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plaidbowtie's Profile

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Oh no another tipping thread! When is no tip justified?

I might offer a different perspective:

Every restaurant has it's own policies regarding how the brigade of FOH staff gets compensated. The ranges of this can vary as wildly as the types of restaurants out there.

In the past, I have worked for companies where the service staff pays the support staff (bussers, runners, baristas, hosts, the bar, etc) strictly based on their sales.

For the sake of argument, let's say that a restaurant requires that a server pay:
3% of sales to a busser
2% of sales to a food runner
1% of sales to a host
2% of alcohol sales to the bar

We're looking at anywhere between 7 and 10% of the server's sales being tipped out to other people, in other words, roughly half of their take for the night. Tipping anything below this mean the server lost money.

I am all for not compensating poor service. As a former server (and rather hard-ass manager), I expect things to be done properly, and the first time. Mistakes happen, certainly, and how they are handled is a big factor.

Here's what I can't advocate: tipping in a manner that causes your server to actually lose money. In my humble opinion, no one other than an employer should actively decrease an employee's income. To make nothing additional, yes. To take away, no.

If I were to the point that I did not want to tip the server, I should also be speaking with a manager. I would want them to know what happened, and I would also want to know that I don't plan on compensating the server. It's an easy question to ask what the tip out procedures are, and then you can ensure that those who didn't mess up are compensated properly, while those who did are not.

Jul 17, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

Hair found in the food...

You wanted your entire dinner comped???? That's a bit unreasonable. Almost everyone has hair. Hair falls out. Yes, it should be maintained to minimize or eliminate the chances of that happening, but it's hair, not a used hypodermic needle.

Comping the dessert with profuse apologies and the offer of a replacement is sufficient, in my opinion.

Jul 13, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
16

Trying to find a Wine

if you have an iphone upload the picture to the app delectable, and they will find it for you and ship it to your house.

Apr 29, 2014
plaidbowtie in Wine

Plate sharing fee- why?

I agree with this. A good relationship in any instance is a two-way street.

Also- let's be real, a restaurant will likely not get much praise by saying "No splitting plates," even if they really don't want that, namely (I'd assume) for financial reasons. It's much more diplomatic to discourage it through charging a fee.

Apr 16, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

wine auction at K&L Wines

K&L is a reputable retailer, with a staff who understands what to look for when physically inspecting bottles for signs of poor storage conditions.

Did they physically check the cellar/locker/etc the wine was stored in with a thermometer and humidifier? Probably not. However, checking ullage against the position of the cork in the neck, against signs of heat/water damage that would show on the glass/label/foil is more than adequate.

Apr 05, 2014
plaidbowtie in Wine

Are we supposed to be tipping much less than I thought in California?

A restaurant I used to work at, 20ish years ago had a folio for many, many of the regulars that visited our restaurant, detailing their preferences, frequency of dining, etc. (This was before Open Table) It was part of training to learn all of these, and the staff was regularly tested on it's content, alongside food and wine questions.

Mar 18, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

For workers in hospo, what you wish customers knew?

I was a server in a past life, so no longer relevant, but....

I am literally just one person. While I considered myself to be good (better than good, really, but let's not toot horns), there are times when there's just too much to get done for one person to handle. So if you had to wait an extra 3 minutes for your water, maybe look to see how busy I am (was).

Sometimes the idiot hostess decided that 18 seats in your section should be sat in 5 minutes. Or the manager is putting out a fire somewhere else. Or doing coke in the bathroom- true story. I knew how to ask for help when I needed it, but sometimes there was none to be had, and I had to do the best I could.

Knowing that, that's what I most wish people knew. I hated giving service that was below my personal standards (yet WELL above the restaurants), there's not much that is more frustrating than not being provided with the opportunity to reach your own potential.

Feb 11, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
3

Sagrantino food paring

Paolo Bea's wines, while full bodied are quite finessed and nuanced. I wouldn't go too powerful with the food, but roasted game/fatty beef will work.

My favorite producer of a region that doesn't start with the letter "B" :)

Feb 10, 2014
plaidbowtie in Wine

Preferred method of making restaurant reservations?

That's absolutely true. Theres a field for "guest notes" and "reservation notes." Guests notes are attached to the name/email/phone number, and will show up every time you make a reservation. Reservation notes are a one time thing, and then auto delete.

GNs are often used to notate preferences of diners, if there were any problems in the past, how they were resolved, etc.
RNs are handy to notate bday/anniversary celebrations, what you're wearing if there's a wait so they can find you again, etc.

There is also a function that shows every instance that you've used OT for that restaurant, when and where you sat, or if you cancelled, no showed, etc.

Feb 10, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
1

Preferred method of making restaurant reservations?

Restaurants are only charged for Opentable (OT) reservations if the reservation initiates on the OT website. Reservations that are made on OT from the restaurant's personal site, or over the phone, are free. This is why you get points for making the reservation through the main site, but not through the restaurant's webpage OT link.

