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On The Border, a Texas-Based Tex-Mex Chain with Several Virginia Locations


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Went to On The Border with coworkers (13 total) tonight (2/21). I had the Bandera Sirloin. It was fine, especially given the fact that this isn't a steakhouse. The avocado sauce played off the beef nicely. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal. Then the check came...one check. We explained that we were in town on business and everyone was a separate party. We were told by our server and again by the manager that it would be too hard to split the checks. He suggested we just initial by whatever we ordered and he'd ring it up right. It took us 45 minutes to get processed out! (Right...this was much easier than separate checks. [/sarcasm off]) He still came around and asked each of us what we had and then rang up a receipt for each credit card customer. I fail to see how just doing that to begin with wouldn't have been easier all around. I've never seen a manager so unwilling to work with the customer. I guess we'll let our wallets do the talking when we're back in town. I'm sure there are plenty of places with better food and service around here.

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Went here with coworkers (13 total) tonight (2/22). I had the Bandera Sirloin. It was fine, especially given the fact that this isn't a steakhouse. The avocado sauce played off the beef nicely. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal. Then the check came...one check. We explained that we were in town on business and everyone was a separate party. We were told by our server and again by the manager that it would be too hard to split the checks. He suggested we just initial by whatever we ordered and he'd ring it up right. It took us 45 minutes to get processed out! (Right...this was much easier than separate checks. [/sarcasm off]) He still came around and asked each of us what we had and then rang up a receipt for each credit card customer. I fail to see how just doing that to begin with wouldn't have been easier all around. I've never seen a manager so unwilling to work with the customer. I guess we'll let our wallets do the talking when we're back in town. I'm sure there are plenty of places with better food and service around here.

Okay, you wanted one server to wrote up 13 checks for one table for a cheap reataurant? How hard would it of been for you guys to guesstimate how much you owed? Or divide among 13 and give or take a few bucks or five? Give the poor server a break! I am sorry I am not being sympathetic, but come on, you guys were being cheap and stingy. You should of gone to Chipotles and ordered seperately!

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Okay, you wanted one server to wrote up 13 checks for one table for a cheap reataurant? How hard would it of been for you guys to guesstimate how much you owed? Or divide among 13 and give or take a few bucks or five? Give the poor server a break! I am sorry I am not being sympathetic, but come on, you guys were being cheap and stingy. You should of gone to Chipotles and ordered seperately!

 
We asked up front about separate checks and were told it was O.K. Maybe that's host/server/managment miscommunication. I fail to see how them writing one big receipt and then running separate receipts for each credit card anyway was easier than just running separate checks to start with.

Exactly how does any of this equate to "cheap and stingy?" If you'd rather close your eyes to management that doesn't give a rat's backside about their customers, then stop at the part about "when the check came."

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We always estimate our checks, so I'm not going to get into that fight smile.gif .

Me too. When I'm at home. With plenty of cash. This was travel and on the credit card. Not like I can just lay it on the table and walk out. I should have just bugged out on my own and tried Bazin's on Church or something. Maybe tomorrow for lunch.

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i don't want to make any assumptions, but it seems like you've never been a server before. if u have, then i apologize. but to everyone who has not been a waiter and has complained about service or special requests, just try to put urself in their shoes. u really don't know until u've been on the other side. sure, it wouldn't be that hard to ring up seperate checks for 3 or 4. but 13??? that's a little bit excessive. and if it must be done, just try to be patient. waiters are there to serve u, but they aren't your slaves.

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I fail to see how them writing one big receipt and then running separate receipts for each credit card anyway was easier than just running separate checks to start with.

 
Would you have been more or less angry if all of the checks were separate but the food came out at different times, which is a distinct possibility if you insist on so many separate checks?

