Once again Tipping?%18/%15???

Sep 16th, 2004, 02:36 PM
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GoTravel,is the law the same in every State?
Barbara is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 03:18 PM
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Sondown -

Sorry - until wait staff are paid a reasonable wage (here that would be at least $15 per hour - considering that McKids get $10 per hour for standing at a cash register) the tip money is mandatory.

You may not like it - but that is the system we have. By refusing to tip a reasonable amount you are simply cheating the wait staff of their rightful income.

I repeat - if people can't afford to tip - or are too cheap to do so - they should eat at home.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 03:42 PM
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As I noted above, I tend to tip well. However that is my choice. If service is bad, I let them know by decreasing or eliminating the tip. This gives them negative reinforcement and incentive to try a little harder the next time.

If you want to tip regardless how poor the service, that's your choice. However, that practice, if followed by enough people, will only decrease the quality of service over time.

If your kid doesn't do his chores and you still hand him his allowance, what message are you sending? In short order your kid sees the money as an entitlement rather than something they need to earn. Same goes for tips. If the waiter knows you're going to plunk down 20% regardless whether he really tries or not, he isn't going to try very hard. And in short order service has deteriorated.
sundown is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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GoTravel, I do not believe those laws apply everywhere. I believe in Ca, waiters do get minimum wage and do pool tips many times.
Alisa is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 05:53 PM
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Sundown -

Wait staff are not naughty children. They are adults trying to earn a living - and support their families. What you're talking aobut is the equivalent of docking an employee's pay if he makes a minor error. Illegal in this state and I'm sure in most others. You really can;t expect perfection - and how often are you "punishing" wait staff for a fault really caused by the chef or the management?

If you have wait staff who are clearly incompetent or rude - certainly feel free to complain - or even cut the tip. But in my experience this level of incompetence/bad attitude is extremely rare in any reasonable restaurant. And if it's an inexpensive one - do you realy think cutting someone's tip by $1 is going to do anything but massage your own power complex?

And if you really are running into this problem all the time - perhaps you should dine at better managed restaurants.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 05:55 PM
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There is a bill currently in the Assembly in CA that will allow mandatory tip pooling. This bill is supportedf by restrantuers because they claim that they are forced to pay waitstaff exhorbitant wages (min wage of $8.75), which is preventing them ffrom paying kitchen staff. The solution is to enforce a mandatory tip pooling of all staff except management.

So, in other words, if I am your server and you run me ragged, and I bust my butt for you with a smile on my face, any gratuity you leave for me now must be shared with everyone, from the pantry worker to the dishwasher
here_today_gone2Maui is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 08:47 PM
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My last words on this to you, nytraveler--
The most amusing thing about this is I tip well virtually all the time, as do you. But that STILL isn't good enough for you--to pass your test I have to agree with your philosophy on tipping, too. That is the definition of unreasonable. We must agree to disagree...
sundown is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 03:44 AM
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I have no problems tipping at restaurants because I am smart enough to know that I will pay one way or another. I hate tip jars though. Unless you have gone above and beyond, forget it.

Gotravel, I can think of two places where I know for a fact that managers have made wait staff pool tips with cooks etc. I had a friend who waited tables in college at a restaurant in Midtown Atlanta and he would always complain about having to share his tips when the cooks etc made more per hour than he did. I never knew, nor do I think he knew, that it was illegal. I also know of a certain mexican restaurant chain in Augusta where they also have to pool tips even with the owner/manager. Who is going to complain since I know a good number of his employees are here illegally (yes I do know this for a fact not just assuming). Obviously there is not much that can be done about it but I am certainly glad you informed me that is illegal because I honestly never knew not having ever worked in the restaurant industry.

