Went out for dinner the other night with my wife and some colleagues. Had a great meal at a decently pricey restaurant, and pretty much the moment I hit about $30 or so per head, I expect good service. While it wasn’t bad, it certainly wasn’t good service. But overall, all was well until the bill came. Then we agreed to put it on two of our cards, splitting it 40/60 (you know, one of us paid for 2, the other for 3 – but if this didn’t make sense, nor will the rest of my story). The waitress (if stewardesses are now flight attendants, why aren’t waitresses food or restaurant attendants?) came by, we said 40%-60%, she wandered off.
About 5 minutes later she returned, needing a reminder as she recalled us saying 80-20, but didn’t think that was accurate. We reiterated the split, and she expressed her confusion on it. I made a quick guess at the number, but really wasn’t in a “calculating mood” and honestly wanted the service – at this point it was clearly an issue of principle (its the principalities of it!). Several minutes later she returned with the bill split exactly at my guess number (wrong by about 5%). Ugh.
At this point, both myself and colleague were annoyed. We reiterated the split, and she complained “but you told me something different!” I disagreed and she then said, and I quote, “we don’t have any calculators here, just the computer”.
Are you kidding me?!?
First of all, there’s the audacity to complain that the restaurant can charge $10 for a bottle of still water, but doesn’t have the capacity to do basic math. Second of all, does she mean to say that not only is this type of math beyond her, nobody else at the restaurant could do it? While my colleague did the work on PAPER, I pulled out my mobile phone to show the built-in calculator it included.
The worst part was yet to come, as the restaurant’s new computer system didn’t allow cancellations (yeah, sure), so they had to issue a second check, one with a refund to my card and and additional charge to the others. Pathetic to the nth degree.
As a favor to other diners, I hereby provide JT’s guide to calculating something as blindingly simple as 40% of anything else. For your convenience, I will do it with none of that complication division stuff. I will leave it somewhat condescending, as I feel that’s how it should be described to one who needs this kind of help:
- Take your target percent, for this case we’ll call it 40%, and get rid of the “0”. This gives our example the number 4.
- Multiple the bill by this number. If your bill is, say $150, and your target is 40%, you are doing 150 * 4. Yes, it’s 600.
- Now, remove the last “0” again. In our example, we are at $60
- That’s it!
- Advanced topic: how to figure out the balance for the other card…
- Subtract the 40% number from the total. In this example, it’s $150 – $60, for a total of… uh… hmm… I dunno, something carry the zero?