Does Promising a Higher Tip Mean Better Service?
Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail email@example.com. Miss a question? Go here.
Usually, tips are something left at the end of a dining experience. But what happens when the promise of a big one is made up front? Should the guest expect better service?
I asked a few Valley chefs and restaurateurs this question, and here's what they had to say.
I don't believe that it does. If you present yourself well, are knowledgeable about the food, and understand the drinks, you should be the lucky recipient of a good tip! When someone promises a higher tip, it sets me up for failure because I feel the pressure of needing to impress more and don't know what the expectation is. Everyone should get great service from a relaxed and passionate server.
That can backfire sometimes because some servers are cynical by nature. So I'd say 70 percent of the time it will work.
No, just being nice and having an interest in what the restaurant has to offer gets you better service than promising a good tip that may never show up anyway.
As a restaurant owner, I would hope not. Every guest deserves the same high level of service, regardless of tip. A large tip is the customer's way of rewarding that excellence, but by no means should a bigger tip be required to receive it. At my restaurants, we don't refer to VIPs, we don't tell our staff to provide a higher level of service or to pay more attention to any guest in particular. We might "show some love" with a mid course, a free dessert, or a round of cocktails, but the level of service both in the front and back of house should remain constant.