I put on my old man hat here to kvetch about some crappy service I received today at Mango’s Restaurant in Larcomar, in lovely Miraflores, Lima, Peru. We got ripped off. See, in Peru, you normally don’t tip much. Just leave a few soles, maybe. The change. Kind of like how they do it in Europe. But today at Mango’s they wrangled a 10% tip out of us. Which of course for a gringo, 10% ain’t nothin’ and I would happily tip 10%, or 20% for that matter, for good service. But we received no service. Actually, we did receive a *little* service, and the service that we did receive was crappy. Bad location, had to keep moving out of the way so they could access a refrigerator behind us, made us wait forever for drinks, and then hit us up for a 10% tip at the end. Total time they spent attending us was – and I’m not kidding – probably around 90 seconds. And for that, they want $26? Seriously? They provided no value. They provided anti-value, actually, by giving us a crappy table, lying to us about taking reservations (they sat us right next to a table with a “reservado” sign on it) and then making us way forever for our not-included-in-the-buffet-price drinks. And it makes me appreciate the U.S. system of tipping more. Of course, tips in the USA have gotten totally out of hand, don’t get me wrong. But the basic tradition of tipping your waiter – that’s spot on. Service in the USA at restaurants is generally good – pretty much better than anywhere else in the world. And it’s not because Americans are badass waitstaff by nature, it’s because they’re paid for performance. Good performance = good tip, poor performance = crappy tip. There ya go. It’s simple, fundamental. You provide value, you get rewarded for the value. You bring little value, you get jack. Boom. And that’s all I have to say about that. Enough kvetching. G’night.
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