If you can’t afford tip, stay out of restaurant

Since I retired five or six years ago, one of the things I like to do is go out to eat, particularly at a local Waffle House.

I’ve thought about what I’m going to say for a long time, and the time is now. Plain and simple — if you can’t afford to tip the waitress, you shouldn’t be in the restaurant.

I understand the occasional bad service issue, but this is quite another matter.

Today, as I sat in one of my usual spots, I overheard someone mention, “So the bill is $21, so the tip would be $3.”

I guess [their] thinking [was] that they had calculated 15 percent. OK, maybe their math was a little off. But what actually happened was that a party of four or five stiffed the waitress entirely.

I happen to know the waitress and the service is always exceptional. She is the main reason I keep coming back to this place.

I think you out there know who you are: The ones that sit for an hour, get service, then stiff the waitress. All I have to say is shame on you.

Don’t even enter the restaurant if you don’t plan on tipping properly. ’Nough said!

John Currie

Peachtree City, Ga.

Davids mom
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Inept

Good word. In my experience, only happened twice in FC . . . and we never returned to either restaurant.

pips1414
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I agree wholeheartedly

Servers don't make the best wages. It is understood that most of what they get is supposed to be tips. The problem is empathy, or lack of it. Many of us just don't stop and think how not getting a tip would affect us, were we in the server's shoes.While you serve your own food at the buffets, you still tip the waitress who brings your beverage and incidentals.

I'm mixed over tipping when ordering takeout I call in from home and pick up at the cash register. Does anybody regularly tip on takeout orders?

NUK_1
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pips: tipping takeout

I'll usually leave a $1 only when I go somewhere and pick up takeout, unless that is Partner's Pizza where all they are doing is handing you a box....no packing, condiments, etc. like u have at a Chinese or Mexican restaurant takeout or some others. I know some who will tip 15% just like they were sitting in the restaurant and others who leave nothing. Tough to say.

mar66cla
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Don't get old

When I was young and hot looking, I could get a job as a waitress in a expensive fancy restaurant serving high priced meals. I was making good money because of the big tickets.
Most people are accustomed to leaving 15% tips.
Now I'm middle aged and have to work in the not so fancy, lower priced menu restaurants, my pay is now half as much because the bill is half as much. I'm still carrying the same amount of food to the tables and taking the same amount of orders.
I'm doing the same amount of work for half the pay.
Somebody tell me again that this is a fair and equitable system

PTC Observer
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mar66cla - BUT

I bet you're still hot, just not to a twenty something. ;-)

SPQR
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mar66cia

when I was young and employed I frequented "expensive fancy restaurants" and left nice tips for good service. Now that I'm retired I often go to "not so fancy places" Where do you work? I'm always looking for a good cheap meal and I'm still a really good tipper because I don't take good service for granted.

HerkFE
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If I pay the bill with my

If I pay the bill with my credit card I try to leave the tip in cash so that the waiter/waitress can put it in their pocket and not claim it if they want to, especially for good service. Most wait staff bust their rear end and if they can keep all of the tip then good for them. You can argue all you want about FICA and SS down the road but most people doing this type of work are just trying to get by today. I'll leave it up to them to claim or not.

On the subject of tipping in Europe...My wife and I recently went to Munich. When we were paying the bill I did not include a tip and my wife asked why. I told her that tipping wasn't expected in Europe like it is in the US and I had read the same thing in a travel guide specifically for Germany. I signed my credit card receipt and went to the restroom while my wife stayed at the table and waited. While I was gone the waiter came back and took the receipt and noticed no tip. He made a rude comment to my wife walked away showing his "irritation". Apparently tipping is expected there but because of his lack of tact he still didn't get one.

newthink
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Johnny's Pizza & tips

To the "servers" at Johnny's Pizza. Poor service means low tip. It's not a difficult concept!

For many years I have been going to various Johnny's Pizza restaurants from East Cobb to Fayetteville. They all share one common characteristic... horrible service. Quite frankly, they have raised the art of ignoring a customer to a science. Why do I keep going back? I think I'm addicted to their sausage pizza slices. Tasty. Probably should start doing carry-out and eat in my car.

newthink
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Johnny's Pizza & tips

To the "servers" at Johnny's Pizza. Poor service means low tip. It's not a difficult concept!

