Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm going to be honest. This is a rant.

It was 4:00. I had just ordered my lunch and sat down to eat when a group of 5 walks past me on to the patio, seating themselves. I quickly take my food behind the counter and go out to take their order. They order two Mike's with glasses of ice, a wine, and two bottled beers. I tell the man ordering two beers that I can only serve him one at a time and he says OK. I ring in the order and see I have another table, one guy, by the bar as I'm pouring the drinks for the patio table. Setting the drinks on a tray, I quickly walk out to take the guy's order.
He asks me for a draft beer and I ask if he would like to run a tab or just pay for each round.
He says start a tab.
I ask for a credit card.
He says "Are you serious? I'm not giving you my credit card. Why do you need that?"
I explain that I have a trainee coming in soon and I have to show her how to start and handle tabs. He is not happy with this explanation.
"I am NOT giving you my credit card." He says loudly. I say OK and get his beer. When I serve it to him he tosses a five dollar bill at me.
After bringing him his change I take the drinks out to the patio. This didn't take as long as it sounds and happened in a matter of 2 minutes, so they were not left waiting long. As I set down the last drink I ask if they would like to start a tab or pay for each round. They all agree they want to start a tab. I ask if anyone has a card I can hang on to for the tab.
"Do you really need a credit card?" One of the ladies asks in a nasty tone.
So I tell them the same thing about training someone.
"Fine. We'll pay cash and make your job twice as hard since that's what you really want. This is ridiculous. I guarantee your tip won't be as good either." She sounds so nasty. "Just bring us the bill."
I stared at her for a second, dumbfounded by the outburst. It is rare people get so irate over things like this. The only other time was over a glass of water.
I quietly hand her the bill, take the money, and return her change with a smile. I want to ask her if she has ever been yelled at for just doing her job and if she thought she deserved it. She is a teacher, so I know she has been.
Instead, I tell my bartender I'll be back in a minute and sit in the back until I cool off.

Don't most places hold credit cards for tabs? Why do people act like I'm going to clear out the bank accounts? I'm sorry your word isn't good enough when I have to pay for walk-outs.


Anonymous said...

In a place where the people have a habit of walking out definitely take the credit card. You have the right to ask for the CC.

SkippyMom said...

I completely agree - most places do require cc - but I would've explained it was policy, not that you were training someone [to be honest, I wouldn't want to give up my cc for that reason either, no offense]

But that woman was way out of line to yell at you and tell you how bad your tip was going to be.

purplegirl said...

That's ridiculous! Every place I've ever worked has required a credit card for a tab!

Anonymous said...

Most places that I have been and wanted to start a tab require a credit card. Unless we are eating dinner there and then they just generally add the drinks on our dinner bill. But I have never in the 9 years I have been "legally" drinking been to a place that did not require a cc to start a tab for drinks.
Also, the fact that you explained about training the new girl should've definately helped. I am pretty much always willing to help people out with that type of stuff.

LW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LW said...

SkippyMom- I would have just explained it was policy, except that these were people I have served before, they know that we have no such policy as far as the house is concerned and it is up to the server whether she wants to take a cc. I figured my explanation would explain why this time I was asking when I may not have in the past.

If customers do not yell at me, but say they don't feel comfortable giving their card, I suggest holding an ID instead. I don't start tabs because I don't want to give up my card. But I would expect to be asked for one if I did.

AK said...

I've never been able to start a tab anywhere WITHOUT a credit card, unless it was a dive bar or something where I knew the owner/bartender. I agree with SkippyMom, maybe if you had explained company policy they would have taken it better... they were probably just thinking "it's not our problem if someone's in training". Which is still obviously a bad attitude.

Ribeye of your Dreams said...

I always held a tab at Dave and Busters unless I knew the guests well, and I would think giving the credit card would be better than having someone chase them out for the cash!

Anonymous said...

Yeah when someone complains about leaving a cc. I say " oh I'm sorry its our policy" .

Sarah said...

We ask for CC too. People are usually pretty cool about it. I understand the concern though and if there is one, then pay cash end of story. People do not understand this because they have never paid a tab for someone who walked out!!! I have and Ill tell you it SUCKS!