Today started with a party of fifteen. This can either be a good thing or a very bad thing depending on the people making up the group. They started out on a good note - they called ahead. For some reason we never seem to get the consideration of a warning at Hooters. People seem to think that we're just always ready to handle larger parties. They seem to believe we have tables already all pushed together and staff already in the appropriate sections. They seem to think we're just waiting only for them. They are all that matters. Of course this isn't true, but generally no one seems to realize this. Naturally, this left me impressed that they'd called ahead.
So I was able to get the tables all situated and perfectly set up before my party arrived. I have to say it felt pretty great. Usually, I'm rushing around shoving together a few tables while a large group waits anxiously by the door. Of course this is no one's fault but their own. Naturally, they don't understand this. Given all this, I thought my big table would run pretty smoothly. I was of course, mistaken.
As they sat down I heard a few people mumble about splitting tickets. But they didn't tell me this; that would be effective and actually get us somewhere. Rather one person mentioned it casually to another and I happened to overhear. Being proactive I used this information and took the time to put everyone on a separate seat. Basically what this means is that I divided the table and put each member's ordered items under them. Does this take more time and can it get confusing when people decide to do awesome things like move around? Yes, but I figured a pain in my ass now would save me a bigger pain in the ass later. Once again, I was mistaken.
I delivered the check and noted to them that I had carefully separated each of them in case they wanted separate tickets. I also mentioned that I hadn't actually split them off yet just in case anyone was paying for anyone else. This way they could just let me know how they'd prefer I split the ticket and I could easily do so. Of course Bob wanted to pay for Mary and Sue wanted to pay for Jim's fried pickles and a bunch of other silly things that made splitting the ticket simply by seat totally impossible. But I was cool with this. I'm smart. I was taking notes. I had it down. Then I saw a whole bunch of cash come out. There is NOTHING more annoying that doing fifteen split tickets when eleven of those are being handled in cash. As such I casually mentioned that those paying with cash might want to try and combine all the money as it would be much quicker for them to receive change as I would have to do it once rather than eleven times. This would be logical, however this is never what happens.
This part of the story is the whole point of this post. Why, when most of the table is paying with cash do people insist on split tickets? Not only is it a pain in my ass, but it also takes A LOT longer for you. I'm not counting out change once, but a million times over. This not only means that I have to count out change a million times, but odds are I'm having to go to the bar to change things out as I don't carry a shit ton of money on me. This just adds more time to the whole effing process. Now I realize that some may say, "well what if I have a twenty and my portion is only sixteen?!" I would much rather break a few twenties than count back jingle (coinage) and ones and fives to every person at the table. I'll gladly break that for you so you can use that mental math and figure out the tab amongst yourselves. Aren't we all adults after all? Didn't we learn to add in elementary school? Are you really that effing lazy that mental math is beyond you? You know if it is beyond you I'll gladly give you a pen to add it all up. It should be easy because as I mentioned I put you all on a separate seat clearly laid out on that pretty receipt I left you. But no, you all effing want change for yourself. Heaven forbid I ask you to give up the all important autonomy of having your own freaking change.
So do your server a favor. Actually, do her/him several favors. First, if you want your tickets split let them know ahead of time. This will make it much easier and much faster for you later. Some restaurants won't split checks on big tables, but if you let them know upfront you're much more likely to get your way. Next, if the majority of you are paying cash put your heads together and figure out how to all throw in what you owe. Easy for you, easy for me. You're out the door in a moment. Oh and don't tip like a cheap ass. Your big table is more of a pain in the ass than you think.