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Old 10-12-2018, 06:32 AM   #1
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Tipping at restaurants

Iíve been pondering why it is that tipping is based on the value of the meal rather than the number of individuals served, the complexity of the service (requests for extra stuff once the meal is presented). It would seem to me, that you might have fair, good and excellent service. I define that by the attentive efforts of the server. Thus, my tip might start at $1. for fair; $2 for good and $3 to 4 for excellent service per person.

Why should a meal at a lower-priced diner type of restaurant earn less compensation from my tip because itís an inexpensive meal and they provided outstanding excellent service, and a higher priced meal with marginal to fair service receive an equal amount or possibly even more so because of the value of the items ordered?

Last night we had a marginally fair meal. The service was below minimal. By that I mean beyond taking our order and delivery of our food we never saw our server again. Except she helps eat a large party next to us, took their order, and start back to see them. She didnít work the extra 10 feet to check on us or see if our meal was OK. This includes having to present ourselves at the check stands to pay the bill. No, I really donít want to leave this working individual empty-handed but I also donít feel they deserve 15% , 20% as is sometimes suggested or if you believe routine and customary based on the value of the check.

In the case of this restaurant that we know well, I believe thereís a real failure on the part of management to supervise and properly train their staff. And while this server I believe is probably a nice person they have not arrived at the capacity of asking them selves what can they do to improve their performance to increase their compensation. And by that I mean having a per person fixed rate would give you a better indicator that youíre doing a good job or a great job.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:38 AM   #2
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I still have a difficult time understanding why waiters / waitresses get paid (in Texas) around $2.13/hour.

That throws the "minimum wage law" right out the window.

And of whatever tip money they DO get, some places make them split it with the busboys & the bartenders.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:44 AM   #3
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What should be the tip at a buffet where the server doesn't serve? I leave a a dollar or 2.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:51 AM   #4
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I tip solely on quality of service. Doesn't matter what the cost of the meal is. Call me cheap if you want, I have to earn my money and so should they. I also don't blame the server for the chefs mistakes.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:54 AM   #5
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The value of the tip you leave is decided ENTIRELY by you, the customer, unless you have a large party, in which case, many restaurants apply a "standard tip" automatically to the bill.



This way, YOU can base your tip on whatever figures you want.


Many servers deserve a lot more than 20%. Also, many servers struggle to deserve minimum wage.


In an earlier life I worked food service, and given the choice of working for "zero" pay except for tips, or even a bit more than minimum wage, I would take tips any day of the week, just as when working later in production work, I would choose "piece work" over hourly every time. This is because I know I can turn out higher quality and quantity service or product than the average individual and therefore I can personally choose how much money I wanted to make based on how good a job I did.



You can choose how much you want to pay for food by choosing which restaurant you want to eat at, or what you order, but once in a specific restaurant, only YOU can choose how much of a tip you will leave!
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxxi View Post
I still have a difficult time understanding why waiters / waitresses get paid (in Texas) around $2.13/hour.

That throws the "minimum wage law" right out the window.

And of whatever tip money they DO get, some places make them split it with the busboys & the bartenders.
I think Maine tried to establish a higher minimum for wait staff in lieu of tips and the law got a lot of push back from people in the service industry:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.0225c377d090

I think tipping is a good way to show someone who is performing a service for you that you appreciate the job they did for you and I think a percentage makes most sense because if you tip a whole dollar amount, you paying someone the same whether you have a $5 meal or a $100 meal. To me they require a different level of service. I'll give a little extra if we have a large group but most establishments already add a gratuity if your party is over a certain amount.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:56 AM   #7
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The word TIP used to mean: To Insure Promptness, and was usually given to the Individual that was in charge of who sat where and when at the fancy nightclubs "way back when" or if you prefer, "the old days" when only the well to do could afford to eat out at places like supperclubs.
A "T I P today is given when good service is provided, along with a good quality meal.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:56 AM   #8
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Not checking in on your tables regularly is my big pet peeve. (and I was a waiter for 4 years in college).

I can forgive just about anything else from a server. Food takes a long time is generally not the server's fault (unless they forgot to put the order in). Food taste bad? Not the server's fault, etc.

Checking in regularly is completely in their control (unless the place is severely understaffed - which is a management issue).

