View Poll Results: Can I linger at a restaurant table after my meal?
You're fine, no worries here. 74 39.36%
You're OK but you might want to boost your tip just a bit 86 45.74%
You bum, eat and get out promptly 15 7.98%
other (explain) 13 6.91%
Voters: 188. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 10-19-2019, 03:40 PM
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Am I wrong for taking my own sweet time at a restaurant table?


It's fairly common for me to go out to one of my local eateries with a fresh newspaper or my tablet and linger for quite some time over a meal. This happens at least twice a month, often more. Just this morning, I sat in the booth at a diner for close to an hour and a half. If all I was there to do was consume my two up eggs, short stack and coffee, I could have been in and out in 15 minutes. I like the place though. It's a comfortable, relaxing environment for me to do my puzzles, chat with nice people, answer e-mails and enjoy a bottomless cup of coffee that could probably strip paint. This morning, after my server brought out my order, I made exactly one request of her, to re-fill my coffee carafe. I probably drank close to a liter and a half of coffee this morning but she wasn't pouring it for me by the cup.

I'm not demanding of the server's time or attention and I leave a decent tip. I don't see that I'm hurting anything - with one caveat. If I'm going to park myself in a booth for an extended time then it's my obligation to keep an eye on how full the restaurant is. If the place is less than half full then I figure my presence isn't denying a table to some other paying (and tipping) customer. If the place starts filling up, if there's any reason to believe that some potential customer is waiting for a table, I need to go.

Poll coming
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Last edited by Alpha Twit; 10-19-2019 at 03:44 PM.
  #2  
Old 10-19-2019, 03:46 PM
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If the restaurant is busy an hour should be the max for an individual. If there are tables open it shouldn't matter.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:47 PM
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I voted youíre fine because youíre keeping an eye on the overall business level. If thereís a line out the door, thatís different. If you were in Chicago, I canít imagine any breakfast place that wouldnít be busy on a Saturday morning and if it isnít, you donít want to eat there. But, in other cities, itís different.
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2019, 03:52 PM
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Given that you aren't taking a spot that could be used by another paying customer, and you are quietly minding your own business, I can't see a problem. A table of 2 or more customer would surely take more than 15 minutes, they aren't expecting that kind or turnover. An hour and a half is slow, but not crazy-slow. Yeah, I think you are fine.

I suggest that in addition to tipping well, you smile at the server and try to generally be pleasant to them. (Which you are probably doing, but it seems worth mentioning.)
  #5  
Old 10-19-2019, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
I suggest that in addition to tipping well, you smile at the server and try to generally be pleasant to them. (Which you are probably doing, but it seems worth mentioning.)
My dad, a former U.S. Army cook, impressed upon me the logical and reasonable position of being polite and friendly with those who cook and serve my food. It's kind of the same reason I try not to cheese off any police officer with whom I may interact. They can make my day a whole lot worse than I can make their day.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:58 PM
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as someone who used (and still does )to sit in a Dennys for hours doing nothing but emptying their coke fountain
and reading a book, you're good ..but dont be surprised if they sit you in the back occasionally

most places will let you know if you're taking too long or time limits will be posted so if the staff isn't complaining then dont worry ..... if you're a regular they probably prefer you being there than some pushy new person they'll never see again

