As the economy tanks, people working in the service industry start to believe that tips are an entitlement. Quite frankly, a tip or gratuity is not part of the payment required when eating out. Lately, the service I’ve received at chain restaurants has been hit or miss. Best I can tell, the restaurants create the situations initially by stocking people back to back like firewood. Then, waitstaff overwhelmed by the work, fall far short of expectations.
Unfortunately, orders are entered wrong, people are human. But those of us who choose to eat out instead of cooking for ourselves expect that our orders will be completed properly, that our drinks will be served and be refilled in a timely manner, and that our server will have some clue when the order exits the kitchen incorrectly.
I am tired of my comfort and enjoyment being secondary to the expectation of gratuity. Gratuity should be earned. In the economy my money and time have value. My angry decision is that servers will be judged based on their work. Tips will range from 1% to 20%. Formerly, the minimum I would leave is 10%. But some service is so bad that 1% may be deserving.