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Sending back food when you just don't like an ingredient. Is it good restaurant etiquette?

This sounds like the water cup discussion.

Jan 02, 2010
foodseller in Not About Food

Sending back food when you just don't like an ingredient. Is it good restaurant etiquette?

Nothing wrong with asking POLITELY if item can be exchanged for another, just dont demand it. Most restaurants will be more than happy to exchange as long as they are not being told to.

Jan 01, 2010
foodseller in Not About Food

Tipping the owner of a restaurant

When a customer tips me while I am working the register I always throw the money into the tip jar that is shared by the employees at the end of the month. Since I have a handful of employees that like to help themselves to packaged goods and drinks (when they think I am not looking) that are not included in the daily meal plan I would be justified if I were to keep a share of the tip jar but I do not.

Dec 29, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

Everything Seems To Be Shrinking

Its easier to shrink packaging rather than raise the price. No customer uproar.

Dec 21, 2009
foodseller in General Topics

I'm a regular at this place for over ten years, should I be offended?

Charles Morgan is a wise man.

Dec 17, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

I'm a regular at this place for over ten years, should I be offended?

I generally use the customers attitude as a basis for my decision. If the customer explains in a calm quiet voice the situation and is not telling me what I will be doing about it I replace the food with something else and apologize. If customer is speaking with a raised voice and letting me know how horrible it was then I would explain that though he-she might not like our recipe that it how we make it. I did though for the first time in 27 years have to ask a customer not to patronize our establishment any longer due to her being unhappy and requesting a new item and loudly voicing her displeasure. She is an airport employee and the funny thing is this happened TWICE A WEEK THE PAST 6 MONTHS. Not a big deal to replace item every now and then, it does not happen often enough to worry about. But every situation is different.

Dec 15, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

Is Good Asian possible in Charleston SC?

Yikes. That sucks

Dec 14, 2009
foodseller in Southeast

Is Good Asian possible in Charleston SC?

C&W on River's food is pretty low quality. You are better off spending a couple more dollars and putting something good in your body. Plus eating at at buffet during flu season probably isnt the smartest thing to do. Id vote for Majestic on KIng.

Dec 14, 2009
foodseller in Southeast

"It's Coming Right Out" - Why say it if it is not true?

Im sorry, thought I was on the tip jar thread.

Dec 09, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

"It's Coming Right Out" - Why say it if it is not true?

No servers at airport. Our outside location is a sit down restaurant. Tip jar only at airport. I put it in a couple years ago after requests from customers wanting to tip the cooks. I dont have any signs on it cuz I think its tacky to ask for tips. The customer wanting to leave a tip will always ask if this is the tip jar. PS Management keeps none of the money.

Dec 09, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

Parking at Gino's East on Wells in Chicago

Was wondering if anyone had any tips on where to park at the Gino's downtown Chicago? We usually go once a month but normally take a cab. Last nite was the first time driving and had to park a mile away. Thx

Dec 09, 2009
foodseller in Chicago Area

Putting money in tip jar, but server has turned away

We split the tip jar at the end of the month between all the employees so even if no one saw you I would still feel good about helping out. An extra $75 cash can really help out someone making $1000 a month.

Dec 09, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

"It's Coming Right Out" - Why say it if it is not true?

I think honesty is always the best answer. The truth might hurt but its very disrespectful to lie. Our servers are told to come to a manager if there is a issue that might affect the customers meal so that we can let the customer know of any possible delays. People dont mind waiting as long as they know whats going on.

Dec 09, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

observor, It was put in so the public would have good clean drinking water FREE OF CHARGE. Health dept wont allow pitchers on the counter. Besides would take up what little counter space I have to put out goods I need to sell.

Dec 08, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

Observor, I agree with you!! I am not refusing to give you water, even out of my tap I pay for monthly. I will give you all the water you want on my dime. I spent $1800 so that you, a human being that Ive never met and might never buy anything from me, could have clean filtered drinking water. So the $1800 I gave you means nothing because I wont throw in another 25 cents? Huh? I caught more verbal abuse when asking for 25 cents for the cup than when just saying "sorry, no water cups". The water cup people dont feel they should pay anything, period. Been there done that.

Dec 08, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

observor, Did you not read my post that stated how much I spent out of pocket to provide clean filtered water to the public free of charge? Why is that not mentioned in your arguement? What is wrong with the fountain? I guess its a what have you done for me lately world.

Dec 08, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

Observor, What is so wrong about paying for what you get?