one place has I've been to had a row of tables for "tourist" and another for "regulars" you had to go there at least once a week for 6 months to score that one ..... the regulars all knew each other and would get lively if they had to sit in the other section
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:07 PM
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One thing to be aware of is even if the restaurant is not full, you may be seen as hogging one of a server's limited number of tables, where incoming customers are going to be seated at other tables and those tips going to other servers.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
One thing to be aware of is even if the restaurant is not full, you may be seen as hogging one of a server's limited number of tables, where incoming customers are going to be seated at other tables and those tips going to other servers.
If that were the case then a bigger tip solves the problem. It's highly unlikely though, at most restaurant the waitstaff shares tips.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:10 PM
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One thing to be aware of is even if the restaurant is not full, you may be seen as hogging one of a server's limited number of tables, where incoming customers are going to be seated at other tables and those tips going to other servers.
I thought about that, but Iím not sure it makes a much of a difference at a diner type place when youíre dealing with a much smaller restaurant and the average tab is about the same per table. Itís different in a sit down larger restaurant with full alcohol service.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
It's highly unlikely though, at most restaurant the waitstaff shares tips.
Most tip sharing is from the waiter/waitress to the bartender, barback, busboy and/or seater depending . The actual waiters sharing tips among themselves is much less common.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:17 PM
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I voted "other", then read the thread and saw my arguments had been covered. If the place is essentially empty or you're enough of a regular that you have a favorite waitress who knows not only what you generally order, but some basic facts about you (married or single, job, hobbies), you shouldn't worry about wearing out your welcome.
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Old 10-19-2019, 07:46 PM
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If I linger, its usually because I am visiting with someone or treating them to a meal and visit. In that case I will sometimes tie up a booth for an hour or even two. I boost my tip by a ton (sometimes basically 100%) and keep an eye on how full the place is. Worse comes to worse, we can sit and talk in the parking lot. But since I may be costing the waitress in tips from turn-over of the table I make sure his/her back is covered.
  #13  
Old 10-19-2019, 07:54 PM
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I voted 'bum'. When the waitperson brings the check, it's about time to finish and go, unless you order more. I've seen in many sit-down eateries throughout Mexico that the check isn't brought till you signal and ask, "La cuenta, por favor." And the propina (tip) is 10% unless service is extraordinarily good or bad.
  #14  
Old 10-19-2019, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
One thing to be aware of is even if the restaurant is not full, you may be seen as hogging one of a server's limited number of tables, where incoming customers are going to be seated at other tables and those tips going to other servers.
No, I really don't think it's reasonable to expect a customer to consider this, even if it were possible for him to know what tables are assigned to what server. If a customer is being considerate enough to linger only when there's plenty of space overall, as a business owner I want that customer's business. It's down to the business to arrange sensible table allocation among servers.

I'll add - I stayed a whole afternoon in a coffee shop recently, on a hiking trip where it just poured with rain all day and we couldn't go anywhere. It was pretty empty, and I bought 3 or 4 coffees. I asked the manager/owner if she was okay with it (since we had a bunch of hiking gear too), and she said when the place is pretty empty she actually likes it - she said psychologically people feel a place is less welcoming if it's completely empty, so other customers are more likely to come in if a few people are there.

Last edited by Riemann; 10-19-2019 at 08:22 PM.
  #15  
Old 10-19-2019, 08:22 PM
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In a half or mostly empty restaurant I don't see a problem.

I was just on a business trip and ate "continental breakfast" at the motel. A woman parked herself and her laptop at a table for four during the breakfast rush, oblivious to all the other guests who were unsuccessfully trying to find a place to sit down. That was rude. If she'd done that near the end of breakfast time when there were other tables available it would have been a different story.
  #16  
Old 10-19-2019, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
No, I really don't think it's reasonable to expect a customer to consider this, even if it were possible for him to know what tables are assigned to what server. If a customer is being considerate enough to linger only when there's plenty of space overall, as a business owner I want that customer's business. It's down to the business to arrange sensible table allocation among servers.

I'll add - I stayed a whole afternoon in a coffee shop recently, on a hiking trip where it just poured with rain all day and we couldn't go anywhere. It was pretty empty, and I bought 3 or 4 coffees. I asked the manager/owner if she was okay with it (since we had a bunch of hiking gear too), and she said when the place is pretty empty she actually likes it - she said psychologically people feel a place is less welcoming if it's completely empty, so other customers are more likely to come in if a few people are there.
Very well but morally speaking the owner is not the only person to consider.
  #17  
Old 10-19-2019, 08:34 PM
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My eating-out routine is mostly about getting calories into the calorie hole, so it's mostly a sit-eat-and-go experience.

But if it's a social gathering of friends/family, we might order a final round (or three) of drinks, and sit and chat a bit before settling up and heading out (and we do usually tip fairly generously for tarrying longer than typical).

But we've also cut our chat session short in fairly busy establishments, especially if we had to wait some time (1/2 hour+) to be seated.
  #18  
Old 10-19-2019, 09:35 PM
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Very well but morally speaking the owner is not the only person to consider.
Inflexible and inefficient allocation of tables to servers isn't a "moral" issue, it's a poorly organized business, and it's not the responsibility of a customer to fix it. I'll tip a server well if I have lingered and they have looked after me well, but not because of some arcane flaw in the way the restaurant organizes their staff's responsibilities.
  #19  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:28 PM
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Same discussion on coffee shops recently. Similar answer. If it's buzzing with people, get out and let somebody else sit. If it's pretty empty the owner and staff might positively want you to hang around (if you're not scary looking enough to drive other people away).

