On New Year’s Eve I went out with friends to welcome in 2013. We ended up in Long Street which is arguably the most famous street in Cape Town. The plan was to let loose and have a great time.
The atmosphere was great. The music was good but too loud for my liking. However, the service was the worst ever! We paid to get inside Long Street Cafe and waited for a good 15 minutes before a waiter came over. Eventually, one did. He came over empty handed and asked if we wanted menus!? My friend, who works in the retail industry, swallowed hard and said yes please.
He went away to get the menus and she turned to me, “Do you want menus?” mimicking the waiter. “Duh, we want menus. How else are we going to decide what to order?” He came back and let’s just say he failed to redeem himself.
We placed our orders and it took him another 15 minutes to return with our drinks. We didn’t get an apology or anything. I finished my lemonade first and had to go look for the waiter so he could get me another drink. I found him and asked for another drink. The next time we saw him he was chilling by the door. When we made eye contact he went “oops” and ran to the bar to get my drink. A waiter forgot my order!? By this stage, I was pissed. He came back with loads of apologies.
Later in the evening, another friend ordered a drink. The waiter did what he did best on the night which was to disappear. My friend ordered his drink at 11:45pm so he could have a drink at 12:00am. The drink came back in 2013!
We were all not impressed with the service and decided not to tip him because he did not earn it. When we had to leave, we had to take turns looking for the waiter to bring us the bill. Finally, I tracked him down and he brought it over.
The bill was R744 and to our surprise someone had filled in the part about gratuity. They had written R74.00. This came as a shock because we had never seen anything like that before. We decided to scratch it out and pay the bill.
He came over to get the bill and one of my friends had to hand over the bill as I was no longer talking to him after countless blunders. He demanded to know why he wasn’t being tipped. My friend had to explain he did not earn his tip and reminded him about forgetting my drink and disappearing numerous times.
He started arguing that he should be tipped. In his view, he should be tipped despite our grievances. My friend asked for the manager, stating she was not about to reward bad service. This led to the waiter playing the race card. By the way, my friend is black, and so is the waiter. He started calling her “my sister” and how we should look out for one another. My friend made it clear that being black doesn’t mean she has to turn a blind eye to bad service.
Eventually, he backed down. When we made our way to the door he said “what goes around comes around.” What got to me was that he thought he could get away with bad service because the customers looked like him!
I tip fairly but I have to be satisfied with the service. I refuse to reward bad service!