Wednesday, March 9, 2011

let's give him a good tip...say 50 cents

On Monday I met up with some friends for cafe con leche and some breakfast at a French bakery chain that has sprung up in Madrid. The waiters were friendly and got our food out very quickly which was shocking. SInce waiters here do not work for tips service is usually minimal at best. Then at the end of the meal, my mouth was left hanging open. We told the waiter that we needed bill split (usually gets dirty looks) with 2 people paying on debit card, one needing 15 euros of change, and me paying in all small coins (I hate having 5,2, and 1 cent coins). After explaining all of this, I expected the waiter to a. not do it or b. storm off in a huff and complain. Imagine my surprise, when he said ¨Si, sin problemas¨(Yes no problem). I think I just found my new favorite breakfast spot. One of the big differences between going to a restaurant in Spain and one in the US is tipping and the quality of service. In Spain it is not expeceted to tip and waiters are paid normal wages. Growing up accostumed to always being a good tipper, it was hard to get used to leaving a restaurant and just paying the bill. It was even harder for my parents, they always wanted to leave at least a euro if not more and I had to convince them that no really it's not expected. They got better about it towards the end :) I also normally have to deal with waiters who don't really care when you get your food or drinks since they don't rely on tips. It can be frustrating to have terrible service especially when you are starving, but maybe Madrid is making some changes?

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