But bringing this formula down to the server level in terms of assigned tables is too complicated IMO.

Bigger tip could factor in. I suppose if you're willing to give as much extra tip as the next sitting of people would if you stay as long as they would have, the server might prefer that to having to actually serve the next group. The owner probably wouldn't though.

Personally I'm antsy about hanging around in eating places once I'm done. I don't like it when people I'm in a party with do that (who I don't know well enough to just say 'hey let's go'). I'd just rather get going, generally.

Last edited by Corry El; 10-19-2019 at 10:30 PM.
  #20  
Old 10-19-2019, 10:36 PM
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Can you just be upfront about it before you are seated? “I’d like to be here for an hour, I’ll tip really well but will that be OK?” Then it’s up to the restaurant to decide if it’s ok or not.
  #21  
Old 10-19-2019, 11:00 PM
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I voted "you're fine, but you might want to boost your tip just a bit"...but I'd say boost your tip by more than just a bit. If you're going to be there several times longer than you would just to eat your meal, I think you should tip several times as much as you normally would.

Even if the restaurant isn't full, you're taking up one of your server's tables which might have otherwise had several new guests in that time.
  #22  
Old 10-20-2019, 03:17 AM
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.. a liter and a half of coffee?!?

How do you still have a colon?
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  #23  
Old 10-20-2019, 06:04 AM
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I voted "other". For me, if there's a line out the door or the place is really crowded, I prefer to skip it. I don't like to wait, individual meals aren't that important to me (I can eat earlier or later or elsewhere), and I have kitchen at home. If I do sit down, I'm not responsible for determining what departure time is optimal for the restaurant. Sticking to uncrowded restaurants renders the question moot.

My eating "out" is almost always lunch time when running errands, and unplanned. I stopped in a restaurant Saturday to grab lunch and realized there were a dozen in front of me waiting to order (fast food). Not upset or anything, but I just wandered back to my truck and continued my tasks. I've never had a meal that was good enough to wait in a line for it, and can eat later or not at all. Skipping a meal isn't a big deal -- I can catch up on the next one.

Mizpullin and I agree that eating out in the evening is never worth it. We prefer our kitchen, our food, and Netflix/DVDs sometimes. We've eaten dinner out twice this year so far, both times unusual occasions.

Last edited by pullin; 10-20-2019 at 06:05 AM.
  #24  
Old 10-20-2019, 07:27 AM
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I don't see a scenario at a reasonably run restaurant where they couldn't allocate tables fairly to servers when its less than half full. Either you have a single server covering the entire restaurant in which case it doesn't matter or the hostess is assigning patrons evenly across all sections as they enter in which case it doesn't matter when you leave.

In my mind, I'm doing restaurants a favor when I linger when it's mostly empty. It makes the place seem more busy and people on the street are more likely to come in.
  #25  
Old 10-20-2019, 08:47 AM
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We eat out a few times each week and tend to visit the same handful of establishments. I already tip well, but if we are lingering over conversation or watching the last period of the Penquins game, I'll tip extra and maybe have another drink.
  #26  
Old 10-20-2019, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Shalmanese View Post
I don't see a scenario at a reasonably run restaurant where they couldn't allocate tables fairly to servers when its less than half full. Either you have a single server covering the entire restaurant in which case it doesn't matter or the hostess is assigning patrons evenly across all sections as they enter in which case it doesn't matter when you leave.
....
This.
  #27  
Old 10-20-2019, 09:53 AM
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It's highly unlikely though, at most restaurant the waitstaff shares tips.
Most? Can you name three? I've never in my life seen a restaurant in the US where waiters pool their tips to share with other waiters.
  #28  
Old 10-20-2019, 09:59 AM
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Most? Can you name three? I've never in my life seen a restaurant in the US where waiters pool their tips to share with other waiters.
Heh. When my daughter was 15, she waitressed at a local coffee shop type restaurant. I showed up on her first day and had a cup of coffee for which I left a $20 tip. My daughter texted me that night about how I shouldn't do that, since they split their tips.

ETA: that's the only tip pooling place I've seen, other than a local brewery where everyone waits on everyone.

