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Author Topic: Oprah says to tip 10%
GrandMal de Caesar
I Saw Three Shipments


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I tend to agree about older people and tipping. My late father would tend to leave $1 or $2 for a tip, regardless of the bill's amount. I would wait and add to the amount to bring it up to 20% and try not to get caught.

I am not willing to calculate to the penny on this, so sometimes it is more and on occasion, it is a tad less. The service has to be pretty bad for me to tip less. Even slamming the water or food down and forgetting to top off our glasses can be forgivable. Literal abandonment would count, although in the worse cases I have experienced, I just walked out--handing me water and menu and going away for 30 minutes tends to upset me. No actual bill involved either, of course.

I agree that tipping sucks as a way of compensating hard-working wait staff. My daughter does this for a living. BTW, informally, they share their tips with wait staff who also are unpaid or overworked, but get no direct contact with the diners. These folks get paid the same subhuman minimum wage for checking orders, putting the right orders, condiments, salads, etc together. The practice is for the wait staff to tip these folks.

I didn't make the system either, but I don't want people at the bottom of the chain struggling more, if I can afford to go out and eat.

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Blinded by the lite

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by i typed for miles:
quote:
Originally posted by StewPot:

Am I the only one who thinks tipping should be abolished? Restaurants should pay their employees a decent wage, and raise the price of their food by 15%. I really resent being expected to tip 15%.

so when you have a bad day at work do you lose a day's pay? if you have a bad attitude, are you docked a week's worth of salary? no? then neither should your server. if you can't afford to tip 25% at the maximum (in the event of above-and-beyond exceptional service; i'm not saying that should be the standard) then you can't afford to dine out.

it would be nice if the industry paid more than $2.15/hour, but i don't know how soon that will happen. and if the restaurant is going to up their prices 15% so you don't have to tip, you're still technically tipping the server anyway.

i'm not intending this to be rude, but as a former waitress, this is a touchy subject for me.

oh and i'm new here, so hi everyone.

Well, it might be good to read the post you quoted carefully. StewPot is advocating a living wage for servers, and the abolishment of a server's dependence on tips. It would operate rather like France does, and I'd assume many other countries. Seems to work well for other places. And you wouldn't be tacitly tipping. You'd be guarenteeing that the industry professionals received a "fair" return for their labor.

Most servers I know would love this arrangement.

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MrEleganza
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:

If you're expected to tip even when you get bad service then it isn't voluntary.

It isn't? Then I missed the memo where they changed the definition of expected to mean mandatory.

Stewpot, and anyone else who thinks tipping should be abolished, are already totally free to do so. If you feel that strongly about it, you should have the courage of your convictions and not care about getting shamed by the wait staff or your tablemates, who are the only people who are gonna know anyway.

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"Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die." -Malachy McCourt

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i typed for miles
"Repaint and thin no more!"


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quote:
Originally posted by Ryda Wong:
quote:
Originally posted by i typed for miles:
quote:
Originally posted by StewPot:

Am I the only one who thinks tipping should be abolished? Restaurants should pay their employees a decent wage, and raise the price of their food by 15%. I really resent being expected to tip 15%.

so when you have a bad day at work do you lose a day's pay? if you have a bad attitude, are you docked a week's worth of salary? no? then neither should your server. if you can't afford to tip 25% at the maximum (in the event of above-and-beyond exceptional service; i'm not saying that should be the standard) then you can't afford to dine out.

it would be nice if the industry paid more than $2.15/hour, but i don't know how soon that will happen. and if the restaurant is going to up their prices 15% so you don't have to tip, you're still technically tipping the server anyway.

i'm not intending this to be rude, but as a former waitress, this is a touchy subject for me.

oh and i'm new here, so hi everyone.

Well, it might be good to read the post you quoted carefully. StewPot is advocating a living wage for servers, and the abolishment of a server's dependence on tips. It would operate rather like France does, and I'd assume many other countries. Seems to work well for other places. And you wouldn't be tacitly tipping. You'd be guarenteeing that the industry professionals received a "fair" return for their labor.

