Monday, January 29, 2007

Never Count Your Money, When You're Standing At The Table

First off, my daily stats. I worked Sunday night from 5-close. That's 6 hours on the road. I took 11 deliveries, drove 53 miles, and made $28 in tips. Decent night. It snowed about 2 inches between 8-11, so that made things a little slippery as well.

One interesting note, I had 3 consecutive deliveries to a mobile home park. Those 3 deliveries tipped $11, almost $4 each. My other 8 deliveries tipped $17, barely over $2 each. Some of my best tippers live in trailers.

Now to the topic of this post. We had a dine-in customer tonight that was absolutely raving about the quality of our pizza. They loved the generous toppings, it was so much better than our franchise on the opposite side of Cleveland, and so on. The waitress (I refuse to use the politically correct term "server") was great even though they "drove her crazy."

So when they left, I was curious to see if they had tipped accordingly, so I asked our waitress, Catherine. She was cleaning up the salad bar and said she hadn't checked yet. Now they had been gone for at least 3-4 minutes. If it was me, I'd have been anxious to see how much I had made. But not Catherine. She said I could go get it off the table for her if I wanted, which I did.

Now their check was $57 and they left a very generous $18 tip. I handed it to Catherine and she put it in her apron without even counting. I asked her if she was going to count it and she said no, she thought that was rude.

Now, I understand not wanting to count the money in front of the customer, but after they had already been gone? As I said before, I would have been counting it up and adding it to my running total. Is that rude?

I am not a waiter, I'm a driver. I do have to make sure the customer gives me enough to cover the check and see if they need change, so I do fan through the bills. If there are singles I know they don't need change. So I just do a rough count to make sure they have covered the check and I don't do an exact count in front of them.

But when I get back to the car, I do count it before I add it to my bank.

Also, about 20% of our deliveries are credit-cards. The customer can write a tip on the line. I do glance at them to make sure they are signed. (I actually had a manager once make me go back to a house because the customer had written the tip but then forgot to sign the receipt). But it's just a quick glance to make sure it is filled out properly, I don't focus on reading the tip amount at that time.

But again, once I get back to the car I will definitely check the tip amount before I start back to the store.

In closing, I was happy that Catherine got a nice tip, but I am curious what others may think. Is it rude for a waitress or waiter to count the tip discreetly after the customer had already gone? (In this case it was after 10 and we had no other dine-in customers in the store).

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