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buzzed, B&W
So, my roommates and I went out for a holiday dinner last night before everyone starts heading home and things. We went to what seemed to be a pretty decent restaurant (horrible Flash based webpage). The decor was nice and cozy, and the waiter seemed pretty good at the beginning, telling us about the numerous specials, and answering our questions.

Early on in the evening though, he accidentally tipped over the bottle of wine that Greg and Steph were having, and it spilled onto Steph's coat. He goes about getting some towels to clean it, and the manager/hostess person comes over, and mentions she has some wine remover, and offers to cleans to coat. Interestingly, in this process, the waiter never apologizes - we never hear an "I'm sorry" come out of his mouth. Greg and I talk about this, and how if we were in his shoes, we'd be profusely apologetic. The manager woman does ask while she's dabbing at the coat "What do you want to do about this?" and Steph responds that "I'd like to scream" and sort of laughs it off.

Now, this incident is the main focus of our conversation during the meal. We found it strange that they didn't apologize (the waiter did eventually say he was sorry, but it didn't seem sincere, and it was just kind of thrown in). They also didn't offer to make up for the wine that was spilled, or offer us any discount on our check. Steph and I talked about how neither of us is the type of person who's going to be the loud, irate customer, but really, should this be necessary? The restaurant wasn't super high-end (we had about a $120 check, which included 3 entrees, an appetizer, a soup, a salad, and a bottle of wine), but it still seems like you'd want to ensure that your customer was happy.

You're in the service industry - we shouldn't have to ask for you to make things better, you should be trying to do that already. I think my biggest grouse though is that they didn't apologize. I'm perfectly willing to accept that you're human, mistakes happen, and a bit of wine on a coat isn't the end of the world - but you should at least express regret over your action, and adding stress to our evening.

Tipping was an issue too. Steph and I tend to tip 20% plus, irrelevant of service, as we think it's appropriate to do. Now, in this situation, I'm not sure what I would have tipped if it were my coat, and I was the one paying. Steph ended up putting the whole thing on her card, and tipped around 18%. I think I may have only tipped 10%. I do know people who would have tipped nothing, and left a snide comment.