owner is doing is probably illegal and at the least you have a valid case, then, find a new job where the owner doesn't act like that and contact a labor lawyer or just forget you ever put up with that. If you raise a stink while you still work there expect retaliation from the owner (also illegal but nearly impossible to prove). If you make better money at the sushi place then you can elsewhere I hate to say it but you should probably just keep quiet.
Good Luck and remember not all restaurant owners are bad.

Jun 16, 2009
trask in Not About Food

Stacking dishes, WTF?

I stack my plates because I'm a server and I know how much easier it makes things for the person clearing the table. I'm not saying that anyone else should do this, but I make a point to thank any table that does stack their dishes because they are trying to make my job easier. As far as removing empty plates when others are still eating goes, costumers are split on this issue. Some get mad if you do remove plates, some get mad if you don't. If I was to clear a plate someone wasn't finished with (like bagelman's experience) you can bet that I would do everything I could to make it right for the customer, that waitresses actions were inexcusable.

Jun 16, 2009
trask in Not About Food

Tip calculator at the bottom of the bill...?

If you get $10 on $200 you still have to tip out on the $200 which usually would be about $6 to $8 so you would walk with around $3 for your trouble. People wonder why waiters are bitter. I dont understand why people need tip calculators. How hard is it to just double the first number of a double digit tab and double the first 2 numbers of a 3 digit tab, ie $55.00 is $10 $164 would be $32 etc...

Jun 16, 2009
trask in Not About Food

"That's What You Ordered!"

It is according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. I have written a long post on another thread, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/627388# that goes into detail including court cases and specific sections in the FLSA and other DOL docs.

Jun 16, 2009
trask in Not About Food

Should we rethink tipping?

A sushi chef interacts with the costumer in the same way a host or busser would therefore under the FLSA they may participate in a tip pool. I don't think it is a good thing, but it is legal.

Jun 16, 2009
trask in Not About Food

Should we rethink tipping?

Check out the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the case law that supports it.

29 CFR 531.35, 29 USC203(d) and (m), Handbook 30d04, Ayers v. 127 restaurant corp, Chung v. Silver Palace, Meyers v. The Copper Cellar Corp, All support that anyone who doesn't have direct contact with the costumer or anyone who is an owner or an owners agent (mgmt) cannot be tipped out.

29 CRF 531.3(d) 29 CFR 531.32 FLSA 2006-21 supports that an employer cannot make a tipped employee cover the cost of doing business (broken glassware, incorrect orders etc..)

29 CFR 203(m) Bonham v. Copper Cellar corp, Chan v. Sung Yue Tung corp, Handbook 30d04, support that a tip pool is voluntary and the employee must be notified of the tip out arrangement.

29 CFR 531.56(e), FOH 30d00e DOL Fact sheet #15 Fast v. applebees, supports that you cannot be asked to do work that is not directly related to a tipped employee earning tips unless they are incidental to the servers normal duties (which is why I was specific to the cooks side of the line). If the server is asked to perform these tasks they are considered a dual occupation employee and must be paid at least minimum wage without taking tip credit while performing tasks unrelated to earning tips.

Some states have more laws further limiting what an owner can do regarding tipped employees.

Jun 16, 2009
trask in Not About Food

Should we rethink tipping?

The server was hopefully talking about the tipout mgmt collects to give to the bussers hosts and bartenders. It is illegal for mgmt, cooks, and dishwashers to get any part of your tips. It's also illegal for owners to make you pay for broken glass. It is legal to tip out or pool with bussers hosts and bartenders. If your manager cuts the busser halfway through your shift you can't be made to tip him/her out for the whole night and the tip out percent has to be made known to you if you ask and can't be changed on a whim by mgmt, it is considered an agreement between you and the busser host bartender and is actually voluntary but you can be fired for not participating just like you can be fired for breaking a glass. Remember, when you tip 20% we probably get about 14% and then have to pay taxes on that. A little off topic, but it also illegal for restaurants to make tipped employees not being payed min wage from the restaurant to do janitorial work, ie you can't be forced to spend an hour polishing the cooks side of the line or cleaning bathrooms, but good luck explaining this to your boss.

If servers were paid an hourly wage and not tipped diners would not be happy i promise. If a server gets paid the same whether you get your 2 sides of raw onions and extra goat cheese on the side or not, good luck with the special orders or fast service.

Jun 15, 2009
trask in Not About Food

"That's What You Ordered!"

If you don't get what you think you ordered send it back politely, but stand your ground you can refuse delivery on food just like anything else. I would lose my job if I refused to replace a meal for any reason, it's not the servers job to say no, it's the mgmt's. There also have been many times that costumer is actually wrong and did order incorrectly, but even in that situation you have to be gracious. Someone who has to be right, even if they are, will never last as a server. Costumers will sometimes only read the first few words on the menu and then insist they were brought the wrong thing. ( Can't tell you how many people have been angry that the beefsteak tomato salad didn't include a beef steak).

Jun 15, 2009
trask in Not About Food

"That's What You Ordered!"

It is illegal to make servers pay for mistakes whether it be an incorrect order or a broken glass etc... If your owner docks you REPORT THEM.

Jun 15, 2009
trask in Not About Food

Service for "regulars" vs everyone else

Bagelman is right on. This may be painful for some to hear but if a restaurant is busy just from regulars, there is a line when they open and they have been open for 50+ years and don't have a 2nd location, they don't care if you come back. Everyone who works in a restaurant wishes they could be the Soup Nazi, its just that most of us will go out of business if we do. Kudos to Sallys.

