Originally Posted by MIGrandma
I agree with this. I've been in the position of working hard but not being able to keep up with the demand and number of tables I was waiting on, mostly on the one night of the week where I was the only waitress in a restaurant that seats 100 people. At times I might have 10-15 tables, 50 or so people, to wait on. It's hard, if not impossible, to keep up with that many.
And I have been in that waiter's shoes before once or twice, forgetting to put the order in as I may have been stopped 2 or 3 times by other tables on my way to do that and being so far "in the weeds" that I thought I'd already put the order in, then realized I didn't! I would go to the table and admit my error and apologize to them, which I found that if you are just honest with your customers and own up to your mistake they would be very understanding. And would still tip.
Had I been in the OP's shoes, I still would have tipped a couple of dollars. Yes, the waiter made a mistake, but who hasn't made a mistake in their job?
Question for you: Do you, as a server that fully acknowledges having provided a sub-par level of service (unintentionally or not), still expect a tip from that table? Do you consider those customers "cheap" or "jerks" if they don't leave a tip? This is not sarcastic or rhetorical; I've never worked in your industry and am genuinely interested in your perspective.