Keeping track of 13 different checks throughout the entirety of the meal is hard, very hard. I know that I wouldn't have been able to handle it when I worked as a server. Running up 13 different credit card bills would be extremely time consuming and annoying as well and would likely distract the server such that other tables would not get proper service while this was going on (and thus I would never request such an imposition if I had any choice in the matter), but likely much less difficult than the former.

Also, restaurants in this area seem much less inclined to do separate checks than in other areas. Yes, this can be annoying, but I have found it to be the case in most places around here. As such, they are not set up to handle such requests. It is not fair to ask them to do so.

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More importantly, how was the wine? laugh.gif

Somethin' in the guac, I know, it won't let me be.

I don't want another taco, my check is gonna set me free.

Stop playin' with my card,

Separate's not that hard,

Waiter's got nothin' to do.

Just try to keep it straight,

And we don't want to wait,

So you gotta run these cards!

Border wine, there's not a riesling that's more fine,

You just keep on loading Al's check with all the Border wine.

Border wine, no better Ruche at this time,

You just keep on loading Al's check with all the Border wine.

Keep on pouring it, matey

Don't you know that it's just great-y

You just keep on loading Al's check with all the Border wine.

Somethin' on the table, no one's even gonna touch,

Layered cheez and peppers and no excess tortilla crunch.

But then it's time to pay

When we try to pay,

Waiter, he just can't be found.

Don't order that 'rito

You're not Judge Lance Ito,

And we've got to catch the tram!

Border wine, this Vouvray's got a hint of lime,

You just keep on loading Al's check with all the Border wine.

Keep on pouring it, matey

Don't you know that it's just great-y

You just keep on loading Al's check with all the Border wine.

Look what this wine has done to me,

Come on waiter, bill for me,

But please keep on loading Al's check with all the Border wine.

Long division's lame, no playing "equal" games,

What does it take to bill for me,

And just keep on loading Al's check with all the Border wine.

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I went back and read the original post closely. It is not clear that they asked for separate checks at the beginnning of the meal. A fair reading of the post is that the first time the issue of separate checks came up was when the single check arrived at the end of the meal. I would agree that if separate checks were requested at the start and the restaurant refused, then the original poster would have a point. But deriding the restaurant for what they did when separate checks were requested at the end, well, that is different. But again, it's not clear.

You made me go back and re-read it more carefully, thanks. You're right, it's not in the original post that almartin says that. It's in his second post in this thread, and there is some reading between the lines (not to put too fine a point on this!). He says they asked about separate checks "upfront" (IIRC).

The initial post certainly makes it sound as though it didn't come up until the the check was presented.

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You made me go back and re-read it more carefully, thanks. You're right, it's not in the original post that almartin says that. It's in his second post in this thread, and there is some reading between the lines (not to put too fine a point on this!). He says they asked about separate checks "upfront" (IIRC).

The initial post certainly makes it sound as though it didn't come up until the the check was presented.

Funny, I initially read "up front" as "up front at the host stand", rather than "upfront" (one word). Especially since he mentioned possible host/server miscommunication:
"We asked up front about separate checks and were told it was O.K. Maybe that's host/server/managment miscommunication.".

Asking the host about policy is not quite the same as requesting separate checks from the waiter "upfront". But I could be totally misreading it, and he really did mean that he asked the waiter upfront.

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If I recall my one trip to On the Borader correctly, they have a computer register system. If so, the it is either confugured with customer position numbers or it is not. Separate checks can still done in either case on every system I have ever investigated, but with a different amount of work.

If it is configured with position numbers, then there will almost certainly be a split check option where in one or at most a few key stroked the separate checks can be printed separately and settled separately. On my system, I would go into check options (2 strokes) and hit split checks and yet to the querry Permanant?. Then each checks would be closed out separately. A bit of a pain but nothing collosal. HOwever, with our system, a bottle of wine cannot be split so each of th e dinners would pay a certain amount. This would have to be on a separate check.

If the system is not set up with position numbers, then you would have to transfer items, item by item, to separate checks 13 times, or send 13 separate checks into the kithcen. A major pain, but still not impossible.

