Skip to comments.Rant on tipping
Posted on 07/06/2014 2:10:26 PM PDT by Ben Mugged
OK, here is my rant about tipping. Not the kind where folks in Frisco are standing little cars on end or the practice of pushing sleeping cows over but the kind that takes place in restaurants.
I worked in food service and as a bartender for many years while in the Air Force. When I started out the business would pay me to serve the customers. If my service was good, the customers would reward me with a gratuity. Over time the businesses noticed their servers were making a lot of money in tips so they reduced their pay to minimum wage. The difference between that and what you should have been paid was made up by tipping. In other words the burden of paying the server moved from the business to the customer. Instead of working for the business, servers were now working for the customer.
It is still that way today with some businesses adding the "gratuity" to the bill automatically. Folks it is no longer a "gratuity" if it is mandatory and the only way the server gets paid. Let's call it what it is, a service fee.
What about cow tipping? Should we tip cows, too?
It makes quality of service kind of meaningless when the staff doesn’t have to sell themselves or the restaurant.
Businesses can charge however they like. You can choose to dine elsewhere.
Over time the businesses noticed their servers were making a lot of money in tips so they reduced their pay to minimum wage. The difference between that and what you should have been paid was made up by tipping.
Interestingly, there is no requirement to pay it. They may add it, but courts have routinely held you do not have to pay it.
Problem is that so few (and mainly minorities) tip anymore.
I see on checks now....”minimum tip suggested”.
I stand corrected. I have not worked in food service for over 30 years so I can only presume the rules have changed, and not for the better. My current experience is from the other side of the table.
Must be a city boy.
In or area on the California central coast the only restaurants that don’t charge “service fees” are fast food and I don’t patronize them.
Its free enterprise.
My standard practice is $1 per person at buffets where the wait staff does very little for me, but still do provide something. I always presume that buffets are paying their staff more. For real sit-down table service, I leave 20% for good service, more if its spectacular service. I won't leave less than 15% unless the wait staff did something to really make my day much worse, and then I'll usually leave next to nothing.
I generally detest counter tip jars, where no personal service is delivered, beyond making my food and handing it to me over the counter.
I like the idea of a living wage for the server and a 5% tip max if the service was great.
anything more then 15% is interesting... as that’s the amount they are taxed on
sounds like they need an audit to insure their books are in order
of course, you could just remove yourself from the problem and get out of the people’s republic of califorinia. let the freaks have it. the next step is to insure the fedgov doesn’t cover their socialistic bs using our tax money
But some businesses hide the fact of adding a gratuity so you order, eat, and here comes the bill with an added 18% for service. And then a place to add a tip.
The entire F and B industry has totally changed since you were involved. There are more restaurants, and more and more expensive restaurants, where indeed good servers can make a thousand a week in tips, a lot of which is cash.
In a way, it’s a great training ground for entrepreneurs, because in a way, servers work for themselves. They are almost like brokers. They have their customers and they have the provider - they are the conduit. If they are good, they make good money.
If they are real good, they get to work in a more expensive place - ie - a place where they’ll make more money. They work their way up like a farm system in baseball almost.
In addition, waiters/waitresses “tip out” to the bartender, the sushi chefs, etc - again, part of the business chain.
Now, 20-25% tip should be only reserved for outstanding service and great food (yes, I know, not the servers fault, but not the customers fault either). But the system is great training for the free enterprise system.
Bartender in college here. I get it too. Nowadays, you have to explicitly ask the resto’ of they include the tip. When we go out, we ask the place first if they do that or look at Yelp. IF in case, we all go hungry and just want to eat out impromptu, you do the same thing. But it’s not the dealbreaker. If the service and good are great, we don’t mind as the objective is to eat. No one really thinks of “oh man, I;m hungry but damn, they include the tip immediately in the bill”.
Good liberal you are! Spread the wealth!
In France, in fine dining, there is no wage for waiters, they compete for the jobs, where fine service is generously rewarded.
Your ‘living wage’ dream is about to become real in Seattle, I hope you’ll be around to analyze the labor/wage consequences of $15 minimum wage.
If the business (restaurant, etc..) is automatically adding the "tip" no matter the size of the party, then yes it is a SERVICE FEE.
I'll also say this: I'm typically a very good tipper. I remember starting out my working life bussing tables and working the kitchen which meant tip sharing with the wait staff. I know how hard really good restaurant people work to make dining out a pleasant experience. I can only recall one time in the last 30'ish years that the wife and I have been together where the service we received at a restaurant was exceptionally bad. Even then, I knew if I left $0 for the wait staff, I was also leaving nothing for the food prep staff, buss staff, etc.. and I didn't want to do that.
