Dear Brad,

First, I don't know if Brad is your actual name. Or if you're even a man. And I mean no offense to other, non-jerk Brads, I'm just trying it on. Anyway...

I was recently scrolling my Facebook News Feed when I saw a post from my favorite bar/restaurant/hotel in Old Orchard Beach, The Brunswick.

They posted that one of their servers had a party take up her entire section and 3 hours and $850 later, Brad, you decided to leave a $20 tip.

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First, the hospitality industry is suffering right now due to not having workers. So the workers that do show up day in and day out are working harder than ever and are likely still recovering from the pandemic.

Second, have you ever heard of turn and burn? It's getting guests in and out and happy in the most efficient amount of time so new guests can continue to be re-sat and the server can make more money in tips. Please note that this should never be at the sacrifice of the guest's experience. But 3 hours in an entire section is keeping your server from seeing more guests and making more money. You paid her less than $7 per hour to wait on you and the rest of your party each hour.

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Also, note there is nothing wrong with a party that size taking up a significant amount of time. Perhaps it was a birthday or a family reunion and there was some catching up to do. There's still a responsibility in American culture to leave a satisfactory tip.

Third, the base tip expectation for decent service is 15% which, in this case, would have been $127.50. Yes, I said base. But I used to wait tables and my bare minimum tip is 20% but hey, that's me. Many restaurants will include the tip in the bill just to avoid terrible situations like the one you created today.

One could argue that maybe this server gave abhorrent service. Still, 10% is customary for poor service. You, Brad, tipped approximately 2.35%. That's not a gesture of dissatisfaction. That's at worst insulting and at best pure ignorance.

Now I see The Brunswick catching some heat for the way they addressed the situation posting about it publically on Facebook and saying that you, Brad, are a "cheap prick." Personally, this makes me like The Brunswick even more. They're sticking up for their hard-working staff and letting the public know that this sort of behavior isn't tolerated at their establishment. Bravo, Brunswick.

Finally, yes, there is forever an ongoing debate on whether or not tipping should still be common practice here in the United States. That's irrelevant here because, well it is currently a common practice and an expectation. Unless things change the fact is, if you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to go out to eat. And anyone that can just throw down $850 of food should probably know that.

-B

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