I generally overtip (probably because I was a server for years) and for good service I will not leave less than $5 / person. But if you never check in on me, that will go down to $2 - and if the opportunity is there I'll tell the server before I leave.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:57 AM   #9
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If we're talking about a real restaurant (not a fast food joint), if the service is what I expected, we usually tip 18 to 20%. If the server stayed on top of everything, ensuring that all needs were met (& this does happen often), then we will tip a little more than 20%.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:33 AM   #10
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If the service is good we tip 20%. If the service is bad we tip 10%, knowing that the base pay of that server is usually way below minimum wage!
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:23 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by WDW View Post
IThe service was below minimal. By that I mean beyond taking our order and delivery of our food we never saw our server again. Except she helps eat [sic] a large party next to us, took their order, and start back to see them. She didn’t work the extra 10 feet to check on us or see if our meal was OK. This includes having to present ourselves at the check stands to pay the bill.
My take on this is that your server was playing the game to maximize his/her return on investment. Tips are generally calculated as a percentage of the total bill, regardless of how many people are at the table. Your server (if they have any gray matter between their ears) is likely going to make a decision soon after you place any drink or appetizer orders about how much of their attention you're going to receive.

If you're ordering drinks and appetizers, they know you're there to drop some cash because those are usually unnecessary things that increase the total bill amount and as a result, their opportunity for an above-average tip.

Conversely, if you order water, skip appetizers and take the complimentary chips or bread, then proceed to order cheaper menu fare, they know the total cost is going to be relatively low and that even if they give you excellent service, the return on the investment of their time likely won't be worth it. This is especially true when they have another table with a large amount of guests or guests who are ordering more costly items.

This calculus changes a bit when you have a large party. Half of your party can be thrifty while the other half can be spendy and make up for their lower-margin counterparts. At such a table, the server is going to end up with a larger total cost at the table. Typically, the more generous guests will make up for the more cost conscious guests at the table. Therefore, a server is going to see more opportunity to increase their revenue at a large party table. The other thing to consider when you notice your server has another table with a large party is that large parties simply take more time to serve. That reduces the amount of time they can dedicate to you, even if they're treating both tables exactly the same.

Servers only have so many tables and they have to try and optimize their tips/time ratio. I'd venture that often with a more experienced server, it might even be completely subconscious. They're optimizing their own revenue stream by minimizing time spent at a table where the ROI will not outpace time spent serving the customer.

I'm not saying its necessarily right or the best model but thems the rules our society has set in place for tipping. You can't fault the player for trying to win the game so long as they're playing by the rules.

If you want excellent service, let the server know you should be one of their priorities. Order a cocktail or an appetizer. Even a beer and iced tea is better than just ordering water. Order a higher cost item from the menu. If you have coupons or discounts, don't mention them until the end of the meal and FYI - you should be tipping based on cost before discounts applied. If you were served $40 worth of food and beverages, that's the amount your tip should be based on. Even if you had a coupon or discount that gave you $5 off.

Servers practically live off of tips. They usually have families to support as well. The hourly rate they receive barely covers taxes and as has been pointed out already, at some establishment they have to share their tips.

If their service is abysmal, by all means tip accordingly. Don't get upset that they didn't keep your glass of free water filled though, especially if for instance, you ordered a $7 turkey sandwich to split with your significant other, and presented a AAA card that gave you a 10% discount. There's no meat on the bone for them in that situation. They're essentially running a miniature business inside a business.

That's just my take on tipping.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:37 AM   #12
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I tip only on service, and If good I tip generously. Once while traveling late at night we stopped at this all night diner. I told The waitress to please keep my coffee filled. We were 1 of 3 customers and the only time I saw her was when we ordered and when she brought our food. My cup was empty and I ask for a refill. Never saw her again till we checked out. I left a penny on the table with a note on why she got a penny.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:38 AM   #13
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Here in WA state the servers get minimum wage, which is around 11.59 per hour. If the server has 4 tables and each has a $50 tab and they each give 15% then the server is making over $40 an hour.
Also, some restaurants have a "tip" guide on the bill. They no longer even show 10%, they start at 15% and go to 25% then a lot will even add in the sales tax. But they'll put a disclaimer that the sales tax is not included which in some cases is true, but if you check the figures you find your paying a tip on top of the tax.
Anyway, the server is taxed on 10% of their billing by the feds but here in WA they certainly aren't underpaid at $40 an hour.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Moxxi View Post
I still have a difficult time understanding why waiters / waitresses get paid (in Texas) around $2.13/hour.

That throws the "minimum wage law" right out the window.

And of whatever tip money they DO get, some places make them split it with the busboys & the bartenders.
If they don't make enough in tips to bring them up to minimum wage the restaurant must make up the difference so they get the federal minimum wage. If their state's minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum wage they must make up that difference.
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