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Posts Tagged ‘GraTRUEities’

GraTRUEities in SF – Nob Hill Cafe

Posted by gratrueities on February 13, 2010

After an amazing late afternoon bike ride, a friend and I had dinner at Nob Hill Cafe in San Francisco. This is a classic neighborhood Italian place; small, cozy, crowded, great food and wine at a reasonable price. The portions are large so we shared a classic Cesar Salad and the Pizza special–buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil. Thin crust and delicious. We opted for a Napa Valley Pinot instead of an Italian wine.

My friend, and all the other neighborhood regulars, know the wait staff on a first name basis. All of the staff, front of the house, bussers and table servers were absolutely delightful, even on a very crowded evening. 

We left a GraTRUEities card to complement our monetary gratuity: “A sense of timing is a mark of genius.”

In addition to great service and good, homestyle Italian cuisine, maybe  it was the invigorating bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Marin that made this dinner so memorable!


Posted in Dining experience, GraTRUEities In Use, Tipping, Travel, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GraTRUEities Demo: The Standing Tip

Posted by gratrueities on January 3, 2010

Using your tip to create a stand. Demonstrated at Cafe Bernardo, Davis, CA.  Excellent New Year’s Day late breakfast, and friendly, fun service. A must stop if you are in the area.

Posted in Dining experience, GraTRUEities, GraTRUEities In Use, Paying the bill, Service, Travel, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rainy Day Tipping?

Posted by gratrueities on December 12, 2009

Hi Dear GraTRUEities readers: It is absolutely pouring down rain here at GraTRUEities worldwide headquarters in northern California. All this rain got me thinking: do we tip more or less when it’s raining?  Are we more apt to leave a nice big tip if the sun is shining?  

In short, what kind of impact does weather have on tipping?

I went to my favorite search engine, Bing, (yes, Bing) to find some answers. All I could find were references to Rainy Day activities. It seems there are no scholarly studies about the weather-impact on the tip.

So, let’s do our own research. How does weather impact your tipping habits? Are you more or less likely to tip when the weather is bad? Does a beautiful sunny ski bring out the best in your tipping behavior? Let us know.

And,we’d like to hear from some servers. Do you see any difference in your tips on a sunny day vs a rainy day? Just wondering….

Posted in GraTRUEities, GraTRUEities In Use, Pop Culture, Tipping, Travel, Wait Staff | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New York Times 2009 Holiday Gift Guide!

Posted by gratrueities on December 11, 2009

OK…it appears that GraTRUEities, didn’t make the list this year. Perhaps we missed the deadline, since the guide was published in November – just as we launched. In fact, we will assume that to be the reason! There’s always 2010! And…we’re still pleased with the mention by the New York Post.

In the meantime, this year’s NYT list seems to have stirred some controversy…delayed as it is! Even though it took almost a month, the “Of Color/Stylish Gifts” list has now come to attention of critics. Gawker claims that the NYT’s Racially Segregated Gift Guide Offends, Not Least of All Because the Gifts Are Lame. Hmmm…

We are not ones to disdain the creations of others, or gift choices. Just take a look at these lists, and form your own opinion.

Posted in Gifts, GraTRUEities, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

GraTRUEities In Use: Ducky’s Tip Jar

Posted by gratrueities on December 6, 2009


       There is a great car wash in Burlingame, CA., called “Ducky’s“. They do a super job and have  a nice shopping experience to keep customers occupied while waiting.


Here’s a picture of the Ducky’s Tip Jar with a GraTRUEities dropped inside. “Life is like a box of chocolates…”

Posted in GraTRUEities In Use, Tip Jars | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

‘Going Rogue’…or…not?

Posted by gratrueities on November 19, 2009

The catch-phrase of the moment…attitude, mentality – roguishness?  Sarah Palin aside, it seems that the concept of ‘Going Rogue’ has captured the imagination of the masses.

Therefore, we immediately connected this theme with GraTRUEities…speaking ones mind, departing from the tradition of silent compliance with social expectations, a sort of defiance. We even considered capitalizing on the current wave of marketing opportunities.

Then, we looked up the definition of “rogue”:

American Heritage Online Dictionary

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Well…let’s just say, we will not be able to fully align ourselves with the “going rogue” trend. After reading certain terms in the definition – “deceitful person,”  “scoundrel,” and “vagrant” to name a few – we had second thoughts about adopting this mantra. However, we must admit to embracing a bit of  “playful mischievousness!”

Posted in Pop Culture, Tipping | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thank-you World Pantry!