Jun 15, 2009
trask in Not About Food

pizzeria corvina in round rock

"The pasta is house made and served VERY au dente which is not to my bf's liking."

Is it possible for fresh, house made pasta to be al dente? I've always thought that only dry pastas can come out al dente.

Jun 14, 2009
trask in Austin

My New Dining Pet Peeve--I want Separate Checks

2,3,4 credit cards are no problem ever, especially on an even split. I'm talking about like 10+ credit cards and having to figure out what goes on each person's check

Jun 14, 2009
trask in Not About Food

My New Dining Pet Peeve--I want Separate Checks

I guess I'm wrong, I don't know how much work I do. I've only been working in restaurants my whole life...

Jun 14, 2009
trask in Not About Food

Should Some Restaurants Be Child-Free?

I think there should be restaurants that do not allow children but it would be a very select few restaurants that would even want to exclude children. Babies and toddlers, no matter how well behaved, cannot make it through a long dinner every time. One of the things you have to give up for your two year old is the chef's tasting menu if you don't have a sitter. I think that not allowing teenagers with parents is crazy unless it's a bar. The problem is that some parents don't know when their kids are too young for certain restaurants, there are plenty of great restaurants that welcome young families with open arms. I have seen, on several occasions, a diner get up and yell at a small child/parent. That type of person needs to be kept away from children (and the rest of us too)

Jun 14, 2009
trask in Not About Food

My New Dining Pet Peeve--I want Separate Checks

Young people, male or female, are often bad tippers no matter what you do. The bit about older ladies only applies to groups of females only (again no offense just observations) and it's a way to make a few extra bucks as server and also makes the ladies happy.

The half cash half credit card applies to everyone any age/gender. I hear someone complain about this at least twice a week.

It would be an interesting survey. The servers gender and part of the country urban/rural, would also be interesting information.

Jun 14, 2009
trask in Not About Food

My New Dining Pet Peeve--I want Separate Checks

I'm not saying that the only job a server does is to run the check. Splitting up a big top, and and running a bunch of credit cards is 5000% more difficult than running one card, it really does double your workload for the table.

Jun 14, 2009
trask in Not About Food

My New Dining Pet Peeve--I want Separate Checks

My 2 cents... Separate checks are confusing and time consuming for your server. Splitting the bill among two or three credit cards isn't any harder than one card or cash and any server that gives you trouble about this is either having a very long day or just not good at his/her job. If you are with a small (4-5) party splitting a check is no problem as long as the restaurant's software is able. If it is a larger party splitting checks is very difficult if people shout drink orders as you are walking by with salads for the other end of the table or if people are playing musical chairs. I know where seat 17 is at the table but i can't remember everyone's face. If the credit card system is on a network it isn't that big a deal to run a bunch or credit cards because they process in seconds, but if the restaurant has yet to update it can take a minute and a half for each credit card to process so a ten top with ten credit cards can take 15 minutes plus the time it takes to deal with the server's other tables because they cannot be abandoned for 15 minutes. But it is a servers job to give the costumer what he/she wants no matter how painful it may be. It never gets mentioned that since the server is doing literally twice as much work on a split check big top they should get tipped 30%, and I'm not saying that they should but if anyone was asked to double his workload wouldn't they be surly without extra compensation? If you discuss payment before any orders are placed it makes things much easier. Most importantly if you have a good attitude like Mr Hunt Seems to, you are much more likely to have a good time and get whatever you want.

Jun 13, 2009
trask in Not About Food

My New Dining Pet Peeve--I want Separate Checks

You are correct in assuming that splitting evenly among several cards is easier, at least on every POS system I've ever used, than splitting checks.

Jun 12, 2009
trask in Not About Food

My New Dining Pet Peeve--I want Separate Checks

In my experience you will do much better splitting checks for older ladies (no offense to older ladies) because most of the time when they each get their own ticket they tip 15 to 25% each, and when left to divide the check themselves you get straight 15% if you are lucky, or worse the dreaded "take all the cash and apply it to the bill and split the rest among the credit cards" then you only get tipped on the credit card portions.

Jun 12, 2009
trask in Not About Food

pizzeria corvina in round rock

Fred G Sanford and I both wish they still made Ripple...

Jun 11, 2009
trask in Austin

pizzeria corvina in round rock

My point is that why would you open a restaurant and have your big ticket items not end up on your product mix. Why have it on the menu if it won't sell. It correct that the rest of the food menu isn't unreasonable, but the prices on the wine list are unreasonable. Would you buy a $25.00 glass of wine (Cassanova di Neri)? It is a Brunello and it is worth $25.00 but nobody will buy it, and the cheaper wines are marked up way beyond the norm.

Jun 11, 2009
trask in Austin

pizzeria corvina in round rock

While most restaurants are lowering their prices, the folks at Pizzeria Corvina think they can get away with charging $28.00 for a chicken half and some potatoes, and $13.00 for a glass of Louis Martini cab. A glass of Louis Martini should go for $7.00 to $9.00 and Roaring Fork charges about $17.00 (which is still kinda high) for a chicken half dinner and the restaurant isn't in the Target parking lot in Round Rock.

Jun 10, 2009
trask in Austin