Here's Your Half-Empty Glass

Ben is obviously a greedy loser. He asked for his drink with “no ice.” It seems that Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has (correctly) identified a “no ice” drink order as a scam to get more juice than one deserves for $3.95. Don’t worry, folks. They’ve solved the problem. They served Ben a half empty glass. Ben is smart, but Bubba Gump’s “no ice” policy is smarter…From Ben’s blog:

Five minutes later, our waitress returns. The drink doesn’t have ice. But it’s literally half full. That’s correct. They took out the ice but didn’t full up the glass. And there was so much ice that I now have about half a glass of juice. For $3.95.

I asked where the rest of the juice was and she said they only left in as much as there would be with ice. I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say and she left. This was now an intense topic of conversation at our table. Did the waitress hate me? Was this some insane directive from Bubba Gump headquarters? Whatever it was, it feels actively hostile for a waitress to bring you a drink you ordered half full and tell you that’s all you’re getting.

So when she came back, I told her, as politely as I could, that I wasn’t going to pay $3.95 for half a glass of juice. She then informed that she wished she could fill it up, but it’s against their policy to give more than there would be with ice. First she said it was because the liquor costs so much. We told her there is no liquor in a mango spritzer, but she refused to budge. Eventually, she agreed to take the drink away and take it off my bill, because on principle I’m just not paying $4 for half a fucking glass of juice.

But the insanity’s not over. Oh no. Then she brings our food, as I’m happily drinking water. And she says “What can I bring you to drink to set things right?”

Before I could think about how insane this was, I blurted out “Can I have the drink I ordered?” But I could see on her face that this was a no-go. She’d rather bring me another drink… FOR FREE… then give me the drink I ordered… FOR $4. Rather than discuss this insanity, I ordered lemonade and moved on with my life.

This makes us laugh. Luckily, the solution is simple: Don’t eat at movie theme restaurants. —MEGHANN MARCO

QUESTIONS FOR THE BUBBA GUMP CORPORATION [Ben’s Blog]
(Photo: Emil Erlandsson)

Comments

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  1. Tallanvor says:

    Silly Consumerist… The system let you post the story with a question mark in the link, so it tried to do a search instead. Ok, so it’s probably like that on all Gawker sites. I suppose it’s not too normal.

  2. godai says:

    The ? in the link is messing up the ability to get here.

    Of course if people don’t know how to get here, how can they see this…..

  3. Red_Eye says:

    The sad part is the contents of any non alcoholic glass is pennies and yet we are all stupid enough to pay $1.99 for 24 ounces (minus 8 ounces of ice) for $.08 of soda

  4. 5yearwinter says:

    I got in the habit of asking for no ice before my first trip to Mexico, and it’s always served me well. Movie theaters, fast food restaurants, everywhere. The benefits are multitudinous! Get more drink for your buck, prevents that disgusting watered down taste, and I have sensitive teeth anyway.

  5. swalve says:

    FYI- Fruit juices are WAY more expensive than soda pop.

  6. mopar_man says:

    Water is free. That’s usually what I get at a restaurant.

  7. Little Miss Moneybags says:

    I worked at a fast food restaurant drive thru that had the same policy and it would make me furious to have to give customers a half-full cup of soda. The amount of ice we had to put in each cup was ridiculous as well.

    My dad seems to have found a way around it–he asks for “light ice”, and usually the server puts in half as much ice but fills the cup up–he gets his drink chilled but with more beverage, and he hasn’t had the problem of “we’ll only fill it halfway up if you don’t order ice”.

  8. Yossarian says:

    This guy is such a scumbag. As a former food service worker, I hated, HATED people like him. He’s probably the same guy who can’t make up his mind and constantly needs “just one more thing” causing me to come back and forth when I have a dozen other tables full of people that aren’t jackasses getting pissed because I’m not giving them enough attention.

    Seriously, EVERY restaurant has the “only fill it to where it would be if the ice was in it” policy and if you’re that cheap that you need to get around paying full price for a $4 drink, just stay home and cook Ramen.

    Ugh. Douchebag!

  9. Falconfire says:

    He’s an ass. Those mixed drinks might have been non-alcoholic, but they are still considered as such and not just a fountain pull of juice, and thus are measured out using shot glasses and the ice is considered PART of the drink.

    I can totally understand people who order no ice with soda at like BK takeout or other places where your not going back for refills and they shove so much ice into the fountain drinks that you barely get any soda. But this is NOT that type of drink, even a moron would know that, and he had a set of balls to think he was in the right about it.

    @Red_Eye: Soda is cheap yes, real fruit juice (which is what this guy got) is expensive, especially for the kinds of fruit that where in this drink. Even OJ is 2-3 times the price of a equal amount of soda for restaurants since your buying REAL fruit juice vs a container of mix you add carbonated water to.

  10. Rajio says:

    $4 for some juice?! whats it made of, ambrosia?!

  11. acambras says:

    @mopar_man:

    I was in a coffee/sandwich place the other day and they actually told the woman in line in front of me that they couldn’t serve her tap water (“due to health department restrictions”). Of course they had bottled water available for purchase.

    I called bullshit on them, saying that it sounded more like a way to sell bottled water than any sort of “health department restriction.” Besides, they’re using that water to cook with, make coffee with, wash dishes with. Cheap bastards.

  12. The Unicorn says:

    The dude in the story may or may not be an ass, but it wasn’t very smart of the waitress not to warn him that he’d be getting less juice if he got no ice.

    Although I’m with Meghann in strongly questioning the judgment of anyone who chose to spend their money at Bubba Gump.

    …actually, you know, what, I am now reminded of this time when my boyfriend & I got caught in a ridiculous windstorm and he got a piece of gravel lodged in his eye. The Bubba Gump at Navy Pier had the closest restrooms to where we were (and he was pretty much blind & in a lot of pain) but they were totally rude to us about letting us use their bathrooms.

