At some point or another, we’ve all experienced bad service while dining out. It’s completely understandable to be upset when you’re starving and have been waiting for someone to come to your table and take your order. What can be worse is going through the entire process of waiting for your food, only for it to arrive cold. Dining out is supposed to be a convenient and pleasurable experience that we are willing to pay extra for, so it’s hard not to get upset when the service is anything but.
On September 27, 2014, Makenzie and Steven Schultz had a dining experience that they described as being “pretty terrible.” The couple decided to dine at Kazoku Sushi in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. From the start, things weren’t going smoothly. They waited for 20 minutes just to get their waters. Things didn’t get better, and it took 40 minutes to be served their appetizer and over an hour to receive their entrées. With service like that, who could blame them if they were to just drop everything and head out the door? So, when the bill came and it was time to leave a tip, the couple shocked their waiter by leaving a $100 tip on a bill that was a mere $66.65.
Makenzie took a picture of the receipt and shared it on Facebook, saying, “It was very obvious that the issue was being short staffed, not the server. He was running around like crazy and never acted annoyed with any table. At one point we counted he had 12 tables plus the bar. More than any one person could handle!”
As it turns out, both Makenzie and Steven used to be servers. The couple had actually first met eight years prior when they were both working as servers at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant. They knew from experience what it was like having to serve while being short staffed, and how sometimes bad service isn’t always the fault of the server. “As I sat there and watched him run back and forth and apologize for the wait, I said to Steven… Wow, this used to be us. Waiting tables. I don’t miss it at all and I never loved that job,” said Makenzie.
Since leaving their server jobs, the couple went on to be quite successful. Makenzie now works as a distributor for It Works Global – a skincare and nutrition company. Steve still works in the restaurant industry, but now he is the proud owner of BBQ This! in Cedar Rapids. They’ve come a long way since relying on tips to make a decent living, but they have never forgotten where they came from. “I’m just sharing this as a friendly reminder to think of the entire situation before you judge. And always always always remember where you came from,” elaborated Makenzie in her post.
Since they posted their experience on Facebook, the post has been shared over 250,000 times. In an interview with BuzzFeed, the couple said that they were never really looking to get recognition for their tip. Their goal was to simply make people consider everything about the situation before placing the blame on the person serving you.
Below is the Facebook post that went viral on Makenzie’s page:
So here’s the deal. Our service tonight sucked. Took 20 minutes to get water, 40 minutes for an appetizer and over an hour for our entree. People all around us were making fun of the restaurant & how bad the service was. Yeah, it was pretty terrible. But, it was very obvious that the issue was being short staffed, not the server. He was running around like crazy and never acted annoyed with any table. At one point we counted he had 12 tables plus the bar. More than any one person could handle! As I sat there and watched him run back & forth and apologize for the wait, I said to Steven… Wow, this used to be us. Waiting tables. I don’t miss it at all and I never loved that job. I did it for the tips. Steven and I agreed it would feel good to make this guys night when he would probably be getting minimal to no tips due to slow service. We walked out before he saw this and I’m not posting this for a pat on the back. I’m just sharing this as a friendly reminder to think of the entire situation, before you judge. And always always always remember where you came from.
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