My girlfriend and I went to La Bodega, a restaurant in La Condesa, last night to celebrate a friend's birthday. She'd rented a private room there, and everything was fine until the time came to pay the bill. It had started raining and the restaurant's credit card terminal was out of order as a result. We managed to get together most of the bill in cash, but couldn't pay the last part. The management refused to accept any form of collateral to cover the bill and sent Sandra, the birthday girl, out in the rain to find a cash machine whilst the rest of us waited for her return.
Sitting there, virtually held prisoner by the restaurant management, we realised that what we had collected covered the bill, including rental, but minus the 15% service charge. Tips are optional in Mexico, and to our mind, good service did not include being detained for no good reason.
When Sandra returned, having failed to get money from any of the nearby cash machines, we refused to pay the service charge. An argument ensued, with the restaurant manager insisting that we had to pay the tip. I guess he didn't realise that most of the group worked in the media and were better informed than him. At this point, he suggested we left some ID and came back the next day to pay the remainder. Needless to say, his suggestion came too late, and we left, an hour and a half after we'd received the bill.
I feel sorry for the waiters, but the manager was an absolute fool. How many bad recommendations will his obstinacy have caused?