Most servers I know would love this arrangement.

no, i agree that raising the pay of servers is a good thing - but it's just not going to happen anytime soon. the minimum wage debate has gone on for years without resolve.

i may have over done my post a little bit, but that's because many, many people feel the same way that StewPot does, but they put it into action by not tipping.

the issue i took to heart (but neglected to quote) was:
quote:

I should be able to tip nothing at all if the service is anything less than average. This means that half of the time I would tip nothing. If I did receive extraordinary service, then my tip would be considered a reward for a job well done.



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crazy is as crazy does, but fire speaks louder than words.

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L
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Rebochan:

I don't understand why people get so bent out of shape over tipping at all. It sounds more like justification for being exceptionally cheap than being concerned over the quality of service.

Is it really unreasonable to expect that the bill would include all appropriate services for a meal, rather than leaving one out?

Like Stewpot I'm very much of the idea that tipping should be either firstly for exceptional service, which would be a rarity, probably requiring some form of unintentional awkwardness on behalf of the diner. Poor service having, like poor cooking or environs, the effect of making a repeat visit less likely. Secondly, possibly at special occasions, such as staff working over public holidays.

As you may guess I tend not to tip.

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naharnahekim
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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"so when you have a bad day at work do you lose a day's pay? if you have a bad attitude, are you docked a week's worth of salary? no? then neither should your server.""

No, this doesn't happen, but then again, my job is not in customer service. I have worked in customer service, including waiting tables, and beleive you me when I stepped through that swinging door into the dining room I was the smilingist, most amiable, happy bastard you've ever seen. Back through those same doors into the kichten and the smile dropped right away and I'd tell the dishwasher to hurry up with the danm silverware, and the cook to take his salmon steaks and shove it where it cuase him the most possible discomfort. Why was I so cheery in one place and not in the other, becuase thats my job. Not so my tips would be bigger or to secure a better shift or win the employee of the month award, but becuase that is what I got paid to do. I was there to create a worry free, relaxing environment. There were plenty of occasions when a customer asked how I was doin' and I could have given them a 20 minute speech on how much my life sucked and everything was crap, but that's not why I was there.

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the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by i typed for miles:
so when you have a bad day at work do you lose a day's pay? if you have a bad attitude, are you docked a week's worth of salary? .

Actually, if you work in customer service, and are paid directly by the client [as opposed to employed by a service company] that's exactly what DOES happen:
I'm a wedding consultant. If I don't perform, I absolutely don't get paid.
And we're not just talking about being stiffed $20 but still having a basic wage - I just don't get paid. Period.

So, I'm VERY VERY careful that I do the job I'm supposed to do, and do it well.. even though I know I won't actually get anything extra for doing well [tipping is not part of the culture here].

So, I think it's entirely reasonable that if your waitstaff are having a bad day, and can't suck it up enough to provide you with a minimum standard of good service, they shouldn't be disappointed if they don't get a tip.

Heck, I'd be embarrased to accept a tip if I hadn't worked my tail off for a client.
YMMV


To extrapolate further - if the food was terrible, I would dispute paying the bill at all - which has nothing to do with wait staff WAGES.
By the same token, if the service is terrible, I would dispute paying a surcharge for the [non-]service.
That's not me depriving the wait staff of income.
That's me paying [or not]for the service recieved.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by marrya for batter or verse:
quote:
Originally posted by i typed for miles:
so when you have a bad day at work do you lose a day's pay? if you have a bad attitude, are you docked a week's worth of salary? .

Actually, if you work in customer service, and are paid directly by the client [as opposed to employed by a service company] that's exactly what DOES happen:
I'm a wedding consultant. If I don't perform, I absolutely don't get paid.
And we're not just talking about being stiffed $20 but still having a basic wage - I just don't get paid. Period.

So, I'm VERY VERY careful that I do the job I'm supposed to do, and do it well.. even though I know I won't actually get anything extra for doing well [tipping is not part of the culture here].

So, I think it's entirely reasonable that if your waitstaff are having a bad day, and can't suck it up enough to provide you with a minimum standard of good service, they shouldn't be disappointed if they don't get a tip.

Heck, I'd be embarrased to accept a tip if I hadn't worked my tail off for a client.
YMMV


To extrapolate further - if the food was terrible, I would dispute paying the bill at all - which has nothing to do with wait staff WAGES.
By the same token, if the service is terrible, I would dispute paying a surcharge for the [non-]service.
That's not me depriving the wait staff of income.
That's me paying [or not]for the service recieved.

