Last week, I had a friend, Scott, visit from Chicago. I hadn’t seen him in 8 years and he wanted to go out to a nice restaurant with my wife and I. Since it had been over 8 years since he was in Vegas, I decided to make reservations at Mix, which is located on the 64th floor of THE hotel @ Mandalay Bay. Mix is known around town as a chic, high end restaurant.
My wife and I have been to the lounge at Mix before and enjoyed wine while watching the sunset, so I thought it would be a nice place for dinner. I have heard many good things about the place.
We had reservations for 7:30, but arrived early so we could enjoy a glass of wine in the lounge. We browsed the appetizer menu in the lounge over good conversation and thought about ordering an appetizer before dinner. The stuffed chicken wings were looking tasty.
However, the time flew by us and our table was ready, so we didn’t have time for appetizers at the lounge. We were seated in a bubble booth, where my wife and I sat, while Scott sat in a chair across the table from us.
Dinner started out well enough with the waiter giving us details of the daily specials and offering us drinks. We still had the stuffed chicken wings appetizers from the lounge on our mind and asked if we could order them since they weren’t on the restaurant menu. He told us that they normally didn’t do that but that he would ask the manager. The manager came over and explained to us that the chef normally doesn’t do that but he would check with him. He came back a few minutes later and said we could order them.
We ordered the stuffed chicken wings ($12), duck foie gras ($33), and potato gnocchi ($28) for appetizers and enjoyed a glass of Zinfandel ($9). The appetizers were very good. The portion size of the potato gnocchi was a little small for our taste, but the flavor was excellent.
For entrees, Scott and I ordered the Beef Tenderloin ($52) and Milena ordered the Colorado Lamb Loin ($51) with side dishes: mushrooms ($12) mashed potatoes ($12) and macaroni & cheese ($12). All of these dishes were fantastic. The food quality and presentation was excellent.
The conversation over dinner was good, catching up on old times. However, we noticed that our water and wine glasses were empty and that we haven’t seen the waiter or busperson in some time. We patiently waited until we could no longer stand it. Milena flagged down a busperson and requested more water and wine. He came back to fill our water glasses, but the waiter was nowhere to be found for the wine. We asked again before he finally came with another glass of wine for us.
I excused myself to use the restroom and noticed that there was a small meeting room adjacent to the lounge with a group of people with laptops that seemed to be working and dining. That interested me because I like to have off-site meetings with my staff on occasion. On the way back to the table, I inquired about the meeting room with the dining room manager. He didn’t offer up much information and kind of gave me the cold shoulder. Unbelievable.
At this point, I was beginning to get irritated with this whole experience.
When I returned to the table, we were ready to order dessert. We waited, and waited, and waited……finally, Milena had to flag down our waiter and request a dessert menu. By this time we were all very annoyed.
For dessert, we ordered mix candy bar ($14), ice cream ($14), and chocolate ($14). Again, the food was very good, but the service was terrible.
The total bill was $345, with tip $415. I don’t believe in stiffing the staff, even though the service was absolutely terrible. We will not return for dinner, but will go to the lounge for drinks and appetizers.
I retold this story to several colleagues and a few of them told me that they’ve had similar experiences at Mix, where the food was excellent, but the service was sub-par.
Atmosphere – 5 Stars
Price – $100 per person
Food Quality – Thumbs Up
Service – Thumbs Down
Sorry, but if the service is sub par, they don’t get 20% of my hard-earned money. I would leave 10% and a note to the manager telling him why the tip is small. They need to know they’re doing a lousy job. They won’t stay in business forever with poor service.
Maureen, I understand that point of view, however the issue I have is that there are a lot of other people affected by the tips…..buspersons, cooks, and bartenders. If I lower the tip, then I hurt more than one person. The food was excellent and the chef allowed us to order an appetizer off of the lounge menu, so that was a plus.
I lower the tip only if I am sure there are less people impacted by the reduction….ie a restaurant with a different quality level.
My way of speaking is through social networking websites such as blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. I believe those will get their attention more than the lower tip.
I tend to overtip, once you have been a waitperson or if you work in food or another service industry, you know how much those tips mean. It is also difficult for a guest to confront or suggest to management, but also as an owner (now) of a food service establishment, we view a valid direct complaint as a gift, because get an opportunity to keep that guest, and can understand exactly what the problem is and who is involved, so we can train for improvement, which is just as important. That’s true, no matter whether it’s fine dining or fast service.
Aloha from Hawaii,
Always interested in Las Vegas blogs as you folks are the other Island!
Just wanted to say I’m digging the start of your blog.
I blogged about the Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island for a free nights stay there.
I’m one of Hawaii’s more well known bloggers.
I look forward to reading your blog in the future.
Here are the Hilton Waikoloa Blog Posts, let me know if you folks ever want a Hawaii Blogger to come blog about your hotel.
# So Much More Hawaii: Lucky We Live in Hawaii
# So Much More Hawaii: Breakfast with the Mainland Bloggers at the Waikoloa
# So Much More Hawaii: Fine Art at the Waikoloa
# So Much More Hawaii: The Halls of the Waikoloa
# So Much More Hawaii: Mainland Bloggers Check In to Waikoloa
# So Much More Hawaii: Pools of the Waikoloa
# So Much More Hawaii: Japanese Wood Dolls at the Waikoloa
# So Much More Hawaii: Catching up from the Waikoloa Bloggers Meet Up
# So Much More Hawaii: Seafood Bar Tweet up.w/ Mainland Bloggers
You can find those here:
I typically tip 20% for two reasons. First, like Peter, I think of everyone my tipping habits affect. Also, the math is so much easier.
My formerly passive-aggressive (and I am sure nearly 100% ineffective) approach was to tip between 15-18% which meant I was just doing more math in my head and stewing over the poor service longer. Because I appreciate feedback, I’ve learned to become more direct and I think everyone involved is better because of it.