That’s partly because he didn’t feel like he was clicking with the people. But it’s also because I didn’t want us to order food or alcohol.
See, he thinks it’s rude to go to a restaurant or bar — even for an event — and only order soda (him) and water (me). Actually, he initially said “It’s like stealing” but later downgraded it to a more reasonable “rude.”
He reasons that restaurants and bars hold these events specifically to increase business. The businesses expect more people to come in during the events, eating and drinking during their time there. Thus when we buy just one drink between us, we’re hurting the businesses’ bottom lines.
He said not ordering is also detrimental to servers, who still have to take care of us even if we’re not (or are barely) ordering anything.
Obviously, I disagree.
Restaurants and bars know that not everyone who comes in will order something. Anyone with an iota of business sense knows that some people tag along — even when there isn’t an event– and don’t actually buy anything.
Meanwhile, most of the people at our table order something. And that same table would be used even if we didn’t show up. So we aren’t taking up table space that a “paying” customer would use.
I use quotation marks because, remember, Tim would still be ordering soda; and I’ve been told that soda has one of the biggest profit margins of anything on the menu. So we’d still be contributing.
And since I’m not a big soda fan (and don’t like coffee or tea), I don’t think I should feel guilty about just ordering water.
Ah, you might say, but what about the server’s time and effort? Also not an issue.
I make it clear that I just want water, so the servers know they can pretty much ignore me. If they come over to refill other people’s water, I’ll get mine topped off. But I never ask stop a waiter and ask him/her to come over and fill just my glass.
And it’s not as though we’re going to the kinds of places that judge their servers on the size of each bill. I know this because, even on the rare occasions that I do order something, I’ve never been asked whether I want to add on a dessert or appetizer. So either it doesn’t matter or the servers don’t care. Which amounts to the same thing as far as I’m concerned.
And when the bill comes, I always make sure we tip a couple of bucks for a simple soda.
So what do you think? Would a soda and a water be rude or reasonable?
P.S. See my next post for my reaction to the comments below.