Monday, September 12, 2011
Then she layed the smack down like Tyron Mathieu on an unsuspecting Northwestern State wide receiver coming across the middle.
"OK, we have a 15% gratuity charge for parties of 6 or more."
I struggled to hold back from unleashing a list of sarcastic inquiries as to exactly what service would be performed to warrant this added charge. But I have experience as the low man on the totem pole who often unjustly receives the lion's share of customer complaints, most of which are based on managerial decisions over which the victim of the tirade exercises no control. So I bit my tongue, took a picture of the receipt, enjoyed the onion rings as always, toughed it out through a terribly dry cochon de lait po-boy, and walked out the door feeling that the time had come to take a stand.
In my humble opinion, yelling out my name when my order is ready and then carrying my po-boy from the counter to my table does not constitute "service". Don't get me wrong - all of the employees were smiling, courteous, and performed their duties well. But at no time did anyone walk over to our table and offer to refill our drinks, fetch extra napkins, or ask if we were enjoying our food.
I understand that large parties have the tendency to linger and occupy coveted table space for longer periods of time than a deuce or 4 top would. But Thursday lunch at Mahony's is not the courtyard at Bayona on a beautiful Friday afternoon in spring or the dining room at Stella on Valentine's Day. I understand that volume is the name of the game and that the faster the tables turn, the more money a restaurateur makes. Had gratuity not been automatically added, I probably would have dropped a dollar or two in the tip jar. I do the same when I go to Felipe's, The Store, Creole Creamery, and the like. But at all of the aforementioned, it is my option to do so.
But we are still talking about a po-boy shop that bills itself as "a tribute/throw-back to the old neighborhood Po-Boy shops of New Orleans". I wonder if Clarence & Lefty's had a similar policy?