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Restaurants should charge upfront. Think about it. How crass is it to ask diners to start to do accounting in their head after wine and food? No one would ask guests in their home to do this, and neither should fine restaurants.
Diners should enter their credit card information and prepay when they make the reservation online. The tip percentage, and which member of the party is paying, should all be worked out in advance. The credit cards should not be charged, however, until the meal is over.
Every other form of business requires payment upfront, including all products that you buy, all services you consume, movie tickets, theater tickets, law firms, surgery, marijuana from your dealer, prostitutes, and so on. Why do restaurants ruin the evening by charging after one has dined?
Also, waiters should never get in the face of the diner and put them on the spot by asking “How is it?”. No one tells the truth if they are unhappy. There needs to be iPads at the table to allow diners to reject food, correct orders, or send an item back.
At the end of the meal, only the itemized bill should be presented to allow the diner to cross off anything that was unsatisfactory and should not be charged.
In the unfortunate event of someone being served a bad meal, not only is their evening ruined, but salt is rubbed into the wound by having a $100 bill presented to them. Even a mediocre meal is made to seem worse when the bill comes AFTER the meal.
And another thing, the entire concept of tipping needs to be abolished. Rarely does anyone not tip, therefore tips are nothing but a subsidized salary for the waiters. The guest does not employ the waiter, the restaurant does. Why are dinner guests asked to pay for the employees? Just bake the true cost of employees into the bill. Some fine dining companies, such as Union Square Hospitality Group, have actually considered abolishing the tipping system.
What do you think?