  13. WindowSeat says:

    I’m not going to dump on the guy, but a restaurant is a business and it doesn’t make sense to give away product for free. If a drink’s price is based on getting four ounces of juice, that’s what you can expect to get. Try ordering a steak with extra steak and see where it gets you.

  14. TechnoDestructo says:

    I had friends that liked to go there when I was in Monterey. I never did because I thought an extra layer of fiction in that town was taking it too far.

  15. d0x says:

    “Seriously, EVERY restaurant has the “only fill it to where it would be if the ice was in it” policy and if you’re that cheap that you need to get around paying full price for a $4 drink, just stay home and cook Ramen.”

    I hope I never get you as the person serving me…

    I’ve been to many restaurants and I always say no ice. I cant think of a single time..NOT ONCE where they brought me a glass half full of my drink.

    You’re insane and so is any company that gives you half your drink because you didnt want it loaded with ice. We know the only purpose of said ice is to rip us off so get over yourself already.

    If that happened to me I would pay for my half drink and leave. Not because im cheap but because if the place i choose to spend my money decides its ok to rip me off then they dont deserve me as a customer…and I’ll tell every person I know how much your eatery sucks as well.

  16. Falconfire says:

    @Rajio: No its made of mango, pineapple and orange, two of which are relatively cheap (but still expensive, about the same as cheap liquor to restaurants in price) and one of which (Mango) is very expensive (almost 4-5 bucks for 16 oz) While Im sure the restaurant could get it cheaper, its not going to be THAT much cheaper.

    To compare, soda is about 4-5 cents a glass.

  17. Greeper says:

    All parties deserve a little something: The waitress? Hereby sentenced to work at Bubba Gump. The customer: Hereby sentenced to eat at Bubba Gump. (Actually, I agree with the customer on this one, but his punishment is for going in in the 1st place). Like my momma said, RUN FORREST, RUN!!!!!

  18. Pasketti says:

    I always get water in restaurants now. The drinks just cost too much.

  19. Falconfire says:

    @d0x: Be aware this is not a fountain drink he’s talking about. He’s talking about a mixed non-alcoholic drink, which no restaurant, especially a chain one would serve you twice as much of if you said no ice.

  20. mopar_man says:

    @acambras:

    Amazing. I’ve never heard that before but I agree, complete bullshit. Then there’s this article
    about bottled water.

  21. MeOhMy says:

    @The Unicorn:

    The dude in the story may or may not be an ass, but it wasn’t very smart of the waitress not to warn him that he’d be getting less juice if he got no ice.

    I agree. When he said “No ice,” she should have said “We can do that, but you won’t get any additional juice.”

    As for the guy, fruit juice is not the same as soda and costs the restaurant a lot more. I would not expect to get more of something like that in exchange for no ice.

    However, if it’s a “spritzer,” it should have club soda in it, and they could have always just topped it up with more club soda. Then the guy would have been pissed that it was so watered down, though.

  22. RandomHookup says:

    @acambras:

    that they couldn’t serve her tap water (“due to health department restrictions”)

    Should have asked if that’s the same tap water the staff uses to wash their hands.

  23. He says:

    I order no ice because I don’t like ice. But the real question is, how was the drink described on the menu? That determines who’s less wrong here.

  24. lore says:

    In many parts of Europe, you have to ask for water. It’s not even provided as part of the normal service.

  25. humphrmi says:

    @Yossarian:

    Wow, sounds like you’ve got some anger issues. I hope I never get you as a waiter.

    If every restaurant has this policy, they certainly don’t enforce it. And as long as it’s not a universal rule, the restaurants who do enforce it will get pilloried, and the waiters who enforce it will see their tips reduced.

  26. not_seth_brundle says:

    Would it have made you feel better if she’d brought you 4 ounces of juice in a 4-ounce glass, rather than 4 ounces of juice in an 8-ounce glass?

    And what if, after you called her on it, she’d explained that they typically provide bigger glasses to hold all the ice, rather than phrasing it as having provided you a smaller glass than usual?

    This seems to be a totally behavioral reaction. Kind of like the shoe salesman who knew that when working with women whose feet were slightly different sizes, he should say that one foot was smaller than the other, rather than that one foot was larger.

  27. But I could see on her face that this was a no-go. She’d rather bring me another drink… FOR FREE… then give me the drink I ordered… FOR $4.

    She probably thought you were trying to get the $4 drink for free after refusing it on principle. The principle being that you should get more juice than other customers because you glass doesn’t have ice in it. Maybe $4 is too much money for half a glass but you can’t expect preferential treatment.

  28. anecdotal says:

    she should have served him the juice in a smaller glass thereby giving him the illusion of a full glass of juice without the ice.

  29. rocketslide says:

    The waitress should have put the juice in a smaller glass. Presto! It’s not half a glass, it’s a full glass.

  30. anecdotal says:

    she should given him the juice, with no ice, in a smaller glass thereby providing the illusion of a full glass.

  31. Pelagius says:

    If you worked in a place where “Forrest Gump” was played on an endless loop, you’d find ways to punish your clientele, too.

  32. kerry says:

    @lore: This is becoming more common in the US. There’s a Belgian beer bar/restaurant I frequent and for a long time they had us asking for water. They recently stopped, probably due to customer complaints. Personally, I see nothing wrong with having to ask for water, as it gives you the option of asking for mineral water or something, instead. As long as they don’t charge for tap water I’m happy.
    @acambras: Wasn’t there some big deal a few years back that businesses which serve food are required to have water available to customers at no charge? I figured that was why the movie theater I go to offers “courtesy cups” of water that are about 2 ounces. They don’t have to serve you a full cup, they just have to make free water available. (They also sell bottled in 12, 20 and 32 ounce sizes.)