If you don't ahve this kind of system, then you void the original check and rering things. Again, it shouldn't take much more time than ringing in the original order.

But it seems to me that the restaurant IS responsible for knowing its limitations. Either it can do it or it can't. And asking about it "upfront" should get a response that the restaurant will honor, or an appology at the end saying "I'm sorry that so-and-so said we could get you 13 separate checks, as it is really difficult with our system. That did not seem to happen.

I really think that attacking the poster for asking for separate checks is mis-placed. People make requests of restaurants all the time. It is up to the restaurant to figure out what it considers reasonable and will be fulfilled and which would not be able to be fulfilled. But if it agrees to do something, it should.

Just my opinion.

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Okay Dino, so if I come in this Friday with a party of 10 (for a reserved table) (at your busiest time) and I assume the server knows I want 10 seperate checks plus a seperate one for our wine, and he is already in the weeds with his 5 other tables, this won't cause a hardship for him, your restaurant's quality of service, and not to mention the other patrons? (Just playing devil's advocate.) How hard would it have been to divide the check among themselves? Cheap and stingy may have been the wrong words, more appropriate would have been, cheap and selfish? As many have pointed out, it is very easy to make copies of the check and hand it in for your expense account. Having worked in that kind of restaurant during my younger days, it would have definately ruined a lunch shift for me.

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I htink you missed my point. One point I made was that the restaurant made the call upfront when they were asked about separate checks and did not say no. Once they promise something, they need to deliver or take ownership and do what it takes to make the situation right.

Second, we have provided 17 separate checks and a check for wine on a Saturday night. Not my favorite thing to do but it can be done. It wasn't even asked for upfront, but we did it as a service. And we handled it (I actually closed out all the charges myself so the waiter could take care of the rest of their business).

Most of the time, we get split check requests where folk say just put x on this card and y on that card etc (not uncommon to get 4 or 5 ccc on a single table. We just do it as part of the service.

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I do see your point. I would say your establishment is probably on a much higher scale of service (not to mention food also) than a place like OTB. I guess my point would be he needed to clarify this with the server before ordering. I think alot of us on this board are more atune with what a server has to go through either by virtue of working in the business or just eating out alot and becoming familiar with our servers and management. Even if this happened at a place like Dino's, I would take pity on the server and not cause him the hardship.

 
I also speculate how many manager's would take the time such as you did to ring the checks up for ther server. (again I am speaking in terms of chains and not necessarily upscale chains.)

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I really think that attacking the poster for asking for separate checks is mis-placed. People make requests of restaurants all the time. It is up to the restaurant to figure out what it considers reasonable and will be fulfilled and which would not be able to be fulfilled. But if it agrees to do something, it should.

I think that the poster's tone has something to do with it. I can only imagine the scene at the restaurant, and my imagination tells me it was not good. Plus the 45 minutes to process at the back end probably would have been replaced by 45 minutes at the front end (and middle end?) to write down orders and refills on 13 separate checks. I guess the moral is, you had better expect some inconvenience if you want 13 checks. This person appeared genuinely surprised by it.

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I think that the poster's tone has something to do with it. I can only imagine the scene at the restaurant, and my imagination tells me it was not good. Plus the 45 minutes to process at the back end probably would have been replaced by 45 minutes at the front end (and middle end?) to write down orders and refills on 13 separate checks. I guess the moral is, you had better expect some inconvenience if you want 13 checks. This person appeared genuinely surprised by it.

Again, I think that once you say you can do something, you have a responibility to follow thru. A simple answer of "I'm sorry, we're just not set up to do that" at the beginning of the meal would ahve solved the problem. The OP could have decided to go elsewhere or expected not to have separate checks. I am not saying that any restaurant should do anything for their customers just ebcause the customers ask. But once you say we will do it, do it! Or take ownership and say you screwed up.

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