Posted by gratrueities on November 17, 2009


Here’s a shout-out to David, Darren and all the staff at World Pantry for hosting our fabulous new GraTRUEities online store. The store just opened yesterday and we are thrilled to see the different ways World Pantry is offering GraTRUEities.

You can purchase the single decks, or, for major gift-giving situations you can order packs of six decks at a nice discount. And, for those who want a bit of variety, there is a sample pack of all three GraTRUEities decks, again offered at a discount.

And, while you’re at World Pantry shop around for some of their other fun and delicious specialty food brands. My personal favorite is the  Prairie Thyme Raspberry Jalapeno Ambrosia–love it on grilled salmon.  It’s easy to find something for everyone at World Pantry.

Posted in GraTRUEities In Use, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Tip Jar Debate Rages On

Posted by gratrueities on October 29, 2009

The lowly Tip Jar continues to provoke controversy of all sorts.

 Some, like MSN Money’s personal finance expert Liz Pulliam Weston are tired of seeing Tip Jars pop-up almost everywhere, moving way beyond the traditional deli counter or coffee shop setting.

In this post, from early October, she writes, ” You can ignore tip jars. Throw in some change if you’d like or if you get particularly wonderful service, but otherwise, don’t bother.”

Others, as evidenced by the comments on the above post, are most concerned with the tips that the Tip Jar  silently commands. GraTRUEities previously wrote about Tip Jars here.

But, realistically speaking, you can’t always ignore Tip Jars. Here, from our Tipipedia, is GraTRUEities guidelines on Tip Jar tipping:

Tip Jar

“Always the question…what to do about the ever-present Tip Jar?  This is a subject of much debate for which we offer no concrete guideline. It its our opinion that, if you regularly frequent an establishment, it is wise to tip at least every so often.  Also, if you place an order that requires extra effort a tip is warranted.  How much to tip?  10%-15% seems to be the consensus.”

Posted in Coffeehouse, Tip Jars, Tipping | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tipping–A Hot Topic?

Posted by gratrueities on December 13, 2008

Why is tipping such a hot topic?

It certainly seems like there are conversations going on all over the Internet about tipping etiquette, restaurant tipping, hotel tipping and basically every kind of tipping.

Could it be the economy? One of my theories, which I posted on at GraTRUEities last month,  is that with the bad economy, people are more tuned into tipping.  Do those “tip”  dollars  mean more when money is tight?

Maybe so.

And, it could be the popularity of some recent books including Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica which my  dear business partner, Nancy,  posted on here.

Why do you think so many people are talking about tipping? Is it because of the economy?

Or, just because it’s an endlessly fascinating topic of conversation–which it is!

What do you think?

Let us know!

Posted in Economy, GraTRUEities In Use, Pop Culture, Tipping | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Rough take-off, smooth landing…

Posted by gratrueities on December 9, 2008

…this is the best way to describe the service we had the other night at the Rancho Mirage Cheesecake Factory. (Not to get into a huge discussion about this restaurant chain…but let’s just say Julie is not a fan for a number of reasons, one of which is the massive portions.  Conversely, that is a big reason my father-in-law, who we were visiting, is a fan. That, and the fact that there is certainly something for everyone on the menu – which is the size and format of a novella!)

Service is clearly emphasized at the Cheesecake Factory. It’s very formulaic – the welcome is as predictable as the menu, decor and food – and a point of pride.  Therefore, were surprised to find that we were basically forgotten by our server after being greeted and ordering our drinks.  Well…correction  – the iced tea was served promptly, after which out server went MIA along with our water, wine and bread!  After flagging down two other servers to track down our  beverages and missing waiter,  he finally returned to take our orders. (I believe my husband asked him if he had gone to Napa for the wine. This was met with a chuckle so  am not sure he really “got it.”)

We placed our orders  and things were looking up…or so we thought.  My father-in-law – who was very hungry after spending n arduous day in the hospital with my mother-in-law (another whole story!) – ordered soup as a starter.  Once again, the waiter mysteriously disappeared.  At that point, I pulled out a few sample GraTRUEities cards that I had tucked in my wallet and we entertained ourselves picking out the one that best suited the situation.

At that point our cheerful and slightly clueless server reappeared at our table…and it was as if he had somehow been privy to our GraTRUEities plotting.  From that point forward, he was attentive and  ever-present – inexplicably a different person. Our original GraTRUEity was, in fact, no longer applicable – and our plan was foiled (along with our leftovers)!  We did, however, come up with a different take on our experience…rough take-off, smooth landing and  good news for all!

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