No Refill, No Tip!

The birthday bash held this past Monday at "The Compound" in Guimaras for the old geezer, "The Kano," who is now 59 years old, is  history. No San Miguels or Red Horse were served, just Coke and Sprite.  The Black Forest birthday cake from Goldilocks in Iloilo City was delicious as was the other treat from their bakery, a cake featured in the second photo which my wife thought was an all healthy fruit dish. It turned out to be a cake with a cream filling and was really tasty.  One of my favorites, egg rolls,  was also on the menu along with spaghetti without hot dog slices which I detest on spaghetti but is popular in the Philippines. I requested a ground beef topping with an Italian style spaghetti sauce and not the sweet sauce which is the norm in the Philippines.DSC

Yin Yin, who visited the other day when her grandfather was admitted to our provincial hospital in Guimaras, is shown at the far right in the next photo. Everyone is reading some old newspapers I donated from my reading material supply in our CR (Comfort Room/Bathroom.)  Next to her is my niece Din Din, her sister JalAmiel, brother Jorealle, and my wife, who refused to pose for the photo op.  Long time readers of this website will note that I am spelling my four-year-old nephew's name differently. I always thought is was "Joriel" and did not realize the correct spelling is "Jorealle" until I saw his name he printed  on my birthday card.DSC

Last picture is a shot of my wife and our niece JalAmiel at the Pizza Hut this past Sunday at SM City in Iloilo. We don't eat at Pizza Hut often because it's too expensive, P630 (14.45 US Dollars) for the whole meal,  a family size Supreme Pan Pizza and three sodas, but since it was the day before my birthday, I decided to splurge. I didn't leave a tip since I had to wait an exceedingly long time to get my "Bottomless" glass of Pepsi refilled twice (no free refills in the fast food joints in the Philippines, you have to pay extra for the "bottomless"), and even had to go to the manager once to request a refill. The restaurant was not busy so I saw no need for the delay and thus no need to leave a tip.  Most people don't tip at restaurants in the Philippines anyway.  Guess I'm just trying to fit in the longer I live here. Plus, I'm cheap!  By the way, do  any of you other expats living in the Philippines tip at restaurants here?  Just curious. DSC

41 comments

  1. Happy 59.

    If a service charge is included, I will leave p20 or 50 (or just round up) as I dont think they get the service charge at the end of the day. If no sc, then between 5-10%. This is in Manila and told this by my colleagues.

    D

    1. Thanks, Don. And thanks for the info, I usually have left p50 in the past at Shakey’s or Pizza Hut, guess I was just in a grumpy mood because I didn’t get my refill quick enough, the Impatient American.

  2. I tip ‘lightly, perhaps 5% or up to close to 10% _IF_ the service is good. I tip little or nothing if the service didn’t impress me favorably. I seldom even look to see if there is a service charge, as I am sure the help doesn’t get any of it anyway.

    Funny thing, we have a local Pizza Hut in our nearby SM Mall and I avoid it, becuase a., they are atrociously over-priced and b., their table service is terrible. Very poor quality/value chain, IMO … of course I’m biased, I avoided Pizza Hut with a passion in the USA … their prices and service must be based on dead-seated ‘screw the customer’ philosophy rooted in corprate cultrue.

    Selling you ‘bottomless’ drinks and then never being around to refill them is an endemic problem … I never order bottomless just for the reason I don’t need the aggravation. Applying the KISS principle works wonders.

    1. I never look to see if there is a service charge, either, Dave. I usually go to Shakey’s when I want a good pizza. The service is poor to fair, but sometimes I just need a pizza fix.

  3. I think no matter where you are eating Dave..if you have to always ask for this and that then no tip.I think a lot of waiters..waiteress have their head in the sand or maybe now days or something…..seems on a average if you was a waiter or a waitress and if you hustled a little bit more and learned and understood what most people want, then your total tip take home pay would increase. I see good and bad service here in the states and for sure do not leave a tip for a waiter or waitress that provide substandard service, and as far as Pizza Hut..never go there any more.

    1. I used to tip more in the States, Dan, if the service was good. We usually just hit the fast food places here like McDonald’s, KFC, Chow King, and Jollibee where no tip is required. On the whole, aside from the terrible service at the McDonald’s at the Merry Mart Plaza in Iloilo, the fast food service is fairly decent.