  33. bosmoke says:

    I’m having a hard time believing nobody at Bubba Gump thought to use a smaller glass for the customers ordering “no ice.” Using an oversized glass (oversized compared to what you’re serving) is just rude.

  34. sixtoe says:

    Isn’t this akin to asking for no baked potato with your steak, then expecting a bigger steak in return?

  35. xanax25mg says:

    I never understood why someone thought Forest Gump is a good concept for a resturant. I don’t want to think about mental retardation, the Vietnam War, amputees and AIDS while I’m ordering hush puppies.

  36. i4ni says:

    @anecdotal: Nah, he should have just realized that they were in a corporate restaurant and that the server didn’t have a lot of choices on the matter. Don’t hate the server because they are stuck with that the corporation tells them to do.

    I used to work for Olive Garden and I hated always bringing a wine bottle to the table. One day a recovering alcoholic cussed and screamed when I showed up with a wine bottle (he had flipped his wine glass over, apparently that is the universal sign for “don’t bring wine”) but I wasn’t trying to be ugly or anything, just doing my part in the corporation. I would have been fired had I not follow my directions.

    Oh well… I usually order water myself… $4 for anything w/o liquor is crazy.

  37. Trick says:

    @Yossarian:

    This guy is such a scumbag. As a former food service worker, I hated, HATED people like him. He’s probably the same guy who can’t make up his mind and constantly needs “just one more thing” causing me to come back and forth when I have a dozen other tables full of people that aren’t jackasses getting pissed because I’m not giving them enough attention.

    Well, it is quite obvious why are you a *former* food service worker.

  38. eastsidegeorge says:

    The waitress was not very smart. I’m sure she lost a big chunk of her tip. If I were in the customers place I wouldn’t have said a word, I would have just taken the $4 out of her tip. If you have a 3rd grade education, you can figure out that the restaurant will make a profit on that juice whether the glass is full or half full.

  39. Buran says:

    @Yossarian:

    Wow. So I guess that you hate me because I have legitimate reasons for not asking for ice — including sensitive teeth? I don’t care what you think about my health problems. I asked for no ice and I expect no ice with a smile. Just like I expect you to not put pickles on my burger if I don’t want pickles on my burger.

    The customer asked you to not put something on his/her food and their reasons are none of your business. They have their reasons. Get over it.

  40. Falconfire says:

    @i4ni:

    I used to work for Olive Garden and I hated always bringing a wine bottle to the table. One day a recovering alcoholic cussed and screamed when I showed up with a wine bottle (he had flipped his wine glass over, apparently that is the universal sign for “don’t bring wine”) but I wasn’t trying to be ugly or anything, just doing my part in the corporation. I would have been fired had I not follow my directions.

    Crap like that and this was what almost drove my fiancee to the edge when we started dating. She literally came home crying some night the customers where so nasty to her for doing her job.

    One of the best was when a couple walked away from the restaurant and never heard their name called nor saw the pager buzz. After 15 minutes my fiancee sat the next person in line. Then they came back and where so pissed off that they missed their name they THREW the pager at my fiancee’s head.

    Guess who ended up being in the “wrong” in corporate eyes on that one. If she had not been such a good employee she would have been fired since thats what corporate wanted her to be despite following policy and being assaulted by a customer. Not only that, but the MacSack not only gave the customer who fucked up free dinner, but a GIFT BASKET at home.

    This is in part why dicks like this guy and customers in restaurants in general make my blood boil sometimes. Yes your there to be served, but they are not your slaves and they are only doing what they are told to do. You want slaves go to a 5 star 4000 dollar a plate restaurant.

    As for my fiancee? I got her a job as a secretary for the alternative education program in my school district. Dirtbag gangbangers and pregnant 16 year olds treat my Fiancee with more respect than you common restaurant customer and she hasnt come home crying from work in years.

  41. WindowSeat says:

    @kerry: Speaking as someone in the business, providing water on request saves a lot of money and umm,water. It seems like a small savings, but when you factor in the washing of the extra glassware etc. it really amounts to something at the end of the year.

    Regarding tap water, I’m always amused when I’m offered bottled water in New York (and Rome when I get there) since the tap water is so good.

  42. Skeptic says:

    Many you people are a lot of haters. Yeah, “Trick,” asking for no ice and expecting a full glass makes a guy a real scumbag. Ooooh, it is soooooo hard not to add ice.

    Who the heck puts ice in Juice??? Most of the breakfast places I go to serve fresh OJ in two sizes and the menu lists the number of ounces. The juice is normally served sans ice and they have to fill the glass because the menu listed the number of ounces.

    I don’t have to ask not to have ice in my beer or in my wine. There is no reason I should have to ask not to have it in my juice, but if I do they have to fill the damn glass. It is not hard liquor.

    The restraint still makes a profit on a full glass of juice. Even juice doesn’t cost them $3.95 wholesale. Being bitchy to a customer over the issue is just stupid.

    …and the analogy to a steak–hold the potato is just silly. They say how many ounces a steak is on the menu, they don’t get to consider the weight of the potato part of the steak and a 16oz steak can’t be 8oz of potatoes.

  43. Buran says:

    @Falconfire:

    And she didn’t press assault charges why?

  44. bambino says:

    @acambras: I believe it is state law in Texas that any establishment that charges for drinks (soda, bottled water, liquor) must provide an accessible source of free water (whether by water fountain or by asking a server). I’m not sure if this is the case in other states.

  45. acambras says:

    @bambino:

    Yeah, this coffee/sandwich place is very close to my office. I’m tempted to research the statute, print it out, and show it to them when they refuse to give me even a “courtesy” cup of tap water.

