HAVE you been to one of those trendy themed restaurants that are springing up all over the place? You know the ones.
You’re hardly in the door when an overenthusiastic staff member wearing a ridiculous communications headset asks if you have ever visited the restaurant before. If you haven’t, you are treated to a five minute explanation of how the restaurant works – and what is expected of you.
First, there is the menu combination: you can order one from this list, and two from column “B” or one from this list and three from column “C”.
Further instructions include how you should make your way to the counter – where you pay for the meal, give them the table number and place your order. Then, on the way back, you pick up the cutlery and any condiments or sauces you might require. Oh, and pour yourself a soft drink from the machine.
In some places you even have to go and collect the food for yourself once it’s ready.
Anyway, I had just such a “culinary experience” recently with a friend of mine. When the meal was all but over, I started rooting around in my pockets looking for change.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m looking for change to leave as a tip.”
My chum stared at me for a moment, and then solemnly asked. “Why? It was YOU who did all the work.”
You know, he had a point. Short of washing up my own plates, I’d done everything myself. Everything, from preparing the table, to taking the order, to placing the order, to collecting the food, to supplying the sauces, to clearing up behind myself.
Without realising it, I was both the customer and a hard working member of staff. …So I gave the tip to myself.