Recently I was in a restaurant in LA having a few beers with friends on a Bar/restaurant patio when our server insisted we paid the bill as she was going on a 30 minute break!!!! Alarms bell started to ring in my head, 25 years in the business and I’m being told I need to cash out and open another tab!!! Why would I do that?, and more importantly why should I be expected to do that?? Now for us savvy industry professionals we now the reason for this request, it’s the fear of losing the check gratuity, fair enough…however that is an internal business issue not a consumer issue, why should a guest be confronted with this demand, and more importantly what lasting impression does this have on your establishment…..as we all know lasting impressions are just if not more important than first impressions.
Has anyone else out there encountered this sneaky service tactic?
It's not sneaky. Everyone needs a break, and in some states it is the law. Me, if I was just drinking beer, I would have sat at the bar. Maybe you hadn't indicated that you needed service in a while, so you guys were just camping out at the table, with no further service necessary. So logically the check could be closed out.
All for giving my staff breaks and understand the legalities and have no issues with that, understand your point to a degree, however if it were my bar/ restaurant and my staff were communicating that to my customers I'd be furious.
Suppose it's a Bar / Restaurant management debate.
From a customer service perspective why would I want to inconvenience my customers, for me it's all about the overall customer experience. Isn't that were establishments gain incremental business.