    And Yossarian is not someone I’d ever want as a server. I am sick and tired of sullen servers who provide bad service and then get all pissed off when they don’t get the 20% tip to which they think they’re entitled.

  46. clementine says:

    I once had a waitress put ice in after I have requested ‘no ice’ and then she told me that truly, I would prefer it that way because she felt that the drink was too warm. I don’t want my drinks too chilled – it hurts my teeth. It did affect her tip.

    Most places are happy to give me a drink without ice. If they gave it to me in a smaller glass, I wouldn’t mind. I mostly get water or soda so the added ‘expense’ is not too much in my eyes. Besides, with no ice, I usually don’t need a refill because the drink size without the ice is enough for me.

  47. bravo369 says:

    My dad asks for no ice all the time and i have never seen him get anything less than a full glass. You could always just ask for a full glass and if she says no, take it out of her tip. Of course that’s not fair to her if she’s just following policy but it’s also not fair to you to get half a glass when you ask for a full glass. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for.

  48. chimmike says:

    Most of you all joining the consumer’s side have never served tables before.

    I suggest before saying the server is a dirtbag or the server is wrong should stand in their shoes for a few weeks and find out what it’s like to be treated like the lower echelon of spit.

    1) this guy wasn’t getting ripped off. Chances are likely he was getting the same amount as one would with ice.
    2) If he does this as a ploy to get more drink for the same price as someone who gets less, HE is in the wrong, and his anger over the ‘principle’ of it is unfounded and hypocritical.
    3) Yes, fruit drinks cost more. He ordered a fruity spritzer. It’s not a $0.99 glass of soda, it’s a fruity spritzer. Did he ask for a little straw hat too?

    Some people complain way too much about the smallest, most ridiculous stuff. This shouldn’t even be wasting the space on the consumerist…..if this is all that guy has to complain about, he needs a job and a life outside of fruity drinks.

  49. MeOhMy says:

    @eastsidegeorge:
    If you make it to 4th grade that’s where they teach you that sometimes the big corporation doesn’t care that they still get a profit, and the guy in the trench is just doing what he has to do to keep his job so he can feed his kids.

    In other words, the waitress probably did not have any choice in the matter – you take the $4 out of her tip, you’re screwing her on something completely beyond her control.

    “Don’t punish your waiter for errors beyond his control” is 5th grade.

  50. acambras says:

    @chimmike:

    I don’t know about the others, but I *HAVE* worked in several restaurants over the years. I too have found some customers loathsome, but the bottom line was this: I was there to provide service (that’s why I was called a “server”), and the people at my tables didn’t go out to eat so that they could put up with snarky waitstaff attitude.

    If you despise the people you serve and you can’t suck it up, fake your way through it, and do your job, you should probably find a job where you’re not so miserable.

  51. defectiveburger says:

    People like Yossarian make me wonder, seriously, why the hell do people in America tip whenever you go out to a restaurant??? I mean, sure, I understand waitstaff makes minimum wage and relies on tips and blah blah, but I mean, come on. If you’re going to be a total fucking dick when I come to your establishment to be served by you, there’s no way in hell I’d tip.

    A tip is just that–A TIP. You get tips for providing excellent service–service above and beyond what should be expected. If I’m getting a grumpy server and I get ice in the drink I asked for no ice in, there’s no tip given. Period. I didn’t get what I asked for and didn’t have a pleasant response from the person whose job it is to serve me and give me what I wanted.

    Also, similarly, sure, waitstaff live off the tips and can’t pay rent without tips because they’re only paid minimum wage plus tips. Wah. Cry me a fucking river. I have lived off minimum wage quite successfully in college and even managed to save a rather substantial chunk of change while paying my rent, bills, food, entertainment, tuition, books, etc. Don’t pull that “I need and expect tips” bullshit. Nobody’s buying it.

    Anyway, to end my rant, food service is seriously screwed up. You get people like Yossarian and the waitress in the original story, people expecting tips for providing mediocre service, mediocre service in a service industry as the industry standard, horrible food, it’s disgusting.

  52. acambras says:

    @defectiveburger:

    As you can see from my post (right before yours), I had a problem with some restaurant servers’ sense of entitlement — that they deserve a tip even if the service was bad or nonexistent.

    That said, you should know that the minimum wage for tipped servers is lower than the standard minimum wage (it’s meant to be lower because they know you get tips). It varies from state to state, I think — when I was a waitress in Baton Rouge, the server minimum wage was $2.13 per hour (and the owner wouldn’t have even paid us that if it hadn’t been the law). That was 5-6 years ago — I hope it’s gone up since then.

  53. royal72 says:

    customers can definitely be assholes, but come on, this is just stupid. what this comes down to is lawyers and accountants running any corporate business these days. they don’t give a flying fuck about anything except making an extra .08 cents per customer to make the numbers look better in the annual report. that’s why we all bitch and moan about these absurdities here on the consumerist.

    to the disgruntled service industry workers, if you don’t like the ass you have for a customer, do what everyone in the history of food service has done, make a “deposit” of some bodily sort in their food and laugh about it with your co-workers. also realize that the absurd policies like the “glass half empty” by the shit company you work for, makes you look bad to the customer and simply put, sets you up for bad experience with the customer.

  54. defectiveburger says:

    @ Acambras—I totally agree with you, and thank you for your post. I’m in CA so the servers minimum wage is 7.50 or so I believe, but the server pays some tax on each item sold. I do know that working as a server can be lucrative w/ tips, but just don’t come off expecting it and if you can’t handle the lower minimum wage, being taxed on what you sell, etc., don’t be a server. That’s kinda how I feel about it

  55. Skeptic says:

    chimmike writes:

    1) this guy wasn’t getting ripped off. Chances are likely he was getting the same amount as one would with ice.
    2) If he does this as a ploy to get more drink for the same price as someone who gets less, HE is in the wrong, and his anger over the ‘principle’ of it is unfounded and hypocritical.

