22 August 2011

The Seating of Bar Tables

I see some incorrect Hooters pouring technique.  CREDIT.
When working bar, during most shifts I have three high-top tables in addition to my twenty bar stools.  I love having those tables because it means that I can pull families and other “non-bar” diners in addition to my regular crowd.  Basically it’s an opportunity for me to increase my seating which in turn increases my ability to make money; and as much as I adore my job I still love making me some money.

Of course being that I’m working the bar, it can often be difficult for me to actually seat these tables.  While this has a lot to do with the fact that I am making drinks and what not, it also has a lot to do with the bar’s proximity to the door.  It’s just really hard to compete with a girl on the floor because they don’t have to walk out from behind the bar and across the restaurant to get to the door.  The girls on the floor have a definite advantage when it comes to pulling tables.

Luckily, some of the girls are kind enough to include the bartenders when tables are being sat.  Every once and awhile – rather than just seating themselves – girls will seat groups at my bar tables.  Often I love this.  Sometimes I don’t.

Why wouldn’t I love my tables being sat?  Let me break it down.  There are three types of girls in this regard: those who never seat my tables, those who seat my tables and – my least favorite – girls who seat my tables only when they stereotype the shit out of people and assume they will be shitty tippers.  I won’t sugarcoat, some girls will only seat me with groups that they don’t want because they look white trash.  Or groups that are populated by teenagers.  Or groups that fall in certain ethnic groups.  All because they don’t want them because they assume they will make ten percent or less.  When in doubt, pawn them off on the bartender.

Now you can sit there and tell me it’s purely coincidence, but I’ve witnessed this phenomenon often enough from certain girls to know it’s true.  Personally, I think it’s sad.  Yes, there are people that don’t tip, but while certain stereotypes might seem true it’s my opinion that there are people of all types that suck at tipping.  It’s because people suck.  Not certain types of people.  Just people.  If serving has taught me anything it’s certainly that.

Knowing that tipping is a personal thing and – generally – not defined by inclusion in certain groups, I make it a point to give everyone the same great service.  Yes, there are times I can be pretty certain that I’ll get a crappy tip, but I could still never bring myself to decrease my level of service.  I just don’t have that ability.  To me, doing my well job means always doing it well – no matter what.

And guess what?  That mentality has served me very well.  In fact, a vast majority of those tables girls seat based on their stupid assumptions have tipped me a much-appreciated 15-20% or more.  Take for example a table sat last week: two younger guys and a girl who definitely didn’t look like big tippers.  In fact, another girl told me that our coworker sat me because “they looked cheap.”  They ended up being cheap enough to leave me a $20 tip on a $35 tab.  I’d say that’s more than 20% wouldn’t you?

So please continue to stereotype and seat the bar tables.  I’ll just continue doing my job and quietly proving you wrong.  Maybe you’ll learn an important life lesson.  But probably not.  Either way I’ll go on making your money.  My rent thanks you!


  1. I've had other servers tell me that often it's the wealthiest customers who are the worst tippers. I don't really know why that is. Of course that's another stereotype . . .

  2. I've actually been on the other end of this. This is a result of the fact that I used to travel as part of my job, and so would sometimes visit Hooters alone. That along with the fact that I'm in my twenties sometimes - not always! - seemed to create the assumption that I would be a bad tipper. (If I were an older guy on my own I don't think there would be any problem, since the girls seem to assume that older guys will tip better, and probably that's true.) When I'm at home and visit the local Hooters with friends, I've never gotten that vibe. (In reality I always tip 20% if the service is decent - which, ironically, not all of my friends do!) All I can say this is: if the waitress/hostess thinks you're going to be a bad tipper it's usually really really really obvious.



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