Six businessmen sit down in my section, my only table on a slow Thursday night. They order a lot of drinks, with the only problem being that one guy wanted Skyy Vodka, which we don't carry, so he decided on Absolute instead. Appetizers, then salads, go out without a problem. When their entrees arrive, however, one guy says he doesn't like the spice rub we use on our pork chops. He orders something else, which comes out amazingly fast, and everything seems all right.
Now, the main event -- as they are tucking into their dinners, a new busboy walks by and drops a ramakin of bloom sauce on the floor. (Bloom sauce is this orange horseradish-y thick sauce.) It spatters everywhere. On their suade jackets, expensive suits, into their mashed potatoes and even their water glasses. When I turned the corner and saw what had happened, that jarring music piece from every horror movie ever made rang in my ears.
I apologized profusely, got the manager, fetched some wet bar towels and gave them new waters and side dishes. I tried to get as much of the sauce out of their jackets as possible while they tried to dab the stuff off their clothes. The manager apologized and offered to pick up their dry cleaning bill. He also gave them free desserts on the house.
Despite giving what I thought was perfect service, they tipped me 5% (3% went to tipshare, leaving me with 2%; ironic that I basically paid the busboy for the favor). Was I lucky to get away with that much, or should they have tipped me as if the sauce thing never happened? I guess the question really boils down to, do you tip purely on how the waiter treated you or on your overall dining experience? Do you think that the restaurant -- and the waiter -- did enough to make amends for this table?