  4. Oh..forgot to mention..that soda on the table with your Wife and the cute little Fillipina looks flat and is ice expensive there?,or could be no body wanted any ice.Thats another thing that always made me not so happy….flat sodas.

    1. The soda was a little flat, Dan. As far as the price of ice goes, I really don’t know. We have a refrigerator at home, but a lot of our neighbors don’t have a fridge. When the weather starts heating up, my asawa will start making small bags of ice and sell them for two pesos each.

  5. I don’t normally drink pop (“soda” in the USA), so haven’t experience this problem. I guess expats will just have to tell the waiter/waitress why they are not leaving a tip, or else the service at that restaurant will never improve.

  6. Hi Dave,
    Everybody is talking about the pizza and I agree that Shakey’s has great pizzas. I want to comment on the food in the first picture in your post. That looks like a snack prepared for the gods. Goldilocks does have some really good treats.

      1. Yeah, Goldilocks is good, we have one here in Vancouver, very popular with Filipinos and Canadians alike. You can see it (and the Tim Hortons donut shop and a Death By Chocolate sweets shop) through the window of my gym as you are working out on the treadmills and cross trainers, kind of an incentive or disincentive depending how you look at it.

        1. That would be kind of tough having all those sweet shops in front of your gym, Lance. But guess it can be used as a motivational tool. I gave up on the gym about 11 years ago. The wife with the bolo is my only motivational tool necessary now.

      2. Have to say that Yellow Cab Pizza knocks the sauce off of Shakeys. Sadly, our local outlet closed up … back about the time I started trying to lose weight I believe … We still eat yellow Cab whenever we are on the road and pick up a pizza to take home.

        Goldilocks? They are OK for kids cakes (and cheap meals for lunch in the mall), but real cake comes from Red Ribbon. Goldilocks is kind of the discount place for folks who don’t buy Hallmark cards … Red Ribbon is definitely superior based omn my taste explorations.

        One day a fellow blogger was talking about buying a cake at Gold Ribbon. I think he mixed things up and was talking either about Goldilocks or Red Ribbon, but if I decide to start a competitive cake company, I’ll name it Gold Ribbon … a great name for a Filipino cake emporium 😉

        1. Meriam and I do love Red Ribbon. They opened one up at the GMall here in Tagum City. The cake is so good. Nice meals too. Jollibee owns them also.

        2. Dave, we tried the Yellow Cab Pizza in Iloilo, and they didn’t toast our crust and melt the cheese like we like. Have had the same experience with our local pizza outlet in Guimaras. Maybe it’s just our Yellow Cab outlet’s way of making the pizza. Shakey’s and Pizza Hut has the toasty crust my wife and I both like. Had a pizza oven in the States that I wish we would have packed in the Balikbayan box and shipped here.

          After Gary and you have given such a ringing endorsement for Red Ribbon, I will get our next birthday cakes (two birthdays at “The Compound” in May.)

  7. HUH! TIPS? With the customer service so bad we don’t tip. When riding a trike or taxi Meriam does tip if they give us a good ride and look like they need it. Rode a “Yellow Bus” one time and the conductor came to each rider and asked for his Christmas gift. I didn’t know what was going on but Meriam pulled out a 20 and gave it to him as did others. He lost his job!!! NO I didn’t say anything but he messed up big time on the ticket money. We stopped for a inspector every 5 kms after that and each time he was shouted at. FUN to watch!

    The only good pizza in the Philippines is Shakeys. I have only had great service at Shakeys once. The waiter was very nice…too nice. He was at my side all the time and still remembers me when we go there. I told our maid that he had a cute butt. Poor girl laughed so hard. I don’t remember if we tipped that time or not.

    1. Sounds like “Where’s MY Christmas?” which I encountered our first year, Gary, from the jeepney dispatchers at our Jordan Wharf in Guimaras.
      I agree, the only good pizza in the Philippines is Shakey’s. I’ve found that pizzas elsewhere are not left in the oven enough to our liking, and the crust and cheese are not toasted.