Not to jump completely off track, but I do have a question that relates to this. If you hang out at your table after eating or drinking knowing that your table could go to someone else, do you tip your waiter/waitress more to make up for this? Sometimes we will go out as a group and have dinner and drinks and since we may stay for a good while, we make up for it in tips. On the flip side, I truly hate for a waiter/waitress to interrupt my meal to tell me that they are now off duty and they want to close out my bill and my new waiter/waitress will be start a new one should we order anything else. It would not bother me as much if we were just hanging out but to do so in the middle of my meal is unacceptable and I tip that person accordingly. How do others handle such situations?
beachdreams is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 04:32 AM
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Patrick, on your poll question: Overall I think the waitstaffs have a better potential for income as things are now than at a minimum wage. However, directly to your question of who would be paying that? Well, I would. Where's their income coming from now? My pocket, just the same. The only difference is that in a non-tipped environment, I get see the whole price up front.

I definitely don't think service would have to suffer as the result of a non-tipping environment, except in the US.
Clifton is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 04:34 AM
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Most of the time I try to make sure that person that takes order, serves drinks and brings the meal receives tip. Most times I know schedules, if not I may ask. I feel bad when I leave a tip for a waitress/waiter that only brings the tab. I'd rather them tell me they are leaving and would I like to settle now, you can say no.
Sidepockets is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 05:11 AM
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I think Patrick makes a good point. For the past 5 years or so, I've lived in Europe about 25% of the time on and off and the service there is terrible by American standards. Though once I got used to it, I kinda liked it: no waiting for the check, just get up and leave, pay at the door on the way out. Want something? Don't wait for the waiter to come by, just yell to him across the room, he/she doesn't get offended. Trying to get ice water, now that's another story!

Think of all the minimum wage employees you encounter and the type of service/attitude you get. I'll continue to tip, thanks.
Loki is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 05:54 AM
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Hey, don't shoot the messanger. I'm just telling y'all what my husband told me.

California is a whole different story. Sky high real estate, energy costs, labor costs (union everybody) make it one of the least desirable markets in the country. Restaurant owners will do anything to try and make some of that up.

My last word on this, if you or someone you know is getting treated in a way you think odd or unethical, don't complain about it, call your local labor board.

If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

You should never go to work feeling like you are getting ripped off by the management or owners.
Sep 17th, 2004, 06:03 AM
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I have a tipping question. Now after reading all of these commets I am a bit confused about the actual tip expected. We will be dining in restaurants in Las Vegas soon. We have reservations at Prime and Onda. Does it state on the menu what percentage is expected? It will only be my husband and myself. Large parties are probably a whole different story. Any help? Has anyone had any bad experiences in either of these restaurants? Thanks
marykc is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 06:14 AM
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marykc, the two places you mention will probably (almost certainly not) have suggested tipping. A minimum of 20% would be expected there. And if the service is outstanding -- as it probably will be, you might even leave a little more.
Patrick is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 01:13 PM
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People keep mentioning the differences with European wait staffs versus American wait staffs. Just IMO, I infinitely prefer the European system.

Once you secure a table at a restaurant, it is yours for the evening. You are expected to spend several hours there and enjoy the evening and the food in a leisurely, relaxed way. No one rushes you in order to seat another party and earn more tips; no one stops by your table repeatedly to ask how everything is, usually when your mouth is full of food; and no one one ever gives you the obnoxious "Hi, I'm Buster Brown and I'll be your waiter this evening!" The wait staff leaves you alone so you can converse and enjoy the company of your dinner mates. Most rushed Americans seem to find this annoying and indicative of poor service, but we loved the relaxed pace.

And in contrast to the low paying, entry level status of wait staff in the U.S., restaurant food service in Europe is a profession, and the servers are very knowledgeable about food and wine.

I'm guessing that socialized medicine probably covers their health care in many European countries, but guess what, it does in the U.S. too. As a college student I had a roommate who was a bartender/server who deliberately moved to California to take advantage of its "socialized medicine" (MediCal) because the restaurant employer naturally did not provide health care. So in California at least, not only are your tips making up the salary shortages, your taxes pay for their health care.

