It seems today a lot of servers think they are NOT responsible for a menu price not matching the check price when it's check time in restaurants, which is NOT TRUE. The fact is, my server can take a menu and verify each price that is listed. A lot of restaurants do NOT list their soft drink or tea prices and a lot do not list their alcohol prices. Some restaurants even have happy hour prices, so there are no prices to check for alcohol during that time even though a particular restaurant may have their alcohol price listed.
Some people may say I would blame a cashier at a grocery store, but that is 100% TOTALLY DIFFERENT. The cashier would have to physically go to each shelf BEFORE they would scan each item. A store has much more items than a restaurant has. A store has changing prices very often, sometimes weekly compared to a restaurant which changes their prices maybe every few months or as very little possibly as once or twice a year. Also, the cashier at a store DOESN’T have a paper that lists only about 100 items or less even, to check the prices. Stores have thousands of items. So my point is, I don’t blame a cashier in a store for a price that doesn’t match the shelf price, because they do not have a list of prices like a restaurant provides. Even if a store did, what price matters is what is on the actual shelf. Also, the cashier isn’t working for tips, so WHY should they care about the customer’s money? My point is, when it comes to servers charging customers in restaurants, THEY are 100% RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT THEY CHARGE A CUSTOMER, which a cashier in a store is NOT. If anything, the cashier has no idea what the price is before it is scanned and they cannot go to each shelf to see what the price is of each item, because that could take up to 10 minutes just for 15 items, probably more time even.
If the customer can take a menu and make sure they are charged correctly, SO CAN MY SERVER! I understand my server has sometimes 4 other tables to deal with, but you have to EARN your tip by caring about your customer’s money by not making the CUSTOMER do something you COULD have done.
Take this menu for instance.
Let’s say this is for a party of 2:
SOUTHWESTERN EGGROLLS - $7.29
BACON BURGER - $7.29
CRISPY HONEY-CHIPOTLE CHICKEN CRISPERS - $8.99
CHOCOLATE CHIP PARADISE PIE® - $5.29
Let’s say the price on the check after my server has printed it out has:
BACON BURGER - $7.99.
Just because the price isn’t correct in the computer system doesn’t mean my server isn’t responsible for charging me correctly. Sure, you can fault the managers and owners at first, but honestly, the person that is charging me is the person to blame 100% for it getting to the customer. Tips are supposed to be EARNED by preventing an overcharge from getting to the customer. The server should EARN their tip by making sure they are charging their customer correctly.
Some servers feel it’s not their fault, because the computer has that price. It IS their fault, because by my server not comparing the menu prices with the check prices of each item except for the cokes which are not listed, it makes the CUSTOMER have to compare the menu prices of the items with their check. If the customer can easily do that, WHY can’t the server? I should be able to trust that my server charged me correctly. I also feel, HOW can you call this situation a true “MISTAKE” if you haven’t attempted to make sure the prices are correct that you are charging? I wouldn’t call this a “MISTAKE” honestly; I would call that pure LAZINESS and BEING UNCARING about your customer’s money. I feel you want your customers to tip you well, so WHY would you not care if you aren’t charging the customer correctly?
Lots of people on one of my blogs on another site said things like this:
"And how exactly is a computer error a servers fault?”
My response: The server can take a menu(could even be a to-go menu even if the restaurant has to-go menus) and compare each price on the menu with the check price. The computer price doesn’t count. What counts is what price the CUSTOMER is presented, just as when you are shopping. The differences are when a person is in a store, the cashier doesn’t have a list to verify the prices, the prices change weekly sometimes, and the cashier would have to go to the shelf to find out the price as well as when they actually SCAN the price, they do NOT know BEFOREHAND what the price is considering the cashier would have to go to each shelf to find out each price which would be insane to do. When you have a menu though, you have a way to verify what you are charging me. Usually restaurants don’t change their prices every week or even every month. There are no prices on shelves either to verify, which means it makes verifying a LOT EASIER by having a list of prices, which stores don’t.
"If something is inaccurate by a couple of cents, surely you can't blame the server."