  8. “Italian style spaghetti sauce and not the sweet sauce which is the norm in the Philippines.”

    Dave, if people ask you why you don’t like the sweet spaghetti sauce (or other sweet Filipino dishes), just tell them that you are sweet enough. If they persist, you can say that any more sweetness and you will risk getting diabetes. I would love to hear Melinda’s reaction to this.

    1. Ha ha, good one, Lance. Well, I told the asawa what you wrote, and as she is trying to take her afternoon nap, she just grunted “ha ha.” I better let it go and let her sleep.

        1. The wife is a bit grumpy when she is trying to catch her afternoon nap, Lance. But I know I’m sweet and that’s all that matters. We’re in a bit of a Facebook controversy now, as one of her nieces in high school wrote on her Facebook account that “She likes her cat.” But she didn’t write cat. My wife is texting her now to advise her that she might want to remove that from her account. She has no idea what the “P” word for cat means in our culture.

          1. Well it’s not very far out of line … after all the Tagalog for ‘cat’ is pussa. In Japan teen girls often express their love for their imooto, literally their ‘little sister’ … now what could be wrong with that? 😉

            I do a double take on the buxom young ones who walk around in t-shirts from the brand “Juicy” but then perhaps I’m just an old man who needs a bath?

            1. I’m going to do a story on the actual Facebook, comment, Dave. Turns out to be a funny story (kind of.)
              I haven’t seen any of the “Juicy” girls around our parts, Dave. Guess I’m not looking hard enough.

  9. Dave: The only reason I buy Pizza Hut is that the sauce is not sweet and they minimize the cheddar cheese (Which doesn’t belong on a pizza)Good? Well, Meh…. But can’t stand Shakeys and Greenwich. (I think I’d rather eat a frisbee with sauce).

    Dominoes closed up here about a year ago… They were pretty consistent with the States too.

    In Manila, Sbarro opened in most of the malls… pretty much the same as in the States and the best for “fast” pizza… Real mozzarella and decent sauce. Probably closest to US style here

    Amicis is another very small Manila chain that was recommended on one of my LiP posts… Went last week to the one at SM North. Was the best pizza in the Philippines so far (I highly doubt they have gotten to Iloilo yet, though).

    1. Well, John, I do like Pizza Hut, too, and I don’t like Greenwich, either. We don’t have a Dominoes in Iloilo, do have Sbarro, pretty pricey. Maybe we’ll get lucky and get and that Amicis chain.

  10. Yellow Cab’s pizza are an A+ to me. But they have a VERY DISAPPOINTING AND POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE! It’s really not what I’ve expected since they are supposed to be giving the best service they could provide since there’s a lot of expectation that people are expecting from them. I fell in line bec I really wanted to go and grab some pizza. But it took me 10mins of waiting in the line just bec the cashier is really taking some time to offer some other goods to the person she is serving right at that time, in which case, I tried to understand. Then when it was my turn to order, I’ve made up my mind on what to order so it only took me a minute or so to place my orders. I was told that the food will be done after 15 minutes and so I waited patiently… After quite some time, I’ve noticed that there’s about 6-7songs I’ve heard from my Ipod and yet, there’s not a pizza that’s in my hands. To my surprise, I even saw another customer being served of her meals (which I know for a fact that I ordered ahead of time before her since there’s only 3 tables at that time that they serve bec it’s pretty early at that time and I just got off from work since I work on a graveyard shift). I asked then to follow up my orders then the arrogant server just told me, “Ay sandali lang. (Oh, just a moment.)” —without even apologizing! I felt very pissed and disappointed knowing that they should be giving the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE that they can since they are one of the leading pizza companies here and around the globe! In other words, there’s a lot that’s expected from them! I hope they can fix this thing out bec if not, they might lose good customers in the future….

    1. Poor customer service will certainly make me not want to return, Chrissy, no matter how good the product. Too much competition out there. I’ll simply go elsewhere. To be honest, I have found customer service in the Philippines very similar to customer service in America. Some places I shop at, like SM Department Stores, I usually receive good customer service, other places just suck. I can guarantee you that I am one Kano that is not afraid to voice his annoyance at poor service. But on the whole, I have overall received better customer service in the Philippines than I did back in America.

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