Last edited by kayaker; 10-20-2019 at 10:00 AM.
  #29  
Old 10-20-2019, 10:02 AM
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Thanks for all the thoughts expressed here and it seems I'm not too far out of line in my actions. With that being said, I think we're talking about entirely different classes of eateries.

This is my local.

There's no bar service and no hostess. People come in and grab a table they like. Most of the time, there's only a single sever covering the entire place and when they do have two or more, it seems to be a free for all. Individual servers grab tables as they come in without regard to who's section they are in. The whole dining room is everybody's "section".

Judging by their reaction when I stroll in, I'm doing alright by them. I'll grab a booth, someone comes over with a cup and carafe of coffee and asks if I want to look at the menu. I decline and a few minute later my short stack and two sunny side up eggs come out (with the eggs tucked under the pancakes for better yolk absorption and more even syrup distribution). That comes to <$8. After lingering over my meal and the daily news for a while, I drop a tenner and leave the change as tip. If they've got a problem with me, they've had more than enough opportunity to tell me.

My other regular spot is a pizza buffet with self service drink refills. They literally don't even have servers. You pay first, grab a table you like and chow down. Eventually, someone comes around and grabs your empty plates. I still tip 20% if I'm there for an extended length of time, less if I don't linger.

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  #30  
Old 10-20-2019, 11:20 AM
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I think you're fine, though I wish you'd included the caveat from your post about keeping an eye on how full the restaurant was in your poll options. That's the most important consideration. I was a server for 10 years and I still have the nightmares to prove it. I'd rather have someone linger and give a normal tip when there are lots of empty tables, than have someone linger and give a 50% tip when it costs me a whole other table.

The only other thing you might keep in mind is that your server's shift might be ending. This means s/he needs to close out all checks or transfer them to the next server (and thereby lose the tip). Also s/he probably has a solid hour of sidework to do in the back, which is stressful when you still have that one person you need to keep checking on. So if you're done ordering and just want to sit and read, let your server know exactly that, and close out your check. If you do those three things (only linger when it's not busy, cash out promptly, and tip well) you'll probably be the best customer they have all day.
  #31  
Old 10-20-2019, 12:02 PM
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I do remember pooling tips on the Saturday nights before the FSU and FAMU graduations. It just made it easier and eliminated most of the griping when someone got sat a party of 10 and half of them were under 5 years old. We just knew those nights were going to be Hell and just had to get through them. Even I, the year I was the host tossed my bribe money in and got a small amount of the tip pool paid out.

But that was just two nights out of the year.
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  #32  
Old 10-20-2019, 12:15 PM
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While you're there your server has to pay attention to you for refills and checking in, so your tip should reflect that extra effort. And the server may be wondering if you're going to tip extra or not. They don't really know until the end. I'm sure they've had people who sat for that long and didn't even tip at all.

All that extra coffee may be negating any profit the restaurant got from your meal. The bottomless cup is probably based on 1 or 2 extra cups.

A larger issue could be that other people see you hanging out for hours and then think it's okay for them as well. Not everyone will be considerate, so invariably there will be some cheapskates who won't worry about the effect on the waitress or restaurant if they sit in a booth for hours just drinking coffee.

I expect the manager may have some worries. I'm guessing it occupies some of their thoughts wondering if they'll need to tell you to leave or not. I'm sure they have to tell some people to leave at some point.

I would guess the staff would prefer that you acted like a typical patron so they knew what to expect. If you go a lot, they will eventually recognize you as a regular and then not worry about it.
  #33  
Old 10-20-2019, 03:07 PM
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If you're a regular, then maybe every once in a while leave a bigger tip than $2 on an $8 check (which is quite acceptable, btw.) It sounds like it's a good deal for the money and you are considerate about not hanging around if they get busy.
  #34  
Old 10-20-2019, 05:22 PM
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Once I was in the situation where me and my girlfriend had just had an excellent meal at a sit-down pizza place on a Friday night. We ordered a bunch of food and as we finished we requested a new pizza to take home to eat the next morning. We paid for everything, left a tip but waited at the table still as we were told it would take 10 minutes before it was ready.

