I have never not tipped a waitress in my life until today. It's really hard to believe, but here is one restaurant story for the ages. First I will say, I was a waitress in college and after as a second job. I've worked in grand restaurants and small casual places and understand the business. I understand customer service, sales, marketing and costs. I was in corporate sales for 20 years and the majority of my clients were small business people. We know how restaurants work and like anyone with common sense, know how customers should be treated. I know this subject well. We went here today with our small children. We go to restaurants every week and this past weekend we went to the Rock and Chair Avalon and 96th Pub Stone Harbor. Today at Owen's there were specials we ordered them. We We asked for the drink specials and were told "not at the tables". OK, annoying, but specified up front. My husband and I joked about it. We ordered the meal specials from a blackboard at the hostess stand which was clearly visible from our table.... no disclaimers, no exclusions. It didn't really matter what the prices were because we were there to eat regardless. We had never been in this restaurant before and had no plan to find the cheapest food in town. In fact, the only reason we went was because a business owner in town, a good friend of ours, said we could get a quick bite. Our shore home is on the neighboring island and we just didn't know what was open this time of year. Sandwiches arrived and my boys asked if the same sandwiches for dinner. We thought sure. It would be easy because we were turning off our water and closing our beach home. We asked the waitress for 3 to go and she said "not for take-out". Plus, um hey we just ordered a whole bunch of food and drinks... We then said just bring us the plates with take out boxes. The waitress said ok and left. I then noticed the very obvious commotion of all the waitresses and hostess in conversation and frantically moving in and out of the kitchen. I thought I was being paranoid because it seemed the ill-mannered hostess began to stare at me and shake her head. Could service people actually be so ridiculous? Yes, they could and I wasn't paranoid. The food came via the other waitress (?why). We then asked our waitress for the boxes and got the bill. We noticed the bill had additional charges and we called her. She explained they had decided to over-charge us because she called her manager about our order (seriously? it was $3 difference), she did not tell us and just put it on the bill. (sidenote: it is against various local, state and federal laws to add such charges) The other waitress joined her at our table and they began to hurl a series of idiotic explanations about us not eating the food (which we were pretty clear we weren't going to do) that we were tricking them (funny after you illegally add charges to our bill and oh, um, we said we were taking them out) and as our waitress turned so red she was purple, I knew we were dealing with some seriously backward folks. We paid the almost $70 bill with extra $3 bucks and left. Sadly that $3 cost our waitress $20 (we are pretty good tippers). As upsetting as it was, though, we laughed about it because pure stupidity is funny to us. Here is a little tip to all waitresses---- you work for tips---you work for the people you serve. They pay the majority of your salary, not the managers. If someone asks you for take-out after running up a good lunch bill in an empty restaurant, give it to them. The bottom line here was the disgraceful treatment of completely respectable customers who upon arrival didn't know if the place had $5 sandwiches or $15 sandwiches. We would have paid either price and, well, we can. This is about principles. Obviously, we will never be back and will tell as many people as possible about the incredibly rude, trashy and really, disgusting behavior of this establishment from the the way we were spoken to, the over-charging, the infantile staring of the hostess and the very idea that you can change pricing at will. It is obvious this place thinks they are doing customers a favor... something I detest. They were truly a disgrace and If this place has this kind of lack of respect for their customers, the rest of their business will take similar dirty shortcuts. This business does not deserve customers because they don't respect them.
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