Of course I can, because if the customer can grab a menu and make sure they are charged correctly, so WHY can’t my server do the same? They seem to also claim they don’t have time, which is BS. It doesn’t take a whole minute even to verify let’s say around 7 items. If the party is large, sure, if it’s like 20 items, it may take a couple of minutes. I feel if the server wants a good tip, they HAVE to care about their customer’s money, otherwise HOW can they expect their customer to care about theirs? A tip is EARNED, NOT A RIGHT! You earn it by NOT stealing from your customers, which by not even attempting to TRY not to overcharge the customer, you in fact INTENTIONALLY overcharging someone, which IS STEALING. If you don’t try, it’s NOT A MISTAKE, NO MATTER WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.
It’s very simple to compare the prices on the menu with the check prices. It’s not that difficult and honestly, if the party is small like a party of 2, it wouldn’t even take a whole minute. It would, at the most take around 20-30 seconds. Since my server is the person that is CHARGING me, they have the POWER to notice an overcharged item BEFORE I do and get a manager to FIX IT. There’s NO REASON to be uncaring and lazy not to verify the prices. My server should EARN their tip by caring about MY MONEY, NOT JUST THEIR MONEY. It’s like if you can’t take 30 seconds or less to make sure you aren’t stealing from me, then I can’t take 2 seconds to give you a good tip. It shouldn’t be on the CUSTOMER to have to verify each price of each item on the menu they ordered. WHAT is a tip for then, if my server doesn’t care about my money?
If my server can READ, they can make sure each price is correct that is listed. As I said, MOST menus do NOT list soft drink or tea prices. A LOT of menus also do NOT list their bar drink prices. Sure, there are SOME restaurants that do list their drink prices, but A LOT don’t. In the example above, my server would have only had to verify 4 prices. That’s truly not too much to ask I feel. Obviously, a party of 10 would take a while, but honestly, I feel if I served a party of 10, I would be extra careful to make sure I wouldn’t be undercharging as well with that many people all at once to deal with. My husband and I have been undercharged MORE than we have been overcharged.
"If it is a computer error, then take it up with management because THEY are responsible for the correct prices IN THE COMPUTER."
This person states that the manager is responsible, but if you think about it logically, the manager is NOT the person actually “CHARGING” me, it’s my SERVER that is. The manager is NOT handing us our check. The manager is at first responsible for why it happened to BEGIN with, but you CANNOT blame the manager for the ***CUSTOMER*** getting the overcharge, because that responsibility is on the server. The server is responsible for charging the customer correctly no matter what they have to do to make sure the check is correct. A good tip is for my server’s effort to make sure I do NOT get overcharged.
"If you are overcharged by 4 CENTS, blame it on the computer."
Another person states blame it on the computer. We human beings are truly SMARTER than a computer and can notice mistakes. Just as when we write “your” and “you’re” spell check will NOT know we didn’t write the correct word, it’s the same type of situation. You make your own destiny. If the computer is wrong, that DOESN’T mean you have to put 100% TRUST into a machine. You have a BRAIN, USE IT! My SERVER is the person charging me, so MY SERVER is RESPONSIBLE, NOT a MACHINE. A machine did NOT actually “HAND ME MY CHECK.” The manager doesn’t hand me my check either, so eliminate the manager as well.
“The waitress isn't charging you. The restaurant is charging you - the waitress only brings you the bill.”
Another person states the “Restaurant” is charging me, well if this person feels that way, tell that to their phone bill company if they get overcharged, because it’s an actual **HUMAN BEING** that is CHARGING a person, *NOT* a company.
Also, the server doesn’t just bring you the bill. They actually PRESS the BUTTONS as to what you have ordered. I had a waitress one time bill me for a salad without an entrée price which was $3.50 instead of “WITH” an entrée when I DID order an entrée. The salad was supposed to be $1.99. My husband and I have also been overcharged by the SERVER adding an extra item on the bill, whether done on purpose or by accident, it was the SERVER’S fault they pressed the wrong button, NOT the company’s fault. Also, we have had 3 times overcharges that were different amounts on our credit cards. 2 of those servers rung up the wrong tables on our credit cards. It wasn’t the RESTAURANT that charged us; it was the SERVER who charged us.
