Monday, May 7, 2012

Bad service = bad tips, no matter how old we are

Hello readers, I'm back from vacation!  (And back to work in two days wahhhhh.)  We went on a (rental car) road trip in the southern US - flying into Vegas, then checking out the Hoover Dam, Zion Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and the canyon of all canyons, the Grand Canyon!  It was pretty awesome and I will share some pictures in upcoming posts (once I get them all loaded to my computer and look through them all).  We ended the trip in Calgary at my cousin Daniel's wedding and it was awesome to hang out with my dad's entire side of the family - those occasions are very rare but very fun!

I see that several Black Hills travel agencies found my blog while I was gone and left their contact information if you're interested in planning a similar trip, haha.  But seriously, it was an easy trip to plan ourselves thanks.

Anyway what I want to talk about today though is something that happened on vacation which was stupid and that thing is getting BAD service in two restaurants in the same town!  What the heck!  It was in Tusayan, Arizona, just outside of Grand Canyon National Park and TWO nights in a row we went to restaurants where the servers totally ignored us other than taking our order.  Is everyone in that town trained to ignore people under age 30?  We have money.  We will tip you well!  But not if you suck and ignore us.

The first night we tried a "fine dining" restaurant at our hotel.  After sitting down, a bored looking waiter approached us and said (verbatim) "Hi.  The soup tonight is pork vegetable..." then he saw another waiter walk by.  "Just a minute.  Maybe he wants to serve you."  Then he WALKED AWAY and made the other waiter come deal with us.  Ummm what just happened?

Unfortunately, this waiter wasn't much better, although slightly friendlier.  He still completely ignored us after our food came.  After we got our cheque we sat there for another 15 minutes or so waiting for him to come ring through our meal.  Our water glasses were never refilled during the course of the meal.  Meanwhile, other waiters chatted with other patrons about things to do in the park and did waitery things like bring bills and refill water.  We'd been prepared to leave a big tip to our second waiter to spite the first guy who blew us off, but guess what!  Second waiter got a sucky tip because he sucked at service too. 

The next night the same thing happened!  We went to a Mexican restaurant a couple blocks away from our hotel and once again, our waiter pretty much ignored us other than when he had to bring us our food.  At the same time, a family at the table next to us, being served by the same waiter, came in about 10 minutes after we did, got served first, had their leftovers wrapped up for them, had the dessert tray brought to them, and had their bill brought over ALL WHILE WE SAT THERE WITH EMPTY PLATES.  People, it was not a full restaurant.  There were about 5 tables.  No dessert tray, no water refills.  We had to eventually ask someone who was busing other tables if we could get our bill.  Once again, you suck at service, we suck at tipping.

The thing is, if you know me and Brahm in real life, you know that we are model restaurant patrons.  We are pleasant to our servers and we always say please and thank you.  Is it because we're young and there's a stereotype that young people are cheap tippers?  I thought it was supposed to be OLD people who are cheap tippers, because many young people have done a restaurant gig at some point and know how much tips are appreciated.  But our servers probably complained after we left that indeed, we young jerks are bad tippers.

But the thing is, service industry in Tusayan Arizona, for some reason you don't seem to understand that you should treat ALL of your patrons with the same respect because it's often the people who don't look like the biggest tippers who actually are the biggest tippers.  And if your servers are in the habit of ignoring customers you're definitely going to lose out on future business.  Will I go back to Grand Canyon National Park again and stay in Tusayan?  Probably!  Will I go back those restaurants?  Probably not!  Will I leave bad reviews of them on TripAdvisor so other people don't go there either?  Definitely!

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