    I’d say you have it backwards–really backwards.

    The restaurant is trying to rip everybody off by watering down the drinks with ice. It just becomes more obvious when someone doesn’t want ice and they are stupid enough to get huffy about it.

    Some people complain way too much about the smallest, most ridiculous stuff. This shouldn’t even be wasting the space on the consumerist…..if this is all that guy has to complain about, he needs a job and a life outside of fruity drinks.

    If you really felt like this topic was a waste of space you wouldn’t have commented yourself. Clearly you feel very strongly about it but are quite happy to denigrate others for doing the same.

    Is the matter trivial? Not on your life. If ripping people off by watering down the drinks with ice wasn’t profitable the restaurants wouldn’t do it, so clearly it is in consumer’s interest (you remember consumers don’t you?) to not get ripped off by this death of a thousand cuts.

  56. Slosh says:

    @defectiveburger: I totally agree with you, but i think most servers actually make LESS than minimum wage.

  57. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Anyways, back on topic..

    The mark-up on drinks, both alcohol and soft drinks, seem to be quite big at restaurants. Most people know this, and that’s probably why most people just order water these days.

  58. acambras says:

    @defectiveburger:

    Yep — it’s definitely not for everybody. It got me through grad school, but I certainly don’t miss it now.

    With any job you take, you must be prepared to handle a certain amount of shit with it. Every job I’ve had has had its pros and cons.

    And for the record, if the Bubba Gump restaurant had either used a smaller glass or apologetically said that it’s a 4-oz serving before she brought the juice, she could have avoided an uncomfortable situation (her dropping off the juice and walking away) and possibly an unhappy customer. It would have taken a bit of good judgement and initiative on her part to smooth things over before they got rough. But that’s sometimes part of the job. This is why, in most places, the food is served by human beings and not robots.

  59. Skeptic says:

    The restaurant is trying to rip everybody off by watering down the drinks with ice. It just becomes more obvious when someone doesn’t want ice and they are stupid enough to get huffy about it.”

    That is, when the restaurant is stupid enough to get huffy over people ordering juice without ice.

  60. Winca says:

    I’m a server, and if someone orders a juice from me, I bring them two full glasses:

    one with juice only
    one with ice only

    I tell them you can do with them what you like.


    It’s good customer service, that’s all.
    (I’m a server, and I get on average 22% tips)

  61. Parsnip says:

    I worked as a waitress for 5 years. When I began our hourly rate was $2.90, when I got a real job and left it was $3.09. This was 5 years ago. Minimum wage for tipped employees is different. Also depending on the state, you will pay taxes on 8-10% of your sales in tips if you do not report enough tips. There is a section on your W-2 called “allocated tips.” this is what this section is for.

    Tips are not for “exceptional service.” Tips above 15% are for exceptional service. Everyone should be in forced to work as waitstaff for 6 weeks.

  62. i4ni says:

    @defectiveburger:

    I understand your complaint. I just ask that you be fair. I tip 20% for good service. I’m not saying PERFECT service. I always tip at least 10%. Sometimes a server is so swamped or the kitchen is so backed up that things go wrong.

    Servers in Virginia make $2.13.

    I averaged $10/hour based on my tips when I was working.

  63. TimmyGUNZ says:

    I love all the fools on here who are blaming the customer. First of all, what ever happened to “The Customer is Always Right?” Secondly, if you’re a waiter/waitress, it’s your JOB to serve people, even if they want “one more thing” that makes you run back and forth. If you have a problem doing it, FIND A NEW JOB!

  64. humphrmi says:

    @acambras:

    Sorry but that “waitstaff make less than minimum wage because of tips” argument doesn’t hold.

    Restaurants are allowed to pay waitstaff an hourly wage starting lower than the state or federal minimum wage. But waitstaff are supposed to keep track of their tips, and if they *end up* making less than applicable minimum wage, the employer is supposed to cover the difference.

    The problem is, most waitstaff don’t do this because then they have to accurately report to the IRS that they actually made a lot more than they claimed.

    Hmph. Waitstaff make less than minimum wage. What a bunch of hogwash.

  65. TinaT says:

    Eww… ice in juice? Juice doesn’t even taste right ice cold, even before the ice melts and starts watering it down. Yuck!

  66. skittlbrau says:

    @humphrmi: absolutely. When I was in high school I was a busser at a fancy place and I made $2.75/hr plus 10% of the waitresses tips.

    Being kids, we reported only $1 in tips nightly so we wouldn’t pay taxes. I generally averaged $13/hr in cash. Which resulted in an unpleasant meeting with the restaurant owner who knew damn well we were making more than minimmum wage but was required to pay us more.

  67. acambras says:

    @humphrmi:

    I never said that waitstaff make less than minimum wage. What I pointed out to Defective Burger is that there are two minimum wage levels, and that minimum wage for tipped servers is lower than minimum wage for non-tipped workers like dishwashers. When I waited tables, the “paycheck” I got every two weeks was nominal. Most of my money was from tips. The restaurant never compensated me to a minimum that would match standard nontipped minimum wage. Occasionally, if business was so slow that my tips were close to nothing, they’d feed me a very nice dinner.

    And if you read my posts (on this thread and others), you’ll find that I generally side with the consumer, not waitstaff (even though I’ve been both).

    So please don’t misquote me and then call what you *think* I said “hogwash.”

  68. sleepydumbdude says:

    I worked at a book store that had a coffee house in it. They had some non-coffee drinks that had ice put into them and customers would constantly order them asking for no ice. They then would be told that the machine supplies the same amount of drink for each order and its automatic. They’d usually change their mind on it or cancel the order and order something else after the drink was already made. The store policy was they could do that, so I guess either way the company was losing half a cup of juice so often.