Dec 08, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

Craig L, If the water cup person used that qualifier to make their discision on where to eat I am better off without them since the free water cup species does not like to spend money. If they are that cheap with a dime or quarter how are they gonna pull $6 out of their vise, I mean wallet, for food? I am speaking from daily experience, not just what I would like to believe. 2nd, most customers actually are willing to pay for what they recieve. Even if the cup mooch went extinct from my neck of the woods that percentage of traffic is so small it wouldnt be noticed in a negative way. Unfortunatly the percentage of people who steal soda is higher than you think. I really wouldnt have this much passion for the subject if the thieves were a small minority.

Dec 08, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

Servorg, I agree and in theory sounds good but 99% of the tap water connoisseurs refuse to pay anything for a cup. I point to the fountain every time asked. When I tried selling cups the conversation normally went like this. Mooch " can I get a water cup( or courtesy or kids cup)? Me" We sell those size cups for 25 cents". Mooch" No, I just want a cup for water". Me " We are not selling you the water, we sell the cup". Mooch" You charge for water?? Isnt that against the law? Im not paying for water!" Me" I sell the cup, not the water. there is a clean filtered water fountain right over there". Mooch" Whatever". Usually with a roll of the eyes or some other sarcastic remark. Just that exchange alone repeated a few thousand times makes you not want to give out a cup, even if they paid a quarter and didnt steal soda. For some reason the water cup mooch feels I owe them something for nothing, I guess its their birthright. In regards to the soda thief, what can you really do? I would LOVE to confront every thief and have a few times but is unpractical for many reasons, liability, time, labor, lost sales while no one is watching the register while im jumping over the counter. You risk a physical altercation everytime you confront someone, no telling what nut job is out there. Also, every cup you hand out is one less beverage customer. Ive got to do $90,000 a month to break even. Only so much food you can sell. When we discussed this with the landlord(the city) they told us to stop giving out water cups. An interesting note though when I and the other shop owners stopped the water cups the first month our soda syrup usage went down 31%. Like right out of Xfiles or sumthing

Dec 08, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

jfood, Definatly. I have never turned down in that situation. Might happen once a month at most.

Dec 08, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

Servorg, They ask for a cup because that allows them to carry a drink around without having to purchase a drink. The fountain is good for people that really need a drink of water. Our water fountain is placed right in the middle of the seating area for easy access. Rarely( and I do watch just to see if im right) does the water cup mooch get a drink from the water fountain after being turned down for the cup. If i was someone on meds and knew I would be taking them away from home and they were that important I would carry a small paper cup envelope in my wallet or luggage, the kind that comes with the Aleve or Tylenol package at the airport. Those that fail to plan plan to fail. Unfortunatly it all comes back to not wanting to part with a couple bucks for a drink.

Dec 08, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

I guess you didnt read anything i said.

Dec 07, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

observor, Most customers judge business on the quality of the food, value, and level of service, in that order. If the most important quality if a restaurant is whether or not they give away free water cups then we need to reevaluate( I think thats misspelled) how we judge. 1 little plastic cup does not cost much, but 50,000 do. Not counting the soda stolen by the deadbeats. Not counting the drink not purchased by that person who no longer is thirsty because they quenched their thirst with free water. Its not about witholding a drink of water from someone on the street who cant afford a bottle beverage, but of giving away product to someone that can afford it, but doesn't want to spend it. Nobody at the airport is broke. you need money to fly. Thats why the city charges thru the nose for rent because they know that the building is full of people with a couple bucks in their pocket. The non customer that walks up and asks for hot sauce or ranch dressing are told there is a 50 cent charge, which they normally balk at. The non customer that walks up and asks for same items and offers to pay always gets said item and is told to keep their money and please keep us in mind next time hungry. Manners and decency go a long way.

Dec 07, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

hannaone, Do you notice a difference in general public versus airline employees? Spending habits, attitude, expectations?

Dec 07, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

just_M, 1st, Personally I like the idea about neon cups but the main problem with that is it comes back to hoping the person has some shame. If not then it does nothing and I can probably guess correctly that neon cups are more expensive than plain cups and then its just more of the same. 2nd, I cant jump over the counter and confront people 20 times a day. I just dont have the time to police a soda machine. It all comes back to a few ruining it for everyone else. Believe me when I say I understand both sides of the argument. I ALWAYS order a glass of water with lemon with my meal so I dont have to spend an extra $3 . I am that cheap. I would also understand if the business did not offer it. They want to make money. If money is short I eat at home. PS, I always go the extra mile with customer service when a parent with small children, folks in wheelchairs, seniors, and the like are at my counter. Usually involves free bottle water, cookies or fresh fruit for the kids put in the bag without mentioning it to the parent. 5 nights a week I drop off the extra unserved food at homeless shelter on the way home. I use common sense and judge each situation fairly. After serving 400 customers a day x 365 days x 5 years you get a feel for people and whats going on in their mind. Body language, how they speak, tone, attitude, volume, type of questions. You learn to read people and know what the deal is. I pray that what goes around comes around cuz Ive got alot of good credit built up. Thx