The things is that having a bad day has nothing to do with it anyway. I have bad days, but I don't take them out on the people around me. If I did I could be quite likeley to lose money for my company and possibly screw myself out of raises, bonuses or even a job. The same applys to a bad additude. I know few jobs where a bad additude would not affect you long term employment and income.

On the other hand, most of the people I know personally who wait tables do it because the tips make the pay much better than similar unskilled labor.

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Yup - doesn't matter where you work, "I'm having a bad day" is never going to be an [ETA: acceptable]excuse for delivering poor service to the paying clientele.

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Allison
Tennessee Ernie Ford


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quote:
Originally posted by marrya for batter or verse:
Yup - doesn't matter where you work, "I'm having a bad day" is never going to be an [ETA: acceptable]excuse for delivering poor service to the paying clientele.

There's a difference between an excuse and an explanation. "Don't blame me for my behavior, I had a bad day!" is very very different from "I'm really sorry about my behavior - I had a bad day. I'll try not to do it again."

Allison

ETA to fix typos

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If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
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Midgard_Dragon
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by naharnahekim:
"so when you have a bad day at work do you lose a day's pay? if you have a bad attitude, are you docked a week's worth of salary? no? then neither should your server.""

No, this doesn't happen, but then again, my job is not in customer service. I have worked in customer service, including waiting tables, and beleive you me when I stepped through that swinging door into the dining room I was the smilingist, most amiable, happy bastard you've ever seen. Back through those same doors into the kichten and the smile dropped right away and I'd tell the dishwasher to hurry up with the danm silverware, and the cook to take his salmon steaks and shove it where it cuase him the most possible discomfort. Why was I so cheery in one place and not in the other, becuase thats my job. Not so my tips would be bigger or to secure a better shift or win the employee of the month award, but becuase that is what I got paid to do. I was there to create a worry free, relaxing environment. There were plenty of occasions when a customer asked how I was doin' and I could have given them a 20 minute speech on how much my life sucked and everything was crap, but that's not why I was there.

Boy, you sound like a peach to work with. :/ This is a whole other topic on treating your coworkers with some respect, though, so I won't go there.

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the Virgin Marrya
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Allison:
quote:
Originally posted by marrya for batter or verse:
Yup - doesn't matter where you work, "I'm having a bad day" is never going to be an [ETA: acceptable]excuse for delivering poor service to the paying clientele.

There's a difference between an excuse and an explanation. "Don't blame me for my behavior, I had a bad day!" is very very different from "I'm really sorry about my behavior - I had a bad day. I'll try not to do it again."

Allison

ETA to fix typos

Oh, absolutely.

And, ironically, I'd probably tip MORE to someone who did a terrible job, but was obviously doing their best [Big Grin]

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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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I tend to tip depending on the set-up. In chains and franchises, expecially those where your portion sizes have been decided in a boardroom somewhere, I get very confused about whether a tip will actually benefit the waiting staff or just sink like a pebble in the big corporate pot. I normally tip 10% because, as has been said, I can be reasonably confident that the waiting staff are earning a living wage.

It's years since I set foot in France, but seem to remember that it was made clear on menus whether the price included a tip - "Service compris/ non-compris". If service is included, your bill or the menu get automatically marked up at a fixed rate. If it's not included, a tip is at the diner's discretion. That's a great idea and I wonder how it works in practice.

For the record, I have been a waitress. I have also been a cigarette tester and a kennel cleaner. Being a waitress was the worst job of my life. Nowhere else have I felt quite so keenly that any idiot can come in from the street and treat you like absolute crap for the price of a cuppa.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by marrya for batter or verse:
quote:
Originally posted by Allison:
quote:
Originally posted by marrya for batter or verse:
Yup - doesn't matter where you work, "I'm having a bad day" is never going to be an [ETA: acceptable]excuse for delivering poor service to the paying clientele.

There's a difference between an excuse and an explanation. "Don't blame me for my behavior, I had a bad day!" is very very different from "I'm really sorry about my behavior - I had a bad day. I'll try not to do it again."

Allison

ETA to fix typos

Oh, absolutely.

And, ironically, I'd probably tip MORE to someone who did a terrible job, but was obviously doing their best [Big Grin]

Agreed. Would and have. I've had servers tell me things weren't going well with a quick explanation (two guys called in sick as an example). When they are obviously doing thier best with what they have to work with I will probably tip extra.

