So when I got to work tonight, I was fairly optimistic. We've been nicely busy the last two weeks, and I had an okay section, two booths and two tables. The only problem with that section is when big tables come in, they tend to put them there. I hoped for the best, and didn't get it. I also didn't get the worst, though.
The first problem I encountered was a table of two parents and FIVE children. Of the five children, one was under 2 and was "just going to eat off ours". Naturally. The oldest girl ordered a small adult's meal. The other three kids ordered kids' meals .... and they had coupons for three free kids meals. Kids meals include a drink, so those kids got sodas. Everyone else had "just water". I wasn't getting a happy feeling here, but I made sure I didn't show it. I talked to the kids, I asked them questions, I kept drinks full. They said they were in a hurry so I got them out as soon as possible. When they left, they forgot their boxes, so I chased them to the front door. Then the baby's slipper was on the floor, so I chased them down again. The baby had smeared stuff all over the table and dropped things all over the floor; there were paper shreds and napkins all over the table.
My tip was $8. In terms of check percentage, it was a good tip, 20%. In terms of what the check would've been without the free kids meals, it was still an okay tip, 15%. In terms of the mess they made, and taking up half my section during the dinner rush, it wasn't worth it.
The second problem was when one of my booths was sat with a single gentleman. He's very nice, he comes in about twice a week. Again, by percentage, I got a good tip--but 20% of $14 isn't much. And he is a very nice old man, I like him. But. he. eats. very. very. very. very. slowly.
So now I effectively had one table to turn during the rush. This table was sat with two people who weren't happy when they came in. And then the woman's medium rare steak came out well done. AHRG! Bad cooks, no fucking cookie! We got her a new steak within five minutes, which she then didn't really eat. The store manager talked to her, and bought her meal. But of course, the cooks' fuck-up cost me. Their tab ended up being $17--seventeen fucking dollars AT DINNER, with a STEAK--and I got 11%.
I was a second cut, but I only got two more table. So overall, after tipping the bartender, I made 15% of my sales. But since my sales were low because of the above rush hour snafus, that's not much (and I even up-sold like a mofo). Tonight, I worked for $8/hour.
I've also started a spreadsheet to track all this--sales percentage, average hourly wage, etc. I'm not sure if this is going to encourage or depress me.