Young and Hungry

Michael Landrum Pisses Off Askmen Readers with His Strategies on Tipping

landrum

Y&H does some side work for Askmen.com, but this week he took a break and asked Michael Landrum to step in and recommend a few manly places for the site's D.C. readership. Obviously, that was too humdrum a task for Landrum. He went ahead and wrote an essay about "how to be a man in a restaurant." It involves tipping generously. Very generously.

Sample lines from Landrum:  "Tip to the point beyond fear and, like a roller coaster ride, be prepared for an experience more exhilarating and rewarding than you could have previously imagined or hoped for. Do not make the mistake of tipping what you think the person deserves; instead, tip based on the man you want to be — and you will be taken for that man. Remember, though, that the equation works both ways. There are many things that reveal the difference between a man and a punk — and being cheap will always make you a punk."

You can imagine the shitstorm this has started over at Askmen.com. Let me quote just a few of the comments Landrum's essay has generated:

The CEO says:

Tip to Michael Laundrum: Pay your staff better salary.

Obviously, you are too cheap to pay them so you expect for customers to make up for your stinginess towards your staff.

"a 20 at the door" : You expect the average American to work 4 hours to afford getting through the door? Inconsidered human being you are ML.

dream on buddy says:

$5 tip per drink? Unless that bartender is also curing me of swine flu i dont think so. The typical buck or two is plenty. Tipping isnt about helping you maintain a lifestyle. Drinks are like $12 bucks anyway, and you think it should be $17 a drink?? And yeah, if you suck, are slow, are unfriendly, or give me a awful service, your tip will suffer. Do a good job and youll get your tip. Remember, a tip is gratis, but you seem to think its owed to you.

AM21 says:

I am one so I can this, but I noticed asians and old people tip horribly so i don't tip as well at asian places. Also sometimes the waiter will tend to hang around looking over ur shoulder to see how much u tip.

Kyle says:

Usually I stick up for articles but this is the biggest load of crap I've seen in a while. 5 dollars per drink? It takes a person approximately what, 20 second to retrieve and open a beer. Do you have any sense of money? Bottom line, if you are this wealthy to be doing this, you won't be for long. If it's one thing that I know from working at a bar, regardless if you tip a lot or what you are expected, nobody thinks you are the "cool" guy. If you need this to pretend you are important, rethink your strategy.

No Class says:

Lets define REAL MEN for a moment ,, first off , real men don't go out to dinner ,, real men catch their dinner with their bare hands , no weapons, thats for wimps , If a doorman should open a door for them they give him a smackdown , real men do not shave or bathe , thats for sissy men , real men do not go to a bar and order expensive watered down drinks , they drink 200 proof vodka like wild mountain men , why the sarcasm , the reason is that real men do not exist anymore , they have been manipulated by women , by society , by the media , by hollywood into being weak-kneed willys that TIP to impress , that drink wine out of a glass instead of a bottle , they have become whooses that TIP everyone ,, The truth be said REAL MEN DO NOT TIP , servers TIP THEM or they get their ass kicked .

How does Landrum respond to his many new critics?

"My advice was for those seeking an extraordinary experience, not the average," he told Y&H this afternoon. "As an industry insider, I have very little opportunity to indulge [in a social life]...When I do, I want to enjoy my experience to the fullest, and I know how to do that."

Landrum was hoping to share the secrets for those who wanted to "take their service experience to the next level."

Y&H's take on this? The Askmen.com readership didn't quite get that Landrum was overstating his case for effect.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • http://www.thehillishome.com Nichole

    Fuck Michael Landrum. His restaurants don't offer an experience worth tipping more than the standard 20% for. The last time I was at Ray's the Steaks, when the rest of the table ordered desserts, one of our dining companions ordered a glass of wine instead and she was told by our server that he'd have to ask the manager as it was against their policy to allow it. Um, fuck you.

    I get that his whole business model is to be the Southwest Airlines of steak joints - cheap and minimal. But I'll gladly pay more to eat my cattle rather than be treated as one of a herd of such. (I don't fly Southwest either for the same reason.)

    I just find it ironic that Mr. Landrum waxes poetic on the importance of "an extraordinary experience" when his restaurants offer very much the opposite.

  • dan riley

    I like Ray's the Classics and admire a lot of what ML is doing with his places, but I read that essay and was slackjawed. It didn't come off well; it actually read as the antithesis of what most people think of him.

  • Michael Landrum

    Relax, people. That piece (taken from it's original context and heavily edited) was really just taking a shot at people who want to act the big shot, but then also want to begrudge and belittle the people who serve them.

    So much rage and anger...

  • Former Staffer

    Just don't tip. Amend the minimum wage laws to pay waiters a real hourly wage. Until then, don't tip.

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