  69. Yossarian says:

    Don’t hate on me for hating. I’m no longer in food service because I don’t need to be. My feelings about cheap douchebags were kept out of my fantastic, prompt, courteous service.

    It’s always really easy to tell who has never worked in food or customer service by how they act in a restaurant. If you insist on making life hard for your already overworked and underappreciated (not to mention underpaid) server, you’re probably just a jackass to everyone else, too.

  70. acambras says:

    @Yossarian:

    If by asking for a drink without ice (for whatever reason), I’m “making life hard” for someone, then they should let me know, so I can leave them in peace and go eat at another restaurant.

  71. Yossarian says:

    @Parsnip: “Everyone should be in forced to work as waitstaff for 6 weeks.”

    Ditto times a million.

  72. latemodel says:

    The cost of groceries is a small part of the costs of operating a restaurant. Having owned a mid-level restaurant in a previous life, the cost of drinks, including juices and alcohol is a nothing like grocery store prices. A drink that cost 3.95 has .65 of product in the glass, so the extra would have hit Bubba Gump for about .30. Hardly enough to to make the customer feel like they just got spit on. Fountain drinks are of course the highest profit item with draft bee a close second.

  73. Stepehn Colbert says:

    @Falconfire: no, a drink without alcohol isnt considered an alcoholic drink because they measure it with shot glasses. grow a brain.

  74. alimc83 says:

    I’ve worked as waitstaff, as well, so I’m not really sympathetic to the crybabies who think that it’s an imposition to make a drink without ice.

    First, someone who pays $4.00 for any drink is not being cheap. Cheap people drink water.

    Secondly, when someone pays for a glass of anything, that glass should be full, regardless.

    Third, there’s no way that the cost of making the drink could be so costly that Bubba Gump isn’t still making profit. I can buy an entire gallon of orange juice in the grocery store for the price of that one drink.

    Finally, if Bubba Gump wants to enforce this rule, they should be upfront about it. They should tell customers that drink consist of so many ounces of liquid and the rest will be either ice or air. But they don’t, because honesty doesn’t sell $4.00 drinks.

  75. adam2dot0 says:

    Half-full glass of juice, half-tip, I say. I despise servers who think their tip is automatic, and don’t need to be courteous and helpful to get it. Their job is to make the customer happy. If they don’t like it, get another job.

  76. MeOhMy says:

    @TimmyGUNZ:

    First of all, what ever happened to “The Customer is Always Right?”

    It’s a myth. The customer is just not always right. In fact, the customer is often dead wrong. The customer is only right when he is being reasonable.

    Some of us just don’t think it’s very reasonable to expect to get a 2-for-1 deal on an item like a “fruit spritzer” just by asking to hold the ice.

  77. davere says:

    Sounds like Bubba Gump. It’s really good food, I’ll give them that, but obscenely overpriced. And they push the theme way too far to the point of annoyance.

    I live in Orlando and when guests come over and they see the restaurant at Universal Studios Citywalk, they often want to eat there. Ugh.

    Whether that customer was right or not, filling that glass up with juice would have not cost them more than a dollar (I’m being generous here.) It’s just plain good customer service.

    What has this dollar cost them? Potential loss of more food items in that party (desert anyone?), future visits by that customer, a post on Consumerist and who knows more else,

  78. NZDave says:

    I gave up reading after the idiotic comments by Yossarian and Falconfire, it’s people like you who bring the service industry into disrepute.

    A glass of juice is a glass of juice, if he ordered a glass of juice and ice then bring him a glass of juice and ice, for you to assume that everybody likes, wants or tolerates ice is plain ignorant.

    2 for 1 as an argument is ludicrous, unless it says “half a glass of juice and half a glass of ice” for $3.95 then you should damn well expect a whole glass of juice, not 1/2 of what you’ve paid for.

    If the restaurant is so concerned about the 50 cents profit they won’t make, they should put their prices up, see what that does for business.

  79. mackjaz says:

    I haven’t been here more than a year, but this is the most comments I have ever seen on a single topic.

    I used to work in a movie theater, and as everyone knows, we charge A LOT for popcorn. I believe the unit cost for a large popcorn was like 9 cents and we charged $4. But, lo and behold, people paid it night after night.

    I also think the “health department” rulings about not serving water are an urban myth. We had all kinds of excuses we were supposed to proffer as to why outside food was not allowed. The janitorial contract didn’t cover outside trash, health regulations, insurance, etc. We were there to make money. It’s a big yucky corporation and that’s ALL they care about.

  80. DocJ says:

    Wow, he sounds like an ass. He got away with it for so long, why did he get angry? Because someone told him no? What a childish way to represent yourself.

    On the waitress’s part, she should have just put it in a smaller glass. Or warned him at least.

    Either way, he tried to cheat the system and he got caught. Where is the issue?

  81. emax4 says:

    Maybe people are getting confused over this restaurant compared to a fast food joint. I can kinda see the waitress’ point, but if you request a Dairy Queen Blizzard without the ice cream, you’re not going to get a cup full of toppings. At least when I would go to Chik Fil A they wouldn’t hassle you about getting a large tea with no ice. They’re not going under anytime soon.

    There are a lot of valid points. If you ask a worker what all goes into it and the person doesn’t mention “ice”, then Ben is entitled to a full glass of the juice, no matter how pricey it is. If they mention ice, and Ben doesn’t want it, it’s up to the business at that point to determine how much juice he gets. I think they could have done a better job and served it in a smaller cup so that it at least looks like a lot. If he orders a large and only gets a medium size due to no ice, that’s Ben’s fault. I’m no expert on drink prices, but maybe if Ben were aware of the price of the juices that make the drink ahead of time, perhaps he would be more accepting of the serving he received.