Dec 07, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

Rockandroller1, 1st, you are exactly the type of non customer I was speaking about when I gave my little speech. You are attacking my quote yet did not pay attention to the details. I said bring an EMPTY BOTTLE with you to solve YOUR problem. I go thru airport security 3 times a day. There is not a TSA that will not allow an EMPTY BOTTLE. 2nd, My food is tasty enough to stand on its own that if a person chooses not to eat here because THEY were to shortsighted to bring an EMPTY BOTTLE with them then they can go hungry. Why dont YOU buy those cheaper cups you spoke of and hand them out to the masses? Why is that my responsibility? What in this world cost only 1/16th of a cent? Take out the soda machine I share with 3 other restaurants and put where? Ive got 900 sq feet! So now instead of 4 restaurants sharing a $10,000 machine each restaurant has to spend $10,000 per for their own machine? Because people cant police themselves? Raise the prices for everyone else because you dont want to pay for a beverage? I sell bottled drinks. I make money on bottled drinks. If you give out a free cup you are giving that person a reason to not purchase a drink. I pay a premium ( 10 times normal rent) because you are a captive audience. I have to recoup that. That is business.I have nothing to apologize for. My prices are more than fair and I bust my ass 50-60 hours a week to provide good customer service and product. While you are watching tv and opening gifts Xmas day I will by working the register 5am till 9pm so one less employee has to be away from his/her family that day. But to you the definition of good customer service means only that you get what you want regardless of whether its fair to the business. Ill bet money when you drop and break something in the grocery store parking lot you expect the store to replace it free of charge, right? They will probably do it once. Think theyll do it 30 times a day? If you knew anything about the restaurant business you would know that it is a nickel dime business. Nickels and dimes add up to dollars.

Dec 07, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

1st, When I moved into my space we and the other restaurants in our food court purchased a $5600 stainless steel filtered drinking water fountain located 20 feet from our counter. My share was $1800. I gave out free water cups for the first 5 years in operation, on average 30 a day. Half to customers buying food, half to people that didnt want to spend anything. 30 a day x 365 days x 5 years. Cost of the cup is 12 cents, not counting lids and straws. NOT ONCE did any of the people asking for the free cup offer even a dime or quarter for the cost of product, or throw some change into the tip jar, NEVER! 2nd, At least a third of the people would get soda instead of water . I know this because I watched this happen time after time, all day long. 3rd, drinks make up about 20% of my sales. My prices are very reasonable, especially for an airport. $1.99 for a 700ml name brand water, $1.99 for 20oz coke and pepsi bottles, $3.49 for naked juice and so on. I actually kept a written log of the water cup people for a month, how many asked, what they did when turned down, if they then purchased a drink, and their responses. About 90% of the non customers gave a sarcastic remark or negative attitude, which is funny since they are not spending anything yet feel they should get whatever they ask for free of charge. I only wish I had changed my policy earlier since these freeloaders water cups would have paid for a real nice vaction in Hawaii. About 80% of the food buying customers wound up buying a beverage. That adds up to alot of money . Just tonite I had a pilot order food, asked if Diet Coke was available in the fountain, I said yes, then asks me for a water cup, I say no water cups, then he purchases a fountain soda cup. Odd he didnt buy a bottle water since he wanted a water cup, dont ya think? So not only did I not give away the cost of the water cup but I was actually able to make a couple bucks on the soda, which leads me to my 4th and final point. I run a business. I am in business to make money. I am not running a charity. My out of pocket costs to start my business was almost $400,000. I pay about $13,000 per month for 950 sq feet, an obnoxious amount of overhead for that amount of space. Not included is the $6,000 a week in labor and $ 2,000 a week in insurance and utilities. I need to sell product in order to have a job. If you dont want to spend money, bring a empty water bottle from home. Take responsibility for yourself. It is not my obligation to hydrate you. The people crying are the ones that dont want to carry a bottle around or dont think to bring one which means they are either lazy or stupid and I dont want them near my restaurant since those are the type of people that always find something to complain about. Bring me a bottle and be pleasant and I will be more than happy to fill with tap water. Unless your name is on the lease and on the hook for the rent you shouldnt tell me how my business should be run. Walk a day in my shoes then see if you have the same attitude about a little water cup.

Dec 06, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food

no more free water?

As a take out restaurant owner inside of an airport I can tell you there are legitimate reasons for not giving out water cups. Keep in mind the overhead in an airport is obnoxious and most people dont believe what I pay in rent when told.

Dec 05, 2009
foodseller in Not About Food