I recently had two restaurant experiences, one at a chain, and one at a “one-off”.
The chain was dine-in at Panera. They had no paper menus. I had to order from a kiosk with a terrible user interface. (Sorry, I repeat myself.) It wanted a cell phone number to text me when my order was ready. I had no cell phone. So it said to take a buzzer. But there were no buzzers there. So it said they would call my name when it was ready. They did, but the music was so loud I couldn’t hear the names well, and ended up making two unnecessary trips to the pick-up window. Then it took three more trips, because they did not have trays, so it was one trip for my meal, one for Mark’s, and one for drinks. Oh, and a fourth trip for butter. The portions were a bit skimpy, and while tasty enough, Mark say the mac and cheese was too rich. At the end we had to bus our own table, and the busing station was piled so high with dirty dishes, it was hard to add ours. (Oh, yes, another two trips.
No, we did not add a tip. For whom? There was no server, and no table clearer. The total for two somewhat small meals was about $20.
The other was an independent Sichuan restaurant were we got take-out. I called and ordered from the paper menu we got the previous time. I showed up, the food was ready, and the extras (fortune cookies, duck sauce, etc.) were in bins at the cash register to take as wanted. We got three main courses, an egg roll, a spring roll, and rice, and got three substantial meals for the two of us. It was $50 before tip, so it was about 15% cheaper per (larger) meal than Panera. (And here I tipped, because unlike Panera, they don’t have a large dine-in crowd, but a server still has to be on duty.)
So why should I pay more for a noisy, inconvenient, smaller meal that (IMHO) did not taste as good?