“And if her manager writes up the bill, it's not illogical to assume that the guy in charge is going to do his damn job.”
Since when would a MANAGER write up someone’s bill? Even if they did, managers make mistakes too and the server CAN CATCH IT BEFORE THE CUSTOMER RECEIVES IT. The manager isn’t making the tip, so he or she doesn’t CARE. The SERVER is responsible for charging the customer correctly.
“You do realize that it is possible and also happens a lot that a restaurant, who is raising their prices, will update a computer system before they update their menus--specially in chain restaurants where the computers are updated en mass throughout the entire network of stores. It is the Manager's duty, then, to change the menu inserts--not the server. Most of the time the servers aren't even informed of the changes until after the system is changed because most chain restaurants do not have regular staff meetings. So, if anything, it's the management's fault, not the server's.”
Just because the menu isn’t updated with the computer system, DOESN’T mean the SERVER cannot check the menu with the check just as a CUSTOMER COULD. If I can do it, SO CAN THEY. There’s NO EXCUSE FOR THAT, EVER! The manager is NOT at fault for the customer receiving an overcharge, because the SERVER is charging the customer as well as handing the customer their check. The manager is NO WHERE AROUND, so HOW CAN ANYONE BLAME THE MANAGER? Sure, initially, yeah, the manager was at fault, but the SERVER can use his or her brain to make sure it DOES NOT GET TO THE CUSTOMER BY COMPARING THE CHECK PRICES WITH THE MENU PRICES.
Also, the server doesn’t have to be informed of any price changes, because the server should be on top of that by double checking the menu with the check. If the customer can do this by discovering they are overcharged, the server sure can.
“The server has no control over the pricing whatsoever and cannot change them even if there is a mistake. A manager must do that. It is not the server's responsibility to enter the prices into the computer, if that is how the restaurant in question handles charging customers. Therefore, if the price is incorrect, it is not their fault.”
They may not have control over the pricing of the restaurant, but they DO have control if it’s the wrong price as far as charging me incorrectly by not going to the manager to tell them it’s wrong and the manager ends up changing it.
A manager must do it, but the SERVER can take the RESPONSIBILITY to TELL THEIR MANAGER BEFORE IT GETS TO ME.
It is NOT the server’s responsibility to enter the prices correctly, but it IS their job to *************CHARGE************** ME CORRECTLY, therefore, if they have to double check the check against the menu to make sure of that, that is what they have to do.
If the prices are incorrect, it’s THEIR FAULT if they are making ME notice it. It should NOT be the CUSTOMER’S RESPONSIBILITY to have to make sure they are charged correctly. THAT IS THE SERVER’S RESPONSIBILITY. You have to remember WHO WORKS AT THE RESTAURANT. The customer SHOULDN’T HAVE TO LIFT A FINGER TO DO A DAMN THING. That is WHY the server is responsible for noticing an overcharged price that does not match the menu, because the tip is for the server caring about the customer’s money and doing the job of charging the customer correctly.
If the prices are incorrect, my server can tell their manager and get it fixed, so when I get my check, the price is correct. My server’s job is to CHARGE me correctly, so if they have to put some EFFORT to do that, so be it. It should NOT be on the CUSTOMER to have to double check each price they are charged against the menu. The server shouldn’t be putting that type of responsibility on the customer they want a tip from. If they want a good tip, they should CARE ENOUGH about their customer’s money to RECEIVE A GOOD TIP. WHY should a customer care about their server’s money, if the server doesn’t care about THEIR MONEY?
Shouldn’t the customer be able to TRUST their server is charging them correctly? You cannot blame the manager, because the manager is NOT the person that actually is charging me, MY SERVER IS!
“We can easily and quickly check to make sure the items are correct, but we do not..DO NOT have time to check them TO THE PENNY.”
