There is a small bar & grill not too far away from my work that many of my coworkers and I frequent for lunch. Typically on Tuesdays, when they have a burger special, the place has so many of my coworkers there; we joke that the place is our off site lunchroom. Some of us go there so often we can order for other team members who are running late because we know what type of burger they always get. I typically go there two or three Tuesdays a month. So it doesn't seem like the right place for me to pull off a dine and dash, but I did. Well, kind of.
Yesterday a coworker and I were sitting at a table waiting for our burgers, when the Owner who was also our waitress came up to us with a anxious look on her face. She told us that she forgot to put our order ticket up and just noticed it. She then said she ask the cook to get our going first, but our lunch will be awhile. She apologized and we told her not to worry about it. When she brought our food out she again apologized and we again told her not to worry about it.
For me and my coworker, this was not that big of a deal. Mistakes happen. My lunch taking ten minutes longer than expected is not the end of the world. Since I typically work through most of my lunches, Burger Tuesday is kind of a treat for me. So an extra 10 minutes away was something I wouldn't worry about.
After we finished our lunch, the owner placed the bill on our table and apologized once again. When we were getting ready to leave, we noticed she crossed off out tab and wrote "No Charge" at the bottom. Neither of us were comfortable about that. We waited until the owner was out of site, then quickly placed our normal amount of cash on the table for the meal & tip and slipped out the side door. We did this weird kind of dine and dash because we knew the owner would have refused our money if we tried to pay.
Now I am not the type of person who automatically tips. Don't get me wrong, the vast majority of the time I tip pretty well. If I get real good service I will tip very well. But if I get poor service I won't leave much. If real bad, I won't tip at all. Not tipping is extremely rare. With this sad, some may be confused why I paid plus tip for a free lunch.
Well, it was because I had received better than normal service with my late burger. The owner handled the situation perfectly.
* When she saw the error, the first thing she did was correct it by having the cook made it the top order.
* Then she informed us of the error in a timely manner.
* She took the blame for the mistake and told us she already made a correction.
Not every server would have done all those things and all in the correct order. Some would simply apologies maybe even not until the food was served. Some would pass the blame to the unseen cook or other kitchen staff who couldn't defend themselves. This is the times I would have accepted a free or discounted meal.
Sometimes even when you don't have a good overall experience, you still get excellent customer service. That's why I had to dine and dash.