Originally created 10/25/98

Tips are an incentive, not a requirement

Dear Carson: I have noticed recently at a couple of restaurants that they are assessing a 15 percent fee for takeout orders. I've always paid a fair tip but I didn't realize this was applied to takeout as well. Is this something common? I have always thought a tip was for service. -- Right? Or Wrong?

Dear Right or Wrong: I think the surcharge for takeout orders is just plain gouging the public for whatever the tariff will bear. You are not taking up table space, using heating or air, tableware, nor are you being served.

My advice is to express your displeasure and tell them that until their policy changes that you will not return.

Dear Carson: I have just received a thank-you note from a bride for the lovely spoon that I gave her. Actually I gave her a salad serving set that included a fork as well. I know that the gift arrived in tact as I wrapped each piece individually and delivered the package myself. Should I call to see if she received the fork as well? -- The Tines of A Dilemma

Dear Tines: The fork may have been inadvertently thrown out, which realization would tend to make you both feel bad. I can understand your quandary, but if you call and find out the fork was thrown out, are you willing to go back and purchase another? My suggestion is simply to leave the matter as it is.

Dear Carson: During supper in a very nice local restaurant a young man in the bar area was being rowdy in his enjoyment of a baseball game on TV. His bare feet were propped up on the bar and he was clad in a muscle shirt and a baseball cap. It was a real turn off and I feel the bartender should have dealt with it. -- Peevish Patron

Dear Peevish: Upscale restaurants should have a dress code of some sort, but if the restaurant you were in did not, the rowdy young man wasn't in violation.

It is definitely inappropriate for any male to wear a hat of any kind indoors. He was, however, dressed in poor taste. It was up to someone in management to have told him to take his feet off the bar and lower his voice.

When one party gets his needs met at the expense of another a breach of etiquette has occurred.

CONFIDENTIAL: Readers who want a fast response need to e-mail their queries. I check my e-mail daily and will give a short reply. I try to write the column a few weeks in advance, so if you don't see your question in the next Sunday paper that is the reason.

Ask Carson a question of etiquette by e-mail at askcarson@mindspring.com.


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