On the other hand, if you're having a bad day and you take it out on everyone including your customers, don't go whining about why your tips aren't so good that day.

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Latiam
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I tip 20%, and I only go up as a rule. It takes a lot for me to go down to 15%, and if I do it's usually 15% EXACTLY. I don't want to be responsible for someone making less than minimum wage, so I tip the 15% right down the the penny, but I'm not happy. But once, a server who asked me if I wanted onions or mushrooms with my steak and neglected to mention that the mushrooms were in a skillet and cost 4 dollars more, never came over to the table once, relied on other servers to do the table checks for him, and had the kitchen staff deliver our meals (none of which is pro forma at this restaurant)... he got 10%. We also had to wait 10 minutes after our plates were cleared staring off into space just to ASK for the bill.
If I get something taken off the bill, like a coupon, I figure out the tip on the price before the adjustment. I'd rather be known as an overtipper than an undertipper.
And, by the way, about old people? Sometimes they tip lower because they grew up in a different age. We noticed that my grandpa was seriously undertipping, and when he caught us slipping more money on the table, the next time he handed me the bill and told me to figure out what a fair tip would be. It was embarrassing, but he took it well and from there on he talked to my dad about what a fair percentage was.

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Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Neffti:
I tend to tip depending on the set-up. In chains and franchises, expecially those where your portion sizes have been decided in a boardroom somewhere, I get very confused about whether a tip will actually benefit the waiting staff or just sink like a pebble in the big corporate pot. I normally tip 10% because, as has been said, I can be reasonably confident that the waiting staff are earning a living wage.

I noticed you're from the UK; are you saying you tip 10% there, or in the U.S. as well? If you're tipping 10% in the U.S., I wouldn't be so damn confident your server is earning a living wage. I happen to work in a pretty busy, mostly successful restaurant, but we have servers who have come to us from huge national chains (Applebee's, Bennigan's, TGIFriday's) who quit their jobs because they were only making five bucks an hour, which is less than the minimum wage and a hell of a lot less than what you need to live in Boston (recently named America's most expensive city.)
If you tip 15-20% in the States, I apologize, but if you tip 10% here, I think I speak for all American servers when I ask you to either get with the program or stay the hell out of our restaurants. There's no excuse for cheating hard-working servers out of their rent money.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
quote:
Originally posted by Neffti:
I tend to tip depending on the set-up. In chains and franchises, expecially those where your portion sizes have been decided in a boardroom somewhere, I get very confused about whether a tip will actually benefit the waiting staff or just sink like a pebble in the big corporate pot. I normally tip 10% because, as has been said, I can be reasonably confident that the waiting staff are earning a living wage.

I noticed you're from the UK; are you saying you tip 10% there, or in the U.S. as well? If you're tipping 10% in the U.S., I wouldn't be so damn confident your server is earning a living wage. I happen to work in a pretty busy, mostly successful restaurant, but we have servers who have come to us from huge national chains (Applebee's, Bennigan's, TGIFriday's) who quit their jobs because they were only making five bucks an hour, which is less than the minimum wage and a hell of a lot less than what you need to live in Boston (recently named America's most expensive city.)
If you tip 15-20% in the States, I apologize, but if you tip 10% here, I think I speak for all American servers when I ask you to either get with the program or stay the hell out of our restaurants. There's no excuse for cheating hard-working servers out of their rent money.

Okay can we do some math and step back into reality for a moment?

Minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. Minimum wage for a server is $2.13. The difference amounts to $3.02 an hour or three people tipping 10% on a $10 meal each hour. I do not believe it is possible to average under $3.02 an hour in tips at the nationl chains mentioned unless either your service is consistantly bad or the store is close to going out of business for lack of sales.