For many years I have been going to various Johnny's Pizza restaurants from East Cobb to Fayetteville. They all share one common characteristic... horrible service. Quite frankly, they have raised the art of ignoring a customer to a science. Why do I keep going back? I think I'm addicted to their sausage pizza slices. Tasty. Probably should start doing carry-out and eat in my car.

Spyglass
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GREAT dinner tonight at Pascal's..

and yes, I left a tip.

lion
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Tipping

I do not know where or when you may have been in France, but I think you are wrong.

The first time I was in Paris the waiter explained to me that tipping was not necessary. The bill included the full amount to be paid.

When I traveled to other places in Europe, I was told I could round up the bill to the next Euro and that was sufficient. One could always leave an additonal tip but that was not necessary nor expected.

PTC Observer
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Lion - Tipping

You are correct on this but rounding up is for really good service. You don't see a lot of it, except in very high priced places.

roundabout
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Lion

Yes, in some places even in the USA the tip is included in the bill--that is very similar to paying the help more and charging more for the meal.

I think that if you remove the amount of the tip included in France, you will get chased for it!

Isn't it about 20-25%?

Of course here or anywhere, the menu prices are not what you end up paying.
First comes 7-9% taxes, then 15-20% for tips if over four people.
That can make a $125 bill go to $155!

Now, the big one is autos, furniture, and jewelry.
Autos are advertised as $359 a month (forever); furniture is always one-half off (off what); and jewelry is now up to 70% off (off what).

They have never sold for the "What" anyway!

Commerce is out to screw the citizens nowadays by deception, if possible.

Ever seen a mattress at full price? (what is full-price)? (whatever they say)

BHH
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Tipping is a good policy in more situations than just

eating out.

I don't eat out much unless out of town but always tip well unless the service was just unreasonably poor. Even then I still leave a tip (10% is minimum).

I always tip the pizza delivery person well.

I've tipped everyone from gravel delivery drivers to real estate agents.

It makes for good business relations.

People remember you for what you do, bad or good. Whether it be your service or your tipping.

On the other hand there are times when it is inappropriate.

But as a rule, don't be tight with you service or your money and it will come back to you tenfold.

G35 Dude
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I wonder?

When I eat out I usually pay with a credit card. And the tip goes on there also. So I sometimes wonder if my server thinks I stiffed them when I pay at the register and they don't see the receipt.

MYTMITE
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No, G35, they would see that you tip at the end of the night.

In most restaurants, servers have their own numbers and when they put your credit card through the credit card company's machine and do what is called a 'batch", it shows each server's sales and tips, and when that server checks out at end of shift, if it is done the usual way, when you run that server's report it shows everything they ran during their shift and it is broken down into cash, credit cards, etc. Unless an establishment's equipment is from the dark ages this is how it is done. The computers they have in dining/drinking establishments today can break down just about everything for you.

roundabout
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MyTcash

I assume you mean the customers who paid cash----not the cash tips?

Did your waiters share with the dishwashers, etc.?

I suppose you never had to charge a bartender for being able to work at your place?

This is a nasty business!

mar66cla
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Amen Roundabout, I agree completely

Why make people beg for a living, that's what tipping does.
If the restaurants would pay a living wage and just include it in the price of the food, the waitress would not have to depend on the "kindness" of the customer.

roundabout
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Restaurant Tipping

Would be interested to know your feelings about tipping in places other than a restaurant.
It is also quite possible that if the restaurant owner allows tipping as part of a waiter's wage, that maybe he should pay them enough not to have to depend upon gifts from customers.

The customer would probably pay about the same amount for a meal and the owner would charge more for it to pay the waiter or waitress.

I don't like false dangling of goodies in front of a customer to get a bigger tip! (Want a glass of water? Two-three trips to say as they pass--need anything, etc.) That is the boss's job to train them to do their job properly.

Reminds me of a burlesque bar where the poor women have to allow fingering of their costume to get a dollar or two. Ate at a Hooters lately?

On the other hand, I expect the owner would rather have a payment for a meal, even if the customer doesn't tip their waiter or waitress. You seem to want the customer to stay out if he doesn't want to tip every time, or ever! I know waitresses hate handling a bunch of $1 bills to get the wrinkles and gravy off at quitting time, or at home.

