Every server knows that one of the worst things you can do to your servers is offer a CRAZY CHEAP DEAL that gives people the same amount of food they would normally order, with the same amount of work required from a server, but for like, half the price.
When I worked at a seafood restaurant (similar to Joe’s Crab Shack), they sent out birthday coupons to “club members” that offered them this massive bucket of seafood with an unlimited salad, rice, beans, drawn butter, and tortillas for ten bucks - and the worst part was there was no expiration date, no code, no nothin’—just a printable e-mail that basically said, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ENJOY RUINING YOUR SERVER’S DAY.”
When I worked lunches, there was a priest (clerical collar and all) who would come in twice a week with a 3-ring binder into which he’d printed dozens and dozens of these coupons.
I would spend two hours running back and forth delivering him more salad, more rice, more beans, and more Diet Coke whenever he needed; which he indicated by clearing his throat and holding up whatever item he needed more of.
He was also one of those special kinds of nightmares who would ask for a refill on one item, and then wait till I returned with said item to ask for something new. Consolidate your requests, people.
He’d always leave me two bucks and some change — which might not seem like a terrible tip when your bill is 12 bucks, but that meal would normally cost at least $30, and I’d been his miserable gopher for the past two hours.
One day, after about six months of this happening, I saw him walk in with his binder of coupons and just about broke down in tears. I was the only server during the day and the thought of him shaking his 6th Diet Coke at me as I walked by was just too much. I told my manager that I couldn’t do it—please, PLEASE don’t make me take this table—and he told me to give the guy a break; he’s a man of God, after all.
I didn’t last much longer at that restaurant after that.