So I found the restaurant manager, handed him the %15 tip and asked that it be given to the kitchen and other staff as the wait staff we had really neglected our table (other wait staff had taken up her slack.)
An "average" waiter/waitress will always get 15-20% from me. Keep my ice tea or coffee filled and don't pester me more than twice during the meal if we need anything is all I ask.
Really good wait staff will get 25% of more easily. There have been times I've left 50% when the meal was really good and the wait staff service was awesome.
Holiday's (Christmas, New Years Day, Mothers Day specifically) are really hard days for restaurant staff. They really want to be home with their families but let's be realistic: alot of them really need the money and tips from that day and they're counting on good tips for their service. I remember those days and I really appreciated the good tips on those days so I pay that forward. If you're my family's wait staff on a holiday and you provide good service you can count on an excellent tip. (When I say "excellent" typically in excess of the tab itself.)
I like the idea of you never ever having anything to do with any law or public policy EVER!!!!!!!
Personally, if there is a service fee on the bill, I complain. Get it removed, then give the cash direct to the server.
I ain’t going to stiff someone who has made a meal a pleasure (or tolerable). But I’m not going to play the restaurant game where people have to wait for months for a well earned tip either. They get cash up front.
Cry if I Wanna
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I am a county administrative judge and I do just fine upholding the constitution and the laws of my state.
Is there some bill before the house that includes tipping legislation?
I am a county administrative judge and I do just fine upholding the constitution and the laws of my state.
You misunderstood. By living wage I mean that waiters would be paid what the job is worth - let the market set that wage/value just as it does for all other jobs. My assumption would be that the pay would be competitive, especially for someone with a solid resume.
Friend’s daughter is a server at Cafe Boulud on Palm Beach. She can make $500/night on a good night in the season.
I’ve seen it from the golf perspective where clubs went to a no-tipping policy (with much higher hourly wages) in order to not have members one-upping each other. What results is overall good service in most cases, but gone is the exceptional service.
It also creates clock milkers. In the day, you hustled, made your tips, cleaned the place up, and got the hell out of there. Now everyone is on island time, which I don’t consider a good result.
When I go to a restaurant I expect to pay. The way I see it... If I’m worried about a service fee on my bill, then I should not be eating out.
Moreover, when I tip I always start at 20% and work my way down.
I bet by conservative standards you are an abject disaster. Your “living wage” slip gave you away.
No, not a good result, but a predictable one. Oh, as far as a private club goes? Very different dynamic from a restaurant.
Nobody tips in Japan. Yes, the prices are high, but the service is good. Other countries manage without the practice. I personally think tipping is extortion and I hate the practice.
I bet you are.
The Market HAS set the wage. Great waiters make great money at great restaurants, lousy waiters make the inverse.
Your experiment with ‘changing the DNA of capitalism’ will fail, is failing spectacturaly, I wish you’d do something else with your time, like waiting tables.
I personally think you don't know anything about how tipping forces the free market into the F/B business, and I also know you don't know a thing about the startling differences between the Japanese and American culture. Feel free not to eat out and save your extortion problems.
Your experiment with changing the DNA of capitalism will fail, is failing spectacturaly, I wish youd do something else with your time, like waiting tables.
What's horrifying is she is a judge (or claims to be). I bet she destroyes the free market daily with her ruling, and is too ignorant to realize it. I am shocked how many Freepers don't understand what you call "the DNA of capitalism" as it pertains to this. (btw, I love that phrase)
let the market set that wage/value just as it does for all other jobs.
One of zero’s minions coined that phrase, ‘changing the DNA of capitalism’. I forget which department.
your use of it in this context was elegantly brilliant IMO!
That's how you should do it in your restaurant.
Be sure and mention that to your waiter before he serves you your food.
No kidding. Good luck getting someone off their ass for the hope of 5% - regardless of base pay.
Anyone working hard for tips or commissions always has the hope of basically unlimited pay - it’s in your hands. Hourly wages alone can’t provide that and can stifle hustle.
What do you mean ‘anymore’?
I just want to see tipping go away. That's all.
I really am looking for more of an enlightened conversation. There's plenty of name calling at DU and other low-brow sites. I thought FR was above that.
As long as it isn't "Elsie"...why not.
Elsie appears daily on my milk carton and until she is found, I will not rest.
Can I get a moo?
* Big Smo reference
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