Now have you decided if you want us to tip the Chic-Fil-A people?
How about the Ice Cream stand?
Shoe store clerk?
Grocery cashier?

The darn French are horrible about this: Their waiters get ONLY the tip!
They will ask for it (20-25%) even follow one out into the street and advise them they forgot their pay!

PhilPTC
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Tip Tax

Not sure if the laws have changed, but last time I knew, wait staff at sit-down restaurants earn below minimum wage on purpose with the customary expectation that tips will move their average hourly earnings at or above minimum wage.

In addition, the IRS squeezes income tax on the "additional" tips up to 15% of each diner's bill. The restaurant owner is required to pay this tax regardless if the waiter or waitress was tipped 15% or not. I used to work for a payroll services company which is why I know this.

Now the shame of stiffing the wait staff becomes even greater. The waiter or waitress not only received no tip, but their meager, sub-minimum wage just got taxed an additional 15% of the meal bill.

As to the comment on Europe, my experience has been that restaurant wait service is treated as a trade-craft and those new to that industry earn their way up the income ladder from apprentice onward. Wages are high (as are meal prices) resulting in wait staff not trying to push you off your table as quickly as possible as is customary here in the USA.

About tipping. Let's face it, if you are treated well and appreciate the service delivered, tipping is a way of rewarding good service so that it is repeated in the future. Conversely, stiffing is a punishment to signal a need for change in behavior. The restaurant business is one of the most cut-throat, competitive industries here in USA and keeping good people on staff are one critical factor to keeping customers coming back for more. It's no surprise when certain restaurants cease to exist after 6-9 months: either the food or the service, or both, sabotages success.

MYTMITE
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As the former owner of a restaurant /tavern which my family

still owns. I know that servers pay 10% of their total sales in taxes. Our computers are set up so each night they automatically show what that percent of their sales would be and those totals would be added for the total deduction for the pay period and show on their pay stubs (ours was every week). Thus, the servers are really getting a break because many of their tips are 25% or more. Management has no way of knowing what any server makes since their tips are in cash and credit cards; while the credit card amount shows on the receipt there is no way to know what they make in cash. In a decent restaurant/tavern a server could make anywhere from $100-400 a night. Servers tip out their bartenders and if there is a barback, he/she is tipped out by the bartender and both tip out food runners if the restaurant has food runners. The amount servers and bartenders tip out is left to their discretion but if they are wise they tip out generously because the good tipper-out person gets their drinks made first or their food brought out immediately---poor tipper-out person gets their's when bartender, food runner gets around to them. Waitstaff and food runners are paid an hourly wage while bartenders are usually paid by the shift. If the bartender also waits on patrons they get tipped directly as well as getting tipped out. Food runners do okay since they are tipped out by however many servers they run food for. In a decent establishment, all go home happy.

Roundie, as you should know, when someone files their taxes, if more taxes has been taken out than they are supposed to pay they get a refund. The law is that the establishment must deduct that percentage from their pay--then it is up to the federal government to give them a refund if one is due.

roundabout
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MtTipper

I knew, I just knew you were a merchant or business owner.

I don't think I have ever read a more illogical or confusing diatribe defending tipping than yours!

$400 a night? That could be #100,000 a year! Times several waiters = several million the waiters make! Or a few million for the bummers.

"Tipping out" and the bartender explanation is the real butt-buster!

Again we have tax cheating! If you did deduct a straight 10% for taxes, or was that taxes and social security, they will get most of that or all back usually---most waiters pay no taxes due to low earnings---except for The Stork Club type,

Did your place measure the bottles after every bartender shift to see if he kept any of the money or wasted liquor? What did you subtract from the bartender's shift pay? 10%? Drunks tip well.

All this is exactly why I wouldn't have anything to do with it!

