11 Comments

  1. Avatar jencvt2002
    December 17, 2015 @ 11:29 am

    I worked as a waitress in my former life (in Denver, at a restaurant that touts ‘casual elegance’). It’s habit for me to notice how waiters work in Italy. (And, why are there few waitresses?) My Italian friends were quick to teach me the rules of tipping in Italy. One, scolded me in front of the bartender for rounding the bill up and leaving a meager tip. He told me not to tip because they would start expecting it from the locals. I was surprised to read that you tip 10% – on top of the coperta? Your friends haven’t taken you into the vicolo for a lashing? I live in Fort Collins, now. A local pub has implemented a no-tipping policy. I should see how that’s going. Waiters and waitresses in the U.S. complain about poor tippers, but, I suspect poor tippers are few and far between. And, I’m fairly certain they take home more money, even after ‘tipping out’, than their employer would be willing to pay them as a salary. I wish tipping would disappear in the U.S., but, I’m afraid it’s here to stay. And, I think the next time a waiter or waitress leaves my bill on the table without me asking for it, I may send it back to the manager…

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      December 18, 2015 @ 2:01 am

      I often tip 10 percent because the coperta often isn’t included. Some places fold it into the overall pricing of a restaurant or bar but there’s no way to tell. Rarely is a “coperta” listed on a bill. I did learn when someone wants to split the check, if I say, “I’ll pay. Just leave a tip,” they don’t. How’s your Italy withdrawal? Did you live here? I lived in Denver for 23 years until I moved here.

      John

      Reply

      • Avatar jencvt2002
        December 19, 2015 @ 1:56 am

        I’ve been to Italy several times – just returned the end of October. I have family east of Napoli. My withdrawal is so bad I’m returning. Getting my documents in order for an ER visa.

        Reply

  2. Avatar gooddayrome
    December 17, 2015 @ 10:26 pm

    So true! Another thing I love is how you are recognized as a regular after only two or three visits to a restaurant and warmly greeted each time you return (Bentornati!). The only place in the U.S. where I was acknowledged as a return customer was at the Starbucks I patronized every morning.

    Reply

  3. John Henderson John Henderson
    December 18, 2015 @ 12:35 am

    Oh, God, you went to Starbucks? AGHHHHHHHHHHHH! I hope living in Italy has weaned you off that vile swill. But very good point about recognition. Pizzeria Remo in Testaccio has a line every night. Yet the waiters recognize me when I come for only a monthly fix and I rarely have to wait.

    John

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    • Avatar gooddayrome
      December 18, 2015 @ 12:45 am

      Hey, I was living in the U.S. I knew no better. Not sure what the hell we’ll do when we go back someday. Last summer we had terrible coffee experiences during our trip to the States. We love Da Remo too!

      Reply

  4. John Henderson John Henderson
    December 18, 2015 @ 1:55 am

    U.S. coffee shops can make up for lousy coffee with a homey atmosphere. The U.S. still has neighborhood cafes with overstuffed chairs and couches. But the coffee and snacks are usually awful and Starbucks has forced many of them to close. I’ll take standing at a coffee bar in a gritty Roman neighborhood any day.

    Reply

  5. Avatar mvaden1948
    December 22, 2015 @ 12:43 pm

    I shared this blog post with my fellow students in my Italian class….we were just discussing obnoxious US wait staff a couple of weeks ago.
    Sadly, I’m learning not to order cappuccino in the US…at least not in my area…even in an Italian restaurant. For some reason they are all foam and no espresso! I’ll make my own at home.
    Thank you for this post.

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      December 23, 2015 @ 12:09 am

      My problem with any coffee in the U.S. is it’s too big. I can’t drink a quart of coffee in one sitting. They serve it so hot you need to soak your lips in ice water after the first sip, then half of it gets cold. Your window to drink it is about 10 minutes. Besides, a cappuccino can NOT be served in paper cartons. That’s just plain wrong.

      Thanks for the note.

      John Henderson
      @JohnHendeRome

      Reply

      • Avatar mvaden1948
        December 23, 2015 @ 9:48 am

        You are so right. I am not one of those people who walks down the street with a venti latte in hand.
        Last evening I met a friend for a casual meal and the waitress was literally running from table to table and getting everything wrong… and she could not understand that I did not want my coffee warmed up! I need to print out a copy of your post and carry it to give to wait staff. It was obvious we should have gobbled our meal and been out of there in 20 minutes.
        Oh, to be in Italy.

        Reply

  6. John Henderson John Henderson
    December 23, 2015 @ 10:37 am

    So the waitresses was bugging you and still got things wrong? That’s double trouble. I love Rome restaurants because you can set your own pace. I can be in and out of there in a hurry if I call the waiter over enough. But I also got scolding by some Roman friends for trying to leave a tip. Then the next night I went out with an American friend. He left a 5 on a 20-euro meal and the waiter nearly kissed him.

    John

    Reply

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