As we waited chatting and finishing our drinks the manager huffed over and "requested" we wait for our pizza standing by the front door as they needing to clean the table for the next customer. Now the place was packed but they hadn't had actually gotten any new customers yet (nobody was waiting at the WAIT TO BE SEATED line) and until we picked up our pizza nobody arrived and our table was still empty, but we decided it wasn't worth an argument and just got up to vacate the table and waited by the door.

It was entirely the attitude of the manager that turned us off as he said it like we were just staying there taking money out of his wallet when he knew we were waiting for something we just paid for. So we quitely waited by the front for our pizza, got it, and haven't been back since. Still wonder if that was justified or not they had excellent deep dish pizza.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Riemann View Post
I'll add - I stayed a whole afternoon in a coffee shop recently, on a hiking trip where it just poured with rain all day and we couldn't go anywhere. It was pretty empty, and I bought 3 or 4 coffees. I asked the manager/owner if she was okay with it (since we had a bunch of hiking gear too), and she said when the place is pretty empty she actually likes it - she said psychologically people feel a place is less welcoming if it's completely empty, so other customers are more likely to come in if a few people are there.
I was going to say this. When looking for a place to eat, someplace totally empty makes me pause. I'm much more likely to come inside if there are at least a few customers.
Also, if there are lots of empty tables/booths new customers can still be fairly allocated to the waitstaff.
  #36  
Old 10-20-2019, 05:35 PM
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Once I was in the situation where me and my girlfriend had just had an excellent meal at a sit-down pizza place on a Friday night. We ordered a bunch of food and as we finished we requested a new pizza to take home to eat the next morning. We paid for everything, left a tip but waited at the table still as we were told it would take 10 minutes before it was ready.

As we waited chatting and finishing our drinks the manager huffed over and "requested" we wait for our pizza standing by the front door as they needing to clean the table for the next customer. Now the place was packed but they hadn't had actually gotten any new customers yet (nobody was waiting at the WAIT TO BE SEATED line) and until we picked up our pizza nobody arrived and our table was still empty, but we decided it wasn't worth an argument and just got up to vacate the table and waited by the door.

It was entirely the attitude of the manager that turned us off as he said it like we were just staying there taking money out of his wallet when he knew we were waiting for something we just paid for. So we quitely waited by the front for our pizza, got it, and haven't been back since. Still wonder if that was justified or not they had excellent deep dish pizza.
I mean, only you can decide if their pizza was worth putting up with that, but I say he was in the wrong. You were waiting for something you'd ordered! You still had drinks in front of you! I hated "campers" as we called them as much as anyone, but come on.
  #37  
Old 10-21-2019, 10:34 AM
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As we waited chatting and finishing our drinks the manager huffed over and "requested" we wait for our pizza standing by the front door as they needing to clean the table for the next customer ...

It was entirely the attitude of the manager that turned us off as he said it like we were just staying there taking money out of his wallet when he knew we were waiting for something we just paid for. So we quitely waited by the front for our pizza, got it, and haven't been back since. Still wonder if that was justified or not they had excellent deep dish pizza.
I'd give them another try if you liked the food. The manager clearly made a service mistake (I mean, you all were ordering extra food, after all. Fine for you guys to linger at the table over desserts, but not wait 10 minutes on a pizza?), so it's not like you all have anything to be embarrassed about. On top of that, managers change often in the restaurant business ... if it's been 6 months or so, there's a good chance you'll never run into that guy again.
  #38  
Old 10-21-2019, 10:37 AM
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I hated "campers" as we called them as much as anyone, but come on.
I don't know how the definition worked where you waited, but at my place ... anyone waiting on food, dessert, drinks, etc -- even if intending on taking it to go -- was by definition not a camper.
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:47 AM
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As you describe it, you're fine. You've paid for your meal and coffee, tipped your waitress, and made sure that you're not keeping any other patron waiting. Once the place starts to fill up, though, you should be on your way.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:15 AM
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Myself, I think take as long as you want. Basically, you are there for your own enjoyment, not to ensure others get a table as quickly as possible. For my own part, I don't like to linger. It's why the advent of paying kiosks have been a great thing. I like to eat, pay, and get out, but that's just me. I don't do it because I'm wanting to free up a table asap, I do it because, well, I'm fairly anti-social, hate crowds, and I have a lot of trouble hearing if there is a burble of voices (I have really bad tinnitus from years spent in data centers).
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:22 AM
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I am a very slow eater who likes to read when I'm eating. I can take an hour to eat a simple cheese sandwich.