MYTMITE
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Roundie, where are your brains? Did you take them out to dust

them and forget to put them back in? Show me once place where I defended tipping in what I wrote. I was simply laying out the facts. Sorry, if your butt got busted--sounded more like it was the area on top of your shoulders that was damaged. We deducted nothing from the bartender's shift pay other than the 10% as we did for waitstaff as our bartenders also waited on patrons. As for us cheating, 10% is what we are obligated by law to deduct--and if you were able to read you would see that 10% is totaled in with wages. Social Security is another matter. Are you as dense as you appear or is that just more of your act? In FL, by state law, waitstaff and bartenders receive more than $2.13 an hour. It would probably really blow your mind to know that in many resort areas, such as South Beach, servers and bartenders used to pay the management to be able to work in their establishment. I do not know if this is still happening--those people working in those restaurants and clubs would walk out with much, much more than $400 a night--more like a thousand--but that was because they were waiting on the big spenders--much like yourself, I am sure. If you would stop to think, you would also realize there are cooks, dishwashers, and maintenance people who are also on the payroll, and before you ask, no we do not take 10% of their salary. We do not 'take' ten percent of anyone's salary--the government does.
As for my having been a business owner, didn't you post just a few days ago that you had owned several businesses? Or was that only in one of your dream sequences? I sure hope you were only dreaming it or that if you did own businesses they were one man operations, working for or with you would have to be a fate worse than death.
I am sure you are doing your part to make sure that no one who waits on you would make $100,000 a year--it would take several lifetimes with those ten and twenty five cent tips you leave. Better you stay home and let your "missus' serve up your vittles.

roundabout
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MyTdefender

I see maybe a hundred things wrong with a bartender making a thousand bucks a shift---cash!

He is not an employee, therefore no social security deducted; there was no contract for 60 days (longest someone can work as a contractor and pay his own SS, etc., insurance doesn't cover him on the premises, etc.

Is 10% all he is required to pay when he files? Is their any record anywhere of his earnings?

No wonder poor working people have to pay taxes for him.

Can't you understand? Why did you follow this system if you were against it?

I'm dropping this silliness. Like a roadside fruitstand that sold NOOOTHHHINGGGG!

In my business I paid everyone on a payroll with a competitive wage, subtracted all taxes due per chart and form filled out by employee, and there were no tips allowed.

(did you measure the botles, or not? Check the watering down with cameras?

roundabout
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Phil

I would be wasting my time talking about princip;es with you on this, but I must say that your comment about waiters being taxed 15% on sub-minimum wages is BS.

The majority of waitreresses and waiters pay little if any net taxes!

$7-8 dollars an hour @ 30 hours per week = $240
Times about 45 weeks = $10,800 salary per year.

Surely you didn't allow that sum to be taxed at all!

Now, with tips that number may go up to 11=12,000 dollars. Whoopie!

Pay them $10-12 per hour, work them 40 hours, and charge 20% more for the meals and tell the customer "no tipping, please--I pay my help.

The customer ends up paying the same bucks. (providing he was a tipper).

NUK_1
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Tips.......So stupid

Your typical Taco Mac wait staff makes about $100 a shift during the week and about $175 or more on Fri/Sat and that's very similar to other mid-priced chain restaurants that are fairly successful. Your $12,000 top-end estimate of their earnings for a year must be from the 50's or 60's. Trying having an informed opinion for once instead of making up "facts" from out of your backside.

G35 Dude
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Resturant servers?

Personally, I would not care if they did raise the price of a meal by 15%, pay the server more, and not allow tipping. I will usually tip 20% minimum for good service, so this approach would save me money. But thats my perspective as a customer. I might think that a good server would prefer the current system because they would make more money. A poor server might prefer your system as their pay would be guaranteed. Say all you want about the manager being responsible for his employees performance but all he can do is enforce a minimum level of performance. He can't force anyone to go above and beyond.

I'd like to hear more servers opinion's on this.

roundabout
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It seems that no one is good with math...

......my explanation that by raising the price of food by the same percentage as what tips are now that the owner could pay the waiter 20% more from the upped food price!

That is a typical evasive set of facts!

If the waiter is making $2.00 now and the owner raises them 20%--they now make $2.40!

But think a minute-------the price of the food had nothing to do with the hourly wage!

Now figure it out properly!

PTC Observer
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G35 Dude

Tipping outside the USA, is the exception not the rule. Good service outside the USA is the exception not the rule. If you want good service you should pay for it directly and not have it lumped into the bill.

G35 Dude
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PTCO

This doesn't surprise me at all.

justacitizen
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Restaurant Tipping

I can not understand what you are trying to say, but then I rarely do.
TIPS..to ensure prompt service. Are you for tips or against tips? One word yes or no. Good luck with the one word thing!! LOL

roundabout
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Just a citizen (dumb)

You can't tell that I want the tip in the house charge and the waitress to be paid more? WOW, as they now say.