  82. emax4 says:

    He could have also told the waitress that since he was getting half a serving for the full serving price, the overcharge is deducted from the waitress’ tip. The waitresses complain to the management, then the management can get a clue

  83. Firstborn Dragon says:

    From what I can see this is more of a cooperation desition then anything. So I don’t think it’s fair to say the waitress was in the wrong, IF it was a cooperate choice. She was unfortunately caught in the middle of the situation.

    Yes she could have handled it better, but still to say it was all her fault is unfair to her, and the situation.

    No I don’t think the ‘no ice’ comment is unreasonable. Heck, when I go out and order juice I NEVER get ice in it, and that’s without asking for ‘no ice’.

    As to the difficult customer comment, sometimes it’s beyound a customer’s control. For example I went out for dinner one time, and looked for something I could eat. Being I’m vegetarian, who occationaly eats some fish, this is easier said then done.

    Not all resteraunts bother to lable their vegetarian/vegan food. So I need to ask questions. Like dose the vegetable soup have beef broth in it? Is there meat in this dish? It’s not that I want to be a pain, I need to know this. Some foods make me ill. I haven’t eaten meat that often but because I haven’t eaten it in over 15 years when I do it can make me painfully sick. There are other things, like MSGs I need to know about that can make me sick as well.

    I NEED to know about these things for my health. Unless the dish is explianed it’s not possible for me to judge if I can eat it or not. I have found dishes that looked edible for me, only to find out there’s meat in them.

    Oh, and as to the water debate, you cannot drink the water out of the tap around her. It tastes green. So asking for water normally is a bad idea.

  84. Skeptic says:

    Wow, he sounds like an ass. He got away with it for so long, why did he get angry

    “Got away with it”????? WTF?? The only one getting away with something is the restaurant which is watering down the drinks and pretending they are full.

    Unless the menu says “Large Orange Juice–half filled with ice–no substitutions” then the restaurant needs to give him a full glass of juice. Not to do so would, I think, constitute fraud.

    It is entirely un-reasonable to serve juice half watered down with frozen water.

    Oh, and spare me the “I used to work in food service” whining. He didn’t ask for extra, or a substitution, or make extra work for the wait staff. He just wanted what the menu promised–a glass of juice, not a glass of ice with some juice. Serving a full glass of juice might cut down your profit from 800% to 400%. Cry me a river…

    I can’t believe how many people seem to have found this post via a link on “I hate customers.com”. Perhaps Consumerist needs a sister site, “Corporitist.com,” where all the customer haters can mingle and share “I hate greedy customers for asking for what’s printed on the menu.”

  85. Falconfire says:

    @Buran: She didnt press charges because she was young and her boss told her she couldnt. looking back on it she wish she had.

    @Nero: Those mixed drinks that are non-alcoholic at theme restaurants ARE considered to be just like their alcoholic cousins. Most times they are even mixed by the bartender, and not the wait staff who would normally be the ones to pull the fountain drinks. They measure out the shots for each juice exactly like you would for alcohol, and just like you wouldnt get more booze if you said no ice for a mixed alcoholic drink, you dont get more juice for the non-alcoholic version.

    Get a clue before you speak numbnuts.

  86. abz_zeus says:

    This is from a Brit

    Reading is makes me thankful I’m in the UK

    If this happened here there would be several choices open to the consumer – the first being not to pay (UK laws on charges are interesting)! The second being to simply walk out – restaurant has to eat the cost of food & other drinks. Which you going to do loose the cost of the food for whole party or give the guy a full glass?

    As to ice, why put ice in a chilled drink? Unless the drink isn’t cool?

    On the subject of TIPs – I boycott restaurants that say 10% service charge added, just put your prices up! Does the chef get a tip? nope, if I go into a place I expect that the charges I pay cover everything, linen/cutlery/flatware etc/wages /ingredients – do I pay less if the 8oz uncooked turns into 5oz cooked?

  87. oneaustin says:

    That is exactly why I drink water exclusively at restaurants. They’ll even throw in a lemon or lime for free. I’m sure 1/4 of a lemon cost as much as the coke they’d charge for.

    So drink to you health and wallet!

  88. faust1200 says:

    Wow, you can talk about Halliburton or the RIAA but a half full drink is really what sets society ablaze.

  89. Greg L says:

    Gah, all this ‘server minimum wage’ bunk really boils me over. Servers make federal minimum wage everywhere. There is no such thing as ‘server minimum wage.’ If a server should not make enough tips to make up the difference between ‘server wage’ and $5.15, then the employer must make up the difference. Here’s a tip: if you don’t make more than minimum wage off tips, you’re probably a crappy waiter and should work elsewhere.

    Tipping is basically legalized and mandatory extortion (failure to tip means you’d damn well better not go back to restaurant X, because servers definitely will bitch about ‘getting stiffed’ by you to everyone that works there) and the argument of “you can control how much you pay the server” is also a non-starter, as you can ‘control’ whether you pay an extra 15% or an extra 20%. Wow. Thanks so much for that opportunity.

    And before some self-righteous foodservice industry employee storms in here to tell me “I don’t know what it’s like,” I worked as a waiter for several months at a chain restaurant. I know exactly what it’s like, and I also know how people like to be treated. I was tipped very well because I was genuinely nice (gasp!) and didn’t view every customer as a constant source of loathing and problems.

    The obvious solution to the problem here was to bring the serving in a smaller glass. Or for the restaurant to come off the $.50 it would’ve cost to put in more juice.