As long as there are not people waiting on line to sit down, I think it's okay.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:18 PM
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I'll chime in and agree with those who say that it's fine if the place is no more than half full. You're not really tying up a table that would otherwise generate tips for the waiter, and you make the place look a little bit busier than it otherwise would.

But... if your extended sojourn happens to overlap with a period that your waiter could have sat someone else at that table (i.e. their section is full), then it's incumbent on you to up your tip to the point where they don't lose money on that table relative to if you had just gone and left in a normal time frame.

Of course, in my experience as a bus-boy, the wait staff will eventually quit refilling your drink and start asking you if you are ready to pay/need help with it, if you're starting to wear out your welcome.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:51 PM
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You're fine. What I don't like is people who go to Starbucks solo and buy a $4 coffee then camp out on a table for 4 with their laptop for 3-4 hours.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
You're fine. What I don't like is people who go to Starbucks solo and buy a $4 coffee then camp out on a table for 4 with their laptop for 3-4 hours.
Yeah, I think that crosses a line, but then such behavior doesn't appeal to me anyway so I'm probably biased. But just going to a restaurant with friends and family and taking the time to enjoy the experience? If you are there, sitting on the table for many hours, ordering nothing but just sitting and talking, while there is a huge line, well, THAT might be a bit out of line, but for normal dinning experience where you talk, order, eat, then talk some more.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:59 PM
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Another vote that as long as the restaurant isn't busy and you're not taking a table that other people coming in would need (like a big table), I don't see the harm.

I would ask the wait staff what they think about you hanging out when it's not busy. If they say give a positive answer then maybe they're telling the truth and maybe they're being nice (lying.) But if they give you any sort of negative/wishy-washy answer then you can rethink things.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:59 PM
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You're fine as long as the restaurant has other seating. But you should tip more. You're getting more service out of the server than you'd get in 15 minutes.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:26 AM
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I don't think that this issue is just for single people. Every few months, 6 to 8 of my women friends meet up for dinner at a local restaurant. We try to go early (6pm) and also try to pick restaurants that aren't hopping busy...for their sake and ours because it's hard to hear over the din of a crowded restaurant.

Few of my friends drink anything other than water, and we like to sit and chat well before dinner and well after dinner. A 3 hour stay is not uncommon. I realize that all of this might add up to a major disappointment for waitstaff, so I usually compensate them for their missed revenue by doubling my tip.

The only exception was several years ago when we met at a local Bravo restaurant. The waitress was hostile from the second she saw it was a group of women. She took our order and delivered our food, but never once asked if everything was okay, or ever ventured over to refill the empty water glasses. Worse, those of us who paid cash actually had to hunt her down in order to get our change back because she disappeared after taking our money. When the manager found her, she said, "Sorry, I assumed that none of you wanted change."

My bill was $12 and I'd given her a $20.

Now, on a normal night out, I'd have cheerfully given her the entire $8, but not that night.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sternvogel View Post
I voted "other", then read the thread and saw my arguments had been covered. If the place is essentially empty or you're enough of a regular that you have a favorite waitress who knows not only what you generally order, but some basic facts about you (married or single, job, hobbies), you shouldn't worry about wearing out your welcome.
That's pretty much what I was going to say. It's OK to be a "camper" when the restaurant is not busy, especially if you're a regular. My husband and I have been regulars at same cafe for over 30 years, and they treat us like family. Even so, when it's busy we would never abuse their hospitality by hogging a table for hours.

Last edited by Bayarea4; 10-22-2019 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:14 PM
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I used to do this a lot, but when I did I always had a minimum for the tip and it wasn't a percentage but an amount. I'll put it this way, I wasn't one of those guys who left $1.88 on a $10.12 check and thought I was being generous because it was over 15%. When it's just me and a small check, tips 60% and up and possibly over 100% are the norm.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
You're fine. What I don't like is people who go to Starbucks solo and buy a $4 coffee then camp out on a table for 4 with their laptop for 3-4 hours.
At least in Chicago, Iíve noticed theyíve removed most of the seating from the Starbucks that have been remodelled lately. I assume itís to prevent the camping and also to be able to display the bags of packaged coffee and other things to improve those sales.

I used to camp at a coffee place while in college, but that was pretty common among students in the afternoons. They usually had music or speakers at night so wasnít a study place then.
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