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"Restaurant Talk: How To Be A Regular" by Nick Freshman on ARLnow.com


DonRocks
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In this article, "Restaurant Talk: How To Be A Regular" by our own Nick Freshman on ARLnow.com, there seems to be almost nothing controversial to me; yet, people are arguing left-and-right in the Comments section, although I guess they're arguing with each other, not with Nick.

I thought this was a nice little piece, and quite frankly I learned something: the "I'll take care of you at the end" scenario is something I've never really thought about before. The problem with *not* doing it is that it often leads to overtipping, at least with me. I'll leave $10 for an $7 drink because I don't feel like waiting on change, then do the same thing again, and again.

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Interesting piece.  And, spot on about the comments. Some are actually funny in a sad sort of way.

Prompts just two thoughts for me other than appreciation for Nick taking the time to share some useful information:

1.  It'd be interesting to see a piece like this written for restaurants given this focuses on bars/cocktail lounges. Would things be similar or vary?  And, if the latter, by how much and in which ways?

2.  In the broader business world beyond food and beverage, "regulars" are termed "accounts" modified by any number of words but "strategic," "key," "focus," and "global" are four that come to mind.  So, if we're talking about GE's aircraft engines business, Boeing would be such a 'strategic account'.  Many people believe that becoming a strategic account (which absolutely gets all kinds of special attention/treatment) is purely about spending the most money.  Often not true. It can be much more sophisticated and thoughtful than that involving many aspects of how two business collaborate beyond transactions.  I think the analogy is imperfect but that there's also much that could be used porting ideas and good practices from the restaurant/bar biz to and from other businesses in a host of industries.

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People on ARLNow love to argue about anything and everything.  It's pretty much a routine at this point.

I agree.  At times the comments and snarkiness are pretty funny.

Nick's article was simple and right on.    With regard to some of the comments, I know our long experience with bartenders and what they earn, was that the $1/drink tip was a fairly standard measuring stick for many years around DC for bartenders for everything, beers and mixed drinks all mixed together.   Clearly drink prices have risen in many places as have beer prices.   I would expect bartenders to earn more on higher prices;  but it was interesting to read the reactions, the resistance to Nick's comment and the reasoning from customers.

I suppose there is a lot of resistance to higher prices that surfaces in comments like those.

Meanwhile plenty of bars with helpers such as barbacks do tip out to the barbacks.  The busier the bar, the harder the barbacks work, its smart for the bartenders to tip out the barbacks handsomely.   If a barback services multiple bartenders and one tips out better that bartender will end up getting more help from the barback.   Same policy that Nick wrote about for customers applies to treating the barbacks appropriately.

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This reminds of me an interesting thread on this site, perhaps a couple years ago, that was about tipping on wine (and how, if you purchase a $50 or $500 bottle, the serving process is the same, yet the tipping charge is quite different), and ventured into tipping on discounted food items (and, iirc, it included an interesting and worthy argument against tipping on the usual, full-price amount). I'd link to it if I could remember what the thread was called. I guess that makes this another less-than-helpful-post from me. Keeping the streak alive since 2006. Ha!

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This reminds of me an interesting thread on this site, perhaps a couple years ago, that was about tipping on wine (and how, if you purchase a $50 or $500 bottle, the serving process is the same, yet the tipping charge is quite different), and ventured into tipping on discounted food items (and, iirc, it included an interesting and worthy argument against tipping on the usual, full-price amount). I'd link to it if I could remember what the thread was called. I guess that makes this another less-than-helpful-post from me. Keeping the streak alive since 2006. Ha!

Sounds like the tipping thread starting with this post.

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