  90. alakawaka says:

    A lot of restaruants have machines that automatically dispense the correct amount fo drink so that the waitress doesn’t have to stand there and watch out of overflow. There is nothing wrong with that. Their charge that customers accept by entering the store and ordering is for X amount of juice, and X amount of ice. Period. There is no fraud because the menu does not say 16 ounces of juice. It says LArge, or MEdium, or whatever. And the amount of juice given for each of those sizes is the same no matter if you want it with ice or not.

    If you ordered a steak and it came with potatoes, you could not replace the potatos with more steak.

  91. hildeaux says:

    good god. i work at starbucks and if i tried to pull that shit on a customer, not only would i feel terrible but they’d probably throw it in my face. when people order their drink without ice i just give it to them. starbucks is nice like that (at my store anyway).

  92. Trick says:

    @Skeptic:

    Many you people are a lot of haters. Yeah, “Trick,” asking for no ice and expecting a full glass makes a guy a real scumbag. Ooooh, it is soooooo hard not to add ice.

    Uh, maybe you should go a re-read my post again?

    I was quoting what one bitter, failed food service drone, babbling on about why he/she sucked so much at his job… and pointing out how it is no shock this one is no longer in the food service industry.

  93. Skeptic says:

    @ Trick, who wrote:

    Uh, maybe you should go a re-read my post again?

    I was quoting what one bitter, failed food service drone, babbling on about why he/she sucked so much at his job… and pointing out how it is no shock this one is no longer in the food service industry.

    My apologies for misunderstanding.

    @alakawaka, who wrote:

    If you ordered a steak and it came with potatoes, you could not replace the potatos with more steak.

    Someone already wheeled out that lame comparison. By your analogy, the “16oz steak” on the menu could be 8oz of steak and 8oz of potatoes and woe to the customer who expects a 16oz steak to be 16oz of steak.

    The menu, I suspect, doesn’t say “Large glass of ice with juice.” It probably says “Large Juice.” This isn’t fricking whiskey and their is no excuse for short pouring a plain old glass of juice.

    Sigh…

  94. waggss says:

    Does it really matter if someone is trying to get that extra 2 inches worth of juice/soda by asking for no ice. Whether there was a legitimate reason for asking or just a way to get by “The Man” or “The Corporation” who really cares.

    I used to be a waiter for a chain. I quit because I didn’t like the inconsistent pay from tips and dealing with customers period sucks (anyone that has a job dealing with paying customers can’t stand customers). Customers and wait staff will always have friction when it comes to things like this.

    Two questions really quickly


    #1 for wait staff.

    Have any of you EVER written down ALL of your tips and earnings and given a completely accurate number to the IRS? I’ve never one that has. Which is your way to get by “The Man.”

    #2 for the customers

    If we want to complain about not getting our moneys’ worth. When was the last time you went to a fast food place and your frech fries container was filled more than half way? I can’t remember.

    When are we going to start getting up in arms about that.

  95. suckonthat says:

    I have waitressed for 6 years in 3 different resturants, 1 of them corporate. I was always polite and was usually tipped accordingly.

    1. The reasons servers hate the no ice thing is because it is a sign that you are likely cheap. You are trying to milk the system for everything you can get, and that probably includes me. It’s just a flag for a difficult table, but every server knows that some people just don’t like cold beverages so as long as you are nice otherwise, it is usually not a problem.

    2. If you go to a chain resturant, the servers have to abide by arbitrary rules and have things that are like metrics (selling more wine per table, etc). I could detail how I was not permitted from putting lemons on diet drinks, but this post is already too long.

    3. In US resturants, TIPPING IS NOT A REWARD FOR GOOD SERVICE, tips above 15% are. The most I got from paychecks from 80 hours of work was $6. If you don’t tip, you are actually causing me to pay for serving you because I have to pay the tax based on the amount of food I sold. What other industry would that be acceptable? You hire movers that were rude, but as long as you technically got what you paid for (i.e. your stuff arrived unharmed) in what world would it be okay to say that you aren’t paying them the going rate?

    The reason most servers end up hating the customers is because some people feel as though they are paying for indentured servants. Please know that you are not the only table the waitress is responsbile for. That doesn’t mean you should feel bad about asking her for something, it means that if you want her to make chocolate milk, refill your water every 15 minutes, literally beg the cook to specially make a dish, brew you a fresh pot of coffee, get your appetizers out while they are still hot, all the while doing the same amount of work for 4 other tables, try to be a little understanding. I don’t go into your job and make large lists of demands, and then pay you half of what you earn from most clients, so please don’t do that to your server.

  96. Skeptic says:

    1. The reasons servers hate the no ice thing is because it is a sign that you are likely cheap.

    As someone pointed out earlier, cheap people drink water, not $4 glasses of juice.

    Your metrics are not my problem. I am sorry they are your problem.

    . In US resturants, TIPPING IS NOT A REWARD FOR GOOD SERVICE, tips above 15% are. If you don’t tip, you are actually causing me to pay for serving you because I have to pay the tax based on the amount of food I sold.

    I think the IRS assumption rate is %8 based on food sales, not %15. Please feel free to chime in with the specifics. It does suck that the IRS clamps down on this under-reported income. It isn’t fair. Some service staff get ripped by this. Some of the better ones get away with a lot of under-reported income *cough*bartenders*cough*cocktailwatresses*cough.

    refill your water every 15 minutes,

    Maybe if my drink was full and not half filled with ice I wouldn’t need so many refills. (Yeah, I know you were talking about water…)

    Anyways, I get it. Being a server sucks but that still doesn’t make it right to serve half full glasses of juice. Wait-staff may be the bearers of this corporate stupidity but that doesn’t make it any less stupid.

  97. Mad_Science says:

    Me at restaurant: Hmmm…$4 for a drink that’s probably full of ice…I guess I won’t get that drink.

    Problem solved.