And if unionized wait staff is what it takes to keep national chains from adding to the suburban sprawl of my area, I say GO UNION, lol.
questionmotives is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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questionmotives, is your reply based totally on a college roomates work experience?
Sep 17th, 2004, 06:00 PM
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I hate to break it to you, but MediCal is far from the socialized medical nirvana you are sugesting. MediCal is no more than Medicaid. MediCal provides coverage first for children of low income families and then for emergencies for the truly needy, homeless, mentally and physically disabled. I think they give it to you for 90 days when you are released from jail. If you have MediCal and you have a tooth ache, more than likely you will end with that tooth being removed, as it costs the state less $$ than preferred treatments that would save the tooth.

I have known low-income, working single moms who barely qualified for Medical for their kids, so anyone who moves to CA because they have MediCal is going to be in for a surprise.
here_today_gone2Maui is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 06:06 PM
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Well, now I feel bad. I had my dog groomed last week and didn't tip.
Little_Man is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 06:09 PM
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Message: Barbara, the law must vary from state to state because in Massachussetts and in many other East coast states it is not illegal to pool tips among waitstaff. I'm personally not a fan of tip pooling, but according to my husband, who was a chef in a restaurant that used to pool tips,they had the following reason for doing so. They wanted to increase the overall service for the patrons by keeping servers from adopting an "I'm responsible for these tables and these tables only" mentality. That way, if a server is passing by a table that is not primarily his table, but notices that the couple needs drinks or other service, he will be more likely to help. And guests are told to feel free to ask any server they see if they need anything. Conversely, you could argue that this could be discouraging to those employees whom are busting their butts when you've got someone who doesn't pull their weight and brings down the tipping average.

Nytraveler, I must agree with you about tipping protocol. I think I've left less than 15% maybe 2-3 times in my life for service that was extremely terrible. I almost always start at 20% and increase if the service is very good, usually topping at around 30%, maybe a little more, for excellent service.

Sundown: "If your kid doesn't do his chores and you still hand him his allowance, what message are you sending? In short order your kid sees the money as an entitlement rather than something they need to earn. Same goes for tips." I just had to chuckle because in most parenting articles I've read recently, the experts suggest that a child's chores not be contingent upon his allowance. In other words, he should get an allowance regardless of the chores he does or doesn't do, and then perhaps be able to earn extra money for doing extra chores. And if he doesn't do his chores, he should have other privileges taken away. I'm not saying that I either agree or disagree with this philosophy, I just find it humorous how it mirrors this discussion on tipping.

Now, two questions. How do people tip on a bottle of wine? I've always read that you should tip a base price per bottle of wine, not base the tip on the price of the wine, considering that you're getting the same service whether you order a $30 bottle or a $300 bottle. I, however, do tip my 20-30% on the price of the wine, but then again, we almost always stick to the $50-$100 price range. If I was ordering the $300 bottle, I might reconsider. What do others do?

Second question: If you go out for an inexpensive meal in a full-service restaurant, do you increase the percentage of tip you leave? For example, I'll take my kids out to a local pizza chain sometimes and our breadsticks and pizza will come to about $15. The waitress meanwhile has been to our table several times and has been provided extremely friendly and punctual service. I could never leave $3 in this type of case, and have left $10 in many instances, which, now that I think about it, is 66%. The same goes for many breakfast places. My husband is always leaving tips that are a huge percentage of the bill, but we think the server often deserves it. Do others do or feel the same?
klw25 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2004, 06:26 PM
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"Socialized medicine" was the roommates' term for it, not mine. When I was younger I knew PLENTY of single, service workers who received MediCal because their employers did not insure them, and almost all of them worked in restaurants. Laws may have changed since, but it's still something that California offers that other states may not. It is a state health care service in addition to the federal service Medicaid.

Still prefer the European way, just IMO. Much more civilized.
questionmotives is offline  

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