Please also note that if an employee does not manage to make enough in tips to earn a total of $5.15 an hour the employer must make up the difference.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Beachlife, don't lecture me on reality. And here's some math for you:
Servers do not get to keep all the tips they make. I have never heard of a restaurant currently operating under such a policy. At my restaurant, we have to tip out bussers, bartenders, hosts, and, in some cases, a food runner. We tip out based on our sales, and unlike the way our customers tip us, it is a mandatory, fixed percentage that amounts to about 5% of our sales. So, if we average 15% tips, that means we only walk with 10% of our sales. Let's take a typical lunch day at my restaurant. In a medium-quality section, not the worst but not the best, you might sell around $300. Since we are in a tourist-heavy part of town, you will get plenty of five- and ten-percent tips, and a few people will stiff you, so even if you provide top-notch service and get lots of 20% tips from your other customers, you'll probably average around 12%, or $36. You'll tip $9 to the bussers, ($3 for each of them), $1 to the hosts, and $1 to the bartender. This leaves you with $25. You came on at 11 and left at 4, which means you earned $5 an hour in tips. You also earned $2.63 an hour in wages, but most of that will go to taxes. (I haven't gotten a paycheck since July.) This is why I don't work lunch shifts anymore.
Dinner is better. Checks are higher, since people eat more, and are more likely to drink. However, you're more likely to get people lingering for hours. Average table turn is 45 minutes; I once had a customer sit in my best table for four hours during dinner and tip me $2 on a $40 check (getting back to what I said in my first post...um, they were black. None of my co-workers was surprised.) This pretty much ruined my night. The table was a 4-top (could seat four people), and in four hours I could have turned it five times at $40-$70 per table. Had I done so, and received 15% on each check, I might have made something like forty bucks from that table in that time instead of the two bucks those women left me. This, of course, ruined my night. On that Saturday night, in a usually awesome section, I walked with $60 for eight hours' work. I'll grant you, $7.50 an hour isn't too bad, but again, this was the night that was supposed to make up for the weeknights when I didn't make as much. I don't make $7.50 an hour on a Tuesday night. If I make less than $10-15 an hour on a Saturday night, it barely averages out to minimum wage. As has been discussed before, minimum wage is not really sufficient anyway.

Will your server starve to death if you tip 10%? No. Nor will the forest be decimated if you take home a pinecone as a souvenir. But if everyone tipped 10% as a matter of course, less if the service was less than spectacular (especially since many people subtract for things that are beyond the server's control, such as how fast the food comes out), most servers would not make a living wage. If you don't like paying for service, you don't have to eat in full-service restaurants.

ETA: And get your facts straight. The minimum wage is well over $5.15 an hour in most places, including Boston (where I'm posting from) where it's $6.75 per hour. As it should be--good luck finding a room in the city for less than $500/month excluding utilities. More likely, you'll be paying $600-$900/month.)

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Wait, wait, wait back up.

quote:
You also earned $2.63 an hour in wages, but most of that will go to taxes. (I haven't gotten a paycheck since July.)
Can you explain this please?

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Posts: 12094 | From: Michigan | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Esprise Me
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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What do you not understand? An employer withholds a percentage of your wages based on estimated earnings, including tips. If your wages (excluding tips, which you take home at the time of earning them) equal or are less than what you owe in taxes, you don't get a paycheck. You get a statement detailing why you aren't getting a paycheck.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I am curious as to how much your employer estimates your earnings to be?

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Esprise Me
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Our earnings are estimated on the basis of our credit card tips, which often end up being more than our take-home tips. Most people pay with credit cards these days, especially on larger checks. So, if my sales are $600, and my gross tip intake is $80, $70 of which is in credit card tips, the computer system won't let me declare less than $70 in tips, even though I'm only walking with $50. (I can adjust these numbers at tax time if I end up over-declaring, which I had to do this year, and I will be getting a refund.) Anyway, it doesn't really matter, because the fact remains that if everyone tipped 10% or less, most servers would not make a living wage. I find it interesting that you're choosing to nitpick my description of my employer's tax withholding practices rather than address that point.

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Nion
We Three Blings


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I don't get what the big problem is. If a waiter/waitress makes $2.15 per hour, he/she needs only three $2.00 tips per hour to surpass what I make in an hour. That would be a 10% tip on a $20.00 meal. Either I am horribly underpaid, or the problem is being blown out of proportion.

I mean no disrespect to anybody, btw. I am merely trying to look at this from an analytical perspective. I also apologize if this has already been covered, as I skimmed over some of the posts.

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abigsmurf
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quote:
Originally posted by i typed for miles:
so when you have a bad day at work do you lose a day's pay? if you have a bad attitude, are you docked a week's worth of salary? no? then neither should your server. if you can't afford to tip 25% at the maximum (in the event of above-and-beyond exceptional service; i'm not saying that should be the standard) then you can't afford to dine out.

