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Archive for the ‘International’ Category

“Latest Generation” Waiter

Posted by gratrueities on April 6, 2010

I like you! (“You Got Me” by Colbie Caillat)

It was bound to happen one day…introducing robo-waiters that serve not only food, but also cutting edge entertainment.

Hajime, a Japanese restaurant recently opened (to the tune of 30 million baht or $927,600!) in Thailand, brings high-tech dining to a whole new level. Customers order on touchscreens and are then served by imported Japanese “motorised servants” that (oops – almost wrote “who” here!) deliver meals along with some intriguing (and, dare we say, electric “techno”) dance moves!

Striking, that reference in the article to “motorised servants” – not exactly an interchangeable term for waiter…or certainly not an acceptable one. Perhaps more of a cultural reference – note the spelling?

And speaking of being politically correct, would one leave a tip in this case?

(Potential) GraTRUEity #54 – Time to reboot?

Posted in Dining experience, Etiquette, International, Tipping, Uncategorized, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Olympic Size Tips in Vancouver

Posted by gratrueities on February 19, 2010

 

For those visiting Vancouver for the Winter Olympics, restaurant tipping may be considered a hazardous sport.

According to this recent article from the Vancouver Sun, some local restaurant owners have decided to take advantage of their once-in-a-lifetime bounty of tourists and tack on a mandatory 20% gratuity to each bill.

We’ve debated before here at GraTRUEities whether a mandatory gratuity can even be called a “tip”, because technically the diner is no longer tipping as a response to  good (or bad) service.  A mandatory gratuity is added into the bill irrespective of service rendered.

Additionally, of course, is the real potential for double tipping. Many diners don’t take the time to read the fine print and therefore aren’t aware that they have been charged a mandatory tip. They go ahead and leave a tip on top of the tip.

 As explained in this tipping guide on the Vancouver Tourism site,  Canadians follow the North American convention of adding a standard 10-20% tip for services rendered. But there are many international visitors to the Winter Olympics traveling from countries where tipping is not part of the cultural norm.

What ever the case, these temporary tip levies in Vancouver translate into pure “gold” for the cities restaurants and servers.

Posted in International, Service, Tipping, Travel | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

All a “Twitter”

Posted by gratrueities on March 23, 2009


According to the recent San Francisco Chronicle article Gastronomic glitterati joins the Twitterverse, Twitter is becoming  an increasingly popular way for food lovers to expand their dining experiences.  They may now follow their favorite food “Twitterati” at restaurants across the country.  From recipes, to reviews, to behind-the-scenes glimpses of restaurant life, people are tweeting about what and where they’re eating.

Posted in Dining experience, International, Pop Culture, Travel, Twitter | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

A World of Tipping

Posted by gratrueities on October 20, 2008

Friends and I were having brunch today at Il Forneio in Burlingame, California (great restaurant, by the way with very good service).  We started talking about tipping, of course! One of my friends is European and he was commenting on how confusing the tipping thing was was when he first starting living here.  In Europe the standard approach is to add a service charge to the bill (like a San Diego restaurant called The Linkery is starting to do), so theoretcially an additional tip is optional.

(Note: my personal experience when traveling in Europe is that more and more restaurants/servers are expecting at least a small tip on top of the service charge).

So, I mentioned this post from Serge the Concierge . It’s a very good summary of tipping in countries from around the globe.

Do you have any other tipping experience from travels that you want to share? Let us know!!

Posted in International, Tipping, Travel | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »