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Old 11-19-2012, 07:25 PM   #111
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

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Originally Posted by Mama*Kim View Post
In reality, the customer is paying the employee either way. 100% of a restaurant's income come from customers. That income then turns into the money the employees are paid with. In a way, with a tipping system, you get to control the price you pay based on your experience.

Good servers can make insane amounts of money because they work damn hard to earn it. It's immediate results. In a office job, you might do a great job and get a raise once a year. As a server, I do a great job and my pocket wins that night. With the tipping system, the best servers often stick with the job. Why? because they make good money doing it. Even in the fairly casual restaurant I worked at with 12-16 tables (depending on season), I easily made $100 in tips in a 6 hour Friday night shift. $150 wasn't shocking. I've had people tip me more than 100% on many occasions. Even more meaningful though, I've had customers call my boss to commend me, send cards to me at the restaurant, or come back to thank me. Two years in a row, a little girl and her grandmother came in for the girl's birthday. The grandmother offered to take the girl anywhere she wanted to go for her birthday, and she chose to come see me. The grandmother passed away the next year and I'm tearing up thinking of her. I've been invited to weddings, baby showers, and funerals of customers. I used to have this old man, Lawrence, that came in to see me every week. He got a cup of soup and a cup of coffee every time. Over the years, he started walking slower, then he stopped driving and his wife would drop him off on her way to the salon to get her hair set for the week. Eventually, he got to the point that she'd pull up out front and I'd drop what I was doing to help him walk from the car to his table. Then one day, his wife showed up and I ran out to the car. It wasn't his usual day to come in. Then I realized he wasn't in the car with her and I already knew what that meant. He had passed away the day before. Coming in to see me every week meant so much to him that she wanted to come tell me in person. His funeral fell on a day I normally would have worked. When customers heard where I was, they left me tips even though I wasn't there. How much did Lawrence tip me on his visits? Twenty five cents. That's it. He got great service, not because he was a big tipper (he wasn't), but because I made great tips with my other customers that allowed me to continue working there. If I wasn't making great tips, I would have left the industry, I would have found another job making that kind of money. I truly love the service industry and my customers.

And you get what you pay for. If we went to a non-tipping system and employers paid taxes on the extra money they charged you to cover the more expensive payroll, you'd have less servers in the restaurant. Less servers = less service. No opportunity to be rewarded for working harder means many servers wouldn't work as hard. Sucks, but its true.
What a sweet story When I was right out of high school I worked for a couple of years at a restaurant/cafe. Of course we had our regulars. One was an elderly gentleman who asked me all.the.time. if I would learn the song, "They call the wind Mariah" I would always just laugh and tell him I'd learn it some day. I am a singer (community theatre, church choir,etc) and most of the regulars knew it because I sang at my boss's inauguration (for mayor). Anyways, after the man passed away I finally learned the song. And that's what I named my middle dd; Mariah for the wind So yeah, I totally get what you're saying about good servers and how they get involved in their customer's lives. When you see the same customers day in and day out, they're almost like family. .

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:31 PM   #112
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

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Originally Posted by misskira View Post
For some reson it seems like 10% used to be customary (when I was a kid?) and then 15% and now 18% and some people say 20%. Am I remembering wrong? If I'm not, why does it keep going up?
When were you a kid? I was a waitress 20 years ago and the standard % was the same as now. (And I made 2.13/hour, so it has not gone up in 20 years. Meaning that tips, as a percentage of total income, continue to become more important for a server.)
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:02 PM   #113
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Re: Is more than 18% gratuity expected? Im confused...

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Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
Whenever tip threads come up there are always posts about how XYZ person makes minimum wage and doesn't get tips. My thought on that is that if you want to make tips, then I would get a job in a restaurant and make minimum wage plus tips. I agree that working as an aid in a nursing home is hard work and minimum wage doesn't seem like enough. But, I would assume that you go into the job knowing what the wage is and make the choice to take that job over looking for a job that receives tips.
My biff is with the pressure that even if they give crappy service they deserve extra just because they are a waiter and it's always explained as it's a hard job, there are other hard jobs out there as well. When they take the job they also know the risk of not getting good tips if they give lousy service and even sometimes when they give good service.

I have absolutely no problem tipping for decent service (doesn't have to be grand just not rude). I have been to restaurants where service stunk and they still expected a big tip and I think that is stupid. A T.I.P. was originally To Insure Promptness. It was originally a thank you for working hard not an automatic for any kind of service you gave.

I actually like the tip system cause most servers stay on the ball to insure a good tip. I just don't like it being mandatory regardless of the service which is what an automatic tack onto the bill does.

In our state they, still make at least $9.04 an hour regardless, tips are on top of that. We lived on only $10 an hour with a family of 8 and only the one paycheck for quite a while after the economy tanked and survived. Not saying I shouldn't tip when we do go out now, just saying I refuse to feel bad that a server who gave lousy service has a kid that isn't gonna be able to eat tonight, cause in our state it's not true. And also that server has total power to change the tips in that situation.

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Originally Posted by Mama*Kim View Post
Just like your scenario, its all about attitude. A great server is not one who doesn't make mistakes (who doesn't?), or someone who never gets busy (that's not in their control). A great server is one who stays on the ball, has a great attitude and communicates well.
Well said!

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Originally Posted by z2akids View Post
? You should tip at buffets as well. Your wait staff is likely working just as hard, if not harder at a buffet - still keeping your glasses full, bringing condiments, keeping the table clear of completed dishes, etc. Personally, I might put 15% as my starting point at a buffet, but I still tip and generally tip quite well as long as they are attentive as I expect them to be.
At our local buffets there are no servers, we get our own drinks, plates, everything. Except the mongolian grill, I tip there.

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Originally Posted by Hillargh View Post
That makes no earthly sense at all. To avoid being "forced" to pay a $2 tip, you'd rather they raise the meal price by $2, /actually/ forcing you to pay?

Seriously. What sense does that make? I don't want servers to be expecting payment from me for their jobs, so just take that tip money but call it a raise in prices, and let me pay them that way for sure. The heck?
I actually wish more industries had a tip system, that was not expected but could be given for excellent service.

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Originally Posted by iwiamandaiwi View Post
anyways, I'm just saying that the custom of tipping is dumb. it is supposed to be a gesture of thanks for great service but it is instead a way for employers to get away with paying their employees crap wages. All workers should be paid AT LEAST minimum wage accross the country and tipping should be something that happens on the occassion of phenominal service IF the customer feels the need.
So are you saying you don't mind tipping, you just hate it being expected even if the service is bad?

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Originally Posted by misskira View Post
For some reson it seems like 10% used to be customary (when I was a kid?) and then 15% and now 18% and some people say 20%. Am I remembering wrong? If I'm not, why does it keep going up?
Maybe I'm dating myself but it was when I was a kid too, even in my early adulthood.

I actually like tipping, it's a great time to thank someone for going out of their way but I refuse to be guilted into tipping a lousy server.
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