Diner Dupes Restaurant with Discount Request

June 25, 2016

in Diner Stories

Ah, Mother’s Day brunch. A paradox to all servers. While we have to deal with not seeing our families and instead cater to loads of little fully awake children, we also have a great opportunity to make tons of money.

This past Mother’s Day, the restaurant I work at offered a $39 buffet. It was effing LOADED with good stuff. We also featured a deal where kids 15 and under paid their age. A pretty stellar bargain, considering I’ve seen 15 year old boys eat. They aren’t messing around.

Around noon, a table walked in. All the servers trembled in fear as to who would have to serve this group of three women and seven kids under 10 years old. My friend (bless her) volunteered as tribute.

Upon greeting her table, the first words fired back to her from one woman were, “I just had surgery. I can’t eat much on your buffet. Can you let me eat for half price?” The server smiled, gained her composure and told the lady she would check. Being a holiday, and considering we try to keep people happy, the manager said he would let her eat for $20.

Had that been all, nobody would mind. However, this lady went up to the buffet more than anyone else at her table. Waffles, shrimp, crab legs, benedicts, chocolate cake. I told her server to charge her normally after that showing. She didn’t.

What did she get tipped on this table? Fifteen dollars. Ten people. Brunch. Hell on earth. Holiday. Fifteen dollars. Some people don’t deserve brunch.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn B June 28, 2016 at 6:22 pm

If it was served buffet style what was the waitresses job with regard to the table? Did she bring drinks, or was that at the buffet too? I have a hard time tipping more than a dollar or two at buffet style places, because there really aren't waitresses/waiters… just bus boys/ladies. If I am serving myself, why would I tip other than to clear the table? That being said the discount request was unusual and likely a scam.


Teresa June 29, 2016 at 12:35 am

Holiday buffets are different than a regular buffet place. There is a TON of work to do setting up and breaking down, as you're using catering chafing dishes rather than some built in steam table. Equipment must be moved out of storage, tables set up out of storage, linens, decorations. The servers will be running scalding "hotel pans" (16"x24"x4") back and forth from the kitchen, as well as keeping huge stacks of heavy plates stocked at the buffet. Servers will typically show up up to three hours before opening and stay up to 2 hours after closing to deal with all of this, at a pay rate of around $3.50. They will then not eat or sit or go to the bathroom for the next 8 hours, federal law be damned. They will greet each table with smiles, get and run drinks, keep the table cleared of dishes so guests can reload at the buffet. All the while making sure that food is in the buffet at all times. They will then split checks, run credit cards, and wish each guest a wonderful day. The table will be hastily cleared by the server and busser, re-set, and reseated immediately. While it seems that they don't deserve gratuity, in all honesty holiday buffets are much harder work than a typical shift.


Eric August 18, 2016 at 3:07 am

I completely agree with you i have been doing this for 10 years and while i find buffet easier i also see it on the other side cuz we do buffet brunch in the morning and then we work our regular dinner menu @ night and its hard to transition from buffet to menu in 10 years ive had one table walk out and not pay and it was during mother's day dinner


Eric Moore August 18, 2016 at 3:13 am

Servers* (not waiters or waitresses we find that offensive) work their asses off telling you whats good on the buffet and making sure you're drinks are always filled if there is an elderly person im more than happy to grab them a plate and we do a lot of clean up and f*ck you're 1 or 2 dollars most servers expect 10 to 15 percent we know you're not gonna tip %20 or more unless you've been in our shoes


Eric August 18, 2016 at 3:00 am

Im also a server with a great deal for mother's day brunch but my nightmare is they pulled me off the floor after 5 tables cuz i had to bartend @ night so i made about $65 in the morning and since no one wants to sit @ the bar on mother's day i made about another $60 @ night including tips from the servers so if you're not a server please know that $125 on mother's day is a disgrace especially for a 12 hour shift i make more than that on half off martinis which is wednesday in the middle of the school year


Nunya Business January 6, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Agree! I live in a small rural time that has a diner. I worked the diningroom for 4 hours on Mothers Day & made over $100. This was 35 years ago. Meals were much less expensive then & there was no 10% rule at that time, or at least not in our area. So yeah, you got screwed that day. Feel for you.


Nunya Business January 6, 2017 at 4:12 pm

*town…..rural time? Like medieval maybe. LOL


jonasgal July 31, 2017 at 4:49 pm

What's wrong with $15.00??? Honestly, what's wrong with people?? How much $$$ does one need???


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