Feb 06, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

OMG WE NEED A NEW SMOKE DETECTOR

Same thing happens in my apartment (same size). Cheap solution- we put a shower cap over the detector. It helps, though not totally

Feb 02, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

Runaway boulder crashes through Italian vineyard

Does that count as the first press?

Feb 01, 2014
plaidbowtie in Wine

Impact of plastic bag ban?

I will note that I agree with this 100%. Kitty's waste is always sealed in a biodegradable plastic poop bag.

Feb 01, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

Impact of plastic bag ban?

I don't particularly feel the need to argue my waste disposal habits, because I've been doing this for years, along with many other residents in my building, to no ill effect.

Jan 31, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

Impact of plastic bag ban?

Fly? It doesn't have wings. It drops into the garbage can, where all the rest of the garbage is. I fail to see how that's gross at all.

Gross is having to un-stick someone else's giant bag at my floor.

Jan 31, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

Impact of plastic bag ban?

As a few of my fellow San Francisco based CHers have mentioned- we haven't had plastic bags here for a few years, with paper bags costing a dime apiece.

At first I thought it was going to be a PITA, but then it ended up working out to my advantage. I have a good quality burlap reusable (and washable) bag from Whole Foods that cost like...$7. Full, it fits 2 weeks of groceries for me (single dude).

The paper bags come in handy though- I use them as a garbage/recycle bag. I live in a large apartment building that has a garbage chute- and even when the paper bags are full they won't get stuck before reaching the ground floor. I haven't had to buy garbage bags ever since. I've actually thought about going to the grocery store, giving them 2 bucks and just asking for 20 bags. I feel like that might be tacky, though.

Jan 31, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

Burgundy maps: Climats; Lieux-dits -- definitions/differences?

Sure! Although we gave opposite answers, I fully accept that I may have gotten them backwards. I didn't double check, and was maybe a bottle of bubbles in at that point :)

Jan 20, 2014
plaidbowtie in Wine

Offering wine to friends?

It would probably be 2 courses that lasted 16 hours. Instead of dessert everyone would stare at the ceiling.

Jan 18, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
3

Bacon Vodka - What to do with it besides drink

My little brother brought some to Christmas this year. The resounding conclusion was that it tasted like dog food.

I have no suggestions for consumption of such a vile thing.

Jan 18, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

Secular grace

If it's given, we will generally acknowledge that the animal we are eating gave it's life to sustain us. Or, we can give thanks to those who grew the food.

Jan 15, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
2

Lock your toaster ovens

They truly are. I had one long ago, who learned how to open the front door, ring the doorbell, and then hide in the shrubs. It was his favorite game, and our least favorite.

Jan 14, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
7

Burgundy maps: Climats; Lieux-dits -- definitions/differences?

It's my understanding that a Lieu-Dit is a plot of land that is delimited by the AOP system, whereas a climat, CAN be the same thing, but doesn't necessarily hold the same designation. For instance, you can have a few different climats within the same lieu dit, based on the specific aspects of the land, a clos, etc.

The best example I can think of- Chablis Grand Cru is a single AOP, and the individual Grand Crus of Clos, Vaudesir, etc are climats of Chablis Grand Cru, but legally are all the same AOP. The Lieu Dits of Chambertin, and Clos de Beze are two different AOPs of Gevrey Chambertin, even though Clos de Beze can be listed as simply "Chambertin"

Jan 13, 2014
plaidbowtie in Wine

Bad names

At the now closed Lespinasse in NYC one night the menu had Roasted Baby Lamb on the menu, and the manager forgot to type the word "Lamb," causing the first 5 or 6 tables to have "Roasted Baby" as an offering for the night.

Jan 08, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

being invited to eat where there are cats

somebody said earlier to each their own, which I agree with. Personally, I don't have the time or the the energy to worry about it. Maybe I have a higher squick tolerance than others- I read for instance the other day that a pair of dirty underwear carries on average 1/10th of a gram of fecal matter.

I made a choice a few years ago to not let things bother me unless they really do bother me. We live in a dirty world, and some how, we're all still here.

Also, on a personal note, my pets were here before my friends, and they will be there after those friends leave my life for whatever reason. They will get precedence.

Jan 08, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
1

being invited to eat where there are cats

I've never thought about a friend's cat or taken it into consideration when I go over to their place. Then again, I give my own cat so many tummy and face kisses, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't even matter.

Jan 07, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
2

Tips and expensive restaurants

Jan 06, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
1

Dinner contract includes 22% gratuity

the extra 2% above 20 frequently is the commission for the person that booked the party. Assuming they do a healthy business where contracts are required, a large party/private dining coordinator is who you're dealing with.

Jan 06, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

What are your remedies after eating too much?

A triple espresso and a good book. ahem.

Jan 05, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
1

Bad names

I think it depends- it certainly can be, and it wasn't what it was when I moved there 20 years ago, but there are still plenty of local spots. Perhaps not for food, with the exception of a very limited few.

Jan 05, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food

Bad names

I'd be more concern about portion sizes- are we looking at a standard sized toilet or one of those low flow/high efficiency?

Jan 05, 2014
plaidbowtie in Not About Food
6