If you received a cold or undercooked meal at a restuarant, you would expect either it to be replaced or your money to be refunded.

If your service is bad, why should you have to pay for it? You can't exactly have service replaced (short of using a Tardis). Again tips should not be treated as a tax.

You can argue that workers have no choice in their pay structure but sorry, if people didn't work at places that operated these schemes they would be forced to change. But what about people who have no choice but to work? You could've gotten involved with/formed a union or voted for people who want to raise the minimum wage for servers.

The only people that win from compulsary tipping are the companies.

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Neffti Noel
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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
quote:
Originally posted by Neffti:
I tend to tip depending on the set-up. In chains and franchises, expecially those where your portion sizes have been decided in a boardroom somewhere, I get very confused about whether a tip will actually benefit the waiting staff or just sink like a pebble in the big corporate pot. I normally tip 10% because, as has been said, I can be reasonably confident that the waiting staff are earning a living wage.

I noticed you're from the UK; are you saying you tip 10% there, or in the U.S. as well? If you're tipping 10% in the U.S., I wouldn't be so damn confident your server is earning a living wage. I happen to work in a pretty busy, mostly successful restaurant, but we have servers who have come to us from huge national chains (Applebee's, Bennigan's, TGIFriday's) who quit their jobs because they were only making five bucks an hour, which is less than the minimum wage and a hell of a lot less than what you need to live in Boston (recently named America's most expensive city.)
If you tip 15-20% in the States, I apologize, but if you tip 10% here, I think I speak for all American servers when I ask you to either get with the program or stay the hell out of our restaurants. There's no excuse for cheating hard-working servers out of their rent money.

In that case, I accept your apology. Some of us can go our whole lives in other countries, you know. [Wink]

ETA - Perhaps I should have clarified that I was talking about the UK, but since UK minimum wage has already been discussed on this topic, and my sig shows where I am, I didn't feel it necessary to clarify.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
Our earnings are estimated on the basis of our credit card tips, which often end up being more than our take-home tips. Most people pay with credit cards these days, especially on larger checks. So, if my sales are $600, and my gross tip intake is $80, $70 of which is in credit card tips, the computer system won't let me declare less than $70 in tips, even though I'm only walking with $50. (I can adjust these numbers at tax time if I end up over-declaring, which I had to do this year, and I will be getting a refund.) Anyway, it doesn't really matter, because the fact remains that if everyone tipped 10% or less, most servers would not make a living wage. I find it interesting that you're choosing to nitpick my description of my employer's tax withholding practices rather than address that point.

Nobody's nitpicking, I ask for clarification. And btw, we were talking about your supposition that a lot of people aren't even making minimum wage at the major national chains. That's different from a living wage.

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Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

Posts: 12094 | From: Michigan | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Spamamander in a pear tree
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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My two cents on this-

I am just glad I am living in a state where there is no "tip wage". I had made minimum wage plus tips and gas as a delivery driver, or minimum plus tips as waitstaff here in my home state. When I lived in Ohio, and suddenly I was told my wage would be 2.13 an hour, I about fell through the floor.

Here in WA the minimum wage is the highest in the country at $7.63. While still not a living wage, a person who is waiting tables at that salary in a higher-end restaurant can actually do fairly well. Seems reasonable to me for the amount of abuse servers have to take... (I have been in restaurant and retail both, and lets face it people are crankier about their food than anything else.)

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birdman
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quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
What do you not understand? An employer withholds a percentage of your wages based on estimated earnings, including tips.

Do all employers do this? It was my understanding that tax withholding was a percentage of gross pay, not a yearly estimate divided by 26. I guess I never took a pay stub and did the math myself; I just assumed that they took the $X I earned for the past two weeks and sent Y% to Uncle Sam. Or does what you're describing only apply to tip-based industries?

As far as the topic at hand, I'm in favor of abolishing the tipping culture and legally requiring restaurants to pay workers at least minimum wage, no differently than any other wage-based industry. If they do their job poorly, they can be fired at will, also just like any other industry. I've had plenty of bad waiters and waitresses who have worked at their respective restaurants for years, and each time they're unfriendly and unhelpful. Apparently leaving a small tip hasn't improved their abilities or sent them looking for a new line of work. Yet if I leave a small tip, I may end up with saliva and lord knows what else in my food next time. I suppose next time I go there I could just leave if I end up with the crabby waiter, but I'd much prefer the restaurant still get my business but hire a new server. (FWIW, my tipping scale is 20% for normal, pleasant service, 25-30% for good/great service or places I frequent, 10-15% for the aforementioned arse at Applebee's, depending on his particular arsitude that day.)

