Tag Archives: Toronto

Tips aren’t automatic

I’m tired of crappy service at restaurants.  I’m tired of friends being appalled if I don’t give a 15% tip to the serving staff even if they don’t deserve it.  It’s not automatic.  It’s not that hard to deserve a good tip.  Having been a waiter myself, I know how you’re supposed to serve.  We’re doing no favours if that tip is just automatic.  So, here’s my list of minimum things you must do in order to qualify for even the basic 15%.

Brunch example

  1. Greet us at the door within 1 minute of arriving and seat us (if it’s full, I’ll make the choice and your tip won’t be affected).
  2. Give us menus when we sit.
  3. After 2 minutes, come to the table and ask us if we want coffee to start.  We do.
  4. Bring coffees immediately.  Make sure ample condiments accompany.
  5. When our menus are flat on the table and we look ready, come back to the table and take our order.
  6. Bring our meals no more than 10 minutes after we order.
  7. Refill our coffees without being asked.
  8. Half-way through our meals, come back and ask how things are.  Bring the coffee pot unasked.
  9. Take our plates as each of us finishes.
  10. Once the last of us finishes, ask if we’d like anything else.  Usually we just want the bill.
  11. Bring the bill.
  12. Come back for the bill no more than 5 minutes later.

Key principles

a) Don’t take your time.  Be prompt.  Waiting for things sucks royally.
b) Come to the table at least two times after we’ve gotten our meals.
c) Pay attention.  The worst is when you have to try to get the server’s attention.



The Bedford Academy (50th post!)

Every so often you pick out a favourite hangout.  It takes a while to find a good one–one that you feel very comfortable at, one that provides an enjoyable atmosphere and last but not least, one that your friends agree is a great place to frequent.  Though I’ve been there before, thanks to my University of Toronto colleagues, the Bedford Academy has become such a place.  Strangely enough, it was its competition across the street, the Duke of York, that my friends and I spent more time at.

The Bedford Academy patio

It’s the outdoor patio, which stretches from a few tables in front, down a narrow stretch to a widening (and remarkably large) back section that makes the experience worth it.  Sure I assume there’s an inside too (ok, I’ve been to its washroom and maybe once for dinner), but the jovial and friendly atmosphere is sitting with a drink in the afternoon sun and evening twilight.

So next time you’re in the Yorkville/Annex neighbourhood, try it out.  Also try out their grilled cheese sandwich.  Yum!

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