Coupons, Discounts, and How to Deal

The old adage says, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Whoever said this wasn’t looking hard enough. Today it seems every restaurant is offering some sort of deal. Prices are being slashed. “Buy one get one free” is a growing part of the lexicon. Restaurants that previously never would have thought of discounting their food are now spending money to advertise specials. I went into the restaurant I began my career at the other day and found prices lower than when I worked there fifteen years ago.

As servers this trend is particularly disturbing. We typically get tipped a percentage of the bill. Twenty percent of free is hardly a reward for great service. This compounds the difficulties of serving. Discounts may fill the seats, but often translate to more work and less money for servers.

Read the full post at Tips For Improving Your Tips

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About David Hayden

David Hayden is a restaurant marketing and training consultant based in Kansas City, MO. He writes a series of 9 blogs collectively known as The Hospitality Formula Network and is the author of "Tips2: Tips For Improving Your Tips" and "Building Your Brand With Facebook"

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  • http://sorrynotmytable.com/2009/09/18/they-were-the-best-of-guests-they-were-the-worst-of-guests/ nativenapkin

    Thanks for the shout out.

    I had the nightmare brought to life once when an inexperienced pastry/dessert person left a cake out in a very warm kitchen for two hours, thinking it was frosted with ganache and needed to cure, when it was actually a buttercream icing.

    The cake held it’s form while Mom blew out the candles, but the very moment the knife was applied it all turned to a custardy mush. Before we had a chance to apologize, one brother at the table started blaming his sister for “screwing up Mom’s Birthday again” by buying a “cheap-ass cake”; and who was I to disagree? Gotta love those family dynamics in the dining room!

  • Becky

    Genius! David, you are brilliant. As you know, my place of employment has ubiquitous coupons for $5 off and so we receive many of them. I’ve never thought about the dual-ticket delivery before. Thanks for a great idea!

    I owe you another beer. :)

    • http://tipsfortips.wordpress.com tipsfortips

      If I ever fall off the wagon, I am heading your way lol

  • http://yellowcat413.wordpress.com yellowcat

    I’ll have to remember the two check thing.

    When I dine out, if I receive a free meal either through a discount or if someone else is buying, I always tip what I expected to pay for my meal. I planned to spend that money so it shouldn’t be in my pocket.

    This might be why I live in a van down by the river.

    • http://tipsfortips.wordpress.com tipsfortips

      We are in the business though, sometimes those that aren’t need the extra reminder.

    • Marta Daniels

      Lol! You rock so much for saying “van down by the river!” I also salute your discount/tipping philosophy. God bless!

  • Marta Daniels

    Great Post! I really like your blog because its like the other side of the coin to my blog (How to be a Better Restaurant Customer). Really great stuff, keep up the good work! God bless!

  • teleburst

    I addressed my “solution” to this in this post at “So You Want To Be A Waiter”. My “solution” is in the last paragraph.

    http://teleburst.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/credit-card-transaction-issues/

    It doesn’t always work, but you’d be surprised how often it seems to work. I think that sometimes people mean to tip on the full amount but “forget” when they automatically calculate the tip based on the amount that they see on the credit card.

    However, anyone who does this should pay particular attention to the warning in the paragraph. It might very well be against house policy to do what I suggest.

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