I was at a restaurant yesterday and I was thinking I have no incentive to give the waiters any incentive. When we arrived it was a while before our order was taken. Drinks arrived late at the table (we were the only ones there). The food took forever to come. My plate was not empty, I was still eating, but the waiter thought it was time to take away my plate. The table was not wiped clean after we finished eating, I had to ask for napkins and wiped it off myself, at which point he brought a sponge to wipe the table, a bit too late in my opinion. And to top it off I never got exact change back, it was rounded up to the nearest dinar in the favor of the restaurant. Now why in the world would I want to leave a tip?
Nothing in the quality of service left me thinking ok I need to give this young gentleman a bit of incentive. Even his attitude was one of nonchalance and disinterest. A smile would have been welcome, but even that was not forthcoming. The thing is this is not just something that happens at this restaurant, it happens just about everywhere I go. It is rare that I find someone in the service industry who is doing his or her job with a smile. When I do it is refreshing and adds to the whole experience.
It is called the hospitality and service industry for a reason. If the staff hired are not capable of providing the quality of service willingly and with a smile then why are they there? There are other positions that do not require them to wear a smile and serve people. It has become so normal to have your waiter, server, bartender look bored or angry that when you do smile at a customer they ask you why are you smiling? (true story).
Wait staff in the service industry have to know that the attitude you put into what you do comes right back at you. The more enthusiasm and energy I get from a waiter or bartender the more willingly and generously I give, and vice versa. I am under no obligation to leave a tip, it is a reward for a job well done and if it isn’t well done then I wont be leaving one!