-birdman

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me, no really
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Wow, maybe it's a cultural difference, but before reading this thread I would have been a very poor tipper if I ever visited the US ("Damned foreigners"). I would have tipped, even though we don't do it here. I know enough to know you are supposed to in the US. If I made a $37 bill up to $40, I would have thought I was being very generous, because by our standards I would have been, but then, our waiters make about $15 an hour from what I have seen. More in some places. There's no need for us to tip. Most places just have a tip jar as you leave, where some people put a few spare coins. The tips get split between all the staff at the end of the night, but it isn't usually much

me

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i typed for miles
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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
If your service is bad, why should you have to pay for it? You can't exactly have service replaced (short of using a Tardis). Again tips should not be treated as a tax.

i think this is where many people who have never worked in the restaurant business fail to see the big picture. their only concern is the service, since that's the only part they see and interact with. if you get bad service, i'm sorry, you got bad service. but that doesn't mean you can feel that leaving a zero tip is okay. someone still rolled your silverware, refilled the salt shakers, cleaned the tables, etc. if you get a drink from the bar at your table, but then stiff your waiter, he or she ends up tipping the bartender FOR you after they tip out for the evening.

when you stiff someone, you are not only denying them a part of their pay, you are, in some cases, actually making them pay for a portion of your meal.

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Four Kitties
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quote:
Originally posted by birdman:
quote:
Originally posted by Esprise Me:
What do you not understand? An employer withholds a percentage of your wages based on estimated earnings, including tips.

Do all employers do this? It was my understanding that tax withholding was a percentage of gross pay, not a yearly estimate divided by 26.
I think you misunderstood. The employer withholds each day according to estimated earnings for that day. If the employer had no sales that day, they cannot withhold for estimated tips, because the estimated tips on zero sales would be zero and the tax due on zero tips would be zero. The employer can absolutely withhold more than what they are paying per hour if their estimation of tip income justifies it.

Four Kitties (2.75 Kitties after taxes)

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birdman
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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties:
The employer withholds each day according to estimated earnings for that day. If the employer had no sales that day, they cannot withhold for estimated tips, because the estimated tips on zero sales would be zero and the tax due on zero tips would be zero. The employer can absolutely withhold more than what they are paying per hour if their estimation of tip income justifies it.

Ah OK, that makes sense, thanks. I wasn't aware they did that.

-birdman

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Spamamander in a pear tree
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That's an unusual system... when I was waiting tables we each individually entered an amount of tips earned, though for obvious reasons we claimed the minimum based on the gross amount of the tickets we cashed out during a shift.

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"There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning." -Albert Einstein

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terrell
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Esprise Me: I hate being mean, but the argument can go the other way. If you don't like how much you are being payed, get another job. It's not that hard to get a job that'll pay more than $2 an hour.

--NOTE: THIS IS NOT ACTUALLY MY OPINION ON THE SUBJECT.

I happen to know that the food places I frequent pay their workers minimum wage, which is more than what most people I know get payed without even a high school education.

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StewPot
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Wow, I've unintentionally opened a can of worms. I have been away from my computer for a couple of days, so let me just clarify:

I’m not exceptionally cheap. I very rarely tip below 10%, and often tip 25% or more for good service. I even tip 50% sometimes.

What I’m saying is that if the servers’ wages were increased to a decent living wage, then average service would merit 0% tip. Extremely bad service would cause me to complain to management. Above-average service would be rewarded with a tip of 5-20% or so. This way, average servers could not be “stiffed,” and great servers would make significantly more than they currently do. As a side effect, customers would actually be rewarding good service, rather than just going through the motions of tipping a standard percentage for both average and exceptional service.

Again, I realize that the global mindset will probably never approach mine. But that doesn’t stop me from imagining the way I think things ought to be. I need to be prepared on the off chance that I may someday rule the universe.

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One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people's minds.
-Frank Zappa

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