The Truth Behind the Tip™

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Archive for the ‘Bars’ Category

You Can Dress it Up…

Posted by gratrueities on February 3, 2010

and take it out…and then what? That’s just one question that crossed our minds when (in our so far fruitless search for dining and/or tipping links to the upcoming New York Fashion Week) we came across the new branding endeavor known as McFancy.

And, what is McFancy? If the name doesn’t give it away, perhaps the pictures do! Yes, it is a ultra-chic repackaging of the familiar fare we all know – and many love – but typically associate with the Golden Arches. Being introduced in temporary venues at Fashion Weeks worldwide, McFancy offers the standard McDonald’s menu in a high-fashion setting and delivers it in an all new way: Burberry burgers, Chanel or Hermes fries and Paul Smith Sundaes will be served formally in private dining areas by tuxedoed waiters, whose gratuities will hopefully reflect the upscale twist!

Will the glamorati in attendance at these fashion events respond and devour the quarter pounders presented in their stylish new plaid-trimmed containers? Will mineral water and salads-sans-dressing be forsaken for french fries and ice cream? It’s difficult – but rather fun – to imagine!

McFancy is created by The Cool Hunter, a popular lifestyle and design website, and its recently launched marketing group, Access Agency – “a dedicated entity that will continue our work of creating highly original, transformational, yet eminently practical and results-oriented strategies for companies to stage the kinds of offline brand experiences that will increase the economic value of their offering.”

In simpler terms, they’re elevating fast food dining to new heights. As of now, this is a novelty for the fashion world. Could it catch on? And, if so, what’s next? *See update below

*Update: In answer to our own question above – Burger King to sell beer at it’s all new Whopper Bar! Here at GraTRUEities, we now note that we can use our Bar cards for fast food…perhaps “Great Service on Tap” – or, even more appropriately, “Service fit for a King!”



Posted in Bars, Dining experience, Economy, Fast food, International, Pop Culture, Service, Tipping | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Call 911 – GraTRUEities!

Posted by gratrueities on November 19, 2009

Maybe if they had had an alternative way to to express themselves, the Bethlehem, PA couple arrested for not leaving a gratuity at the Lehigh Pub would have not ended up in handcuffs. Yes, that’s right…the couple was arrested for refusing to leave a $16 tip – for sub-par service.

This was a case where the gratuity was included in the bill – a “mandatory” 18%. The patrons paid the $73 dollars owed for food, drink and tax but protested paying the “tip” for what they claim was poor to non-existent service. Leslie Pope and John Wagner attempted to explain the reason for refusing to leave a gratuity and the bartender took decisive action – he called the police and had the couple arrested for theft! That’s one way to get a tip.

This is certainly a case where using the “simple, time-tested system” of letting ones tips do the talking (see page 2 comment, Grub Street ‘Editor’s Pick’) did not work out so well for the customer. Perhaps they would have been better off  in this case  going with our motto – “put your mouth where your money is.”

Leaving an appropriate message along with a tip may work out better in the end for all.

Posted in Bars, Dining experience, Etiquette, GraTRUEities In Use, Paying the bill, Tipping, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Happy Hour…the New “Early Bird” Special?

Posted by gratrueities on November 3, 2009

Could it be?  Is the  *Happy Hour* menu, popular and hip in many  locales, becoming the new “early bird” special? As someone who has always had a problem with some aspects of the “early bird” connotation, I find myself more and more drawn to the happy hour format. Does it simply sound younger, more festive?  Is the economy popularizing this concept further?  How do servers and restaurants feel about the Happy Hour in terms of tips and business?

Posted in Bars, Dining experience, Economy, Pop Culture, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tipper’s Remorse

Posted by gratrueities on March 5, 2009

I’m suffering from a case of “tipper’s remorse.” This is just like buyers remorse, except I have nothing to return and no way of getting my money back.

Unfortunately, I knew when I left the gratuity that I didn’t really want to tip generously – I was already annoyed with the service. I think I succumbed to a pathetic desire to prove something to the server (in this case, the bartender). Just what I hoped to prove, I’m not sure!

We were dining at Sushi Roku in Santa Monica, CA. My daughter and I were seated at the bar, waiting for the rest of our party to join us. We had some difficulty gaining the attention of the bartender, who was otherwise occupied in deep conversation with two women seated next to us.

When we were eventually acknowledged, he was minimally attentive, distracted by the many “assets” of his other two customers. With the bartender’s evident lack of interest serving us, let alone recommending a cocktail, we settled on wine. Two small glasses appeared and we were told we needed to settle our bill at the bar.

For whatever reason (maybe hoping to inspire regret that he did not consider us more worthy) I left a much larger tip than was warranted – over 20% on an already appallingly large bill for two skimpy pours.

I’ve regretted this ever since – based on principal, not money. What motivates us to at times tip generously even when we really don’t want to? Is this part of the phenomenon of “tipflation” or a whole separate issue?

Posted in Bars, Dining experience, Paying the bill, Pet Peeves, Pop Culture, Tip Jars, Tipping, Travel, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »