Monday, April 13, 2009

Update on Ruth Chris Steak House...

As usual (or at least for the past 2 years) I took the family to Ruth Chris Steak House, which as you may recall was a disaster of sorts last year. This was a totally different experience for us last night. First there were only 3 of us as Mary and her family spent Easter Sunday with Brian's family. Michael was with his father which left us with no a restaurant. Obviously we were having a different kind of dinner. But the real difference last night was the waiter who was wonderful. Anyone going to Ruth Chris's in Ocean City/Berlin ask for Scott. He was efficient, cheerful, accommodating and eager. I couldn't find one thing wrong with the dinner or the service...excellent experience. Now the people at the table beside us...what a pain in the ass for a server. First of all, Ruth Chris is not a blue jean kind of place for dinner, in my opinion. But there was Mr. Big Shot (couldn't have been over 30) sitting there in blue jeans and a shirt, no tie, no jacket (at night in a upper scale restaurant). When Scott went to him to see if he could get them anything else he was informed that they wanted their left overs packed up. Not once, but several times Scott was told that this person was very particular about the way his left overs were packed up. Scott reassured him that he would take great care with his LEFTOVERS, and would see that they were packed up properly. But that just wasn't good enough, the man then said, I don't want any of the items touching each other so everything has to be packed individually and organized. ORGANIZED, we aren't talking about a presentation people, we're talking left overs. I realize left overs are a foreign concept to me, since I never have any, well I might as well not have any as I don't like them and won't eat most of them (spaghetti and pizza are breakfast foods for me and I will eat them)...but really organized left overs....I just wanted to jump up, slap this guy in the head and tell him to get over himself. Pompous jackass. If you are that damn picky, bring your tupperware with you and pack it your own darn food up. Treating service people as if they are your personal slaves, or just too stupid to do the job correctly is ridiculous. In every industry there are people who aren't efficient, but they had Scott for a waiter and by the end of the meal it is clear he is efficient, so to insult him by instructing him on leftover etiquette is just unneccessary. Linda and Candi dropped by to stitch Sunday, and Candi is a waitress while she's getting her degree and she had to go to work Sunday night and wasn't looking forward to it as Easter Sunday in her restaurant brought out people who demanded rather than ask, harrassed rather than tipped, and generally just made her life miserable for the evening. I don't understand how it makes some people feel better about themselves to bring down others by their words and actions. I know how this feels as periodically I have someone return something in our store and instead of walking in and asking to return the item, they throw it on the counter and in a nasty tone say they are returning it ....... Perhaps because so many shops in Ocean City on the boardwalk are souvenir and don't take returns the customer is anticipating a hard time, but they don't even give us a moment. While we do have a return policy, we cannot take back leaflets, or fibers, or any opened kit, we do take everything else back if it's brought back in a timely fashion and that can be 3 months. But this isn't about us, it's about the treatment of service industry workers. If you get good service a tip is required, that's it don't fight it. It doesn't have to be 20%, although I think if you've ever had to waitress you would agree that 20% is a nice tip, but 15% is also nice. Just don't leave nothing. Even bad service to me gets a tip, not a good tip, but I give them something for effort...10%. I will admit that I've taken off for attitude, if you give me attitude I take a few points off which equates to less tip. It does get on my nerves that the tip in a higher scale restaurant is based on the amount of the check...that server generally doesn't run anymore than the waitress or waiters in a breakfast cafe or a luncheon diner and yet because of the size of the check the upscale waiter gets a lot more in tips. If I may go back to the Nashville lobster ($272) that check came to about $450 which means that the tip should have been $90.00, with good service. First the service wasn't good, and then they had the nerve to charge $272 for a lobster? Oh, God, you know that tip came down which it shouldn't have because the waiter didn't set the price, however, the waiter did know the market price and he should have said something, and because he didn't, well, let's just say his tip reflected that. He packed up the shell of the lobster ... idiot...instead of the lobster meat which I had put on a bread and butter plate and pointed it out when I asked to have it packaged and yet it still sat on the table when he presented us with the styrofoam container with the head of the lobster. And yes, I deducted for that, but he still took home enough money that if that was his only table he still had a good night. Scott, who gave better service, packed up the leftovers for Sara and presented them in a Ruth Chris bag for ease in taking it home, and who checked back frequently to see if we needed anything still ended up with less and he got the full 20% but the check was only $300 (only, that's a hoot, $300 for dinner for 3...oh my God, it's a good thing I don't go out often). Anyway, treat your service people's not always easy dealing with the public and strive to be the one they remember for all the right reasons, not the one they remember for being an asshole. Well, having say enough I'll end with ... Have a great night, day whatever, and keep your needles moving.

1 comment:

LadyDoc said...

I waitressed for a short time one summer during college- back with the dinosaurs, of course, lol!- and I say HURRAH!! to this post! I also worked downtown fancy department store retail for Christmas several years during college and that also was often brutal.

The attitude of a customer/patron can make or break your day regardless of the tip.

Thanks for a good reminder!