Tip on Tips-A recent restaurant scam was being run by a waiter-subsequently fired, said the management-at El Caribe de Georgetown. The waiter was adding service charges to the bill, a practice the restaurant does not condone. Furthermore, the service charges were as much as 35 percent. On one credit card, where the diner had already left a cash tip, the waiter wrote a tip on the credit receipt anyway. When El Caribe learned of it, they were so applled that the entire staff of waiters invited the diner back as their guest. That diner learned to pen a line through the tip space on his credit slips, and to write the total himself in the bottom space. If the menu does not warn of service charge being included, accept only the management's, not the waiter's word for it.

Waitress of the Month-Linda, who was at the L.A. Cafe until the beginning of March, wanted to reimburse dinners out of her own pocket when the management refused to respond to a complaint about the food. Then, when the kitchen had no coffee, she ran over to Burger Chef to buy some to serve her customers. The L.A. Cafe management was so disorganized that when Linda left, the week of the incident, they did not even know Linda's last name.

Please Hold the Line-Unwilling to drive across town and then wait, I called Garibaldi's ahead to find out how much of a line there was likely to be. None, the staffer replied, we would have no trouble getting a table right away. We arrived a half-hour later to a full lobby, with people who had been waiting as much as two hours. The hostess assured us the wait would be only 15 minutes. After a half-hour we protested, and the maitre d'hotel asked us to follow him. Then he abandoned us in an aisle for a full 10 minutes while he "checked the table." Subsequently I heard that Marriott is planning to sell its dinner houses. I wonder whether there will be people still waiting around for a table when the new management takes over, or whether they will clear the lobby and start afresh.