No Laughs for Diners in Comedy Club

October 22, 2010

in Server Stories

A few years ago my wife and I went to a comedy club in Toronto, ON for an evening that included a preshow dinner. We showed up a few minutes early and were promptly seated by the manager of the club. We knew quite early in the evening we were in for a crappy night.

The waitress came to offer us menus and take drink orders after we had been waiting for about 15 minutes or so. There were only 3 other tables with people, and there were 3 waitresses and the manager working that night. She returned in a few minutes to take our orders and said she forgot the drinks and would be right back. Our food arrived in a reasonable amount of time and was quite tasty, other than my wife receiving the wrong side dish that she ate anyway; still no drinks. I got up and went to the bar to get my own drinks. About half way through our meal, the waitress came by and said once again she forgot our drinks and asked if we still wanted them. By this time our first round of drinks were long gone and I ordered a second round.

Meals now gone and the drink order – round number two – had still not arrived. I flagged over the manager. He came by, listened to my story and said he would be right back with the drinks; we never saw him again. The waitress never did ask if we wanted dessert. About 30 minutes later the waitress came by and asked if we needed anything. I asked to have our plates removed, and reminded her that we were still waiting for our second order of drinks. This time she brought them in only a few minutes.

By now the comedy show had started and our drinks were once again empty. The waitress came over and asked if we needed another round. I said “yes” and ordered a large popcorn (my wife loves popcorn). We reminded our waitress an additional 2 more times for this 3rd round of drinks. At the end of the night the 3rd round of drinks and the popcorn had never arrived, but our bill did. There were a total of 4 rounds of drinks, our meals, and the popcorn on the bill. I waved her back over and complained; she redid the bill correctly.

By this time I was pretty upset with everything. I paid the bill in cash, down to the exact penny, and left her an even dollar for a tip. As I was walking away from the table, she very loudly scolded me about the insulting tip amount I had left and started to call me names. She was still mouthing off at me in front of the entire club while she walked back to the kitchen. I left without saying a word, keeping an eye out for the manager in the hope that I could file a complaint. The next day at work I did a little digging and found the phone number for the corporate head office. I had to leave a voice mail… I never did hear back from anyone.

– Steve

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack October 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I think you did exactly the right thing. Leaving a tiny fraction of the bill as a tip is a proper insult for the insulting service you received. The fact that you had to leave a "voice mail" at the corporate office, and didn't get a call back, says a lot about their corporate philosophy. Hopefully they will go out of business real soon.


Clare October 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I agree with Jack.

That being said, the waitress had a hell of a nerve to scold you publicly about the tip, especially considering the lousy service you received. Quite frankly I would have left her a penny tip at most.


Karl October 23, 2010 at 11:43 am

I would had responded in an equaly loud voice, preferably across some tables, how lousy her service was and would only leave a penny too.


Hugh October 26, 2010 at 1:25 am

Awesome job…the only thing I would have done differently would have been to explain, as loud as she liked to the waitress exactly WHY she was getting a crappy tip. I also would have searched until I found the manager and given him an earful as well.


Monica R. April 30, 2016 at 7:07 pm

Where are all these servers located that cus people out about bad tips? In 25 years, I have never witnessed this or anything remotely close. Am I the only one?


bob October 31, 2017 at 12:13 am

seriously? people can confront customers over tip and maintain their jobs? jeesh


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