If they didn’t have the time, A LOT of servers wouldn't write “THANK YOU” and sign their name on the checks. They have time to do that to think of their “TIP POINTS” according to this link: http://www.solodining.com/tipfor-service.html(%22write "thank you" on your check — think, "obligation kicks in."", but yet, they claim they have NO TIME to make sure you are charged correctly. THEY HAVE TO MAKE TIME. THEY DO HAVE THE TIME IF THEY CARED ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS. In the example above from Chili’s, literally it would take about 20 seconds at the MOST to double check the prices against the check for a party of 2. It’s NOT that time consuming as what you would think. It takes about 5 seconds to write the “thank you’s” smiley faces, their names, etc. on the checks, which wastes at least 5 seconds for each party they serve. If they have time to do that, they DO HAVE the time to make sure you are charged correctly. HOW can a server expect to get a good tip if they are showing they do NOT CARE about their customer’s money by making sure they aren’t overcharged? Working for tips, means putting the MOST EFFORT YOU CAN TO GET A GOOD TIP.
Also, some servers waste valuable time making chit-chat instead of making sure they are charging the customer correctly. That’s time they could have been double checking the prices on the menu against the customer’s check as well. If the server has time to chit-chat, they have the time to make sure the customer is charged correctly.
I feel you should MAKE THE TIME. You have the time IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE TIME. That’s BS that you don’t HAVE TIME. You make TIME for your customer to care about THEIR MONEY. You want them to care about your money, don’t you, when it comes tip time?
If you truly feel you do not “have the time”, because you don’t want to take the time, then when it comes tip time, do NOT blame the customer for leaving a low to nothing tip for NOT taking full responsibility for what you overcharged the customer. Don’t blame the customer for not paying you or paying you well for not caring about their money. Finding a price on the customer’s check that is higher than what is presented on the menu, is ********NOT********** THE CUSTOMER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND THAT. If you make the customer do it, then what kind of tip do you expect? What goes around, comes around. You don’t care about my money, WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT YOURS?
“I understand your point, but the server is only at fault if it is in their control. If it is a computer error, then take it up with management because THEY are responsible for the correct prices IN THE COMPUTER.”
This person does NOT UNDERSTAND that finding a price on the check that doesn’t match the menu price is in the **CUSTOMER’S** control, so it IS DEFINITELY IN THE SERVER’S CONTROL to CATCH AS WELL. I mean seriously, I don't work there even and if I can take a menu, make sure each price on my check matches the price the menu, WHY COULDN’T THE SERVER DO THE SAME? It IS IN THEIR CONTROL 100%! The server doesn’t put the prices into the computer, but the server can take NOTICE if the prices on the customer’s check do NOT match the prices on the menu. If the server would find an overcharge, that is when the server would go get their manager to fix the situation ************BEFORE************** it becomes the CUSTOMER’S PROBLEM. This way, when the customer gets their check, they are NOT OVERCHARGED, because the CARING server, made sure they were charging the customer correctly. The server didn’t put 100% trust into a computer or their manager. They made their own destiny by making sure the customer did NOT get handed an overcharge.
My entire point of this blog is that I am TIRED of getting overcharges and a lot of servers do NOT feel it’s “THEIR” fault when the price on the menu doesn’t match the computer when an overcharge of that nature happens. I want servers to start realizing what really IS in their control and QUIT BLAMING the managers as well as the computer, when THEY can start doing something about it from GETTING TO CUSTOMERS! THEY CAN ALWAYS PREVENT ANY TYPE OF OVERCHARGE FROM GETTING TO THEIR CUSTOMERS. If they say they can’t, they are LYING, LAZY, AND THEY JUST DO NOT WANT TO ADMIT THEY **CAN** MAKE AN OVERCHARGE NOT GET TO A CUSTOMER, BECAUSE THEY ARE ACTUALLY THE PERSON CHARGING THE CUSTOMER AS WELL AS THEY HAVE A VERY EASY WAY OF CHECKING THE PRICES COMPARED TO A CASHIER.