If the waitress or waiter isn't taught how to give "prompt service," then that is the manager's fault.
One shouldn't have to buy it!

People nowadays tip even for slow, or bad service, I notice. Possibly a dime more if they like the server. What does that really do to get "prompt service?"

dawn69
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Restaurants & tipping

Some people here have their facts wrong (I'm not at all surprised.

A waitor/waitress earns $2.13 per hour which is the Federal minimum wage for wait staff.

The server is required by law to declare a minimum of 10% of their total sales. For example: If, at the end of the shift, the server had $600 in total check sales that server has to (there is no opting out of this) claim $60 in tips at the end of the shift. Perhaps this server made $95 ... perhaps $83 of that $95 were credit card tips = he/she MUST claim $83. All credit card tips are claimed .... BY LAW! The credit card receipt serves as a paper trail by which the server can not avoid the law.

However, if at the end of the shift the server only made $45 ... that server still has to claim the 10% of his/her total sales = $60. So, if you go to a restaurant and run up a $90.00 tab but don't leave a tip at all ... that server just had to pay taxes on $9 he/she did not earn just for the honor of waiting on you.

All this being said, I have been in this industry for about 23 years. What I have found is that it usually all evens out. If someone "stiffs" you, shake it off. On average waitors earn a good living for unskilled labor. So one table left no tip, get over it. Most people do tip appropriately and most servers do make a little something that doesn't get claimed. It evens out.

My advise to anyone in the business is to claim everything as income. At some point in your life you will need to be able to show proof of income to be financed for something. It helps to show that you aren't a dead beat.

AtHomeGym
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Tipping AtHome & Abroad

It is true that being a server, male or female, is considered a real profession in most European countries. Also, in many countries, you will find a statement on the menu that the listed price for food includes a 15% gratuity--and it's automatic! It is still common to tip up to the next even number of whatever the currency happens to be. So, unlike here, you're gonna automatically pay at least 15% gratuity, and if you choose to up that amt, so be it. I like that system.

Davids mom
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Unskilled labor?
Quote:

All this being said, I have been in this industry for about 23 years. What I have found is that it usually all evens out. If someone "stiffs" you, shake it off. On average waitors earn a good living for unskilled labor. So one table left no tip, get over it. Most people do tip appropriately and most servers do make a little something that doesn't get claimed. It evens out.

I have always tipped based on the 'skill' of the server. The skilled server must have good communication ability, which includes eye contact, articulation, pleasant demeanor; knowledge of the menu, attentiveness to my needs (water,beverage refill,etc.) , ability to place food on the table appropriately, etc. and without interrupting a conversation or at least saying excuse me before placing dishes or arranging table for service. A real plus is periodically coming by the table to see if further service is required. There are some servers in Fayette County who are absolutely outstanding at providing 'skilled' service - and the success of their restaurants has a lot to do with their ability. I was unaware of the $2.13 figure. In today's economy, there are waiters and waitresses in Fayette who deserve more than 20%!

roundabout
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DM: TIPS

The question is should the owner pay the server a proper wage--at least minimum wage--or not?

...and depend upon the eater to chip in the rest of their pay?

The question is not how much begging the waiter must do to get tips. Nearly everyone tips now at 10-20% due to knowing the poor waiter won't make anuything if they don't!

You sound like someone who grades the waiter on a piced of paper on several items and then tips more or less accordingly.
Good go-go dancers do get more money stuffed if they about break their necks performning.

hutch866
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roundabouta$

I have yet to have a server beg me for a tip, some give good service, some suck at their job, I tip accordingly. All it takes for 20% is to give good service, easy enough.

roundabout
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Hutch: waiters

If they speak to you, take your order soon, serve you what you ordered, check for refills, and bring your ticket when you need it----just what else is there to bump the tips up a buck for?

I understand that some waiters are exuberant naturally but most are just normal. Whether or not you feel obligated to tip is the question, and why are most people never satisfied?

Perpetually judging them!

hutch866
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rounda$

The fact remains I've never heard one beg for a tip, you're the one who's demeaning them on here.

roundabout
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hutch

You know I don't mean for them to verbally beg for a tip!

