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Forgotten Beer Served Alongside Check - What Would You Do?


Ericandblueboy
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We went to Duck last Saturday and had our first meal at Sunset Grille while waiting for our timeshare to be ready. Sunset Grille was across the street from where we needed to check it - that's how we ended up there. In the midst of my meal, I ask for another beer. The waitress placed the order at the bar but forgot about it until I asked for the check. Then she suddenly remembered that I asked for another beer, which had been sitting at the bar this whole time. So she goes to bar and brings the beer back. So now I have a less than ice-cold beer and I'm done eating. The beer wasn't comped or anything. I didn't complain but I thought long and hard about it. I also didn't finish the beer. I did only leave a 15% tip. I was thinking what kind of blithering idiot would assume that I would want a beer that she forgot on the counter for 15 minutes and bring to me when I was asking for the check.

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I was thinking what kind of blithering idiot would assume that I would want a beer that she forgot on the counter for 15 minutes and bring to me when I was asking for the check.

Apparently one who will tip 15% on a check which charges for a less than cold beer. Did you not consider saying "no"?

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Apparently one who will tip 15% on a check which charges for a less than cold beer. Did you not consider saying "no"?

I did consider it. The check was about $100 with tip. I would've tipped her 20% otherwise (so I basically took the cost of the beer from her tips). I tip 20% when we eat out with kids....they don't order any food but they're quite messy (only 1 is actually messy, the other one is still on a liquid diet).

PS - she didn't ask if I still wanted the beer, she just brought it over. I'm surprised that the bartender didn't remind her when there's a beer sitting on the bar for 15 minutes.

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I was thinking what kind of blithering idiot would assume that I would want a beer that she forgot on the counter for 15 minutes and bring to me when I was asking for the check.

The kind who has a customer who accepts a beer they don't want? If you didn't want it, or don't think you should have paid for it, you should have said something about it.

And for the record? Your server screwed something up, either in not running your drink, or by not communicating that there'd be a delay in getting it out to you, but to assume she's a "blithering idiot" is totally out of line. You ordered the damn drink, and never said otherwise that you didn't want it. Should it have been comped? Absolutely. But you're REALLY going to chastise a server for bringing you something that you ordered? She's a server, not a mind-reader, and she's not a blithering idiot because she doesn't know that you don't want your beer anymore.

For the love of God, folks: if you get crap service, say something, because it's the only way the point gets across. Yes, you can leave a smaller tip (and in plenty of cases, should), but I don't know if you're tipping me 15% because you always tip 15%, or because I screwed something up. The only way anything can get fixed is to say something, and as long as your concern isn't frivolous (which the one mentioned in the OP certainly would not be), only good things can come out of it.

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I agree with Fuzzy's not-so-fuzzy logic - but I'd also add that I tend to pick my battles and might not say anything.

The reason is simple and twofold:

a ) I feel like errors of some kind happen with maybe every other meal. I try to enjoy the meals, and so I weigh - is this really impacting my overall enjoyment, or just a minor nit in an over-all decent experience? Yes, the errors are sometimes big enough to ruin the meal - but typically I can absorb them.

b ) There's the small chance that saying something just makes the night worse - a defensive manager or a vengeful server can make a fogotten beer turn into a huge scene. This is very rare but coincides with point A above.

My breakfast yesterday at the Tabard Inn featured a guy sitting near me who DID say/do somerhing with each thing that disappointed him...and he probably ruined the meal for his friends (he was at a table of 4) and for his waiter. His things were minor and no one's fault, yet he made everyone pay for it. The net result: I noticed and felt simply sad for the man, as he could take a wonderful meal with friends and turn it into a miserable experience....because he wouldn't just roll with it. His nits:

1. He was chilly, so he sent his wife back to their room to fetch a long sleeve shirt.

2. He orders a scone and it comes without jam. He askes about the jam and is told they make it onsite and don't have any now. He huffily sends the scone back in favor of something else.

3. Two perfectly behaved 9 year old girls sit at the next table and in his line of sight. He glares at them constantly.

4. He makes a big deal to get change, then to leave a 50 cent tip.

Is that the same as having the beer comped? Of course not. Not even close. But where's the line between acceptable and being a d-bag?

I'd have done the same thing - just reduced the tip somewhat and moved on. Yeah, no body learns anything, but I'm out of there without delay or cost. Saying something takes my time. It probably wouldn't prevent me from returning, but next time if I did order another beer and it wasn't there in maybe 2 minutes, I'd say something then. (will the bar staff be bringing the beer?)

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I was holding off until other people chimed in, but I've had many "forgotten things" - including a *side order* - delivered with the check. Your choices are two:

1) Politely refuse it, saying that it's too late now

2) Accept it, and stay fifteen minutes longer sipping the beer.

Mark Slater has been known to walk over and get the things himself in situations like this - I've done it, too, and almost invariably, you'll be intercepted with an apology (my standard response, alongside an innocent smile, is, "Oh, I was just trying to save you the trouble since you're swamped.")

And I agree that the beer should have been comped (the total cost to the restaurant was probably under a dollar), and also that this is a simple matter of an oversight on the part of the server. I'm not saying there wasn't other bad service also; only that this, taken by itself, does not a blithering idiot make.

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I often do what Mark Slater does, if the missing item is within view and I've either been ignored, or asked once or twice and not gotten service. Can't go back into the kitchen, though. Last night at Freddy's, my daughter's lobster roll was m.i.a. when the rest of our food was delivered, I asked about it twice over about twenty minutes and was told "it's coming" and it wasn't delivered until all the rest of our food had been finished. (She shared her bf's food while waiting and then he shared the lobster roll with her when it finally arrived.) I like them a lot there, and so I didn't punish anyone by skimping on the tip, but there was no acknowledgement that a screw-up had occurred.

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My back was to the bar and didn't know that my beer had been sitting there until the waitress wondered aloud "oh, it's sitting on the bar." Not saying she's literally a blithering idiot, just the fact that she would push the beer on me without an apology and asking whether I still wanted it makes me a little miffed (and she also didn't ask the bartender to pour a fresh beer from the tap).

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