November 7, 2011 | 6:33am
Thanks to shows like TLC's Extreme Couponing, being frugal has become the new trend.
Thrifty consumers practically get off on seeing how much they can acquire for the least amount of money. The more goods obtained and the cheaper the bill, the better they feel about life.
This trend is certainly no stranger to South Florida, where the elderly, and thus the stingy, congregate waiting-room style before their inevitable death.
Waiters already hate customers
, but they might hate coupons even more. They might be beneficial to the consumer, but the person working like a slave to bring you a hot meal has a list of reasons they despise that friendly piece of paper.
We talked coupons with one waitress at a local Outback Steakhouse who had a list of complaints that "could go on for days." Another waiter formerly from Grand Lux Cafe in Boca Raton also added to the information. They both hate snowbirds, for the record.
So next time you proudly show your waiter the Foursquare special you just received, stop and think. These people handle your food.
5. You think the waiter changes restaurant policies
Next time your waiter says, "I'm sorry, we don't do that anymore," remain calm. It's not the waiter's fault that Big 'n' Hefty no longer accepts your coupon for five pounds of lard. That's a company decision likely dictated by the macho moneymakers in corporate.
In fact, it's part of how the corporate economy works. Outback Steakhouse offers a free Bloomin' Onion to AAA Motor Club members. To receive that free appetizer, restaurant patrons now have to flash the coupon as well as their AAA card, whereas previously only the card was required.
"People don't seem to like that," said our lovely blond waitress.
4. You look out of place
The waiter at Grand Lux Cafe heard the list we'd already compiled with the help of the Outback waitress and had only one thing to add.
To give you a little bit of context, Grand Lux Cafe is owned by the Cheesecake Factory company and is basically the identical twin of its cheesecakey counterpart. So as our waiter pointed out to us, if you're coming in with a coupon, you probably don't frequent his restaurant very often.
If you don't frequent the restaurant very often, then you likely don't spend good money on your meals very often, which means you're probably not going to tip well. And your waiter will judge you for it and treat you accordingly.
3. You want to use multiple coupons
It's one thing for you and your friend to present two copies of the same photocopied coupon to your waiter. She'll never notice, right?
But it's another thing to show your waiter a coupon on your iPhone and then hand it to every other member of your group -- while she's still standing there.
The lovely Outback waitress says she will make exceptions for a ten-top (restaurant lingo for a table of ten people). "It's not fair if multiple people have coupons to not be able to use it, especially if they printed it out beforehand. But passing around an iPhone is a different story."
2. You don't care about expiration dates
You don't purchase milk beyond the expiration date. So why would you expect restaurants to accept coupons after a predetermined date?
No, the food won't be spoiled because the coupon is expired, but imagine your waiter is like milk: take too long and she'll curdle. Unlike the milk, it's your ignorance that's making her sour.
1. You don't tip on the original amount
Let's say your dinner bill comes to $46.73, but with your handy dandy 20-percent-off coupon, you and your hubby are left paying only $37.39. If the service was exceptional, you might tip 20 percent, but it's going to be on the discounted price.
Your waiter knows what's going on. They understand that they're receiving a $7.47 tip when they deserve $9.34.
Our waitress chimed in on this one to say:
"Obviously it's annoying when people don't tip on the original amount despite me taking the time to get the manager's approval in a busy kitchen to get their discount and taking the effort to recalculate the full amount and rewrite it on the receipt for them."
Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB. Follow Devin Desjarlais on Twitter: @ddesjarl.