Some restaurants even give them goodies to give to their customers to get better tips! The doggie boxes are sometimes free to the waiters, sometimes they are charged for them! Extra napkins, more tea than an elephant could drink, a replacement for something you don't like, remembering who ordered what, pieces of candy, bread and coke to take home, it goes on and on.
It is the service they should be trained to do, but the problem is---they have to do some of them to get tips! I prefer they be well paid AND do excellent service.

Anyway, whatever happens is the owner or manager's fault--not a waiter. Lack of education, etc.

What on earth makes you think that I want them to beg for tips---it is just the opposite!

Those who have never started and run a business have an odd attitude about such things.

Davids mom
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Round

My point is that I don't consider service providers such as waiters 'unskilled'. .. and I'm grateful for their service. I see your point.

roundabout
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DM

I understand that no one is unskilled to you! Nevertheless, some are.

Maybe inept is a better word? Could be due to heritage or lack of ambition.

PTC Observer
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DM - I totally

I totally agree with you on this, there are some very talented and skilled people serving us. Some work hard for those tips and should be rewarded for their service.

In addition, there are a number of these people that absolutely need this money because of their particular circumstances. When tipping we should aways remember the Golden Rule, when we get really good service.

roundabout
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Dawn 69

Did you say that some waiters cheat on the cash tips as far as taxes are concerned? (took in 15%, but paid taxes only on 10%).

And that makes everything even? (Illegal, but even).

That automatic 10% thingy doesn't sound right. You must know that a waitress in New York at a fine restaurant makes much more than 10% tips, and also the party waitresses--usually 18-20%.

Or does management keep part of the tips?

Be truthful now!

Stiffing is a word of excitement!

What is wrong with my proposal of no tips but management pays them more?

dawn69
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Roundabout

The automatic 10% of total sales is absolutely right! That is how it works. That is the minimum required by law. The IRS does not enforce an across the board percentage of 15-20 because of the nature of the business. However ... it IS the law to claim everything you earn. They just can't prove you have earned more than 10% unless there is a paper trail as with credit card payments.

If you read my response, you would know that I advocate claiming all earnings. It helps when you want to purchase a car or refinance your mortgage to show a larger proof of income.

No, the management does not keep a percentage of tips.

As far as management paying the staff more; well, I have made that point many times. If you aren't opposed to paying $30 for a mediocre steak ... then knock yourself out. Either way ... you are still paying for the service whether it be built in to the menu price or whether you have controll over tip compensation.

roundabout
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dawn

I am amazed as to how many people want "control" over waiter service instead of the manager doing that!

I don't wish to "have control" over a person working. Especially if they are begging me for part of their pay.

But, as I understand the business, the fact that if the customer tips zero and the owner pays 10-15% more to the waiter (and trains them to be courteous) that is not a break even for both the waiter and the owner---which it really is. Wouldn't the food price increase only 10-15%. A $25 steak would then be about $28 and no tip is required.

Reason: The waiter can cheat on their taxes and the owner can pay less FICA, thus cheating on their taxes and on the waiter's eventual pension amount! Plus the waiter isn't having to grub out money from gravy covered $1 bills.

You also imply that the IRS (government) knows all this but do not care.
Is the whole world cheaters now? Just like pretending to "worship" by going to church!

This $2 per hour you mention doesn't sound right---that is insulting. In order to get to $8 and hour pay for the day, they need $6 X 8 hours or $48 in tips. That amounts to about $400 worth of tickets. Just what has $400 worth of tickets got to do with what one should earn?

That is a speed payment system, not a service payment system! Wouldn't a waiter in an expensive restaurant make twice as much as a Cafe server?

It is a crappy system for a human to work under. It also pushes servitude for those customers who would love to have a private, free waiter at home.

dawn69
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Joined: 02/24/2008
Roundabout

$2.13 IS the minimum wage for servers. I understand that you typically don't like facts .... but that's a FACT!

roundabout
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Dawn

I didn't say it wasn't the minimum wage.

How long would the government put up with an owner paying just $2.13 if the waiter collected NO tips?

As to my knowledge of facts, you didn't say a thing about all of the other stuff that is wrong about this stupid system of paying peons!

Most restaurants go out of business due to the poor business acumen that the owners have. No, all of them do.

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