Pay as you go service? (Please tell me, NO)!

Joined Jun 13, 2002
Here's a situation that happened Friday night in Sacramento, CA. The man wrote me and asked if this was "normal" behavior.

The man (I won't mention his name) went to club in Sacramento with several of his colleagues for dinner and some cocktails. His part of the bill was over $200 for his dinner and his drinks, (he bought a bottle of champagne, which is what hiked his bill).

During the course of their meal, they were asked to pay their bill, because the club was going through a "shift change" and the server wanted to get her tip. They paid it, and tipped her. (To me, this is a bit odd already).

After they finished eating, the man decided to buy some more drinks for his himself and his friends. The club converts itself from a "dinner" club to a nightclub at about 9:00 pm. At this point, they were asked to pay their bill again and start a new tab.

They were rather confused as to "why" they had to keep settling their bill, so they asked their server, in which she replied "you'll have to ask management." Which they asked to do so...... Management never showed to the table. Instead, a bouncer came to the table and asked them to leave!

So they settled their bill and left.

Question I have, is why would a place ask their customers to settle the bill so frequently over the course of the evening. Secondly, is sending the bouncer over to the table to settle the bill question appropriate? (It's my understanding these guys were behaving - they're all business professionals).

Granted this place is very new, just opened some weeks ago (place is called Tunnel 21), one may assume they either don't have their act together, or they simply are lacking proper management or service training.

I hope that asking customers to settle the bill as they go, is not becoming a thing of the future.



Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
You're kidding! At least mention the name of the place. You assure us this is true... :eek:

Joined Oct 28, 1999
With that type of practice they needn't concern themselves with planning for a big one year anniversary party.
Joined Jun 13, 2002

I mentioned the name of the place - Tunnel 21 in Sacramento. I don't wanna mention the customer's name, he asked that I not do that.

But that is the story he has given me.

My take on the whole situation is twofold: One, either the waitress neglected to inform management that she had made a mistake, and sought the bouncer instead. OR, the customer who wrote me is making this whole thing up. However, he did say he's got the printout from the bill(s) to prove it.......

Joined Oct 6, 2002
For the most part this is just a server who wants to go home. It was a good probability that this was the servers last table and she really had a an itch to go out. She probably had a party to go to or wanted to go home and watch the basketball game ( Go Sacramento KINGS!!!)
Put yourself in this sitauation, you are a server who has been working 8 hours and you really want to go home so you can go out and party on a Friday Night.
Your service manager is bugging you about getting off the clock because you are going on overtime. However, your last table who are all "rich businesse men" has been camping out for hours, but you are too cheap to transfer their bill beacuse one of the guys has tab of $200. Which means you have at least a $30 tip coming which you can spend on a few drinks tonight.
So being the young canny server you are, you make an "innocent " excuse about a shift change so these guys can close of their bill. And hey, it worked. You got a $75 from the whole table and your sidework is done and all you need to do is clock out and run out that door.
As you are walking out your table throws you a monkey wrench and orders a round of drinks. As much as you want to walk out that door, you take the order in hope to squeeze a little more cash out of these rich bastards.
A half hour has passed by and these guys are still camping out and you still are too cheap to transfer your tab. Again you make up another clever excuse about another change in the restaurant in order to close out their bill.
But this time... they ask for an explanation and a manager. On one side you know that if you get a manager you can be written up for BAD SERVICE. But on the other side, you have to come up with an explanation with and an authorative figure.
Your solution:
You get the bouncer who is dying to get in your pants, flirt with him a little (remember you are a female), and get him to HANDLEthe situation.
I know this this may seem a bit of a stretch, but I have served tables off and on for 7 years in Sacramento. ( I could probablly know this server if I do my research enough). These are just the politics, tricks, and levels of discourse that I have been familiar with in Front Of the House.
Joined Jun 13, 2002

This restaurant is owned by "Vlad" of the Sacramento Kings... or his wife actually........
Joined Jul 18, 2000
whether or not the server was leaving, me smells a fraud.

Or perhaps lack of communication.

Either way, if 1 person tells 10 about shoddy deals, bad service et al, then that place has just shot itself in the foot for about 40 potential punters.

If it happens 10 times, then 400 potentials wont show.

and so forth, ad infinitum.

OK so they got kicked. From my viewpoint there is a possibility that the original server may of shafted the co for the bill, then the following server thought that these guys may of been trying to welch the bill (depending on the explanation given to him). The more pausible explanation is that the original server skipped after booking the payment, but didnt tell anyone.

So in all probability, my take on the situation is the latter, there most likely was a lack of communication and some confusion, leading to these guys being sent on their way.

May i suggest that correspondence should be sent to owner detailing what happened and asking if that is what generally happens. I would also send a copy of the bill statement/receipt to back up the query.

Glitches in the system generally get resolved a lot faster when you include the proprietors.

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